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.
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).
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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Makes 6 half-pint jars. Adapted from PickYourOwn.org.
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
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.
– 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
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Strawberry….dang spell check.
Used figs off my tree for the first time. I cheated and used star berry jello. 🤷🏼♀️ So stinkin good. I want to used the recipe with basalmic vinegar. That sounds awesome. Thanks for the recipes. Want to do orange also. 👍🏻
Thank you for the reply. I ended up using 5 tablespoons and the set seems a little firm for me, so next time I will probably use 4 tablespoons. I made the balsamic vinegar version and the flavor is amazing! (Sorry if this posts twice, didn’t seem to take the first time.)
Could you please specify the amount of pectin needed in Tablespoons or ounces? The box I have is 2 oz., but another recipe I found used only 4 Tablespoons of pectin, which was about half the box.
I only have MCP pectin, which I’m not sure if that is considered low sugar or just regular.
This was so long ago I can’t recall the brand, but it was likely a standard box which I think is 1.75oz.
I would recommend checking the recipe insert that comes with your brand of pectin and compare the ratio of fruit to pectin, then update accordingly.
Thank you for the reply. I ended up using 5 Tablespoons of pectin and the set seems a little firm for me, so next time I will probably use 4 Tablespoons. I made the balsamic vinegar version and the flavor is amazing!
Really great! I used no sugar pectin because I couldn’t find the low sugar one. I then reduced the sugar – first to 3 cups then to 2 cups. Both were tasty. I did the balsamic vinegar then the liqueur one. Both excellent
I would like to use a no sugar pectin. Can I use it with the sugar recommended or should I cut it back?
I recommend referencing the base recipes on the insert that comes with your pectin. That’ll tell you the appropriate amount of fruit/sugar/pectin as well as the process to use. From there you can make flavor adjustments like adding Grand Marnier, etc.
Turned out great, wow sweetness!
Next time I will use the orange juice/Gran Mariner
The recipe I used for fig jam called for vinegar (I used Apple cider vinegar) and a teaspoon of vanilla. It had a really lovely flavor. One friend I shared a jar with called it “Heaven’s Nector” .
Can I say, I absolutely love you? I feel like I know you. I too have a plethora of the Brown Turkey figs and have been in fig heaven for about a month or so…I too do not want to waste a single fig or any of the leftover sweetened spiced syrup. Annnnd….I too also made a batch of figs and balsamic vinegar!!!! It is my absolute fave!! I don’t use alcohol so I’ll have to pass on the drunken figs. I also used my pickled peach recipe and pickled some whole. Yum!
I’m thinking for my next batch, I’m going to use some herbs for a savory batch.
Anyone know when making the fig jam do you leave out the lemon juice and add the balsamic vinegar or grand marnier? I looked through the comments and I didn’t see a comment on the variations.
No – the lemon juice is required for safe acidity levels. Don’t leave it out!
I NEED the fig “jelly” recipe ASAP. I have a friend that allows me to pick all the figs I want & I really want to try making jelly. So far I have made whole fig preserves, diced preserves & fig spread.
You can find that recipe here:
You are lucky to have such a friend!
Fig jam with the OJ and Grand Marnier was a winner. Tried different kinds of booze and fruit juices but this was liked the best.
How did you end up using the jam? Thanks for the inspiration!
All four versions of your fig jam recipes are fabulous! My husband and I made them last year for Christmas gifts and were back again and ready to jam with a bumper crop of figs ????
We can’t thank you enough for these 4 versions of fig jam. My personal favorite is the Balsamic fig jam – we love to make a lunch of it plunging extra sharp cheddar cheese chunks through that most delicious aromatic goo that sends your tongue into heavenly bliss! Honestly- it’s that good!!! Thanks again & God bless you Lindsay & Taylor!
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
This jam looks so good, and I will be making this recipe tomorrow. I can’t wait!
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!!!
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!
I’ve tagged you on an award on my blog : ) I love your blog – your photography is really inspiring.
All of the variations sound incredible…crossing my fingers I win your giveaway!
so gorgeous. These jams would be great on a cheese platter.
Have you ever tried mixing figs with dried chiles? It has that great spicy-sweet thing going on.
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 :)
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.
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!
These look lovely – I really like the idea of adding honey!
You are unstoppable! This is almost like a superpower. I adore fig jam…and the balsamic vinegar combo sounds especially appealing to me!
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. ;)