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Pickled Apples with Rosemary and Balsamic Figs for a Holiday Gift

There is still time for do-it-yourself gifts for the holiday.  If you have a few apples or figs you can make some pretty and tasty treats for friends and family.

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The apples I started with for this project were already a gift from friends and the rosemary another. My figs – however came from the local organic grocery store.

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One of the parts I enjoy most about the holidays is the abundance of opportunity to give.  Not buy for others – but truly give of ourselves to others.  This ability to give exists year round but there is something that happens when the sunlight starts to fade, night get longer and humans work to make their own light through electricty, candle and other contraptions.

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There is nothing coincidental about "black friday" as it is a day absent of the light this season is trying to make among humanity.  This time is not about consumerism but celebrating the light of the humanity within and love.  Gifting is one way we can get to this light.  So how about a little pickled apples and/or balsamic figs for your family and friends enjoyment?

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Pickled Apples with Rosemary

1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

12 large crisp apples

6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Step 1: Place the vinegar and honey into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the honey is dissolved.  Let it come to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2: Cut the apples into eighths and add to the pan of vinegar and honey.  Let the apples simmer until  they are tender but not overly soft. 

Step 3:  Pack the apples into sterlized jars – leave 1 inch at the top.  Add a sprig of rosemary to each jar and pour the vinegar mixture over the top to cover the apples.

Step 4:  Seal the jars and let sit in a cool dark place for at least 5 to 6 days before gifting or using.

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Figs in Balsamic Vinegar

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups water

3/4 balsamic vinegar

1 1/4 lbs of firm black mission figs

Step 1: Combine the sugar, water and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Step 2: Add the figs and simmer over low heat until they are barely tender or about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Pack the figs into hot sterilized canning jars and ladle in the hot balsamic vinegar leaving less 1/2 inch space at the top. 

Step 4: Seal the jars by boiling for 15 minutes and then remove from water and let cool until the lids are concave.

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