Happy Couple: Fig and Ginger JamFig and ginger jam: too delicious and simple not to make
I’ve had a life of traveling. Some voluntary (Buon giorno, Firenze!) Some involuntary. (“Tommy, get in the car.”) No matter where the destination, I do try to find delight in the differences of what I’m used to or familiar with. Years ago, when I stepped foot in Australia for the first time, I discovered a local (Barossa Valley) preserve that has stuck to my butter knife ever since: fig-ginger jam. I likened the combo to the marriage of strawberry and rhubarb: flavor pairing perfection. In the case of fig and ginger, the figs provide syrupy, honey-like sweetness, and a playful crunch from the wee seeds, while the ginger ambushes your tastebuds with surprise bursts of spicy heat and chewy texture.
Start with the freshest, ripest figs (variety: Desert King)
When I returned to the states, I set off to locate a neighborhood fig tree and to recreate this melting marvel of ooey-gooey goodness for myself. (Let me tell you how I really feel.) As jams go, Fig-Ginger is relatively easy to make, thanks to the low moisture content of most figs and the ready availability of crystallized or candied ginger. So get out your thick-bottomed stock pot or preserving pan and follow me to the kitchen; your g’day is about to begin.
Figs in a skillet, awaiting a little sugar and ginger
RECIPE: Fresh Fig and Ginger Jam
Makes 6-7 half-pints
- 3 pounds of fresh figs
- 3.5 cups of sugar
- juice of one lemon or lime
- 2/3 cup of crystallized or candied ginger
- Wash figs and remove any fleshy, woody stems.
- Quarter figs.
- Dice ginger.
- Add figs, sugar, lemon juice and ginger to stock or preserving pan.
- Leave it for an hour or two to macerate, and dissolve sugar
- Stir mixture thoroughly.
- Simmer on low heat.
- This jam can scorch due to low moisture, so keep stirring and watching.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes and remove from heat.
- Let it sit uncovered and cool down.
- Reheat when later convenient, and simmer again.
- Stir until thickens, 15-25 minutes.
- Again, be aware of scorching, keep a close eye on this jam pot, or this could happen.
- When thick enough to heavily coat a spoon, remove from heat, seal, water bath, 10 minutes. (Instructions here.)
Honeymoon couple: fresh fig and diced candied ginger
Left: Figs and ginger macerating in sugar Right: fig jam beginning to firm up after first simmer
That looks, and sounds divine. I wish WordPress had smell-o-vision! Pear and Ginger has long been a favorite of mine, but I love figs, and crave ginger, so this combination sounds perfect. Definitely on my list of things to try. May have to pin this one (so I don’t forget). Now I need to head out to the orchard and have a word with our fig tree…at the moment it has a whopping total of 1 paltry fig 🙁
Clare @ CBV, enjoy that fig, I too had a dismissal crop that I hope to remedy by next season.
My tummy rummbled ever so angrily after reading this post. I prefer a more savoury jam over sweet ones… and figs. ohhh figs… I’ll definitely be trying this one!
So… I thought we were friends….Where’s my pint sampler?
Dear Benign, we are friends, but your pint sampler won’t be available until Christmas time. 😉
I’m going to tuck this recipe away. I have a small two 2-3 foot PH fig and a 4-5 foot Negronne that is branching. My point, some year I’ll have figs and I need a good fig preserves recipe. Can’t wait to try this, it’s sounds delicious. Also checked out the ketchup post….I will not walk away from the pot!
Tom – I have never tried fig jam before but it sounds fabulous! I bet ginger would be amazing in a marmalade too…I’ll have to try both of these one day soon.
Making homemade ginger sounds simple enough but for those who aren’t so inclined, you can find “uncrystallized” ginger at Trader Joe’s very reasonably priced – 8 oz -$1.89(?) Not sure of the difference between “crystallized and uncrystalized” because the ingredients on both are: ginger and sugar. I’ve been buying it at T.J.s for years; but there was a period of about 6 months earlier this year when shipments were stuck at the Vancouver, B.C. border due to governmental regulations (as per the T.J. folks). This product is from Thailand. When I saw its return, I stocked up.
Do you know the difference between the two kinds of this ginger???
I’m getting ready to head out to Carpinito Brother’s Produce in Kent for some peaches to can. (MY Frost-Free peach bore me ONE lonely peach.) Hope they have some figs so I can try your recipe!
Ohh I love the sounds of that ..figs and ginger. Now I’m going fig huntin’ for sure but I’m not sure how to tell Big Guy I said FIG not PIG. Sorry Tom, I’m crackin’ up. Chuckle, chuckle snort.
Hi Tom…have you ever tried Ground Cherries? I just did a post on these delectable yummy cousins of Tomatillo’s. It made me think of you…I bet you could come up with a most delicious pickle or chutney recipe. If you ever get the chance to sample this deliciousness and you get an abundance of these beauties, then decide to pickle them… please let me know…I sooo trust your judgment when it comes to anything pickled…especially after eating your pickled Rhubarb – which truly goes without saying – but I must – to die for!
By the way… it sounds like your region would be great growing for ground cherries. Sadly, my area in Sooke is not. Thankfully, I have great resources for next year! 🙂
Ina, I grew ground cherries last year, but missed the mark in planting them this season. I love their sprite, fresh flavor and suspect they’d make a fantastic pickle. I made salsa out of them, but now you have me thinking, how would I pickle the little guys. Hmmm…Let me get back to you on that, before next year I might add.
I grew my first ground cherries this year; they are a revelation but with just three plants, my kitchen, my garden and I are all awash. I’m going to swap them out with the tomatoes called for in a green tomato relish recipe…need to get a pH meter before I proceed to be on the safe side. I’ll let you know how that turns out!
THIS is what I will do with the figs from the 3 or 4 trees the previous owners planted. There is something about a fresh fig that I find off-putting: over-the-top-girl-on-a-swing-rococco-mouthful-of-soft-and-crunchy. kwim? A little heat should do the trick – fire and ginger!
And Kate, there’s always figs stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon: http://www.tallcloverfarm.com/2211/figs-in-a-blanket-tucking-in-some-amazing-flavor.
Oh I wish I saw this about two months ago…before the great harvest that had over 70 figs that ended up being blended, given and many I think … were wasted (a moment of silence…)
I SO SO wish I’d seen this first…I was struggling through some popular recipe sites trying to find something that was in english that I could understand…sigh…I’ll check here first next time and study until then!!
Kristin, sorry we met too late, but ah there is always next year, though I may post a few more fig recipes before next season, especially for my pals in the Southern Hemisphere.
Another lovely jam. And you know I love ginger… I grew some this year, and I use it fresh with my tomato jam. Last year I used ginger also with rhubarb and with figs. This year, figs got jam with lemon, vanilla and sweet wine.
Ain’t this fun? (and I bet you make a mean scone for that fig jam too)
and Desert King? I have to see if it’s hardy for me (likely not with a name like that). It certainly is handsome!
hmmm…figs and ginger. How come I never thought of that. Just passed on the fresh figs at Trader Joes. Should have picked it up : ( Will try this summer. Do you have fig trees as well?
I do have fig trees and this next the apricot one I make is one of my favorites!
Do you ever use pectin to help it set?
Sorry, for the late response. I don’t use pectin and instead, cook, cool and cook until the evaporative process thickens the jam.
What about pectin?
I saw this recipe three years ago. I went out and bought a fig tree and promptly planted it. Today I made my first batch of this jam and it was worth the wait. Simply divine. Well done Tom! Now off to make some scones.
Addie, reading this made me smile ear to ear. Here’s to your patience’s reward, jam, jelly and many figs to come.
I have heard alot of good things about Turkish figs being really sweet this year (2016), so when I saw some heavily reduced at the market I had to bring them home.
I currently have a pan of this jam on it’s first cooling. Will let you know how it goes! Smells great.
Hi, I’m looking for a recipe for Fig and Ginger jam – it is my favourite and my fig tree is finally fruiting sufficiently that I can make jam. I cannot believe I have found an American blog, referring to a wonderful jam found in my own back yard, South Australia! Good on ya mate, I’m off to cook some jam!
Sue, I love that the recipe has come home again. Here’s to your beautiful country, and good food and gardens for us all! Well wishes, from my soggy Pacific NW coast (winter rains are here in force).
Made this fig and ginger jam last year when we moved out of town and our farmlet has an orchard with one amazing fig tree on it among other fruits. I’m in heaven! Fig and ginger is indeed a heavenly match. In the process of making this fig jam again now. Yum. From sunny hot Bendigo in Victoria Australia!!
What a treat to hear from your lovely corner of the world. Glad you like the jam recipe, especially since it was inspired by a trip to your beautiful continent. G’day Meg, G’day indeed.