Figs, both dried and fresh, have an illustrious history from gracing the tables of kings, pharaohs and emperors for thousands of years. They are highly prized for their taste as well as their nutritional value, which is a rich concoction of iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Fresh figs have a small seasonal window, so they're dried and enjoyed in this form all year. Dried fig preserves are common in many cultures, especially in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Things You'll Need
- Fig Jam:
- 28 ounces dried figs
- 5 cups water
- Large pot
- Chopping board
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, seeds reserved
- 3 cups sugar
- Cheesecloth and string
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- Canning jars and lids
- Canning bath
- Teen Bi Succar:
- 32 ounces. dried figs
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoon powdered anise
- 1-1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon gum arabic
- 1/4 cup pine pun
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Place 28 ounces of dried figs into a large pot with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for an hour or two until the figs have swollen and softened.
Place a colander over a bowl and strain the figs, reserving the water in the boil for later use. Trim off any stalks with scissors. Chop the softened figs coarsely with a knife.
Return the fig water to the pot and add 1/2 cup lemon juice and 3 cups of sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Save the seeds of the lemons for later.
Wrap the lemon seeds in a cheesecloth bundle and tie it with string. Drop the bundle along with the chopped figs into the simmering pot on the stove. Bring the mixture to boil again, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat, add a teaspoon of cardamom powder and a tablespoon of dark rum. Combine well.
Pour the preserve into canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch of head space on the jars. Put the lids on the jars and process them for 15 minutes in a canning bath.
Arabic Fig Preserve (Teen Bi Succar)
Combine 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Chop the figs coarsely and add to the sugar syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce flame to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering until water reduces, stirring regularly.
Add 1/2 teaspoon powdered anise, 1-1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, 1/4 cup pine nuts and 1/2 cup walnuts. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring all the while.
Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon gum arabic, also known as mustikah. Pour into canning jars. Because anise is a preservative, this dried fig preserve can be left in jars without processing for up to 3 months. If you want to keep preserves longer, process the jars in a canning bath for 15 minutes.
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