Secret Shortcut Fig Jam

Okay, confession time. I have a secret to share about fig jam. It's one of those things that looks so fancy and hard to make, but I have a shortcut. Soon you'll be putting fig jam on everything, just like me!

My shortcut: use dried figs instead of fresh. Yes, I know, it's so naughty! But using dried figs is (1) cheaper, (2) way faster, and (3) doesn't require you to find fresh ones, which can be really difficult in certain regions and seasons. This fig jam comes together in about 15 minutes and uses exactly one pot and a blender. It's almost absurdly easy.

As a huge added benefit, dried figs of course contain far less moisture, meaning that you need zero added sweeteners or pectin to bring your jam together. Even better, I find that jam made with dried figs is significantly more flavorful than jam made with fresh figs.

Homemade fig jam is something I have in the fridge at absolutely all times. A few of my favorite uses:
  • Put it on a cheese board. The sweetness is lovely, and figs pair so well with many different types of cheese.
  • Add it to salad dressings. It bulks up the dressing without the need for oils or added sweeteners.
  • Stir it into unsweetened dairy or non-dairy yogurt. It provides huge flavor with zero added sugar, except the naturally-occurring sugars in the figs themselves.
  • Stir it into oatmeal.
  • Spread it on your favorite sandwich. Figgy grilled cheese?? Yes please! It's awesome with anything salty.
  • Dollop it on pizza. Figs love cheese!
  • Use it in cocktails. It's a fun and unexpected addition to fall-appropriate gin and bourbon drinks; just make sure to strain well to get rid of the seeds.

All it takes is a short boil and then a thorough blending. No fussing, no pectin, no sugar, no long waiting, very few dishes to wash. You'll be doing a fig dance in no time!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram. 

Loving the idea of making all your own condiments? Then take a look at this Oil-Free Pesto too! There are infinite options for different herbs and different citrus.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Dried figs. Any kind will work, but I like using the big, white Turkish figs best. I usually work with about two cups at once, but you can easily scale up or down.
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Splash of bourbon. Optional but highly recommended, it takes your fig jam from tasty to magical. 
  • Optional add-ins. Most of the time I just let the figs shine. But I'll occasionally add vanilla (delicious in yogurt, not recommended for savory applications) or herbs (something hearty like thyme or rosemary) or lemon zest. Think about your intended application and season accordingly.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1.  For each fig, cut off the woody part of the stem, then cut the fig into quarters.
  2. Put your figs in a small pot and just barely cover them with water. Remember that you can always add more water later but you can't take it away (at least not easily), so err on the side of too little.
  3. Add a dash of sea salt and a splash (or more...) of bourbon.
  4. Bring your mixture to a boil, then simmer it for about 15 minutes. Add more water as needed to keep the bottom of the pan covered and the figs moist.
  5. Transfer your mixture to a blender, or use an immersion blender for maximum ease. Blend it all thoroughly.
  6. Assess your jam and adjust as needed. Add more water until you achieve a thick but still spreadable consistency. Add a dash more of salt to really help the sweet flavors pop.
  7. Store your jam in the fridge or freezer. It will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks, or the freezer for a couple months. And remember to give some to your friends, they'll think you boiled down figs and slaved in the kitchen for hours!


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