Sep 23, 2018

Fig Jam

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 40 mins
This recipe includes black peppercorns and cinnamon to give the jam a warmer flavor and a fall twist.

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I bought a bunch of figs at the farmers market and as I tend to do, I only used them in one recipe and ended up with an abundance of leftover fruit. This contradicts my standards as a person who dislikes waste. Instead of letting them go bad in the depths of my refrigerator I polled my followers for advice on what I should make with them. The resounding answer was fig jam. A perfect idea because it also meant I didn’t need to go buy any additional ingredients. And it increases the shelf life.

I learned to make jam from Chef Anne Willan. We worked in large batches in order to send the jam as holiday gifts, tied with a bow.

Fig Jam

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

Figs

In this recipe I use a combination of black mission and tiger stripe figs. The former is probably the most common and popular variety with a dark purple/brown exterior and heavily seeded pinkish interior. The later, also known as panaché figs, have pale yellow skin with green stripes – earning them their name.

closeup fig jam recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Why It’s Best to Cook Jam in Copper

Jam is best cooked in copper cookware because copper is conductive and allows for even cooking and control over the temperature. Not to say it can’t be done in everyday cookware, but copper is the most stable.

How to Make Fig Jam

  1. Toss figs in sugar. Remove fig stems and slice figs into quarters. Add to a medium non-reactive bowl (ideally copper) and toss with the sugar, salt, ¼ cup water and lemon juice.
  2. Let the fruit macerate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour at room temperature to macerate the figs.
  3. Boil the fig mixture. In the pot over medium heat, bring the fig mixture to a boil. Add the peppercorns to a small piece of cheesecloth and tie. Add the peppercorns and cinnamon stick to the pot.
  4. Skim off foam. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the jam is thick but not too concentrated and the fruit is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises and discard. Discard the peppercorns and cinnamon stick.
  5. Divide among jars and cool. Divide the jam into three clean ½-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch of space at the top. Close the jars and let cool to room temperature. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
homemade fig jam on sourdough toast cooking with cocktail rings

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Sterilize the jars before filling. This can easily be done in the dishwasher – just run them through a full cycle.
  • If I am planning on using the jam in the next few weeks I typically skip the effort of the canning process. Instead I keep the jars stored in the refrigerator.
  • To make the jam more shelf stable, add pectin.
  • I like to serve the jam slathered on thick, toasted slices of bread smothered with fresh ricotta and layered with the jam.
  • Homemade jam makes for a wonderful hostess gift. Add to a mason jar and tie it with a bow.
  • If desired the granulated sugar can be substituted with cane sugar.
jar of fig jam cooking with cocktail rings

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How long does jam last?

Properly canned, sealed jars can be stored in a dark area for up to 6 months. Unsealed jars should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a month.

How do you know if jam is sealed properly?

You should hear the lids suction while in the pot of hot water but to test them, remove the ring from the jar and lift the jars by the flat, inner lid. If the lid releases then it is not properly sealed.

How do you can the jam?

1. To can the jars add them to a large pot of boiling water. The water should be covering the top by 1-inch and boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and continue to let the jars sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes.
2. Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water. You should hear the lids suction while in the pot. To test them, remove the ring from the jar and lift the jars by the flat, inner lid. If the lid releases then it may not have a proper seal. Use unsealed jars within a month and kept in the refrigerator. Store sealed jars can in a dark area for up to 6 months.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Fig Jam

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 3 (1/2-pint jars)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds figs
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions:

  • Remove fig stems and slice figs into quarters. Add to a medium non-reactive bowl (ideally copper) and toss with the sugar, salt, ¼ cup water and lemon juice.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour at room temperature to macerate the figs.
  • In the pot over medium heat, bring the fig mixture to a boil. Add the peppercorns to a small piece of cheesecloth and tie. Add the peppercorns and cinnamon stick to the pot.
  • Continue boiling, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the jam is thick but not too concentrated and the fruit is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises and discard. Discard the peppercorns and cinnamon stick.
  • Divide the jam into three clean ½-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch of space at the top. Close the jars and let cool to room temperature. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

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