I am absolutely sure that everyone who has ever made cowboy candy, which are pickled jalapenos, has had some of that spicy sugar syrup left over. I had made some about a week ago and decided this time to save a half pint of it in the fridge with a jam in mind.
Normally I don’t save brines because past the 24 hour point in the refrigerator the vinegar will begin to loose its strength and you need that full 5% acidity for pickling. But for adding to a fruit to get some infused heat, as it is just a flavor, will be fine in the fridge for several days.
I used figs from my trees to experiment on for this recipe. You can use any fruit that you want to make this but you will be adding some jalapeno flavor so you might want to think about the flavor combo before you cook it up! The result of this recipe is an amazing back flavor that doesn’t come on till the end of the bite. It’s not so spicy that you can’t taste the sweetness of the figs and a little acidity from the grapefruit with every spoonful. I think this would be really good with a tomato jam as well! Maybe that’s next!
Note: You will add sugar from the cowboy candy syrup and 1/3 cup when you add the Clear Jel. You may want to omit this first “optional” sugar. My figs were not as sweet and I used the 1/3 cup but was sweet enough after the syrup was added.
Fig Grapefruit Jam with Cowboy Candy Syrup (made with Clear Jel)
- 5 cups diced figs
- 1 pc. grapefruit, peeled, segments and diced
- 1/3 cup sugar (optional**)
- 1 half pint Cowboy candy left over brine
- 1/3 cup Clear Jel
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 T. bottled lemon juice
- Prepare 6 half pints , lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till it’s time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer.
- In a stainless steel saucepan, combine diced figs and grapefruit. You can add the optional 1/3 cup sugar if you taste your figs and they are not sweet.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add the half pint of cowboy candy syrup and stir in for 5 minutes.
- With a spoon taste the mixture to see if it's sweet enough. Remember it will be hot so let it cool on the spoon for a minute. If you add more sugar only add in 1/4 cup increments.
- Note: you are going to add 1/3 cup more sugar with the Clear Jel.
- In a separate bowl add 1/3 cup of Clear Jel and 1/3 cup of sugar. Mix together the powders with a wire whisk.
- Using your ladle scoop out about 1/3 cup of the hot liquid from the pot. You can instead use an additional 1/3 cup of water or other liquid if you want to add additional flavor. Some suggestions would be apple juice or grapefruit juice. I used the liquid from the pot!
- Use the whisk to completely stir the mixture until it looks smooth like milk.
- Add 2T. of bottled lemon juice to the fruit in the pot and while stirring increase the heat under the pot to medium.
- Pour your Clear Jel mixture into the pot and stir for about a minute until the jam is thick. This will be like adding a thickener to make gravy. Turn off heat and remove pan from stove.
Filling the jars:
- On a dishtowel place hot jars and ladle jam into hot jars to 1/4" headspace in the jar. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space , if necessary, by adding more jam.
- Wipe rim with clean cloth or paper-towel, center lid on jar, screw band down till resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
- sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up.
- Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes.
- When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes.
- Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
- Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal after waiting several hours.
- Make sure to label your jars after they have cooled with the name of the recipe and the date canned.