According to chef Ernest Miller, a conserve is a jam-like condiment made from two or more fruits, including dried fruit or nuts. He especially likes their complex flavor and texture. In this conserve, he uses an iconic California trio: figs, oranges and pistachios.
3 canning jars with lids and rings
1 1/4 pounds Black Mission figs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 oranges, finely grated zest only
1/2 orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
How to Make It
Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add the canning jars, lids and rings along with a set of tongs and a ladle and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
Set a metal rack in another large pot. Fill the pot with water, cover and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the figs with the sugar, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pistachios.
Using the sterilized tongs, remove the jars from the hot water and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle the conserve into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Using the tongs, place the lids on the jars followed by the rings. Screw on the lids securely but not too tightly.
Using canning tongs, lower the jars into the boiling water of the pot with the rack at the bottom, making sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Boil over high heat for 15 minutes. Using the canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack to cool until the lids seal (they will look concave); refrigerate any jars that do not seal. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
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