Ruby port fig jam is a delicious, and beautiful condiment. It’s the perfect accompaniment to cheese and a must on a charcuterie board.
I’m definitely not a raw fig lover. I hadn’t really thought much about fig anything, until my neighbor made some fig jam several years ago, and served it with brie at our book club meeting. I was one of the best things I’d ever tasted. She served it with a variety of cheeses.
My taste buds have never looked back. I became obsessed with fig jam and brie. All I could think was how good it would taste with just a sliver of prosciutto.
The next day, I went on a search for fig jam. I think I went to 3 stores before I found a jar at a family run urban farm just a few miles from my house. I sandwiched some of that delicious jam in between some brie and prosciutto and added grilled onions; that was absolute perfection!
Last year, I was given a small fig tree. I planted it, then forgot about it, until this year, when it started producing figs. I was so excited that I took all 8 of the figs, and made exactly one jar of fig jam. Fig trees grow quickly making them a great addition to your backyard, if you live in the right climate. Every year our little tree produces more figs. This year yielded over 8 pounds.
Do figs need to be peeled?
No. Besides being quite difficult and time consuming, it’s not necessary. Once the figs cook down, the resulting jam with have a nice chunky texture.
How to make fig jam
Figs are delicate and have a very short shelf life. So once you pick them, they should be cooked within a day or two. Don’t rinse the figs until just before making the jam. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Chop the figs and toss with sugar. There’s no need to add any liquid at this point. Stir the jam over a medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Gently cook sugar and figs until mixture is thick and shiny about 20-25 minutes. Once it’s thick, finish it with just a touch of ruby port and lemon juice.
How to test if jam is done
The old fashioned way to test if jam is ready to can is to put a teaspoon on an ice cold saucer. (I put one in the freezer when I start cooking the jam) When the jam is properly set, it will hold its shape when the saucer is tipped.
If you don’t trust your canning skills, and you’re making a small batch, you can store it in the refrigerator. If you’d like to make a larger batch you can consult the Ball website for more detailed instructions on how to can.
A jar of this ruby port fig jam with some crackers and cheese would make a lovely hostess gift too!
Ruby Port Fig Jam
- Bring figs, sugar, the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar melts.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until a drop of the mixture sets on a chilled plate, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and ruby port.
- Fill sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace, then seal and process for 10 minutes. Process according to Ball's procedures.
- Jam can also be stored in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.