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That time of year.

Yesterday was beautiful. Sunny and breezy, we went walking through the paddocks behind my parents’ house, where there’s a creek with wild quince, fig and walnut trees, wild blackberries, wild rabbits — I know. It’s all so perfect that I’d suspect my parents’ place had a gas leak, but then how did these BAGS AND BAGS OF FIGS get here?

I spent most of Saturday eating figs. Fresh figs, still sun-warm. No, go ahead: jealousy is the right response, just roll with it. So many figs. Frightened of losing any of this glorious, rich, summer abundance to time and the lurking spectre of mould, I began making plans. This amazing product was a random experiment and may be the easiest and most delicious jam I’ve ever made:

A churning sepia galaxy.

A churning sepia galaxy.

Fig and balsamic vinegar jam is incredible. Recipe pinched from Susan Can Cook, and although I used mere supermarket balsamic vinegar it is an amazing success. I only did 1 cup of chopped figs (instead of 8), and after I got them cooking I gave them a quick blast with the stick blender to make the chunks a bit smaller. When it first began bubbling, it tasted like figs with balsamic reduction (like on a pizza or something), which was nice but unimpressive. But after about half an hour of low simmering, the flavours balanced and blended amazingly: it’s rich and just sweet enough, and the balsamic gives rich, woody, support to the sugars. It isn’t tangy or sour, it’s just beautiful.

Bottled gooooooods,

Bottled gooooooods.

This is amazing jam. Even if you can only get a cup or so of figs, it’s worth making a wee batch. (Of course, that’s easy for me to say: I’ve still got boxes and boxes of them in the fridge and they’re all MINE MINE MINE.)

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