Friday, August 26, 2016

Fig Mustard

It's fresh fig season.  If you've never had one, you should try it.  Grandma Sophie had a tree when I was a toddler, and I never appreciated them.

I bookmarked this on Food In Jars back in April.  And every time I swore to myself I was done canning, I'd find something new to make and forget that this was on my canning list.  I'm still done making jams for a while, but I've branched out into other kinds of preserves.

One thing about fig season in California is that it's very hard to find dried Mission figs.  All of last year's crop is gone, and the rest of the varieties of dried figs don't look much better.  I've adjusted the recipe for a 12 oz package of 9 fresh Mission figs, which meant reducing the yield by about 1/3.
I'm glad I bought mustard seed and didn't simply substitute equal parts of ground mustard.  The seed grinds into almost double the volume.  I'm sure if it had sat around in a package, that amount would change.  There was no weight of mustard listed, which would have put an end to the discussion.  At least it gave my coffee grinder something to do, and it appreciated being cleaned.  Ever since markets started supplying grinders, all it ever gets used for is nuts and seeds.  Which, I guess, is what coffee is.

Figs have a honey-like taste, so I used honey in this recipe.  Whenever subbing in honey for granulated sugar, use about 2/3 the amount.

12 oz fresh figs
1/4 C water
*1/3 C mustard seed
2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C lemon juice
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
*1/2 C honey (or 2/3 C sugar)

1.  In a dry 6" skillet, lightly toast the mustard seed over medium heat until it just starts to pop.  Remove from heat so it doesn't burn.  Once cooled, grind into powder in a coffee grinder.

2.  Remove stems from figs and chop into chunks.  Place in a small saucepan with 1/4 C water to prevent scorching.  Cook over medium low until figs are jam-soft and excess water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Purée with an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender and return to saucepan.

3.  Add remaining ingredients.  If canning, prepare for a 3 cup yield.  You don't have to process this recipe.  It will keep in the fridge for at least a month.  I just can't go through that much before it spoils and canned them in 4oz jelly jars.  Bring everything to a low boil until thickened as much as you like.  Remember that it will thicken further once cooled.  Don't bother tasting it as it cooks; the flavor won't develop properly for at least 24 hours and it's just going to taste like a slightly tangy fig tahini.  Either ladle into jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.
Fig mustard on grilled cheese.  A sweet & tangy combination!

Makes about 3 cups

Difficulty rating  :)

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