Fruit conserves are an ideal accompaniment to Ohio artisan cheeses. Come fall, fresh figs and thyme are abundant and are perfect for this Spanish-inspired menu.
- ½ small orange, preferably organic (you will use the rind as well as the fruit)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pound fresh black or green figs, stem ends removed
- 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
Quarter the orange and remove seeds. Cut quarters in half and add to a food processor with ½ cup of the sugar. Process until mixture is very finely chopped. Add figs and pulse until roughly chopped, but not finely puréed. Transfer mixture to a heavy-bottomed, nonreactive sauce pan and stir in remaining ½ cup sugar, salt, and thyme.
Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Then reduce heat and simmer gently until temperature reaches 200° on an instant-read thermometer or until conserve reaches desired thickness. (Keep in mind, the conserve will thicken as it cools). Ladle into pretty jars and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator for 1–2 weeks, freeze, or process as you would for jam/jelly for longer storage.