Labor Day Picnic and a Spicy Fig Orange Jam
Finally, I had those gorgeous blackberries and needed a dessert (not really needed, but it seemed like the right thing to do for a picnic). I made Ree’s (Pioneer Woman’s) Blackberry Cobbler #1. (This one was pretty darn good, but I just might have to compare it with Ree’s #2 recipe with the blackberries I have in the freezer!) I topped it with a bit of sweetened whipped cream (because this nifty picnic
basket bag had insulated condiment containers and I could take whipped cream with me!). Oh, mercy! What a perfect ending to a lovely dinner.
Mr. Bunkycooks even brought along some really nice wine (1996 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon) and we had Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (my go to Summer wine and I go to it a lot!) with our dinner. Obviously, Mr. Bunkycooks thought the picnic was pretty special when he pops the cork on the good stuff! Maybe I should have another picnic!
It was a beautiful evening, the food and wine were wonderful and the views of the mountains were pretty spectacular. The company wasn’t so bad either. 😉
Since the fig jam was really outstanding, I decided to put this recipe in the post. This one is from Simply Recipes and is truly worth making with fresh figs while they are in season. I used a Golden Turkish Fig (they are a smaller fig) that I bought at the Farmers’ Market, but any fig will do. They were so sweet and juicy that they almost didn’t make it to jam!
This recipe simplifies the canning procedure a bit, so not to worry about all of that. It was very easy to do. It even cooks in the microwave! I used four smaller jars (4 ounces each). This is something to savor and serve in smaller amounts. This fig jam is spicy and rich. It is perfect with cheese and although I served it with Brie, I think pairing it with something like an Old Amsterdam cheese would be delightful. It will also be a nice addition around the holidays with all of the spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves, so don’t eat it all as soon as you make it!
If you have a picnic
bag basket, I say go grab it, get cooking (minus the mayo, unless you bring your cooler!) and fill it up with some of the last of the season’s best fruits and vegetables! I had forgotten how much fun it is to haul all the dirty dishes home afterward have a picnic! You better hurry up before the warm weather is all gone! We nearly froze our butts off the night we went picnicking!
Happy Labor Day and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Spicy Fig and Orange Microwave Jam
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes 2 (8-ounce) or 4 (4-ounce) jars
1 1/2 cups diced fresh figs (6-10 figs, depending on the size of the figs)
1/2 cup seeded, peeled orange, diced
1 1/2 cups of sugar (reduce if you want, though it won’t set as well)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 (8-ounce) canning jars
1. Place the ingredients in a large ceramic or glass bowl or casserole (I used what was suggested, which was a 2-quart pyrex measuring cup), stir to combine, let sit for thirty minutes for the fruit to macerate in the sugar.
2. Place in the microwave. You will cook the fruit mixture on the high setting for approximately fifteen minutes. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, after about six to eight minutes, stop the cooking and stir. Continue cooking and stir every few minutes. At about thirteen minutes the mixture should start to get viscous (mine took about eighteen minutes total time to cook). If you spoon out a bit on to a small plate that has been in the freezer, you can push the mixture around a bit with your finger tip to see how thick it is. If it is runny, cook it a couple minutes more. You can also check by seeing how the jam runs off of a spoon. If it seems to firm up a bit as it drips, it’s done.
If you use a large pyrex measuring cup, you can see that you start with close to three cups of liquid. You want to boil it down to two cups.
3. Pour out the jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headroom from the top of the jars. If you want to keep your jam in a cupboard, then use sterilized jars (heat them in the oven at 200°F for 10 minutes). If you plan to use quickly and will keep them in the refrigerator, regular clean jars will do.
* I did use the sterilized jars so that I could store them in the pantry. I want to have some of this for the holidays!