Warning: I don’t know anything about canning. And I don’t know whether this recipe is appropriate for canning. If any of you can figure that out, let me know. Because it is definitely jam that is good enough to preserve. (UPDATE: I have in fact canned this recipe, and it came out just fine, and not unsafe at all)
That said, figs and balsamic vinegar are among my favorite flavor combinations. I like fresh figs drizzled with balsamic glaze. I like the combination in salad. And I like it as jam. But fig jam is just so expensive. So why not make it yourself? Especially when the price of figs goes down at the end of the season.
This is a baseline recipe. If you do figure out that it can be canned, feel free to double, or quadruple, the recipe as you see fit.
1 lb. Fresh figs, stemmed and halved
2/3 cup sugar
The juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Add the figs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a sauce pan, and over medium heat, bring to a simmer. It should get very juicy very quickly. Feel free to macerate the figs a bit with a wooden spoon during this stage of the process. That seems to be how you get nice, variably-sized chunks.
Once it comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, cover, and allow the figs to cook for about an hour. At the end of that time, remove the lid, mix in the balsamic vinegar, and allow to cook until the liquid reduces such that what you have looks like jam (probably 25 more minutes or so).
Once you have it, can it, spread it on toast, eat it straight out of the pan, drizzle it over cheese. You know. Whatever. I ended up making a lemon sponge cake and using this as a filling. Simple. But very very nice.