Ginger fig jam
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
5cm knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 star anise
½ cup apple juice
½ cup dessert wine
Camembert or Brie, to serve
Cut the figs in half and place them in a small pot with the apple, lemon zest and juice, ginger and star anise. Add the apple juice and dessert wine and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Add the sugar, stirring gently until it has dissolved.
Bring the liquid to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes, skimming any scum off the surface. You can use a sugar thermometer to check the setting point (104.5°C) or use the wrinkle test: place a saucer in the freezer when you start making your jam, then spoon a little hot jam onto the saucer, refrigerate for a few minutes, then test by dragging your finger through the jam. It should be set if your finger leaves a cleanish path. (Don't forget to take your jam off the boil while you test.)
Pour the jam into clean, sterilised jars and seal immediately. It should keep for at least six months but refrigerate and eat it within four weeks of opening. The sweet ginger and aniseed flavours of this sticky jam go beautifully with soft, creamy Camembert or Brie. Makes two small jars
Jam making tips
Some jams will set harder than others depending on the pectin in the fruit. Most recipes that don't specify additional pectin will yield a beautiful soft-set jam.
To sterilise jars, pour boiling water over the lids and jars and keep them in a 170°C oven while you make the jam. It's important that the jars are still warm when you pour in the jam – and make sure you fill the jar right to the top to create a good seal.
Originally published HL September 2015