Wednesday 21 May 2008

fresh fig conserve

This is the final day and the final recipe in my seven days of posts for Pickles & Preserves Week.

If you’re interested in the past six days of cooking, how about trying
Grapefruit, Rosewater & Vanilla Marmalade
Pickled Eggs
Apricot Jam
Pickled Cauliflower
Peach & Cinnamon Preserve
Pickled Grapes

And yet I believe I have saved the best til last!

I have had a good run with figs this autumn. Usually they’re too expensive to buy and when I do they don’t have much flavour. But this year I bought them from a grocer in the centre of the city where every individual piece of fruit is wrapped in tissue paper (the way I imagine it is in Japan) and you pay through the nose for fruit you just know will be good.

But even better I found a street stall where, on Friday when the grocer was packing up for the week, I bought a bucket of figs for $1!

And so I made this conserve.

I adore it. Just adore it!

The figs are so intense and the seeds give the jam a gorgeous nuttiness. It has become my absolute favourite jam.

Fresh Fig Conserve
Recipe by Kurma Dasa. Made 4 x 300ml jars.

1kg fresh ripe figs
4 scant cups sugar
1⁄3 cup lemon juice (approx. 2 large lemons)
2 teaspoons packed lemon zest
2 tablespoons water, if required
1. Wash the figs and cut off their tips. If the figs are small, cut them in half; if they are large, cut them in quarters.
2. Spread the sugar on a tray and heat it in a pre-heated hot oven, taking care not to burn it.
3. Place the figs in a 5-litre/quart saucepan along with the lemon zest and lemon juice over moderate heat.
4. Bring them to the boil and cook them for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the syrup darkens to a rich red colour. Do not stir them, and do not allow the figs to break up. You may need to add a little water.
5. Remove the sugar from the oven, and gently stir it into the figs, being careful not to rupture them.
6. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a rapid boil and, without stirring, cook for another 10 minutes, or until the setting point is reached.
7. Carefully ladle the conserve into sterilised jars and invert until a vacuum seal is created.
Kurma’s note: Because my figs had been frozen then thawed, they gave off a lot of syrup, so I added 50 grams of pectin, a natural jam setting agent, at the time I added the sugar. The result was spectacular.
Anna's variation: my sugar has been infused with a vanilla pod a few days before using.

I am submitting this recipe to a new blogging event, Putting Up, celebrating jams, conserves, jellies, marmalade, curds, butters, chutneys, pickles, relishes and preserves!!!

The hosts are Pixie from You Say Tomahto, I Say Tomayto and Rosie from Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake and I am really looking forward to the recipes the round-up will reveal!



  1. Oh yum! My figs are starting to ripen, and I can't wait to put some up. Have you tried adding sesame seeds? It's tasty!

  2. A fig entry- just perfect! I'm going to try this while vacationing in Gozo as they have figs all over the island. A great entry for the event and I'm pleased to see you have a link to all your other preserves. Thank you!

  3. Oh wow a great entry just loving your fig preserve! Many thanks for taking part in this event :)

  4. This has gotta be the ultimate in preserve, chutney and pickles. I love figs!

  5. Hello again, Anna, just wanted to let you know the event is now up and posted and to say thanks.

  6. I only have a few figs but I will use your recipe with them. I'm on a strict diet for two weeks so can't eat them and don't want my treasures to go to waste. Thanks for the recipe.


  7. I was given 1.5kg figs, with which I used 550g lemons, 1kg sugar and 150g (10% of figs' weight) toasted sesame seeds (75g would've been OK, my result is like raspberry jam with tasty "bits").

    The jam took about an hour of cooking and only reached 95C, but the excess liquid had gone and the jam coated a spoon.

    Thanks for the inspiration and greetings from the UK.

  8. di - hope your jam worked out?

    jake - thanks for sharing your recipe too. interesting to add the sesame seeds. did their oils come out and impart flavour?

  9. I just found your post and wanted to try your recipe. I have not ever "cooked" sugar in the oven. What temperature and for how long?



    1. I just warmed it up. Put it in at 180'C for a few minutes. Just keep checking that it's not melting.


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