This started with a surfeit of dried figs in the pantry. How this happened, I don’t know. One day, we woke up with dried figs coming out of our ears.
After I wrote the last sentence, it looked like a sentence that could have come from a fable in the style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Like:
What actually happened that morning – I looked into the pantry and saw dried figs and more dried figs nestling among dried apricots. No magic realism in sight.
I looked at the dried figs, they looked at me. The first and only thought that occurred to me was fig jam.
Figs, dried apricots, orange juice, with cinnamon and a smidge of vanilla. No added sugar. Poached in a slow cooker with barely enough water for more than two hours. During this time, the figs and apricots were plump, infused with each others’ flavours, and then were cooked down again until the mixture is just on the verge of drying out and caramelising. Then, the mixture was blitzed in a food processor until they turn into a thick, dark, shiny and smooth paste.
This isn’t your usual jam, where the first and last thing to hit your palate is sugar. When we tasted this jam, we tasted the fruit first, and noticed their sweetness afterwards. It was sweet enough, not cloyingly sweet. What lingered and made us come back for another spoonful was the play between the flavours of figs, apricots and oranges.
Recipe at the end of the post.