You don’t need to wait for fresh fig season to make jam. Here is my fig thick jam recipe with dried figs which you can make year-long.
I came up with this idea because I had 14 dried figs that were not in very good shape anymore. Tiny, a little wrinkled, not in good shape at all. However, I never throw anything.
As you know, Food Waste is one of the main problems in our modern society. I always try to find ways to use food in several alternative ways, even it is not in good shape anymore. Usually, the outcome is beyond expectations. But even if isn’t, at least I have the positive feeling that I have found a way to use in a positive way something that otherwise would end up in the garbage can.
As you know, we dry figs to preserve them for long time without using natural or artificial preservatives. Sugar is one of the most known natural preservatives. Fresh figs are delicate and can not last for days. On the other hand, figs have a unique taste, as they have a chewy texture and they have those crunchy edible seeds, which can drive you crazy with their taste.
Just to understand the importance and the health benefits of a fig: Just 30 g of dried figs, offer about 25 mg Magnesium, when an average human needs about 300 mg of Magnesium per day. In ancient times, they didn’t know the health benefits precisely, as we know them today, but still, they could feel the benefits by eating figs.
Back to our jam.
The main idea is to give to the dried figs back the fluids they have lost during the procedure to become dry.
To achieve that, we boil them with water. After we finish, we keep the water, as we will need it for the final procedure to make the syrup.
In the syrup, I use Metaxa 5 * because of its unique flavours. Instead of Metaxa, you can use any brandy or even a liqueur such as Triple Sec, especially if you like orange aromas.
The problem with the liqueur is that you must be careful with the sweetness. You need sugar to make the syrup, so if you add liqueur, it may become too sweet. Metaxa has amazing flavours and at the same time is not as sweet as liqueurs are.
Last but not least: You can be creative and try your own versions. For example, you may prefer to make a quick or fresh jam. In this case, you need less sugar and boil time, but your jam needs to be stored in the fridge and not for long.
Another point for creativity is the spices you may use. Especially if you want to use the jam to accompany cheese and cold cuts, you may add some black pepper, chilly or ground ginger.
- 10,6 ounce (300 gram) dried figs
- 35 ounce (1kg) white sugar or better try coconut sugar: better taste, more healthy
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- a cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 100g brandy (5 * Metaxa is the one I prefer)
Instructions for fig thick jam
Boil the figs for 20 minutes and strain them, without tossing the boiled water.
Remove with a scissors the hard part of the top of the figs and then cut the figs in four pieces (or more, depending how big is the fig or how do you prefer it. Depending on the use, you may need to cut in smaller pieces. For use with hot bread in your breakfast, cut them in even smaller pieces.
Use 500 gram (or 17,6 ounce) of the water left after boiling the figs. If the quantity does not cover the figs, ad water.
In a small pot add the sugar. Cut the orange and the lemon into four pieces and put them into the pot with the cinnamon and the cloves. Let the sugar melt at moderate temperature. Add the figs and let the syrup boil until it reaches 100 degrees Celsius (212 F,) or until it reaches 63 Brix.
Add the brandy into the pot. Let the syrup set at 105 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees.
Sterile glass jars, fill them with the figs as they are hot, add syrup till they are fully covered, seal and turn the jars upside down. After approx. two hours, they are ready to be stored.
If you have followed the above procedure in detail, the shelf life reaches 2 years before opening or more than 2 weeks in the refrigerator after opening.
Enjoy with cheese and port wine or offer it as a gift to your friends! You may also like a watermellon jam!
And in case you want to relax, watch an ASMR video with lemons!