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Fig and Lemon Verbena Tea Jam

Preserve the flavour of late summer with this wonderful recipe for fig and lemon verbena tea jam, perfect for slathering on toast or combining with ricotta for a sophisticated canapé.

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Picking fresh figs in Italy straight off the tree one summer is one of my favourite memories. They are so sweet it is like eating sunshine. I've only recently discovered the herb verbena; I really don't know where I have been! Its lovely lemony flavour is a perfect match with a variety of different fruits and really complements figs.

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100g lemon verbena tea leaves
150ml boiling water
2kg fresh figs
1 lemon, zest and juice
400g granulated sugar

Essential kit

You will need: 228ml jars, for storing.

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If you can't get your hands on lemon verbena tea leaves, try using the fresh herb leaves torn into pieces and added to the measure of water, or substitute it with some brewed green tea.

Seep the verbena tea leaves in the boiling water for 5 minute s then strain and set the liquid aside.

Remove the skins of the figs by cutting off the tops and bottoms then peeling the skin back. Cut each fruit into 8 pieces.

Put all th e ingredients (including the verbena seeped water) in a large jam pan and bring to the boil.

Continue to boil on a moderate heat, stirring frequently for around 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens into a jammy consisten cy.

It will thicken rather than reach a se tti ng point so bear thi s in mind when determining the desired consistency.

When ready, take off the heat, remove any scum and leave to sit for 5 minutes then ladle into warm, dry sterilised jars and seal.

Keeps for up to 6 months unopened. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 4 weeks.

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Perfect for home cooks looking to get into preserving, The Modern Preserver takes you through every kind of preserving: from chutneys and jams, to pickles and fermentation and cordials and compotes. A beautiful marriage of classic methods with a contemporary feel.

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From the book: The Modern Preserver: Chutneys, pickles, jams and more

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