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?
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!
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 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:
- Add the figs and water to a large saucepan and bring to boil.
- Remove from heat, cover and let stand to plump up the figs.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove figs and reserve liquid.
- With kitchen scissors, cut off the stems from figs and discard.
- Chop the figs and set aside.
- Add lemon juice, sugar, and reserved liquid to the saucepan, boil to dissolve the sugar.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
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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- 28 ounces dried California figs
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 one-cup Mason jars with lids
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)
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Serving Size1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving Calories 61 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 4mg Carbohydrates 16g Fiber 0g Sugar 15g Protein 0g