Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Mom's Fig Jam on Yogurt

Help us. Our figs are ripening. So many of them, one after another... after another...

Mom is hyper now. Having recovered from burnout real quickly, now she makes fig jam EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day she comes back from the garden being so mad, because her enemy, masked palm civet has been enjoying the ripe figs before we pick them. Several nights, she put some pieces of our not-very-good watermelon under the fig tree, hoping that the animal would eat the watermelon first, get satisfied and go home, forgetting about the figs. Nice try, but too bad, mom. Obviously he climbed up the tree first for the main dish, then came down and took a small bite of the dessert watermelon on his way home. He could be feeling more welcomed now, since he is given a dessert, too.

These are just part of mom's creations.

I don't hate fig jam, but it's just too much and I still have other kinds of jams to consume: ume plum jam, yamamomo jam and tomato jam. Dad doesn't eat any kind of jam very much anyway, so mom is practically the only one who is eating the fig jam every day. I'm sure she is going to give some jars to her friends. She'd better.

Fig jam pound cake

This is my contribution in consuming the jam. Yeah, pound cake. AGAIN! I'm sick of it.

If I could buy red wine tomorrow, I might give fig compote another try and make small tarts or something with it.
(Added Sep. 18, 2009)

I found the misplaced recipe yesterday, so I'm adding it here:

FIG JAM POUND CAKE Obachan's Version

100 g cake flour
1/2 teasp. baking powder
90 g butter or margarine (room temperature)
70 g sugar (I used beet granulated sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
70 g fig jam

Sift flour and BP together. Preheat oven to 180 C.
Cream butter (or margarine). Add sugar and beat until white and fluffy. Add beaten egg in 2 or 3 times, mixing well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix with spatula. Add jam and swirl it with spatula. Bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes or the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

* Adjust the amount of jam and sugar depending on how sweet the jam is. (My mom's is very sweet.) I came up with this recipe by adjusting a popular pound cake recipe and using "maximum tolerable" amount of fig jam, since consuming mom's jam as much as possible was the main purpose of this pound cake project.



grub said...

i guess the masked palm civet is helping you out eating the figs...kinda...

have you tried replacing strawberry jam in a victorian sponge cake with fig jam?

marinating meat in jam? (that is possible...right?)

hope it helps, cheers!

ghanima said...

Sadly, obachan, I would love to help you eat your bounty of figs, but don't think they'd do too well on the trip to Toronto.

I was also going to suggest using the jam as a counterpoint to a meat dish. Perhaps you could do like the Swiss and serve some with meatballs.

Rinshinomori said...

How about fig chutney?

I am overloaded right now with satsuma plums. So far made jams, jellies, chutney, and Asian plum sauce - all water bathed.

Rinshinomori said...

Forgot to show you some recipes I found:

totoro kaiwa said...


Dehydrate the figs & sell them at a farmer's market?
Puree the figs, pour into a flat pan & bake in the oven to turn it into a fruit roll. Or I still like the idea of whole preserved figs with cloves of course.
I bet you come up with something better - You are an inspiration. Thanks, ダイアナ

K and S said...

I am envious that you have these in your garden. I just bought 3 containers the other week and made jam. Another way I've eaten them is baked in the oven with honey drizzled over them. I agree with the other comments, drying them out would be a great way to save them for winter :)

gardensgirl said...

Don't have a recipe but I had an amazing creme fraiche with fig and honey gelato. Not sure how many figs you could consume but....

How about trying your hand at Fig Newtons? Do you know what those are?

tofugirl said...

I second the idea of drying the extra figs if you can't use them fresh; I happen to love the texture of dried figs, but they are also good for cooking with. Ooh, or how about a fig summer pudding?

Your masked palm civet reminds me of the battle my friend's mother had with the squirrels invading her garden...she was so angry! Eventually she bought a water gun and sat by her window so she could blast them when they came by. Of course, being evil squirrels, they would just take the tomatoes further away :)

Joanna Tan said...

Send them to me! I miss eating figs...Jo

Cara said...

I'd third trying to dry the figs, but that was before I clicked the link to find out what your mothers' enemy looks like. But the masked palm civet is so cute! I'd probably feed him myself, I have to add in shame.
But since you don't know what to do with all the figs, maybe it's okay if he's helping you with it?

grub said...

hi again obachan,

found this recipe in which might help you use up your fig jam


obachan said...

That's the way I see it about what the animal is doing, but for mom, it's simply unforgivable. And perhaps she's right... We don't want the animals to think that this is the place where they are allowed to eat anything as much as they want. It seems as if they are helping us just because the figs are abundant now, but it will be a serious problem when our crops are less abundant.

Yeah, I could use the jam with meat somehow... maybe chicken? Because I've seen some "chicken with fig sauce" recipes on the net.

Thanks for your help. I do like the combination of meat and certain berry jams. I'm the weirdo who loves sausage with grape jam, and I loved it to death when I made mock Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam. But the problem with mom's fig jam is that it's lacking the refreshing tartness of berry jams, even after she added good amount of lemon juice to it. Maybe it's not how my mom makes it... it's just the difference between berries and figs. Perhaps I need to learn how to bring out the good taste of figs by using spices, or herbs... or cheese, maybe??

Thanks for the recipe link. Probably we'd use fig preserves more than chutney.

I wish I could get some balsamic...

Oh, do you know how many Japanese home bakers are dreaming of drying figs at home? I've read several Japanese blogs on this topic, some of which actually posting the result of their experiments. And the common conclusion was: it is almost impossible to sun-dry figs in Japan, especially in the humid, southern part. So they say that the alternative, more practical method is oven-drying, and some people has been really successful. But it just takes TOO LONG! Mom's figs are so big and juicy that our oven might break from overuse... or abuse?

K & S;
I love baking them with some sliced cheese on top -- no sugar, no honey, no nothing but just cheese. This is my favorite and I think it tastes much better than jam, but alas, it cannot use up many figs at one time and fattening. :P

I didn't know Fig Newtons. Just googled and found out.They look really yummy, don't they?

I really, really would like to dry them, but as I wrote in my response to Diana, it's not a realistic idea at the moment.

A water gun! I love that. :D I wish we could use that to our enemies here, but unfortunately they come at night...

Joanna Tan;
Can you come over?

I agree that they look so cute. I wish they would eat just some of our excess crops only, but they wouldn't learn like that...

Wow, they are such cute thumbprint cookies. Thanks. :D

totoro kaiwa said...

I used to use a small fruit dehydrator to dry excess sliced fuyu persimmons & pears. I see on they have several for a resonable price. Are dehydrators available in Japan?

totoro kaiwa said...


Just thought of a jam I ate recently that had chili in it. Could be chili powder or cook the small red chili's in the jam directly. I do that with the persimmon chutney I make.
The description of the plump figs makes my mouth water. Figs are my favorite fruit next to persimmons.

awo said...

I don't get figs, so I don't know if this recipe is any good, but it looks nice! Maybe the goat cheese could be replaced with a different soft cheese.

obachan said...

The one I found on Amazon Japan cost about US$100. Mmmmm.... not really outrageous, but ...Mmmmmm... We definitely need a new rice cooker than a fruit dehydrator...

Inspired by your Chili idea, I tried adding a little fresh ginger juice (because we can't get chili powder) to give the fig jam a kick. It was not bad. I thought it would taste pretty good if combined with certain cheese and some rich bread or something. But I had a slight headache afterward and am still wondering if it was because of the gingered fig jam.

Yeah, I love the combination of cheese and fig. Thanx!

Anonymous said...

if it's something climbing your tree to eat your figs have you consider wrapping a metal band around it's trunk? i remember people doing this in hawaii to prevent rodents from climbing the coconut palm tree and getting at the fruit.

google "tree band prevent pest"



Anonymous said...

tree band to prevent pest? and then she'll have even more figs
= D

obachan said...

Wow, that might work. I mean, the band may not be able to trap the animal, but if it's sticky enough to pluck him partially, it may discourage him and keep him away from the tree...

The only thing is that he could climb up the nearby tree/ bush and jump onto the fig tree... :O

Anonymous commenter;
That's right! LOL


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