Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recipe for Fig- Quince- Ginger Jam (Vegan Gluten-free)

Yes, Fig-Quince-Ginger Jam sounds pretty darned exotic from the blog of a granny living on the currently rainy Vancouver Island off the West Coast of Canada.   

Especially exotic when you realize that I didn't even know that I was growing a quince tree in our backyard!

We thought we had planted a PEAR tree.  This is the first year that these hard, furry, bulbous fruits produced more than a couple of little fall-offs.  And I still thought they were pears until I saw a friend's show piece on quinces that she harvested.

A second crop of Green Figs
Katsikopoulos Dimitris
So, this is brand new territory!  I also have a fig tree, as you will know from blogs past, so I went looking for fig-quince jam recipes.  We have a second crop of these little green figs.  My husband is a real "fig pig" but I'm kind of 'meh' about them.  Jam is always good though.

If you don't have a quince source and just want to make some Fig Ginger Jam-- quick and delicious-- go HERE for the recipe.

The Quince that we have are rock hard-- even though they are 'ripe'.  You have to sort of hack them in quarters with a big heavy knife (after you have washed the offending fuzz off-- it comes off well just by putting it in a bowl of cold water and sort of rubbing it off with you hand or a soft brush).  Quince are rarely eaten raw (I can see why).  When I was still under the illusion that they were pears, I had put a couple of them into a brown paper bag, the way I do with hard pears... they didn't get soft, but when I removed them, the bag had the most delightful fresh confectionary scent-- my husband said it smelled like jelly.  I'm not sure.  But QUINCE JELLY is one of the things that this fruit often gets used for.

What quince lacks in looks and tenderness it makes up for in fibre, vitamins and minerals apparently.  As well as being a great anti-cancer food, the quince also has anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory qualities that make it a healthy choice for a lot of suffering souls out there-- you might just be one of them discovering a fruit you didn't know existed that will help you in your struggles!  CAUTION: Quince Seeds are Poison!

HERE IS THE RECIPE for FIG-QUINCE-GINGER JAM (or Marmalade, if you wish) :
Quince on Tree courtesy of Adriana Herbut

Combine the following in a glass or ceramic bowl for an hour or overnight:

  • 4 C. of Figs and Quince, washed and stemmed (the Figs) cut into small pieces (the Quince)
  • 3+C. Coconut Palm Sugar (or your usual sugar)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Large knuckle of Fresh Ginger, Grated (to your taste)
The next morning put the above masceration in a large pan and bring ingredients to a boil.  Turn down to simmer, stirring throughout, for about 45 minutes to an hour.  

I freaked a little at about the 40-minute mark and added in about a tablespoon of Agar Agar flakes to "jam" it up but I think I would have been fine just stirring it for the next 15 minutes without worrying about whether it would thicken up.  With the agar agar, though, it IS super thick, if that is the consistency you desire.  That's the way we like it!

Best way to eat this jam?  Why, on a baguette, of course!

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