The history of the fig dates back to around 9000 BC, when remnants were found in Neolithic villages. The Fig is widely grown for its edible fruit throughout Iran and also in the rest of the Mediterranean region and other areas of the world.
Figs have become an important staple in many consumers diet due to the health benefits. Figs are a prime source of fiber, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin K. Additionally; they are high in antioxidants and maintain healthy digestion.
Taking into consideration figs can be eaten dried, fresh or even in compotes, they are a fantastic ingredient for preserve recipes. The hearty sweet flavors combined with the delicate flesh are a well accompanied ingredient to any fig preserves recipe.
The term Jam and Preserves is often interchangeable although the preparation of preserve recipes requires that the fruit be in larger chunks and for jams the fruit is typically chopped or mashed to produce a sort of hash or pulp. The preparation of fig preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used as well.
The proportion of sugar and fruit varies however; a good starting point is using equal amounts of figs to sugar.
Most cooks work by trial and error when it comes to the changing texture of the preserve however, if you plan on following a fig preserve recipe, when the temperature of the pulp reaches approximately 104 °C, the pectin and the acid in the fruit will react with the sugar resulting in the setting of the preserves.
Typically, when making a fig preserve recipe it is quite imperative to use the figs you purchased immediately. The shelf life is quite short so when planning to prepare a recipe, make sure you have an ample amount of time set aside to complete the entire process.
Although there are hundreds of recipes for preserves and jams, here is a basic preserve recipe to get you started:
o 8 cups fresh figs
o 4 cups white sugar
o 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
o 2 cups water
o 6 cups hot water (boiling)
o 1/2 lemon, sliced
1. In bowl place figs and dust with baking soda. Pour the hot water over the figs and soak for 1 hour.
2. Drain figs and rinse thoroughly with cold water. In a large Dutch oven combine the sugar and the 2
cups of water; bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the figs and lemon slices to the syrup in the Dutch oven and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Spoon figs into hot, sterilized jars and spoon syrup over figs, leaving 1/2 inch of space. Place lids on top and screw tightly for a vacuum seal. Place in a hot water bath for up to 15 minutes.
Preparing preserves at home is a wonderfully crafty activity to partake with your family and friends. Give it as a delightful present for the holiday season.
Note: You can also enhance the flavors of a fig preserve recipe by adding other fruits such as raspberries or boysenberries.
Preparing preserves at home is a wonderfully crafty activity to partake with your family and friends. Give it as a delightful present for the holiday season.Preparing the Perfect Fig Preserves Recipe
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