2 1/2 lb Black Mission Figs, quartered & stems removed
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice*
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon bergamot extract
Prep jars/lids. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and figs. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for a hour, stirring occasionally and mashing up any big bits. Add the halfway point add the extract. Ladle into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield: about 4 8-oz jars
*I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh because figs are a low acid fruit and I wanted to make sure that the acid content was high enough to safely use the hot water method. The acidity of fresh lemons can vary but the acidity of bottled lemon juice is constant.
I am really into figs this year. We planted two fig trees this year and while I don’t expect too much of a harvest from them right away, I’ve been practicing making things with figs lately. I’ve noticed that Black Mission figs are the most common variety found in grocery stores around here. I actually made two different types of fig jam using two different varieties but since Black Mission will probably be the easiest to find, I thought I’d share this recipe first.
I’m excited about this jam because it was the first one I made without using commercial pectin. I had noticed that the Black Mission figs thickened well when heated while making a different recipe so instead of adding pectin, I just kept cooking the fruit until it turned jammy. It took less time than I thought and honestly didn’t require too much hands on time which I appreciated. I added bergamot extract (if you are unfamiliar with bergamot, it is a dominant flavor in Earl Grey tea) which added a slightly bitter citrus note that tempered the figs sweetness. Orange or lemon extract could be substituted for the bergamot if necessary but honestly, it is bergamot extract is well worth seeking out.