This easy fig jam recipe is sweet and delicious with a hint of honey, vanilla and orange blossom water! It’s perfect to spread on toast, or to be served with party appetizers, or cheese platters!
Perfectly sweet fig jam that goes well with anything!
Figs weren’t one of my favorite fruits, growing up. Not sure why, because I love getting my fill of fresh figs whenever I can now!
But they are quite expensive, even when in season. So once I’ve gotten my fill of fresh figs, I like to preserve them for later, so I can enjoy them for longer!
One of the ways I make them last longer is by roasting them, like I did for these fig tart appetizers.
The other way is to make a delicious and easy fig jam!
Why you should make this Fig Jam recipe
- It’s an easy recipe!
- A great way to preserve figs and their flavor for longer.
- You can adapt this recipe to add more flavor.
- This recipe uses sugar and honey, adding another layer of flavor from the honey.
- You can make it spicy with the addition of some chili, for a relish-like jam!
- You can gift this to friends and family (if you’re feeling generous that is).
- Versatile recipe. Spread on toast or mix with yogurt for a simple breakfast. Or make it fancy by serving it on your cheese platter or pair it with fancy appetizers.
Fig jam vs other fruit jams
Usually when I make fruits jams like this spiced plum jam, I add 1 cup of sugar for every pound of fruit. That’s the magic ratio that usually works for me. BUT fig is such a sweet, soft, fleshy fruit, I add a little less sugar for this fig jam.
Another difference is the consistency of the jam. As you cook the jam, the fig completely breaks down into a paste. As the water evaporates the fig really concentrates into a thicker paste and this happens relatively quickly. So, I check the consistency of this jam with chilled spoons, rather than with the thermometer. More on that below.
How to choose the right figs
When you want to eat fresh figs, you gotta buy figs that are perfectly ripe, and plan to use them quickly, because they spoil quickly too.
The perfectly ripe fig is easy to choose. It’s got just the right amount of give when you press it, without being squishy. If the fruit is firm to the touch, then it’s under-ripe. If the fig is squishy, then it’s over-ripe.
When you cut a perfect fig in half, the flesh inside is soft and a beautiful bright coral color.
For this jam however, you can use either perfectly ripe figs, or even over-ripe figs. So this recipe is perfect for when you buy figs in bulk and couldn’t finish them all. The result is a glorious jam that helps you preserve that delicious taste for even longer.
How to make fig jam
Preparing the figs
The first step of making fig jam is to prep the figs. Cut the stem off, and quarter the figs.
Place the figs in a large bowl, and add the honey, sugar and lemon juice. In addition, you can also add some orange zest as well. This is optional but I add some vanilla and orange blossom water to my jam, and the orange flavor is very complementary. You can add other complementing flavors instead.
Stir the figs, sugar and everything together, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest overnight to REALLY break down the figs, and get all the flavor infused. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it.
When the figs have softened, place them in a large saucepan. You can use a food mill, or a stick blender to break down/blend some or all of the figs. The flesh and skin should break down with the heat, but blending it a little will help break down the skins of the figs.
However, if you like your fig jam a little chunky, you don’t need to blend at all. But if you prefer a smooth fig jam, then use the stick blender to break down the figs a little. You can also use the food mill to do this.
Cooking the figs
Now that the fig mixture is prepped and ready, it’s time to cook!
Here’s a big tip – place some spoons (teaspoons, tablespoons, soup spoons, dessert spoons, anything), in the freezer the day before. You want to have some chilled spoons in the freezer that will help you determine when the jam is done cooking.
I like to cook the jam over medium-high heat, and then lower it to medium towards the end. My stove top can be quite powerful and vary a bit in heat. That’s why I have to vary my cooking levels. Start with medium-high heat, and adjust the heat as you cook the jam. The key is to not let the jam stick to the bottom of the pan as this can lead to burnt fruit.
Frequently stir the fig jam as it cooks. This is to ensure even cooking of the jam, and to prevent sugar or the fruits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring the jam to a boil and let it cook further.
As the fig jam starts to thicken, it’s time to start testing the consistency of the jam. To do this, place a little of the jam on a chilled spoon, and put it back in the freezer for a few seconds to rapidly cool down the jam (not chill). Then check the consistency of this cooled jam in the spoon. If it’s thick enough and spreads like soft jam, then you’re done. Remove from the heat and it’s time to store the jam.
This can take anywhere between 40 to 60 minutes, depending on your stove and the saucepan used.
While the jam is still hot, you can can them in glass jars and let them cool to room temperature.
How to prepare your jars for canning
I like using glass jars to store my jams.
There are two ways you can sterilize your glass jars for canning.
- Heat the jars in boiling water
- Heat the jars in the oven
I prefer to heat them in the oven. Wash the jars and lids with soap and rinse. Then place them in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
While the jars are still hot, ladle in the hot jam and close the jars with the sterilized lids. Then let them cool down to room temperature. Make sure both the jars and the jam are about the same temperature (roughly), because if the jam is a lot hotter than the jars, the glass may crack.
How to serve fig jam
Anything goes, really! There’s simply no wrong way to enjoy a delicious fruit jam!
I made some brioche bread recently (recipe coming soon!), and this fig jam was pure heaven when spread on top of toasted buttery brioche!
It’s also great to be served with roasted pork or chicken.
Spread some of this jam on puff pastry and top with crumbles of goat cheese or blue cheese and bake. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar reduction on top, and you have an amazing appetizer!
Or you can even use this fig jam (instead of roasted figs) to top these fig tarts here.
Easy Fig Jam
EASY - This recipe is easy for beginners. Canning is optional. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions
- 3 lbs fresh figs perfectly ripe or even over-ripe will be fine
- 9.4 oz granulated white sugar 1 ⅓ cups (see notes)
- 6 oz honey ½ cup
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 zest of orange optional
- 2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 2 tsp orange blossom water optional
- Wash and dry the figs.
- Cut off the stems, and quarter all the figs. Place cut figs in a large bowl.
- Add the sugar, honey, salt, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla and orange blossom water and stir to combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight (8 - 12 hours, or up to 24 hours). Also place some teaspoons and tablespoons in the freezer as well. These will be used to test the jam consistency later.
- When you’re ready to make the jam, place the softened figs in a large saucepan.
- Use a stick blender or a food mill to crush half or all of the fig mixture (leave some chunks for a chunky consistency). The more you blend the mixture, the smoother the final jam consistency.
- Cook the fig mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Bring the jam to a boil.
- When the Jam is boiling, lower the heat to medium, and stir more frequently until the jam is really thickened.
- To check if the fig jam is at the right consistency, place a little of the jam on one of the chilled spoons. Place the spoon back in the freezer for a few seconds to cool down the jam, and then check the consistency of the cooled down jam. If the jam has a spreadable consistency, then it's ready.
- If it’s still too runny, continue cooking the jam and test the consistency after a few minutes with a different chilled spoon.
- When the jam is cooked to the right consistency, place the hot jam in clean, sterilized, hot jam jars. Close the jars with the sterilized lids, and allow the jam to cool to room temperature.
- Store in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for longer.