This "black jam" is adapted from SAVEUR consulting editor Mireille Johnston's The Cuisine of the Sun (Fireside, 1990).
- 12 coarsely chopped fresh figs
- 1 Tbsp. sugar, plus up to 1 cup
- 1 pear (such as anjou), peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 small melon (such as honeydew), peeled, seeded, and diced
- 3 quinces, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Peel of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup sugar
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine figs, sugar, and 1⁄4 cup water. (If using dried black figs, which will produce darker preserves, add another 1⁄4 cup water.) Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until figs are soft, about 15 minutes.
Add pear, melon, quinces, walnuts, lemon peel, and up to 1 cup of sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit. Simmer over medium heat until fruit becomes soft, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Cool slightly, then transfer to a sterilized 1-qt. mason jar. Serve at room temperature as you would jam, or with crackers and cheese for dessert. (Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.)