Figs are in season from late summer through early fall, so if you happen upon them at the farmer’s market or the grocery store, get them while you can. This fig jam with vanilla is a delicious way to preserve fresh figs before they disappear. For another easy fig recipe, check out my puff pastry fig tarts.
This jam can also be used as a base for other add-ins – caramelized red onions or bacon for example to make it savory as well.
Fig jam makes a terrific topping for crostini with a little fresh goat cheese or blue cheese crumbled on top for a quick appetizer or afternoon snack.
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When I lived in NYC, figs were plentiful when they were in season. I lived in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, and the streets were lined with fig trees.
Since moving south, it has become much more difficult to find fresh figs and when I do find them, they are fairly costly. If you happen upon some at a great price, stock up and make a big batch of this jam.
It’s the best way to get that fresh fig taste when this precious fruit is no longer in season.
It seems that I can only find figs in the market for about a month before they disappear until next year, so I try to get as many as my budget will allow.
Another favorite is this fig panna cotta that I like to make at least once a year as well.
How to make fig jam with vanilla
This recipe is very easy and straightforward. Everything goes into the pot and it slowly cooks down until thick and jammy.
I keep a stash of used vanilla bean pods (don’t throw them away!) that I’ve scraped clean. They still have plenty of flavor left in them and they are the perfect addition to jam.
One of the most important things to remember if you are new to making homemade jam is this – have everything measured out and ready ahead of time.
This includes any utensils or equipment that you need, a kitchen towel, etc.
What do I need to make jam at home?
You’ll need the following to make this fig jam recipe. Some of it is canning specific, some of it is not and you probably have most of it already.
- half pint jars
- new lids and rings (reused lids increase the chances of a bad seal)
- long handled wooden spoon or non-reactive spoon
- a large stock pot with rack
- canning tongs (jar lifter)
- canning funnel
- potato masher
- oven mitts
- non-reactive ladle
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- 2 1/2 lbs fresh figs, washed, stems removed
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 lemon, juice only (save zest for another use)
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the figs, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon juice.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.
- While figs are cooking - sterilize canning jars in a water bath canning pot with a rack by bringing them up to a simmer in the water.
- In a small pot, sterilize lids and rings by bringing those up to a simmer as well. (you can add everything to one pot, but you'll need to go fishing for the lids and rings)
- When jam has cooked down and thickened, remove from heat and ladle into warm sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" space.
- Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel to make sure they are clean.
- Top jars with lids and screw on bands to fingertip tight. (Do not over tighten)
- Carefully lower into water bath canner and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Set jars on the counter and wait for the lovely "ping" to let you know they have sealed.
* Any jars that haven't sealed properly should be stored in the refrigerator.
* if you have a used (scraped) vanilla bean pod, this is the perfect use for it.
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Serving Size:2 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Recipe originally published 10/21/11, most recent update 8/24/20.