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Fig Jam (with dried figs)

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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

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.

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.

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.

Yields: About 6 cups

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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Judy

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

This recipe is delicious! The only thing I did differently was that I zested one of the lemons that I squeezed and added it at the end of cooking and I used an immersion blender to get rid of the big chunks. Very Yummy

Pat Nyswonger

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Hi, Judy....this is a great fig jam recipe and your lemon zest must have added a little extra yum to it. Thanks for your comments, we love hearing how our recipes turn out for our readers!

Cam Eckert

Friday 31st of January 2020

could you put the figs in s blender rather than chopping

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 31st of January 2020

Hi, Cam...thank you for this great question! I have not tried the blender method but it seems to me that a blender would mush them up, perhaps a food processor would be more efficient than the blender. If you use either of these method I would love to hear how the jam turns out. Thanks again for your question.

Sarah

Monday 6th of January 2020

Hello Pat,

I made you fig jam last night. This was the first time I have ever made jam or used mason jars, and it came out very well! I have been paleo for some time now (physician prescribed diet) and had to find substitutes for the sugar in order to eat it myself. I used 3/4 cup coconut sugar and 2/3 cup honey. (Using the coconut sugar allowed it to jell while the honey is a more natural lower glycemic index sweetener.) My husband, who lives for jam and is quite the connoisseur, is ready to marry me again. :) Thanks for your recipe!

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 6th of January 2020

Thank you, Sarah, for your nice review of the Fig Jam. I am so pleased that the changes you incorporate in the recipe will work on your diet. I think your husband should take you on another honeymoon! ?

Shawn

Monday 16th of December 2019

Just delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and the results speak for themselves. I put mine into 4 widemouth jelly jars in the refrigerator because I wasn't sure about canning them. My husband loved it enough that he wants to can the next batch. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi, Shawn....Thanks for this great review! I am so pleased that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe.

Craig

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Hi Pat I made this recipe last night and have a little feedback. 1. The instructions are not part of the printable recipe. I needed to go about printing these separately using the print selection option. Will others know how to do this, or will they end up having to print the entire page? 2. How long do we need to let the boiled figs stand? I left mine for about 30 mins. I can only guess that was about right. Maybe it doesn't matter too much. 3. I ended up simmering my mixture for 30 minutes and it's still a bit runny. I used the plate in the freezer method to check it was thickening. It didn't really wrinkle when pushed with my finger, but after cooking it for much longer than directed, I decided I didn't want to over do it. It needed longer. 4. I haven't tried it yet, but it does seem a lot more like 'fig seed jam' than 'fig jam'. I think I'll try de-seeding a fair portion of the fruit in my next batch... or maybe I can use a small strainer to scoop some out as they cook. I used the dried figs that come packaged in a circle. Cheers Craig

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Hey, Craig....Thank you so much for your feedback on this recipe! I am embarrassed and apologize that somehow the instructions fell through the cracks and did not appear on the recipe card.? Clever you to create your version of the instructions from the body of the post! I have now (belatedly) added the instructions to the recipe card and hope you will give the recipe another go. As per the instructions the figs just need to cool long enough to handle them. Yes, fig jam is seedy...it is the nature of this unique fruit but you have a great idea for straining out some of the seeds to meet with your personal taste. I used the dried Calimyrna figs for this jam. Again, please accept my apologies for this omission. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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