black mission figs, fresh
( you may substitute dried, but let them reconstitute thoroughly before cooking, and we can't guarante)
1 (3 ounce) packages
commercial balsamic vinegar
( we like Trader Joe's)
- Trim and dice the figs.
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on medium-low heat, mix the liquid pectin and sugar, stirring until no dry sugar remains. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the figs and simmer 3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- While your fig preserves are cooking, in a well ventilated area, put the balsamic vinegar in a heavy, non-reactive pot over low heat. (Personally, we used a heavy stainless electric skillet on our screened back porch.) Bring to a low simmer and cook uncovered until reduced by half. This can take a couple of hours because you don't want to rush it and scorch your balsamic. Please note: the fumes from this process may drive you from your kitchen if you choose to do this indoors, so be aware!
- If the figs are done before the vinegar, hold over lowest heat and continue to stir occasionally.
- When the balsamic is reduced, add three-quarters of the fig preserves to the balsamic and stir until dissolved.
- Taste and adjust to your personal taste using the remaining quarter of fig preserves.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the seeds and any chunky figgy bits.
- Store in an airtight bottle. (One of the bottles the balsamic came in would be wonderful). This may keep for as much as six months depending on storage conditions and cleanliness of your bottling process.