Fig jam

Delicious figs and Bess the Labrador

I treat figs as a ‘special occasion’ fruit. They’re quite expensive to buy in the shops, especially if they’re out of season. Despite that, they’re quite easy to grow (given the tree time to mature), and a fig tree can be kept small if you don’t have a lot of space. They like to be grown in a pot, too.

Figs prefer warmer climates, but many varieties, such as ‘Brunswick’, ‘Chelsea’ or ‘Brown Turkey’, can be grown successfully in the UK, in a sheltered spot.

September to October is the time for harvesting your fig crop. If you have a big tree, you can end up with a few too many to eat fresh all in one go (it’s best not to over-do it on figs).

Fig jam recipe

Tasty fig jam

Here’s a recipe for a lovely fig jam, courtesy of Mamounette in France, which will conserve your fig harvest so you can use it throughout the year. It’s good with liver pate and various cheeses.

Preparation time: One hour
Cooking time: 30 mins


  • 2kg figs
  • 1kg jam sugar
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp of ginger
  • Two cloves
  • One split vanilla pod
  • Juice of a lemon

Day 1:

  • Peel and cut roughly the figs. Mix in a big bowl adding the sugar and all the spices.
  • Toss several times to make a thick puree and let rest all night.

Day 2:

  • Take a large, heavy-bottomed pan, put the prepared ingredients with the vanilla pod (sliced in two) and the lemon juice, and bring to the boil (remove the cloves and vanilla pod husks).
  • Keep boiling and stir regularly for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, sterilise your jars in boiling water and place them top down on a tea towel.
  • When the jam is ready, fill the jars and put the lids straight on.

This recipe gives the fig jam a ‘Christmassy’ taste. Enjoy it with pate or cheese.

Images © Alan Jones


About garden nomey

I studied Horticulture at Writtle College in Essex back in the early noughties – it was good fun and a great place to learn, and since then I’ve had various lovely jobs. I started working as a gardener at Trinity College in Cambridge, which is the biggest of Cambridge University’s colleges. That was the best gardening job I’ve ever had, the gardeners were talented and knowledgable (and fun!), the college was relaxed and the grounds are extensive and beautiful. There are amazing gardens locked behind ‘secret garden’ doorways in ancient walls, huge perennial borders to tend to, massive hedges to trim (one is 30ft high) and lawns to mow with precision. It was the perfect place for me, as a new gardener, to gain all the experience I might need to see me off into a career in horticulture. I went on to do various other gardening jobs for a few more years, before deciding that I would like to write about plants. Just as I was wondering how on earth I might get into this (as I was only trained in horticulture), I stumbled upon a Marketing Assistant job with an online and catalogue plant supplier, and they kindly took me in. This was my dream job at the time and I felt so lucky, I spent every day writing plant copy and gaining experience and knowledge in marketing and website management – something I’d never even thought about doing in the past. As it turned out, I loved it! Since then I’ve worked for more online plant suppliers, plus magazines including Which? Gardening Magazine and BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. I currently work as a garden writer for Hubert Burda Media UK and fill some of my spare time with freelance copy writing and blogging work. Every single one of my jobs has taught me so much and I think I’ve found my niche – I’m a Gardener, Copy Writer, Garden Marketer, Feature Writer and Online Content Manager! I’ve been involved in this industry for a good while now. I’ve been to a lot of press shows, I work and have worked with a lot of suppliers and I constantly see people I know in magazines and at gardening events. I really feel like I’m part of this lovely, friendly industry and that makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy my blog! Naomi
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4 Responses to Fig jam

  1. Cath says:

    Waouh ! Now I am embarassed ! I hope it delights taste buds on the other side of the channel. I opened a pot this week with french family and unless they were Just being polite they all liked it with pâté and cheese. Big Bisoueees. Mamounette

  2. Nome's Dad says:

    In the top photo, Bess is either doing her ‘don’t fall off the ladder Dad’ or the ‘don’t you realise it’s my supper time’ look.

    The fig jam is excellent. I have another 7 kilos of figs prepped and resting overnight before cooking tomorrow morning. This is a simpler version with just sugar, 2 x vanilla pods and a good glug of lemon juice added.

    • gardennomey says:

      You now have a lifetime supply of fig jam, what are you going to do next year?! You’ll have to either sell your organic figs to a restaurant or set up a stall. Like Bess, i have the same look on my face for those two things!

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