Easy Homemade Fig Jam: No Canning Equipment Required

We have an overabundance of fresh figs. I mean a serious overabundance.

Vertical top-down image of two slices of whole wheat sandwich bread, two whole figs, a jar of fruit spread with a spoon in it, a knife, a red and white lid, a jar of peanut butter, a brown cloth napkin, and a green glass jar.

A bunch of you are probably wondering how I could ever think of that as a problem, but, really, I don’t even like figs. I’m not big on the flavor, and the seeds just weird me out. Let’s not even talk about their shape and what they resemble… I’ll just eat other fruits, thanks.

A white bowl of black figs on a crumpled beige cloth, on an unfinished wood surface.

But when you have a giant fig tree in your backyard that produces infinitely throughout the summer, well, you gotta find something to do with them. So I give them away (I’m considering selling them, due to the fact that I saw them at the farmers market this weekend for four dollars a pound!), feed a few to the dog, and then give up when the tree is about to fall over with the weight of its ripe fruit and make jam.

Vertical image of two pieces of whole wheat bread, a jar of fruit preserves with a spoon in it, with a knife next to it resting on the red and white patterned lid, a jar of peanut butter, two whole figs, and a reddish brown cloth with a green glass jar on top, on a wood cutting board.

The funny thing? The jam is actually pretty good. It’s still too figgy for me, but I know some fig-loving people who adore the stuff. And when combined with a bunch of peanut butter and smashed between some bread, it’s actually kinda good. In a weird I-don’t-even-like-this-stuff kind of way.

I somehow keep finding myself sticking the spoon back in the jar for just a little more. And the best part is that the seeds aren’t so noticeable and there is no off-putting shape! So that takes care of those two problems right there.

Vertical image of two stacked pieces of whole wheat bread with a dollop of peanut butter and jelly on top, with a jar of fig jam, scattered whole fruit, a jar of spread, and a folded brown cloth napkin, on a wood cutting board.

A lot of people are scared of making jam because of the need to “can” it, putting it in special jars with special lids and boiling them until you’re sure everything that might hurt you is dead, so that you can stick it in the back of your pantry and eat your carefully prepped and preserved harvest a year later without getting sick.

Sounds fun, right?

Vertical top-down closeup of a jar of homemade jam with a spoon stuck into it, next to a red and white metal lid, a knife, and a black fig on a wooden cutting board.

The truth is, I really do like making jam – when I can afford pounds of fruit and if AJ doesn’t get to it first (the guy really likes his fruit). But, there are easier ways!

If you just make a small batch of jam, then stick it right into the fridge, you skip the need for all of that the fancy equipment and don’t end up with enough jam to last you eons. Someday you’ll end up wanting to do the whole shebang, but this here recipe is good enough to get you started.

Vertical image of two pieces of brown bread with peanut butter and jelly on top, with a jar of jam and fresh figs on a wood cutting board.

SO! If you are of the fig-loving variety, I wholly recommend you make this. I made it last year and gave it away as gifts to a few people who I knew loved figs. Each one raved about it, so I feel pretty confident about putting this recipe on here, even though figs aren’t really my kind of thing.

So get to makin’ this jam – even if you don’t really like figs – because you’re going to love what’s coming! In addition to sweet preparations, it’s also delicious in sweet and savory combinations, and it makes a tasty addition to a meat and cheese platter.

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A jar of fig jam with a fresh fruit beside it, and two pieces of whole wheat toast.

Easy Homemade Fig Jam


  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups
  • Category: Jam
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Canning and Preserving

Description

An easy homemade jam recipe made with fresh summer figs. Perfect for enjoying on its own, in a PB&J sandwich, or in other recipes. No canning required – just stick it in the fridge when done!


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Pull the stems off the figs, then puree them in a food processor until mostly smooth (a few chunks are okay to give it some texture).
  2. Transfer the fig paste to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed (but not cast iron) pot. Stir in the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Boil, stirring nearly constantly, until it becomes jam-like in consistency. At this point it’ll look kind of shiny and will fall off a spoon in bigger clumps or sheets, as opposed to small drips. If you are unsure, turn off the heat and place a bit of the jam on a cold plate (stuck in the freezer before you begin), let it sit for a minute or so, then check the consistency to see if it is jam-like. If needed, return to the heat for a few more minutes.
  4. Once it is finished cooking, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Carefully transfer the jam to a clean jar. Screw the lid on a bit, but don’t tighten it. Let it cool for an hour or so, then transfer to the fridge (still with a semi-loose lid). After it has cooled completely you can tighten the lid – it just gets stick if you tighten it while hot. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Do not tighten the lid and store at room temperature. The jam at this stage has not been sterilized and is meant only to be stored in the refrigerator – this is a quick jam, not a true canning recipe.

You could most likely go ahead and can this if you wish, but I have not tried it with this exact recipe, and therefore make no promises. The proportions of ingredients may need to be altered, and the batch is small.

Craving more? Find more canned and preserved recipes here. And if you’re a fig-lover, try these popsicles with banana and tahini!

Be sure to let us know how you’re planning to enjoy this recipe in the comments below, and give it a five-star rating if you loved it.


Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing homemade fig jam in the jar and being spread onto a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 25th, 2014. Last updated: June 8, 2018 at 19:33 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).

2 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Fig Jam: No Canning Equipment Required

  1. Oh, man! I would really like to experience an over-abundance of figs. They are so expensive around here. $10 for a small box with about 20 figs that are about to go bad any minute. I do love figs but tried fig jam once and didn’t like it at all. Love your styling as usual 🙂

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