Lebanese Dried Fig Jam
I have been craving this fig jam lately! Growing up, this was always on our breakfast table! I remember my mom making it annually. She kept jars of it in the fridge and we would eat it year-round! My mom has been, and still, a passionate cook. Whenever I go to Lebanon, we spend hours together discussing recipes, ingredients and making meals. I definitely inherited my love of cooking from her.
The jam is made of sun dried figs, that are available year round, sesame seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, anise seeds, mastic gum and sugar syrup. The end result is an utterly delicious jam. Really this is much better than the store-bought variety. Once you try it, you will never be satisfied with the commercial fig jam.
Besides from being so tasty, this jam is good for you. Dried figs are an excellent source of minerals like, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc and walnuts and pine nuts reduce the risk of heart attack!
Serve it with pita bread, toast and crackers or even with a platter of cheese. Goat cheese, brie cheese, and Gruyere cheese pair together with this jam.
- 1 kg. / 2lb. 4 oz. dried figs, stemmed and each cut into quarters
- 750 g. / 26.5 oz. / 3 cups sugar
- 5 cups water/ 1250 ml
- 1 teaspoon citric acid/ 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 200 g. /7 oz. walnuts, roughly chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 teacup/200 ml white sesame seeds
- 1 espresso cup anise seeds
- 4 pieces of mastic gum, crushed with a pinch of sugar
- Pour the water, sugar, citric acid/ lemon juice and mastic gum in a large saucepan. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Drop the dried figs and the anise seeds in the sugar syrup and let it simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile toast the sesame seeds: Place a dry (and free from any oil) pot over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir regularly using a wooden spoon until the sesame seeds take on color, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely.
- To toast the walnuts: Heat a dry pot over medium heat. Add the chopped walnuts and cook stirring constantly about 2-3 minutes or until slightly changes color, toasting walnuts will bring out their earthy flavor. Set aside to cool down.
- When 30 minutes have passed on simmering the dried figs in syrup, add the toasted sesame seeds, walnuts and the raw pine nuts. Stir well to fully combine the ingredients. Simmer for 1 more minute and set aside to cool down. Transfer to sterilized canning jars and seal tightly. Refrigerate
Note: To sterilize the jar, hold the jar upside down over a simmering pot or boiling water.
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