If you can cut up some dried figs and add sugar, balsamic vinegar, water and lemon juice then bring it all to a boil, you can make this delicious balsamic fig jam! That's all there is to it! And check out the post (below) for a zillion ways to use it!
Want holiday entertaining to be a breeze this year? We're sharing the perfect way to get that started. Make a batch of this easy (super easy) Balsamic Fig Jam and you'll have the appetizer course all wrapped up before the season even gets close! You can freeze it now for easy entertaining later. You'll also find lots of other ways to use it for entertaining, as well as for everyday cooking.
Yes, you read right, this recipe uses dried figs. What's so great about that? Well, since you asked, there are several wonderful benefits to being able to use dried figs for this jam. First, you can make this jam any time of year, not just during the short and fleeting fig season (generally August through October, but I don't find them easily once September rolls around).
Another advantage is that you can keep a supply of shelf-stable, dried figs in your pantry. That means that anytime you get a fancy for fig jam, you've got everything you need to make a batch - in less right around 30 minutes!
What's in this Balsamic Fig Jam?
Other than the dried figs, you probably have everything else you need to make this jam. Figs, sugar, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice make up the short ingredient list. You'll also need a medium-large pot and a blender, either an immersion (aka stick blender) or a regular blender will work.
Can you can this jam using a hot water bath to make it shelf stable?
You definitely can, although I don't go through all that. I just keep what I want in the refrigerator (good there for up to two weeks) and pop the extra jars in the freezer for longer storage.
What type of dried figs should I use for making this jam?
The most common varieties of dried figs are Black Mission, Calimyrna, and Smyrna (also called Turkish figs). The good news is that they'll all work for this Balsamic Fig Jam. I picked up a large bag of Smyrna figs at Costco last time I was there. They were fabulous for this recipe, but I've also used Mission and Calimyrna with excellent success.
How to use Balsamic Fig Jam
There are so many delicious ways to use this jam. I know once you get used to having a stash of this in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry, you'll come up with lots of your own ideas. Here are a few to get you going:
- Serve as pictured above on a cheeseboard. We love it with a smoky cheddar or Gouda, creamy goat cheese, Manchego, Roquefort, Blue or Gorgonzola. Grapes, apples, pears and a handful of nuts like these Easy Candied Pecans or these Sweet and Spicy Roasted Almonds all pair nicely with this jam.
- Use it as a topping for baked brie.
- Layer this jam with cheese in a grilled sandwich with turkey, ham, thinly sliced pork or smoked chicken.
- Mix it in yogurt. Add sliced bananas and some toasted pecans, delish!
- Heat it up and drizzle it over ice cream.
- Serve it with yogurt instead of honey or jam.
- Use it as a base for pizza or flatbread.
- Use it as a delicious glaze for pork and chicken.
- Roast some veggies with olive oil and a spoonful of this balsamic fig jam... so good!
- Make a vinaigrette with it.
- Use it as filling between cake layers.
- Make a simple appetizer by spreading goat cheese on little bread toasts and topping each with a slice of prosciutto and a dollop of this Balsamic Fig Jam.
See what I mean? You need this delicious jam in your life! If you 45 minutes to spare you can make a batch, start to finish! Your family, friends, neighbors, (and self) will be thanking you!
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Café Tips for making this Balsamic Fig Jam
- This jam has to simmer for 20-25 minutes. When jam simmers there's the tendency for little bits of it to splash out of the pan, so I like to use a fairly large pot to prevent a mess.
- Figs can be sticky so I like to spray my knife with a bit of cooking spray or rub it with a little oil when chopping up my figs.
- This recipe is easily doubled. It may take a few extra minutes of cooking to achieve the desired thickness.
- Jars of this Balsamic Fig Jam make lovely gifts for friends, neighbors, teachers, hairdressers, postmen, etc. Pair it with a nice box of crackers, a wedge of cheese and a bottle of wine for the best-ever hostess gift!
- If you give this jam as a gift be sure to tell your giftee that it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, for longer storage. If you decide to use the water bath method (below in Tips) it will be shelf-stable.
- I made two types of labels for my jam (shown in the pictures below). Both of them can be printed on white cardstock. One you can punch holes in and tie onto the jar with string. The other is the perfect size to slip under the lid of a 4 or 8-ounce mason jar. If you'd like a PDF of either of these labels for gift-giving, just leave me a comment below and I'll email them to you. The label on the smaller jars is 1½ inches and the one on the mason jar is 2 inches in diameter.
The 1½-inch labels are shown on the left and the 2-inch on the right. Let me know which one you'd like (or both) and I'll send them along with instructions.
- I love these classy Weck Jars for gifting jams and jellies. I also found these fun 8-ounce jelly jars which make really pretty gifts too.
- This jam makes a wonderful addition to a cheeseboard. Check out this post for tips and tricks on how to make a beautiful cheeseboard.
- As mentioned above, this jam can be preserved in a hot water bath to make it shelf-stable. This is a great post on canning with a hot water bath.
P.S. See the cheeseboard above in the post? There's a little white bowl that is filled with Maple Mustard Candied Bacon. Stay tuned for this recipe - oh my, it's AMAZING!
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 12 ounces dried figs stems removed
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Chop each fig into 4-6 pieces. Wash enough jars (to hold 24-ounces of jam) in hot soapy water and rinse well. Set aside.
Combine figs, sugar, water, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a steady, rolling simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pulse/blend the jam with an immersion (or regular) blender until large pieces are gone but the jam still has a bit of texture. (Use the pulse setting if using a regular blender.)
Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the jam is thickened to the desired state. (It will get a bit thicker as it cools).
Taste the jam. If you would like it a bit tangier, add an extra tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar.
Transfer to jars with tight-fitting lids. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for 2-3 months.
If you end up cooking the jam too long and it's too thick, it's super easy to remedy. Just add water, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring well after each addition, until it's the desired consistency.
See Café Tips above in the post for further instructions and more detailed tips.
This recipe yields 24 ounces or 4 6-ounce jars of jam.
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