Today the grandmother of my boyfriend, let’s call him E for short, gave me about thirty or so figs in a container fresh from her garden. Her garden is where she goes everyday, located less than a ten minute drive away at one of the family villas. Rain or shine, you will find her there. It is the most gorgeous villa I have ever laid eyes on, the road leading up to the villa is beautiful in itself, to the left are multiple rows of grape vines and to the right is a field of sunflowers. Only in the summer months the sunflowers are there, but I like to imagine them there always.
I’ve never done anything with figs before this summer. In August we were in Portland and I got this overwhelming craving for roasted figs and goat cheese on a crostini. I walked about 25 blocks to the store to fulfill that craving and bought the ingredients. It turned out just as incredible as I had imagined it would be. (And completely worth the blocks walked) This time I had too many figs to know what to do with. Ever so grateful, I thought I would make a marmalade to somewhat preserve these precious little beauties.
1 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
This is one of many marmalade recipes I like so much because it is quite easy. This recipe makes 2 jars, so you can double, triple or quadruple this if you wish.
Wash the figs and cut them in very small pieces. (yes, you leave the skin on) You want them to be small so they break down easier when cooking. Take a pot and put the figs, sugar, and the zest of half a lemon and cover. You can add more lemon zest if you want it to be less sweet to compliment meat or a cheese plate. I found that this was the perfect combination of tart and sweet. Let it rest for the night.
The next day, turn on medium heat and boil for about 5 minutes then turn off heat. Let the marmalade rest until cool to the touch. Stir and mash every once in while with wooden spoon to try to breakdown the figs. Repeat this step about 3 times. If there are still too many fig pieces left for your liking, I suggest taking a purée mixer to break down the consistency.
Take your sterilized jars and while the marmalade is still very hot, empty them in the jars and tighten the lid. Put upside down on the counter until cool.