Figs are a delicious but fragile fruit. Once you have acquired them, you need to do something with those you don’t eat. Overeating of figs could produce some gastric distress, if you aren’t careful. That gives you as good a reason as any to make jam out of the majority of your fig supply.
Cut 5 cups of fresh figs (about 2 pounds) into quarters, removing stems. Add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice. (Note: even white figs will turn dark as you cook them, so feel free to use any kind of fig.)
Grate 1 tablespoon of fresh orange rind. Chop the fruit of two oranges (all pith, seeds and membranes removed) to make 1 cup, including juice.
In a large pot, combine the grated orange rind, the orange fruit and juice, lemon juice, figs. Let this sit overnight. One of the tricks of making marmalade is to let the fruit marinate overnight in a bit of water. Personally, I think this makes a richer flavor in any of your jams or marmalades. Figs benefit from this, as well.
The second day, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to lessen the foaming. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often. Skim off any foam.
The third day, add 3 cups of sugar and bring back to a boil. It changes color to a dark brown. Because it’s a fragile fruit, rather than boil it too long (long enough to get it to the setting point), you can add 1 packet of pectin to hasten the gelling process.
Ladle into sterilized jars, add sterilized lids and rings. Tighten the rings and turn jars upside down for 15 minutes. Once you turn them right side up again, this is when the lids usually pop, indicating a good seal.
Adapted from 250 Home Preserving Favorites by Yvonne Tremblay.