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« Lettuce give ourselves a break | Main | Book tour: segment 9! »

Super-small batch fig jam

I’ve held out on putting figs in jars up until now. They’re so darned expensive and what I could afford in the past, I ended up gobbling up before I could even ponder preserving them.

Well, as we drove by the farmers’ market the other day I was thinking about our upcoming ATXswappers food swap. I’d stashed somewhere in the back of my mind the desire to make gluten-free fig newtons. Even if they don’t make it to the July 18 swap event (read: I might eat them all before then), I’ll still need some fig jam.

My friend Neysa was working the Urban Roots booth, the only stand with local figs for sale, and luckily I had enough cash on hand to snag two pints’ worth of these delicious jewels. She gingerly dumped the perfectly ripe figs into my bag and my history of super-small batch adventures came immediately to mind.

I brought my mini-stash home and weighed the loot. Enough for two super-small batches, I opted for one fancy-flavored (fig with lavender honey and bay leaves a la Christine Ferber) and the other straight-up figs and sugar. As I was making the simple jam, I realized that this is one of those things that even my mom, “I will never can” Deborah (who’s now making super-small batches of strawberry jam), would be able to very easily manage (and dare I say enjoy).

All this is to say, I think you can swing a jar of fig jam.

Quick Fig Jam

yields about 3/4-pint

decreased in size, but otherwise unadulterated from Linda Ziedrich’s original recipe in The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves

1. Wash, remove stems and roughly chop 1 pint (10-11oz) of ripe figs.

2. Combine figs and the following in a medium-sized saucepan:

  • 2 Tbs filtered water
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • half a lemon, juiced

3. Bring mixture to a simmer over low heat to dissolve sugar granules and then raise heat to med-high. Skim any foam (optional, foam is an aesthetics thing) and keep at a rolling boil for between 2 to 3 minutes. (The exact set time will depend on your burner, your pan and the type of sugar you use, but keep your eye out for when the mixture becomes darker and the bubbles larger and more spaced out.)

At this point, use a potato masher to even out the consistency if you’d like smaller chunks in your jam, or just ladle it into a clean jar and call it a day! Also, consider zesting some lemon rind in there to brighten it up a hair.

This will last in the fridge for up to 6 weeks (if you refrain from eating it all in one sitting and/or licking your spoon and sticking it back in the jar).

Reader Comments (13)

I just found a perfect fig on the fig tree I bought early this spring. So figs are on my mind. I'll definitely try these suggestions though my favorites are still ginger fig jam and fig jam with candied lemon zest. Yum!

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I love figs and bought a small tree a few years ago. This year looks like the first harvest! Not too many, but enough to munch on and make some small batch jam!!!

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia

Oh if I could only find figs! I'm in Virginia, and I know they are around, but no one sells them at the farmer's market, and the shipped-from-California ones just pale in comparison once you've had a fresh one. I guess I should walk around and start knocking on doors! Or I should really just plant one, but my garden space is getting limited.

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Wow, homemade Fig Newtons would be amazing, although I'd probably eat all the jam straight from the jar. I've never had fresh figs but once on a trip - what a treat!

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I most certainly would not have this last that long in my fridge. I love figs! :)

July 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertigress

My grandmother had a fig tree and always had figs put up for my dad. I may have to try this just for him. Thanks for this beautiful recipe :)

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTorrie B

That looks really yummo. Have you tried Frog Jam? Fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger. It's so good.

July 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I've been searching for a small batch fig jam recipe-yours definitely fits the bill. Looks delicious! Thanks.

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

Just made a small batch of fig jam yesterday with figs from the Austin Saturday Farmer's market. We threw in a dollop of honey for extra sweetness. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjody

What sort of dough would one use to make fig newtons from this jam? We're not a gluten-free family, but GF is okay, as long as it's not too fussy ... I'm not very good yet with stocking and/or mixing several flours. Ideas?

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertbeth

Hi Beth,
My gluten-free modification for the fig newtons is in this blog post, and if you're not into getting those ingredients, just follow Linda Ziedrich's original recipe (the book/info is mentioned in the post!)

August 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

I just got done making this and it's really good! Fast, easy & tasty - can't go wrong with that!

August 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn

I just made this jam this morning. I am sold! I had 9 figs left over and was looking for a small batch for this amount. Most of the others I found needed a lot more figs. I followed the simple instructions and it is so wonderful. I plan on a quick appetizer dinner for my husband and I and I will include this jam on my table. A good bread, a smear of cream cheese or marscapone, topped with this jam. I am not sure that it will not be our whole meal. Take head when the author of this recipe warns that it is tempting to eat it all at once. I added the lemon jest. It gave it a nice freshness.
thanks for the recipe. I will be looking for more recipes from you web site.

November 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchrismar

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