Fig Jam: Tipsy and Fragrant

After reading the detailed recipe for the aromatic and complex fig jam we created three years ago, scroll down for a description of the plain, chunky new version Costas and I made last week.

I have found that soft, refrigerated figs that ceased to look attractive make a better jam. For that reason I feel that even the soft, dried California figs would work here instead of the fresh fruit, although I have not tried them yet…

MAKES ABOUT 4 QUARTS (8 one-pint jars)

3 1/2 pounds (1.750 lt.) figs, any kind, purple or green –preferably a mixture of soft and firm fruits

Fig Jam 2 bowl & figs1 S

1 cup sweet red wine, preferably Mavrodaphne of Patras (see Note for substitutions) (more…)


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Thyme and Lemon Liqueur

The French believe that thyme tisane is an excellent digestive and the perfect treatment for a hangover. But I suggest thyme not for its medicinal properties, but because its aroma, especially complemented with the lemon peels and with a bit of help from the alcohol, will transport you to the rugged hills overlooking the dark-blue sea—and if that is not therapeutic, I don’t know what is.


Makes about 2 quarts (2 L)


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Lemon Curd with Lemon Marmalade

I make my lemon curd without butter because I like its intense lemony flavor. I even enhance it with a few tablespoons of my bitter-sweet lemon marmalade. Butter makes a smoother and creamier lemon curd, so it is up to your personal taste.


Also, I don’t pass the cream through a fine sieve as the classic French and old English tradition dictates. The occasional tiny lumps don’t bother me.
If you want to make more lemon curd, repeat the process, which only takes about 10-12 minutes. I have found that it is difficult to whisk and cook properly more than four eggs at a time. (more…)


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Rolled Lemon Peel in Syrup

Serve finished lemon peel rolls with a glass of water on their own, as dessert, or slice rolls and use as topping for vanilla ice cream, thick yogurt, or cakes.
To juice lemons, quarter the peeled lemons remove the pips, and process in a blender. Drain on a sieve, pushing to extract as much lemon juice as you need, and freeze the rest in ice cubes trays, to add later to sweet or savory dishes.


Makes about 5 cups (more…)


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