Every now and then a recipe comes along that just about slaps you in the face it's so good. (Bonus points when it's lightning fast and incredibly easy.) That's what happened when I first sampled this Mission fig jam. My mind was completely blown!
This recipe for Mission fig jam is considered a "quick jam" because it uses dried fruit as opposed to fresh, and it doesn't go through the traditional canning process. Basically it's just dried figs simmered for a few minutes with sugar and water, then pureed in a food processor. Seriously, it's that easy. The results, however, taste like you slaved for hours and hours!
I enjoyed my first batch of fig jam on a toasted crostini piled with fresh ricotta, but as I type this, millions of other ideas come to mind: fig jam smeared over baked brie, dolloped on a cheese board, smothered inside of a peanut butter & jelly, or swirled into Greek yogurt. The possibilities are endless! Just think how impressed your house guests will be when you serve this with their morning toast?! (You can thank me later. Wink, wink.)
Quick Mission Fig Jam
Makes 1 1/2 cups
(about 22 whole) dried Mission figs, stems removed
Juice from one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
Combine figs, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly and has turned a rosy, golden shade, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in vanilla bean paste (or extract) and cool the mixture for 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Store in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This amount is perfect for sharing: one small jar for yourself, and one for a friend. Feel free to half, if desired.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)