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Fig Jam (with dried figs)

This fig jam is so delicious and so easy and quick to make with sun-dried figs.  I love the enhanced figgie flavor from the dried figs, the hint of lemon and the crunchy seeds of this sweet treat!  I will never again buy a store-bought fig jam!  Why spend six dollars for a jar of fig jam when you can make half a dozen jars for about the same cost as a single jar?

fig jam with cheese and bread on a plate
What a great appetizer!!

This stuff is so good!  Spread it on a fresh hot biscuit or toast for breakfast.  Add a dollop to bruschetta with soft creamy goat cheese or smear a thick layer on a hot turkey panini sandwich.   Yum!

pile of whole dried figs
Beautiful dried figs

Figs, whether fresh or dried are good for you!  They are full of nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Plus, they are high in fiber. Dried figs are very portable, just add three or four to a closable plastic baggie and you have a quick snack. 

What are the best dried figs to use for Fig Jam?

There are many varieties of figs and they can all be dried.  Fig jam is delicious made either from fresh or dried figs. We are using dried Calimyrna figs for our fig jam. Fresh figs have a short 1-2 week shelf life, consequently, fig growers dry most of their figs.

Where Do Figs Grow?

The most popular varieties in North America are the Black Mission and the Calimyrna. The name “Calimyrna” is actually a hybrid of the Smyrna fig which originated near the city of Smyrna, Turkey.  Smyrna figs have been growing and thriving in Turkey for eons.

California has a climate similar to Turkey in the hot Mediterranean.  Cuttings were brought from Turkey to California, cultivated and re-named as “Calimyrna” figs.

Fresh Calimyrna figs have a light green skin with a nutty aroma. When dried, the figs turn a light golden-brown color. They have a high sugar content and when dry the sugar will crystalize and coat the fig with a light powder. 

Fig Jam with aged goat cheese on crisp toast
Homemade Fig Jam with aged goat cheese on crisp toast

Fig Fruit Facts:

  • California produces 98% of the US figs.
  • A fig tree when properly cared for and pruned can produce up to 75,000 figs each year.
  • Fig trees produce two and sometimes three harvests each year
  • Fig trees can live and bear fruit for 80 to 100 years
  • Figs are self-fruitful, so you need only one plant to produce fruit.
  • Figs don’t ‘flower’ like other fruits as their ‘flower’ turns in on itself, the fruit is the flower.
  • Many fig varieties do not require pollination, but fig wasps, which hatch inside the figs will pollinate some varieties of wild figs.
  • Buddha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, a large and old sacred fig tree in India

How To Make Fig Jam:

  1. Add the figs and water to a large saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Remove from heat, cover and let stand to plump up the figs.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove figs and reserve liquid.
  4. With kitchen scissors, cut off the stems from figs and discard. 
  5. Chop the figs and set aside.
  6. Add lemon juice, sugar, and reserved liquid to the saucepan, boil to dissolve the sugar. 
  7. Add the chopped figs and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
6 jars of Fig Jam
Homemade Fig Jam

Does that sound doable?  You can make dried fig jam any time of the year.  I ladled the jam into six 1-cup Mason jars, sealed and processed them in a water bath.  I passed these jars of jam to my friends as a sweet little gift.

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Fig Jam with aged goat cheese on crisp toast

Fig Jam

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade fig jam! There is an enhanced figgie flavor from the dried figs, the hint of lemon and the crunchy seeds of this sweet treat! Spread it on a fresh hot biscuit or toast for breakfast. Add a dollop to bruschetta with soft creamy goat cheese or smear a thick layer on a hot turkey panini sandwich. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces dried California figs
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

TOOLS:

  • 6 one-cup Mason jars with lids

Instructions

  1. Add the figs to a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until figs are plumped. Using a slotted spoon, remove figs and reserve liquid.  When the figs have cooled enough to handle remove and discard their stems with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife.  Chop the figs and set aside.
  2. Add the lemon juice, sugar and reserved liquid to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the chopped figs and pinch of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Ladle hot fig mixture into hot sterilized pint or ½ pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Cover and seal jars according to instructions. Then, process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
  4. Yields: About 6 cups
  5. Serves: 36 (2 tablespoons each)
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 61Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Jim

Thursday 13th of January 2022

I made this recipe yesterday with some adjustments. Instead of 4 cups water, I used 3.5 cups water with 0.5 cups brandy. Instead of 3 cups sugar, I used 2.5 cups sugar with 0.5 cups honey. I think it tastes pretty good, but when I make it again, and I will, I use the same water and brandy amounts, but cut the sugar to 1.5 cups sugar and 0.5 cups honey, as well as reduce the vanilla to 0.5 teaspoon (I want a hint of vanilla; 1.0 teaspoon is a little too strong for me).

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Hi, Jim! Thank you so much for your comments. I love it when readers report back to us on their results and adventures with our blog recipes! Your brandy/honey idea sounds wonderful and a 'must try' for me!

Abby

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

I made this for New Year’s and it was sooo good! Used the jam for fig and goat cheese crostinis and gifted guests with jars of the rest (about 4-5 cups of it). Love how easy this recipe is- perfect for someone like me who has never made homemade fig jam before. Thank you, thank you!

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Hi, Abby! I am so happy you enjoyed this fig jam! It is perfect with goat cheese and your gifting idea makes a perfect gift. Thanks for your comments, you know how we love to hear back from our readers. Happy New Year to you and your family....maybe we will see you this summer! ♥️

Martha Lardo

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

I did use the food processor instead of dicing the figs. I did everything else as you wrote it. Made fantastic jam. I ate several spoonfuls hot while canning it after. Thank you for your wonderful recipe.

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Warm fig jam sounds fantastic ;). Thanks for the comment, Martha.

Mike

Sunday 21st of November 2021

Sounds like a great recipe, but if this list is going to include not just recipes for fresh figs, but also those for dried figs, might be best to drop "Fresh" from the current title (i.e. 25 Fresh Fig Recipes You’ll Love).

Dahn Boquist

Sunday 21st of November 2021

Thanks for your comment Mike. You may have clicked on the wrong result in your search. The title says "fig jam with dried figs'. There is only one recipe on this page, not 25. We do have a fresh fig jam with strawberries if that was what you were looking for???

Vickie Walker

Monday 4th of October 2021

I recently discovered Chili Fig Spread at the store and I'd love to try to duplicate it. Fresh figs are never available in my area so I'll have to use dried. I think I could just add some crushed red pepper flakes into this recipe. Is the lemon juice for flavor or is it required for acidity for water bathing?

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 4th of October 2021

Hi, Vickie....I bet that I know exactly the Chili Fig Spread you are referring to! I just purchased 3 jars of it! Great minds think alike as I was also thinking of duplicating that yummy chili fig spread. Figs don't have a lot of acidity so the lemon juice lowers the ph of the fruit and helps it set. For safe canning, the lemon juice also is needed to prevent bacteria growth. I also like your idea of using crushed red pepper flakes. Thanks for contacting us on this recipe. Good luck on your project I sure would like to hear how your jam turns out 😊

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