Super Fast Fig Jam

It’s ten o’clock in the morning, and it’s already been one of those days. You know, the kind when the alarm pulls you so far out of sleep that you don’t know where you are. Or what you’re supposed to be doing. When I finally figured out that the alarm really was FOR ME, it took me twice as long to brush my teeth and get to the pool, where I promptly realized that I hadn’t grabbed my goggles or swim cap. For most people this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but for this pathetic swimmer, it meant mouthfuls of water and a significantly slower workout. Which had the cascading effect of making me almost late for my date with my trainer. And new training partner, Accidental Runner’s Melisa, who has been such a fantastic addition to my strength routine this week.

Days like this beg for simplicity. A padded room and blunt objects. Fig jam that requires only five ingredients, one of them being water.

Our desert fig tree is about the only thing in the yard that doesn’t seem to mind this drought.


We gathered an initial harvest a few weeks ago, and look to have a second crop ripening on the tree now.


This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine Magazine. See the original here. This filled a little more than two 1/2-pint jars for me.


2 pounds green or purple figs, stemmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cognac



In a saucepan, toss the figs with the sugar and let stand 15 minutes until juicy.

Add lemon juice, water and cognac and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over medium heat until fruit is soft and liquid runs off the side of the spoon in thick, heavy drops, about 30 minutes.

Spoon into 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace at the top. Close jars and cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 3 months.

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