Chosen Bites: A figure of perfection

The tradition of eating sweet foods in the hope for a sweet year is ancient. It is also a mitzvah to eat a new fruit on the second night of Rosh Hashana.

By LAURA FRANKEL
September 8, 2011 10:39
1 minute read.
figs

figs311. (photo credit: MCT)

 
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The tradition of eating sweet foods in the hope for a sweet year is ancient. It is also a mitzvah to eat a new fruit or a fruit that we have not yet eaten this season on the second night of Rosh Hashana.

I am looking forward to this delicious fig confiture or jam. Figs are also one of the seven species and hold a special significance to Israel and the Torah. I think they are just delicious and I really enjoy their texture with the velvety smooth fruit and crunchy seeds.

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This jam is subtly sweet, with a nuance of lemons and walnuts. It is delicious with poultry and meats and as a snack with hard cheeses. The height of fig season is August through October so scoop them up while you can. The jam can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to six weeks or canned and stored for one year.

Fig Confiture

1 kg (2 pounds) firm Green or Black Mission figs
2 organic lemons
700 grams (1 ½ pounds) of sugar
¼ cup walnuts (optional)
3 cups water

1. Stem and halve the figs. Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife. Remove the bitter pith from the peel or zest and discard. Cut up the fruit of the lemon into ½ inch chunks. Place the lemon seeds in several layers of cheesecloth and secure with cooking twine.

2. Bring the water and sugar to a boil until the mixture reaches 220. Immediately add the figs, lemon zest, lemon chunks and seed bag.

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3. Return the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

4. Continue cooking until the mixture has reached the setting point (about 2 hours). 

You can judge the setting point by dropping a teaspoon of the liquid onto a plate and placing it in a refrigerator for five minutes. If the liquid sets up or is no longer runny-the jam is done.

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