Week #3 of The 52 Weeks, 52 Jams Challenge: Fig & Pear Jam With Wild Turkey Bourbon

I had totally forgotten about the ziplock bag of Brown Turkey figs I’d picked from Julien’s tree back in September. It had been hiding at the bottom of the bacon drawer in the freezer.

How I missed seeing anything in the bacon drawer for four months really is beyond me.

Julien is a fan of my fig jam, and of the fine state of Kentucky. So it was just my luck that someone had left an almost empty bottle of Wild Turkey Kentucky bourbon behind at one of our parties. There was just a shot left in the bottle, but that was enough to make a custom jam for Julien as my 3rd entry into the Jam Slam 2011, a.k.a. the 52 Week, 52 Jams Challenge.

Brown Turkey Figs + Wild Turkey bourbon = ULTRA TURKEY JAM.


2.5 pounds of brown turkey figs (about 20 large figs)
4 under-ripe, very hard bartlett pears (about 2 pounds)
4 cups of granulated cane sugar
juice of one large lemon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 half teaspoon alspice
1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)
single shot (1.5 ounces) of Wild Turkey bourbon

Typically, when I only have a small amount of fancy fruit, like figs or berries, to work with, I will stretch a recipe by adding green apples, because I hate doing all the prep work for canning for only a few jars of jam. I substituted pears for apples today because I happened to have them on hand. You can use either or a mix of both fruits, just make sure that the apples or pears are on the green side because unripe fruit has more pectin, which is what will help your jam jell.

Juice the lemon into a mixing bowl. Peel and coarsely chop the pears, mixing them into the lemon juice, to keep the fruit from browning. Coarsely chop the figs.

Put the figs, pears, and lemon juice into a large, non-reactive pot. Cover the fruit with 4 cups of granulated sugar and add the spices. Put a lid on the pot and let the ingredients sit for an hour to allow the fruit to macerate in the sugar.

Bring the ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes until the fruit is soft. Use a stick blender or a food processor to puree the fruit mix. Bring the mix back up to a boil, add the shot of bourbon, and then simmer the jam for an additional 45 minutes or until the jam starts to jell.

Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let the jars rest over night at room temperature to ensure a proper seal.

This recipe makes sixteen 4 ounce jars of jam.

One Comment

  1. Posted January 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    That sounds divine! Very unique.