An easy and quick homemade jam to make for a holiday party and present as a special gift. This jam was always taken out of the cupboard by my grandmother (and later my aunts) for a bit of sweetness at night. It makes a wonderful treat and cooks in 30 minutes or so.
• 1 pound dried figs, cut up in large pieces
• 1 cup walnuts, soaked in water one hour, drained and chopped in large pieces
• ¾ cup sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet over gentle heat
• ½ tbsp. ground anise
• 3 mastic pebbles, crushed in a mortar with a dash of sugar till powdery
• 1 ½ cup sugar, 1 ½ cups water
• ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice, strained
1. Place the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. As soon as the syrup boils, add the lemon juice and stir for a second. If you find some froth at the top, discard it. Add the anise and the walnuts; add the cut up figs. Simmer the mixture gently for about 15 minutes or so, stirring frequently so as not to let it stick to the bottom of the pot.
2. When the syrup has almost evaporated, add the sesame seeds. Stir for a few minutes until the mixture is very thick. Turn off the heat, add the ground mastic and stir vigorously to mix it well. Let the mixture cool. Pour into a sterilized jar and close tightly. It will keep for up to one year. After opening the jar, store in the fridge.
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