Homemade Fresh Fig Jam

Dark red, chunky fig jam spread on baguette slices and in jars

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Cool Time: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
59 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 9mg 47%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 93mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This homemade fig jam recipe is made with three simple ingredients and yields a medium-sized batch. Fresh figs with peel, sugar, and lemon juice (with no added pectin) simmer until they reach a gel stage. The result is a spreadable, sweet, and thickly textured jam that you can preserve and use throughout the next year or keep in the fridge to use right away. For best results, always have a candy thermometer on hand or learn how to test your jam without one.

Figs are a wonderful source of fiber and vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Their sweet and delicate flavor is often compared to honey and berries. When made into a jam, their natural and fragrant qualities intensify, making them great at complementing savory dishes like pork, lamb, cheese plates, charcuterie spreads, sweet and savory flatbreads, and sandwiches.

Fig jam is also delicious when made from dried figs—simply hydrate in boiling water, blend with honey and lemon juice, and store in the fridge for two weeks. If you have unripe green figs, follow the same amounts used in this recipe, and make a wonderful jam with a different and tangier flavor profile.

"Something about fresh fig jam just creates the most beautiful aroma and really signifies the beginning of the fall season for me. Once you manage to get your hands on some fresh figs, this recipe is a perfect way to enjoy them past the short fig season." —Tracy Wilk

Fig Jam
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 pounds ripe fresh figs, washed, quartered, stems removed

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fig jam recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the figs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

    Cut up figs and sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

    Mushy fig mixture in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. While figs are cooking, prepare the jars and lids. Put the glass jars in a boiling water canner about half-filled with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and keep jars in the water.

    Pint canning jars in a water bath canner with a rack

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Put water in a separate saucepan, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and add the jar lids. Keep in the hot water until ready to use. Do not boil.

    Canning lids in a saucepan with simmering water

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. After cooking the fig mixture for 1 hour, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure the tip of the thermometer doesn't touch the pan's bottom, and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. When the mixture gets quite thick, begin to stir constantly to keep it from scorching.

    Thermometer inserted into thick fig jam in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Cook to 220 F and remove from the heat. Or, test a small amount on a very cold saucer by putting the saucer in the freezer for a few minutes, adding a little of the fig mixture on it, and returning the saucer to the freezer for one minute. When a good gel stage is reached (220 F), the surface of the fruit mixture will wrinkle slightly when pushed with a finger or teaspoon.

    A small amount of set fig jam spread on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Fill the prepared jars with the hot fig jam mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a wet paper towel. Place the lids on the jars using tongs or a jar magnet then screw on the rings.

    fig jam in glass jars

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Place the jars on a rack in the hot water inside of the canner. Lower into the water and add enough hot or boiling water to bring the water level to 1 to 2 inches above the jars. Bring jars to a boil for 10 minutes.

    Jars with fig jam covered with water in a boiling water bath canner

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Using canning tongs, remove the jars and place them on top of a clean towel on a flat work surface. Listen for a popping sound, which indicates a good seal, and tighten the rings.

    fig jam in glass jars

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Let the jars cool to room temperature and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

    fig jam in glass jars

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

How to Use Fig Jam

Fig jam can be used in many preparations. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use it as glaze: Combine 1/2 cup of fig jam with 1/2 cup of boiling water and use it as a glaze for cooked ham, turkey breasts, or pork loin.
  • Use it as a sauce: Its sweetness pairs wonderfully with game meats like lamb, venison, or pheasant. Simply warm up some jam and thin it out with water. Serve warm on the side.
  • Use it in flatbreads and pizza: Combine fig jam with creamy and tangy cheeses like goat's milk cheese, brie, Asiago, or Camembert to make flatbreads of sweet and savory ingredients. A warm pizza crust with warm fig jam and pieces of brie and chopped walnuts is a great appetizer.
  • Use it in cheese and charcuterie platters: Build your cheese platter and place a jar of fig jam on the side so guests can spread it on crackers or crusty bread and pair it with the cheese of their liking.
  • Use it in sandwiches: As with any other jam, use your fig jam with peanut butter, cream cheese, seed butter, or simply with toasted bread and butter.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a few wide strips of orange zest (pith removed).
  • For a savory herbaceous note, try adding a sprig of rosemary or thyme; remove and discard at the end.

How to Store Fig Jam

  • You can store these canned jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
  • If you have chosen not to can this jam, it can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month.  

Can I Use Less Sugar or Other Sweeteners in the Jam?

The short answer is yes, you can always use less sugar in jam recipes.

Sugar doesn't act like a preserving agent; it helps thicken the texture. What acts as a preserving agent is the acid content (lemon juice). Reduce the amount of sugar but do use some. If using honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners, keep in mind that the amounts can't be replaced at a one-to-one ratio. In most cases, you'd use half the amount of honey or maple syrup that you'd use of sugar, but then you'd have to add pectin to help with the consistency.

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Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. United States, Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, FoodData Central. "Fig, raw." 1 April 2020.