Delicious preserves are made in Provence with interesting combinations of fruits, such as cherries with red currants and watermelon with orange and lemon, but the best is confiture noire, or black jam. This can be made in any proportion you want of the following fruits and nuts:
Choose very ripe fruits. Place the whole figs in a heavy-bottomed pan, sprinkle with sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain through a piece of cheesecloth. Bring the juice to a boil and add the peeled and quartered pears, quinces, and melons, and the shelled walnuts. Add sugar. Cook for 1 hour or more, or until the mixture is dark and sticky. Return the figs to the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and place in a sterilized jar and seal.
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