Middle Eastern Fig Jam
2 pounds dried figs (Turkish, sun-dried, if possible)
1 1/2 pounds granulated sugar
25 ounces water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground aniseed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 pound walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pulverized mastic*
Chop the figs roughly. Boil sugar and water with the lemon juice for a few minutes, then add the figs and simmer gently until they are soft and impregnated with the syrup, which should have thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
Add the aniseed, pine nuts and walnuts. Simmer gently, stirring for a few minutes longer.
Remove from the heat and stir the mastic in very thoroughly. (To be properly pulverized, it must have been pounded with sugar.) Pour into clean, hot glass jars and seal as usual.
* Mastic is the resinous gum of Pistacia lentiscus and is sold in Greek and Oriental stores.