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Fig Jam Four Ways

Fig Jam Recipe 4 Variations

There is something comfortably familiar about fig jam. It’s hard for me to place, because I don’t remember eating any fig jam when I was a kid; in fact, my only exposure to figs was the unpleasant fig newtons my dad used to eat. Yet something about it tastes like I’ve been eating it my whole life. The only thing I could come up with was it tastes remotely like a Serviceberry, an obscure sort of berry that grew in our backyard. But we didn’t exactly go around gobbling up the sweet blue berries, in fact most of the time we just ignored them.

Fig Jam Recipes

I just spent the entire weekend making jam. Three days, 15 dozen figs, two trips to the grocery store (I’m not going to have enough jars for all this!), and a boat load of sugar later… I’ve added 36 more jars to our stash. I was determined not to waste a single fig. I wanted to highlight the subtleties in the different varieties (emphasis on subtleties, they are very similar and it is hard to taste much of a difference between them). So I made five batches of jam, one with each variety. Call it single origin jam if you will.

The first was just plain jam. No spices, no flavorings; just pure fig. The green Calimyrna figs to be precise (though, they could very well be the Sierra, which I may have confused in the process). I then decided that my second batch, the smaller seeded Kadota variety, needed a dash of honey in place of some of the sugar. And a dash would have been a lovely accent to the fig. Unfortunately, I think the 1/2 cup of dark wildflower honey I carelessly added was a bit much. The honey all but overpowered the delicate flavor of the figs. Oops. It’s not bad or inedible, it just tastes like honey rather than fig. Oh well, I guess 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

The third batch may just be my favorite. For this richly colored jam, I infused the sweet Brown Turkey figs with a rich and fruity balsamic vinegar. And learning from my mistake with the honey, I added just a little vinegar at a time until it was just right. Heavenly.

Last batch. I was really very tired at this point (jam making requires an incredible amount of stamina), but I was ready to kick it up a notch. Bring on the booze. Grand Marnier, to be precise. Another winner.

(And I realize that’s only 4 – the Black Mission figs were preserved whole in a sweet orange syrup. Will post this recipe, and the lovely fig jelly I made from the leftover syrup, shortly).

Fig Jam Cute Canning Labels

I’m ready for a break from all this jam. Unless I somehow come upon another stash of free fruit (which I would never turn down), I don’t plan on making any more jam in the near future. Whether this actually happens or not, we will just have to wait and see. I keep this up and I may have to seek out the local Canners Anonymous group. It’s that bad (or good, depending on how you look at it).

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Fig Jam

Makes 6 half-pint jars. Adapted from PickYourOwn.org.

Ingredients:

4 cups roughly chopped fresh figs (stems, thick skins, and blemishes removed)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 package low sugar pectin
4 cups sugar

Directions:

Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 6 half-pint mason jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine figs, lemon juice, and water. Sprinkle in pectin and stir until combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture has reached a full roiling boil, add the sugar all at once (it helps to have it pre-measured into a bowl).

Return mixture to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot jam into jars and top with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12-24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used immediately.

Variations:
- Honey Fig Jam: Add 2-4 tablespoons of honey to the mixture with the sugar. If you are using a mild/light honey, add more as needed. A darker honey has a stronger flavor and will need much less. Taste as you go and don't make the same mistake I did.
- Balsamic Fig Jam: Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar to fig mixture prior to cooking.
- Grand Marnier Spiked Fig Jam: Replace all or part of water with fresh orange juice. Stir in 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor to fig jam after removing from heat.

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19 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On August 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    You are amazing! My neighbor gave me a gallon sized bag of figs from his tree, which is actually more of a bush. I’m embarrassed to admit that we didn’t eat them all in time before they went bad. I wish I had thought of jam. I think I need to start keeping pectin on hand. If you are still having your storage issues come Blissdom, I will happily relieve you of a few jars. ;)

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On August 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    You are unstoppable! This is almost like a superpower. I adore fig jam…and the balsamic vinegar combo sounds especially appealing to me!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Elizabeth
    Posted On August 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    These look lovely – I really like the idea of adding honey!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On August 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve never even had fig jam one way and now I suddenly want it 4 ways! Especially the way with honey :) But really, I want to try them all!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On August 31, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Your fig jams look and sound wonderful.
    And I didnt eat figs until I was pretty much grown up (technically grown up anyway)…and I agree, there is something ‘familiar’ and delicious about them.

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On August 31, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Oh yum! But have to disagree with you on the fig newtons front … LOVED them as a kid. Hmm, maybe would be a good recipe to remake? Enjoy the figs :)

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On August 31, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Have you ever tried mixing figs with dried chiles? It has that great spicy-sweet thing going on.

    Best, Vivek
    http://viveksurti.wordpress.com

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On August 31, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    so gorgeous. These jams would be great on a cheese platter.

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On August 31, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    All of the variations sound incredible…crossing my fingers I win your giveaway!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On September 2, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Hi

    I’ve tagged you on an award on my blog : ) I love your blog – your photography is really inspiring.

    Reply

  11. 11
    Jennifer
    Posted On September 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I made this recipe this weekend and it turned out great. Even my boyfriend who is very skeptical of figs like it. Thanks for sharing! I don’t think I would have made it if I had to scour the internet for a fig jam recipe!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Angela
    Posted On August 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I made the fig and honey recipe, and it is fantastic! This was my first time making a cooked jam and processing the jars in a water bath, but it was a very easy recipe to start with. I can’t wait to try the fig and balsamic! Thank you so much!!!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On August 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

    This jam looks so good, and I will be making this recipe tomorrow. I can’t wait!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Brenda Lee
    Posted On August 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    What a great post about figs. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts on that you recognized the flavor of figs,but could not pin point it down, is, not too long ago big jam companies use to mix their strawberry jam with figs as fillers. This was a common practice they did not share until everyone demanded to know exactly what companies were putting in our store bought foods. Chances are, if you grew up eating strawberry jam, you enjoyed many figs as well.

    Reply

  15. 15
    Ruth
    Posted On September 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I made two of these today and they are amazing! I wish I hadn’t used the whole amount of sugar, but now I know for next time. Both the Grand Marnier and the balsamic are surprising and amazing flavors with the fig — can’t wait to throw a party and have these jams on all kinds of appetizers. Your recipes are a find! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Posted On September 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

      That’s awesome, so glad to hear! I will say do be careful reducing sugar in jam recipes. Often it’s the sugar that helps the jam to set properly. Reducing the sugar could result in jam that doesn’t set, especially when using added pectin. A low/no sugar pectin might allow you to reduce it, but follow the instructions in the pack to know for sure.

  16. 16
    Posted On October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Do you have these darling jam labels to print? I made your fig and honey jam today and would enjoy embellishing them with your labels before giving the jars away.

    Reply

    • Posted On October 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      I don’t have these particular labels as printables but you can see the others I’ve put up here: http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/category/printables

  17. 17
    Ginny and Pam, Pickles & Jam
    Posted On December 1, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    This is the recipe we use every year and it always turns out fabulous. The Grand Marnier is a winner. We never go wrong and get plenty of compliments….it’s even eaten without a proper Southern biscuit and well loved.

    Reply

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