How to Make Fig Jam – Step by Step

From the kitchens of the Pitt and George Food Company

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The fig tree isn’t a very glamorous plant. The stems are twisted, flexible and a bland grey, the leaves rough, leathery and large enough to cover Adam and Eve’s genitalia.

The fruit though, oh yeah, now we’re talking. When you spilt open a fully ripe fig, plump from autumn rain, you’ll understand why in some ancient cultures the fig is representative of sexual awakening and desire.

Those though figs are not only delicious to eat straight off the tree, but cook them up with some sugar and citrus juice and you’ll have a tremendous Fig Jam, and yes, it is that good.

To make this batch I used two kilos of figs, just do some maths and work out the quantities of each that you will need for the amount of figs that you have.

INGREDIENTS

2kgs figs
1 cup of citrus juice (I used 50/50 orange and lemon)
2 kgs of sugar , warmed.

That’s the beauty of jam. You really just need the fruit, something to help release the pectin and some sugar to conserve it.

Chop the fruit
Chop the fruit

Step one. Chop the fruit up into sizeable chunks. Too small and you’ll just have mush. Some recipes just ask for the fruit to be left whole, I don’t like that idea much at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Use between one and two cups of juice, the more you use, the firmer your jam will be.

Step Two. Squeeze the juice. You can add more than the one cup that I used and you can mix up the ratios as much as you like. I just squeezed all the oranges I had in the house and what lemons I could scrounge from my neighbour’s tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, not attractive at all at this point.
No, not attractive at all at this point.

Step Three. Mix them together and start cooking. Just to get technical for a while, this is where you release the pectin in the fruit. The citric acid in the fruit helps the pectin in the figs to release. The riper the fig, the less pectin there is in it. Don’t worry too much though, just cook them until they look like these, quite unattractive I have to admit, figs.

 

 

 

 

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Scape off the scum, for scum though, it tastes great.

Step 4. Add the sugar and start cooking. I add my sugar a ladle full at a time and stir it in, but many others just toss it all in at once, either method works. It will take some time and try not to forget about it, get side tracked by the telly or have a nap. Burnt Fig Jam may be a speciality of Maggie Beer, but we’re not making that here. As it cooks a frothy scum will form on the top, scrape it off as it makes your jam look a touch funky.

 

 

 

 

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Just a bit of a wrinkle suits me fine.

Step 5. Check the setting point. If you’re really schmick you’ll have a jam thermometer, I’m not so I have a frozen plate. Take it easy here because your jam can turn very quickly if you have it on full bore. Just drizzle some of the jam onto you frozen plate and pop it back into the freezer for a few minutes. Then give it the wrinkle test by pushing into it. I like my jam a bit runnier than some so I stopped cooking it about 5 minutes after taking this pic.

 

 

 

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This is what the scum / froth looks like when you place it into the jars.

Step 5. Bottling. I wash my jars in the dishwasher and then place them in a warm oven to keep warm. Let the jam settle for about 5 – 10 minutes before pouring it into the jars. Seal as soon as you can hold onto them.

Category: Cook

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4 comments

  1. Great recipe thnx! My grandmother always added split blanched almonds. Dont ask me why but i do this and it seems to add something?

  2. I’ll do this, sounds easy but an indication of cooking times would be useful; will wing it, thank you.

  3. I also would like to have an estimation of cooking times. I used the Jam Setting Sugar.. I called the number on the sugar pack to ask about the reduced cooking time….that’s what the package said. The girl said to cook it for five minutes! Totally crazy!! I doubt she has ever made Fig Jam. I kept testing it on a plate from the freezer but it didn’t get thickish until I’d had it lightly boiling for 2 hours. I don’t like the hit and miss of doing it this way. I’d like to have an indication of cooking time.

    1. Hi Pam. We’re going to make another batch tonight with the last of our figs and we’ll put a watch to it and let you know. It’s certainly longer than 5 minutes!

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Article by: Mark Logan

Former photojournalist at the CWD, Mark Logan has mixed together his love of technology with his years of experience as a journalist and photographer to develop the Orange Post. The Orange Post is his baby. A baby whose gestation involved countless ideas, numerous bouts of indecision, an infinite number of hours cursing free software and more than one bottle of wine. Whilst he's not trying to cajole people into writing for the Orange Post, he's attempting to sharpen his vegetable gardening skills. He lives in a strangely shaped house in Millthorpe, loves ignoring recipe directions, dabbles in web design for fun, frustration and profit and is constantly in a battle of the wills with his dog Fergus