Let’s face it. We all have to start somewhere.
It started with me eyeing an unexpected batch of concord grapes at a neighborhood bodega and a batch of ripe to the touch black mission figs I love so much. If The Girl and the Fig wasn’t taken as a name, it might just about sum up my affection for that lusty fruit. Then of course, I thought some wine might go so well with the figs and concords. Three shades of purple blended together to make the name Morado an easy pick. As my first excursion in jamming and canning really, I feel as though I am entering into a great tradition and community! Thanks to Ty’s foraged blackberry jam that we savor like candy and Marisa’s helpful tips and recipes, I have long wanted to dive into jamming outside of a musical sense. Kudos to dear Alison, the chutney queen for her two cents in saving my first batch when it was a bust. I’ve made this recipe below several times now and feel inducted into the society.
Novice that I am, may I implore you to treat your house to the happy smells of these ingredients bubbling and swirling together? Newbie that I am, may I ask forgiveness for a recipe that will be best attempted next September or October when the ingredients are freshly picked and available? Consider this my one use of the Get Out of Jail Free card because let’s face it, this one is meant to be shared. And that is the beauty of jam.
MORADO CONCORD GRAPE FIG JAM
Adapted from Grow It, Cook It, Can It & Black Dog Farm but inspired by the Hungry Mouse too for reference as my concord grapes weren’t seedless like the ones mentioned in the Black Dog Farm recipe. As a novice appealing to other novices, I’ve tried to define the canning terms along the way, so if any of you jam pros are reading this, leave me a comment and a link to your favorite jam recipe you make.
TIME: 1 ½ hours
YIELD: 8 4oz. jam jars
- 3 cups Concord grapes (or Thompson Concord grapes)
- 2 cups black mission figs, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup pinot noir
Place a small plate in the freezer.
Bring water in canner, a large heavy pot with canning basket, to a boil. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Sterilize them in a small pot of hot water for 10 minutes.
Remove seeds from the grapes by slipping the grape pul from out of their skins. Pluck seeds from within the grape pulp. Place grape skins and grape pulp in separate bowls. Once all grapes are seeded, place the skins and grape pulp in a food processor and blend for a few minutes.
Place jam jars in the hot water of the canner until ready to use, so that the jars are hot when you’re pouring jam into them.
In a medium non-reactive pot, combine grapes, pinot, figs, sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium high heat until jam is fully cooked.
To test if it’s fully cooked, spoon out a bit of jam onto the plate in the freezer to see if the jam has fully jelled and doesn’t run (or until jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer).
Remove jars from hot water with canning tongs and drain any water inside the jars, but take care not to touch the jars- they are very hot. Pour hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace, aka room at the top of the jars. Secure the lids and bands on each jar. Process jars in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars with canning tongs and place on drying rack. You should hear a popping noise from each jar to confirm the seal has set. Leave them on the counter and then place in a dark spot of the cupboard or give as gifts. They will keep, unopened for up to a year.