Updated on August 23: Below are from this year’s preserves and we just couldn’t help taking new pictures and sharing them here.
Love that green color! Most people think that unripe fruits are worthless, wrong for unripe figs! This jam is unbelievable!
I became an aunt two days ago and I was as excited as my brother and his wife. They live in a city far away from us, but the distance wasn’t enough to reduce my excitement! It was noon time and I was at school, making exams when I had a phone call from them. They were at hospital and telling me that they were counting minutes for the delivery. I felt as if I was taking the exam during this waiting time! I don’t remember the number of people whom I told that I was waiting for my niece’s birth. After about half an hour, I heard my brother’s joyful voice on the phone. He was happily telling that his newly born daughter is just like me. This doubled my excitement and I tried to envisage her little and cute face. Now I’m looking forward to visitng the mom and seeing my little neice soon. We have the youngest member of our family now, I wish her a peaceful future.
I’m sure there are various traditions about newly born babies in different cultures. Let me tell one of them in our culture. When someone has a baby, he buys something sweet such as Turkish delight, chocolate, or baklava (a traditional Turkish dessert with sherbet) and takes this to his work place to share it with colleagues. The people working there take one and tell their good wishes for the baby. When I think about our traditions for happy events, I realize that we always have a kind of dessert to celebrate.
When I saw unripe fig at the open market today, I decided to make its jam. This would also be meaningful for the importance of the day. A village woman was selling it. She told that she picked these unripe figs up from the tree in their village. She had no scales, just 2 bags of figs in front of her. She said each bag weighs 1 kilo (2,20 pound), and her word was enough for me, no need to weigh on a scale. I bought one of the bags, but I had never made unripe fig jam before although I ate many times. As you can guess, I asked the recipe to that woman and she gave the instructions providing that I would come back and tell her the result. I think I succeeded, so I can feel proud when I go back to the open market with a bowl of jam not only to tell but also give her the result as a gift.
You might find it weird to make jam of unripe figs, but I can tell that you don’t feel any unripeness when you taste it. We call it jam, but I think it can also be included in category of desserts as I love to eat it not just at breakfast but also during day with cream, ice cream or plain.
I mentioned the benefit of unripe fig sap in the recipe of dried fig dessert. That sticky white liquid is helpful in the treatment of skin warts. Just drop it on the wart and see the result.
Wash the figs and clean their stems. We’ll boil the figs two times changing the water each time to lose its unripeness taste. Fill a large pot with water and boil the figs for about 10 minutes. Let it cool.
When it is cool enough to touch, squeeze the figs gently to remove the bad taste. You can make tiny holes on figs with a needle if you like and then squeeze. Then fill the pot with water again, boil again and squeeze again. This squeezing part might take a long time, but if you are passionate enough, you’ll see it is worth. Then drain.
Meanwhile you can start to boil 5 ½ water and sugar together in a different pot. After it boils, add the squeezed figs in it. You will see that these figs turn back into their original shape in this boiling sherbet. Put the cloves with the figs to give this jam an outstanding flavor. Boil them for about 25 minutes. Finally, add lemon juice and boil it 5 minutes more.
Let it cool and fill it in jars. You can keep them at room temperature, at a dry and dark place. We love it cold, so we keep it in refrigerator. This makes a great summer dessert!
Ham İncir Reçeli
Updated on Feb 17 2011
Fig Press Gadget by Richard Claassens
I got an amazing mail from one of my readers living in South Africa a few days ago. Besides telling how this recipe worked fine for him, he says that he invented a fig press gadget- that’s how he calls it. I felt so honored that someone very far from me invented something particularly for my recipe. This recipe calls for squeezing figs after boiling, and he says this step might be tiring for fingers. That’s why he decided to invent a gadget to use in this step. He generously sent me the pictures even with the instructions to make it. I find it so practical, so I would like to share it with you. He says it is very easy to make it and you don’t need any special tool for this, you can make it with what you have at home. Maybe you’re inspired to make this gadget to use for this green fig jam recipe. Thank you Richard! So here are his instructions with pictures:
I will explain what to look for in each picture. As you will see, the gadget, is made from things I found around the house, nothing fancy at all.
Picture 1, is a similar serviette ring to the one I modified for the press.
Picture 2 is the bottom of the ring showing a series of cuts I made in it, to allow the fig juices to pass through, using a “tin snips” which a tool used for cutting thin metal sheet. This holds the fig for pressing.
Picture 3 shows the top of the ring with four cuts in it to allow fig juices to seep out at the top without burning your finger if the fig is still hot.
Picture 4 is a potato chip fryer.
Picture 5 is a small “pill” container which acts as the press.
Picture 6 shows the chip fryer and the fig holder with a fig in it ready for pressing.
Picture 7 shows the “pill” bottle on top of the fig.
Picture 8 shows the pressed fig. It actually comes out like a round flat green cookie.
Picture 9 shows the whole thing, with the fig pressed down, ready for removal from the press.
Pressing a fig takes me about 15 seconds with very little effort, as you will find out, I’m sure. I really hope you can get one made, and I’m sure your readers will find it simple too. I make a lot of water melon rind preserve as well, and I’m going to try this recipe on that as well because it take four hours or so to boil the rind in the sugar, and I’m convinced this will cut down the time to about an hour.