As summer comes to a close and we begin to welcome autumn, it signals some new transitions on the horizon! As the Education and Volunteer Programs Manager, I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating this year’s Master Fruit Tree Steward (MFTS) program, and with one more session left to go, it’s a bittersweet ending! As is expected, one of our MFTS sessions covered the basics of fruit tree pruning, and this year, we held the training at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. While some of the stewards this year had prior experience with pruning, some named themselves as more of a beginner. Shruti, one of the 2022 cohort members this year, was one such steward that was excited to learn more about pruning and get hands-on experience!
Following the pruning session, she shared that she felt encouraged to prune her overgrown fig tree. With the fruit she harvested before pruning, she made an Indian spice flavored fig jam, which she has graciously shared the recipe for. She wrote, “I have a little recipe book where I write down all the recipes I develop. Many of the food I grow here, I never had tasted before growing up in the tropical part of India. But I love experimenting with flavors of the East. I feel like a true immigrant should know how to use the new land and connect it to their own roots!” We hope that you enjoy her recipe and experiment with different fruit-centered dishes of your own!
FIG JAM with Indian spices
– Wash and cut the figs in quarter
– Put the figs in a heavy bottomed pan and cook in medium heat for about 30 min
– Add sugar
– Add a stick of cinnamon
– Lower the heat and continue to cook
– Take the cinnamon stick out
– At this moment I used an immersion blender to blend all the soft skins and pulp together. This is totally optional. My daughter likes it more when it’s blended together.
– Add a juice of lime.
– Cook for about 15-20 min until it reaches the consistency you want.
– Hot jam/preserve may be ladled into hot sterilized canning jars and processed in a hot water bath.
– 3.6 kg figs
– 600 gm white sugar
– 100 gm brown sugar
– Juice of 1 and a half lime
– 2-3 sticks of cinnamon
– 5-6 cloves
– 5-6 whole cardamom
– 2 bay leaves
This year I added cinnamon, whole cardamom (you can also add cardamom ‘powder’ directly in the jam towards the end), clove and Indian bayleaf. I put all these in a tiny cotton pouch and put the pouch in the container with the figs. That way only the flavor went into the jam and I just took out the pouch full of spices. Didn’t have to find the spices from the jam to discard. Easy!