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Fresh summer figs become stew with sugar, vanilla, and lemons to become Four Ingredient Single Batch Fig Preserves, enjoyable alone or used as a key ingredient in seasonal baking!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
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Four Ingredient Single Batch Fig Preserves
This four-ingredient recipe of fresh fig preserves is an excellent way to use them before they fall to waste! For those fortunate enough to host a fig tree in their yard, you know the struggle of the harvest. Figs come in FAST once they begin to ripen. What is not plucked from the tree falls to the ground and rots. With my method for this accessible four-ingredient preserve, your bounty will last well into the fall and winter months to be enjoyed again and again!
Use these delicious fresh fig preserves atop your favorite toasted bread or be inspired to create delicious wholesome bakes during the fall and winter months!
Fresh summer figs become one single perfect batch of fig preserves in this four-ingredient method. Not a fan of figs? My quick method for preserving fresh figs can be applied to any in-season berry you like!
How This Recipe Came About…
Fruit is fragile, some varieties more than others. Figs happen to be among my favorites if you could not deduce that by looking at the number of fig recipes on Not Entirely Average! But figs have a short fresh life to them and after only a few days, begin to fade.
When your friend tells you that she has decided to share her fig bounty with you, you stop everything and begin to plan how to use them. That’s the spot I was in over the summer. What I learned was that to prolong the fig, I first needed to preserve it!
This sweet preserve pairs beautifully with Whipped Horseradish Cream when assembling crostini appetizers. It is one of many logical counterbalances to robust horseradish!
Do You Have What’s Needed to Make Fresh Fig Preserves? Check The List!
- fresh figs
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice and lemon zest (do not use bottled lemon juice)
- vanilla extract
What Do You Do with Fig Preserves?
I like to bake with fig preserves, but there are PLENTY of other uses for them that are utterly delicious.
- Chop some hot bacon into a few spoonsful of fig preserves for a bacon fig jam that is KILLER on a burger.
- Use them to replace the jam in holiday thumbprint cookies.
- Serve on a Charcuterie board alongside hard and soft cheeses for the combination of a lifetime – Brie and Camembert go particularly well with fig preserves.
- Smear a tablespoon or three atop buttered toast and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a breakfast or teatime treat.
- Heat fig preserves until they are runny and serve alongside hot appetizers like these as a fabulous dipping sauce making things altogether sweet and savory.
- Chinese dumplings are luxe with warmed fig preserves spooned atop while steaming hot.
- A block of Feta cheese sprinkled with fresh orange zest and spoonsful of preserved figs make a beautifully rustic appetizer with chargrilled bread.
- Use in my method for Fig Bars With Oatmeal And Walnuts.
Do I Have to Can the Preserves?
No! Not at all. In fact, the recipe for the preserves makes just batch which will keep in a lidded jar in your refrigerator for up to ten days. During this time, be creative and enjoy!
If you prefer to can the batch, add canning jars and lids to a boiling water bath in a large pot for 10 minutes before removing from the bath carefully with kitchen tongs to a towel. When the jars are able to be safely handled, dry the jars inside and out. Keep the water hot by maintaining your pot over medium heat while you fill the jars.
Ladle the fig preserves into jars, secure the lids, and place the jars back into a hot water bath to where the water just comes up a bit more than halfway. Boil the filled and lidded jars for 20 minutes to sterilize and seal the jars.
Allow the jars to rest on the counter on towels. You will know the jars are sealed when you begin (after about 1 to 2 hours) to hear the metal lids “clink and pop.”
How To Make Fig Preserves?
Grab a non-stick saucepan, about 10-inches in diameter and several inches deep, a rubber spatula or a wire whisk for stirring, and let me show you how to make fresh fig preserves. Use a sharp paring knife and carefully remove the woody stem from the top of the fig. The bottoms do not usually require any pairing.
Halve each fig then quarter it and toss it in the post along with all of the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat until preserves have reduced by half. You’ll need to stick close and stir frequently to avoid scorching the jam or your pan.
Let cool completely and transfer to a clean, dry glass jar with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. The preserves will go a week or a little longer in the fridge.
What Can I Substitute for The Figs in This Recipe?
If you do not have access to fresh figs but want a fresh preserve, use this method for a fruit preserve using any fresh berry that is in season. I have also used apples that I have cubed very small and cooked gently for just a bit longer.
If mixing fruits is your jam, try fresh raspberries to this fig preserves recipe. Chopped fresh cherries are also very good simmered down with the figs. Not too sweet, not too tart. And believe it or not, a teaspoon of pumpkin spice is reminiscent of a figgy pudding flavor profile.
How Long Does Preserving Figs Take?
Plan on about one hour. This of course all depends on the heat you cook the fruit over, and the size of the sauce pan you simmer them in. Over medium heat in a 10-inch non-stick saucepan, the figs are reduced by half and sufficiently broken down in about 40 minutes time.
How Long Will Fig Preserves Last in The Refrigerator?
In a sealed container, fig preserves will last for seven to ten days. Remember, no pectin is being added, so this method is different from jam or jelly.
If you are formally canning your jars of fig jam, the shelf life is generally eight months to one year stored in a cool, dark pantry.
Can I Freeze Fig Preserves?
Absolutely! Grab a lidded freezer safe container and load it up. Freeze for anywhere from three to four months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.
Four Ingredient Single Batch Fig Preserves
- non-stick sauce pan
- clean lidded jar for storing
- 10 to 12 large figs fresh, not dried
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 large lemon, juice and zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Wash and dry the figs. Use a sharp pairing knife to halve, then quarter each fig.
- Add the figs and the remaining ingredients to a non-stick sauce pan and bring to medium heat.
- Cook, stirring constantly to avoid the jam burning, until preserves have reduced in half.
- Let the jam cool completely in the non-stick sauce pan before transferring to a lidded jar to be refrigerated. Jam will keep for up to 10 days.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.