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Fig jam

Is there anything more beautiful and mouth-watering than a juicy, perfectly ripe fig? It seems to me the fig would be a far more appropriate symbol of temptation than the apple, but I wasn’t consulted on the matter.

Fig preserves are not only delicious but versatile. My favorite application is a classic Bolognese dessert, paired with squaquerone, or a good fresh (read: homemade) ricotta.

This recipe calls for no commercial pectin, instead relying on the natural pectin in lemon rind for thickening. We adapted from a recipe on, replacing some sugar with honey to accentuate figs’ natural honey notes.

You soften the figs first by steeping them in boiling water, then mashing them and cooking them down. The water turns a gorgeous, brilliant magenta color. I so wanted to figure out something to do with it, but in the end it was just fig water, and down the drain it went.

The resulting jam is glossy and purple-black, with constellations of tiny seeds throughout. I can hardly wait to crack into one of the jars.

Fig Jam (adapted from

6 qt. boiling water
11 c. figs, measured after softening and mashing (see below)
4.5 c. sugar
1 c. honey
1 qt. water
1 sliced lemon

Pour boiling water over figs; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and
thoroughly rinse in cold water. Pat dry; remove stems Crush and measure
figs, place in a large Dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of
crushed figs. Add 1 quart water. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat and
simmer, uncovered, 3 hours or until thickened, stirring occasionally.


jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Add a slice
of lemon to each jar. Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yields 8 1/2 pints.

Related: Cookicrumb marries my fig jam post with Sam’s tomato chutney post and voilá: Fig chutney!

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. This looks so incredible. Can you tell me how many pints of figs you had to get to come up with 11 cups of fig mush?

  2. Between this, the pumpkin and pear butters, you’re killing me! Figs are my fave and this sounds amazing!!! Throw some labels on those jars and sell me one. Or two…

  3. I just bought a home in georgia that has 6 groups of fig trees in the back yard. They look just like the ones in your picture. The same color and size. I have nerve had a fig before unless it was in a cookie. They are great just to pick from the tree and eat. I’m going to try your recipe today so wish me luck. I love to cook but I have never done jams before. Thanks for the recipe. I will lit you know how it went.

  4. Best of luck to you, Wayne. I think you’ll find it easy and rewarding. If you don’t want to go thru the process of canning, you can always just freeze it, too. We’re still enjoying our fig jam from last year, and getting ready for this year’s bounty!

  5. Hi this is my first look at your page. I LOVE the recipes….can I use dried figs?? Although I live in a fruit producing area I don’t have fig trees…..yet.

  6. Well, the only way I could imagine making this from dried figs would be to reconstitute them first, which seems tedious. Dried figs are already a preserved food, anyway.

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