Fig and Pomegranate Balsamic Jam

I am usually someone who doesn’t believe in ruining fruit with sugar, especially a fruit as precious and fleeting as fresh figs.  However, I decided experiment last night in the kitchen, hoping to capture a memory of a beautiful day.  Making jam is way to bottle a moment in time, to be re-opened whenever you need a taste of late summer.  This definitely fits the bill, and- I promise- is a delicious way of preparing figs that magnifies their flavor.  Enjoy! -Amanda

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Fig and Pomegranate Balsamic Jam

Yields: 32 ounces
4 cups fresh black mission figs
2 cups organic unrefined cane sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water
pinch salt
1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic, or your favorite dark balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1.In a large saucepan, combine figs, sugar, lemon juice, water, salt and pomegranate balsamic over medium heat.
2. When the sugar has dissolved, take the jam off the heat.  Using an immersion blender, or your favorite kitchen gadget, blend until the figs are totally pulverized.
3. Return to medium heat and bring to a boil.  Knock back to a simmer for 1 hour.
4. Skim any foam that forms on the surface.
5. Meanwhile, sterilize jam jars by placing them on a baking tray in a 200 Fahrenheit oven.  Sterilize the lids in boiling water.
6. After 1 hour, remove the plate from the freezer.  Drop a small dollop of jam on the plate and let set.  Run your finger through it.  Do you like the consistency?  If so, you’re ready to process.  If not, continue cooking the jam at 10 minute intervals, testing for your desired thickness.
7. Stir in the vanilla extract.
8. Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch from the top.  Top with a lid and screw on until just tight.
9. Process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.
10. Let cool on the counter until you hear the seal pop.  If it pops, it is shelf stable.  If not, store in the fridge.

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