Fig jam in larger quantities

cabrita(9b SoCal)October 14, 2010

I have been drying my figs but found myself with a good amount that could not fit into the dryer. I searched for fig jam and found only recipes that required pectin, and also all recipes I found suggested no more than 5 cup batches!

This was not very useful to me. Also, I thought the amount of sugar suggested was ridiculous. In any case, we jamed two batches and we are very happy with the outcome, so I am posting it here in case someone else finds themselves with lots of figs.

Fig Jam - Batch # 1

5 quarts washed figs, cut into quarters.

1 cup lemon juice

8 cups sugar

dash salt (like 1 tsp).

Cook all together until liquid is about 80% of original volume. Using a candy thermometer, the temperature range was just below the candy temperature.

This was jarred in 1/2 pints (19 1/2 pint jars) and processed by BWB for 10 minutes.

Here the fig pieces are distinct and there is a heavy syrup holding them together. The flavor was out of this world. After I opened the first jar and DH tasted it he said, oh, you could play with the spice mix. What spice mix? He is right though, it tastes like there are spices in there, and it is very sweet. The color is a wonderful gold.

Fig Jam - Batch #2

For this batch we had even more figs, and they were even sweeter. This is why we used a lesser percentage of sugar (1 cup per quart figs seemed about right).

10 quarts washed figs, chopped into 8ths.

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup lime juice

10 cups sugar

2 tsp salt.

We cooked this and evaporated 25% of the original liquid. This made 12 pints and 5 half pints.

The color was just a hint darker, still very pretty. The jam was a lot more like 'jam', very spreadable and so thick that I think pectin would have ruined it. Absolutely delicious.

The funny thing about this is that fig jam never had so much of an appeal to me. I made it because they would have gone bad otherwise (freezers are full). DH says he loves it even more than loquat preserves (good things since at this house we have figs but no loquats).

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Good info to have cabrita - thanks for posting it.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 1:46PM
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tracydr(9b)

Thanks for posting as I think I may be getting some figs from the neighbor tree soon where it hangs over onto the sidewalk.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 2:40PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

You are welcome Dave and tracydr! I get some concord grapes from my neighbor this way, they climb over my side of the fence! I just make juice out of them and drink it.

So I also made Habanero Fig jam. This is what I called it because it is a jam, not a jelly, and it did not come out gold. However, it is inspired by the Habanero gold recipe that several of you kindly posted. To our surprise, this is a "HOT" item, not just taste-wise, but popularity wise. It is pretty different with fresh figs, so I will post how the recipe was modified.

HABANERO FIG JAM

2 quarts washed fresh figs, chopped. Used mostly ripe figs, but to increase the pectin amount we included a few under-ripe figs too.
1/2 cup minced red sweet peppers
1/2 cups minced onions
1/2 cup minced Habaneros (I used orange Habs).
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 tsp salt

Boil all ingredients together in large pot. Bring it to just below the candy temperature (measured with a candy thermometer). At this point I chose to take an immersion blender to it because we thought we would prefer it smooth rather than chunky.

Pour into clean warm jars. Do the usual with the jars and lids, BWB 10 minutes.

This made 7 half pint jars. Consistency of jam, spreadable but thick. No pectin was used and none was needed.

Next in line will be Pequin-Fig jam. Lots of pequins and very few habaneros this year. The ones used in this jam were a rare find in the depths of the freezer. Last year was a good habanero year.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 3:25PM
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tracydr(9b)

I can imagine the flowery flavor of habaneros and the flowery flavor of figs would be intense. Can you distinguish the two from each other?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:06PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Oh yes, both fig and habanero flavors are present. But, as you point out, the figs themselves have so much flavor that I think making it with Pequins instead of habaneros will also work. The two fig trees slowed down and we are getting the tail end of the fig harvest, so I just froze a quart of fresh figs to wait for a few more to ripen and then do jam.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:22PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

The next two batches of hot pepper fig jam had:
serranos, jalapenos, pequins and chile limon.

The heat is more immediate, also very good. However, I don't like the fact the green bits of jalapenos make the color more 'muddy'. I liked the color better when we used the orange habaneros. The next jam will have only pequins and aji limons (this way the bits of color from the peppers will be bright yellow and bright red). We seem to eat more of this jam than the regular (non hot) fig jam. I have 3-4 quarts of frozen figs, waiting for the tree to be done to make our last batch. It froze last night, so the tree should be done soon!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 1:51PM
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sage721

Awsome that you got so many figs to spare. And the hab/fig jam sounds like something to try next year for sure. Random question: What variety?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:39AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

[img src=""]

You tell me??? They are very old trees (2) and did not come with a sign (don't laugh, some of the smaller younger trees still had the nursery tag, this is how I know I have a Dancy tangerine.) I know for sure they are not Mission figs, they have a milder, less 'figgy' flavor.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:50PM
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jude31(6 E Tn)

Cabrita, thanks for posting the habanero fig jam recipe. Your fig tree looks like my brown turkey fig tree. Mine is dwarf but the figs and the leaves look the same.

jude

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 5:52PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I have a question about making more hot fig jam and I did not want to start a new thread.

The habanero (or plain mixed hot pepper) fig jams just flew out of our pantry shelves.

We gifted many, but we have also started to sell jams at our local Urban farmer's market and to a small catering company. We have a few jars for our consumption, but none left to gift or sell.

In any case, to make a long story short, we have decided to convert the figs that we had dried to habanero fig jam.

I converted the recipe that many of you love for Habanero gold (made with dried apricots) to a hot fig jam using fresh figs. This is posted above in this thread. Now I want to use dried figs. Should I pre-soak them overnight in boiling water? or in vinegar? I am afraid that if I don't use water the jam will be way too thick.

Any suggestions on how to do this? Believe me, the habanero fig jam comes out with a perfect consistency using fresh figs, no pectin required.

One thing I know is that the weight of a fresh fig is three times the weight of the same dried fig, so the remaining is water. However, there is no water added to the original Habanero gold that used DRIED apricots. Hence my confusion.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 4:06PM
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colleenoz

Just adding to this thread that a common addition to fig jam here is chopped candied ginger pieces. No real rule of thumb for amount, just what you like and cut the pieces as small or large as you prefer as well (I like chunks, my MIL doesn't).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:35AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

colleenoz, ginger would go well with figs. I might experiment with a spiced fig jam, in addition to making more habanero fig jam.

Kicking this thread up since it has the habanero fig jam (4th post). We ended up making it with dried figs as well as fresh figs (in different batches). I prefer the one made with fresh, some friends prefer the one made with dried figs.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:30PM
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