When the birds start swarming my wild fig tree, I know that the figs must be ripe. Figs are probably my absolute favorite fruit, but we typically don’t get more than a handful from our tree because the birds always get to them first. Luckily, my mom has several trees and always shares. My wild figs are greenish yellow vs. my mom’s Mission figs, which are dark purple when ripe. Both varieties have deliciously sweet dark fruit in the middle. Fresh, ripe figs are so good, but turning them into jam will stretch fig season into the fall and winter. This Balsamic Peppercorn Fig Jam is amazing spread on crackers with a little goat cheese. I served it back in the spring for a dinner party and I think we went through two jars in a matter of 30 minutes.
To prepare the jam, wash your figs (any variety), and slice off the very top where the stem is attached. Depending on the thickness and condition of the skins, you can scoop out the insides or just chop the entire figs, skin included. The skins will cook down and blend fine into the jam, although I removed some of mine that were especially thick.
Balsamic Peppercorn Fig Jam
2 C. of chopped figs
1/2 C. sugar,
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar,
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
Bring to a boil over medium-low heat in a saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes thick and jam-like (about 15 minutes for this small portion). Spoon into a sterilized jelly jar and store in the fridge. This recipe makes one 12-ounce jar of jam. You can make a larger batch of jam by multiplying the recipe. Process the filled jars in boiling water for 15 minutes to seal – sealed jam can be stored in the pantry for up to a year. Note: I like the peppercorns mixed into the jam, but you can also bundle them in cheesecloth while cooking and then toss them before jarring up the jam.
Comments & Reviews
I can’t wait to try this! My fig tree makes TONS of figs & I never know what to do with them. I’ll be sure to let you know how my jam turns out! <3
Preppy Pink Crocodile says
If you leave the peppercorns in the jam, do the soften in the final product? Or are you biting into a whole peppercorn?
Hey K! They don’t soften, but the jam is really chunky – I rarely bite into a whole peppercorn, but when I do it just kind of blends with the other chunks and it doesn’t bother me, but if the thought creeps you out, definitely wrap them in some cheesecloth and fish them out when you’re done!
Lisa McGriff says
Oh this is so going to be made. I love balsamic vinegar so I know this has to be good.
Ros Gauci says
How much would 2 cups be in weight?
Hey Ros! Good question – I should have included that – 2 cups is about 1 pound. I made another batch yesterday and quadrupled the recipe – it filled 4 – 12 oz. jars plus 1 – half-pint jar (plus a spoon to lick!) If you have more than a pound of figs available, I highly recommend multiplying the recipe – you’ll get so much more for all your hard work!
Just finished making this jam… it’s really unique and tasty! Thank you for the recipe. I realized halfway through making it that I prefer a smoother texture, so I just tossed it in the blender and pulsed it until it was less chunky, then finished cooking it. It worked fine! =)
I just wanted to add that the smoother jam, with a little bit of walnut oil and some extra vinegar, makes an amazing vinaigrette. =)
Ooooo, good idea, Charity! I have a feeling your kitchen is looking a lot like mine lately – I can’t stop making jam – I think I’ve made 30 jars in the last week or so. 🙂 I’m going to try the fig as vinaigrette! Also, I did fig with vanilla and cabernet this weekend and it. is. amazing. in case you needed another idea… 🙂
Shout out to you & this fab recipe on my post (http://minasarah.blogspot.com/2013/09/happiness-isweek-35.html) Thanks again. <3
I made this jam yesterday. OH MY GOODNESS!! I sure wish I had figs falling from a tree in excess. I added toasted walnuts to half my batch, that worked beautifully. It is super duper delicious on a creamy blue cheese and cracker. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Absolutely delicious!
how long will this store for? am thinking of making some for presents for family 🙂 im thinking unopened a couple months if i use preserving sugar and a couple weeks in the fridge when opened?
Hi Steph, If you process the jars in boiling water (15 minutes) like you would with any jam or canned item, they should store for up to a year on the pantry shelf. Once you break the seal, you do have to refrigerate, and I would think a couple months in the fridge would be fine. I’m definitely giving out mine with Christmas gifts this year. Let me know if you need more info on canning and preserving and I’ll point you to a couple great resources. Have fun!
I just made a batch of this jam & I love it. It is the first time I have made anything with fresh figs as I usually eat them on the way home from the shop. I think I will cook them more often as I am really impressed with the recipe. Thankyou
I’m in England and don’t have access to fresh figs, can I do this with dried figs do you think?
I think it’s worth a try! I might try soaking the dry figs in water for a bit to rehydrate them. Not sure if that would do anything as I’ve never tried, but that’s what I would try. You’re going to need some moisture to get the jam boiling and a good consistency.
Debbie Rhodes says
Bumper crop of figs this year. So glad I found your recipe! Have made different things with all the figs but this tops them all. I like the bite of the whole peppercorns left in as well.
Oh wonderful!! I don’t have figs anymore, but I did plant two trees and will hopefully have my own figs again soon. Enjoy!