Most people are surprised to hear that I can grow figs in Western Washington (outside of Seattle), but they do quite well! Depending on the year, I can get anywhere from 75-150 figs--and my tree is still young! Check out my gardening blog.
Figs make a beautiful, summery jam, and because they are so naturally sweet, they require little sugar. In fact, I used honey and also have the option of fruit juices as sweeteners (next time!).
Step 1: Ingredients
Here's what you'll need:
- 8 cups of chopped, mashed fresh figs
- 8 tsp calcium water (comes with Pomona pectin)
- 2 tbsp Pomona pectin
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 cup honey or sugar
I used King figs because that's what my tree is. They are light green on the outside and rosey on the inside. You can use whatever type of fresh fig you have available.
Step 2: Equipment
- Boiling water bath canner
- 5 jars
- 5 lids with bands
- Canning funnel
- Jar lifter
- 2-cup glass measuring cup
- 1-cup metal measuring cup
- 1 tablespoon measuring spoon
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- Citrus juicer
- Potato masher
- Mixing bowl
- Large pot
Step 3: Prepare Figs
If you didn't pick your own figs from an organic tree, wash your figs.
Trim tops and slice figs into quarters. Chop into smaller pieces into a mixing bowl.
Mash figs with a potato masher. I did about two cups at a time so I could mash easily. I suppose you could peel the figs, but I like the skin and the color contrast it gives.
Step 4: Add Figs to Pot
Measure eight cups of mashed figs into pot.
Add 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice and 8 teaspoons of calcium water. The calcium comes in a powdered form in a packet inside the box of Pomona pectin. You mix 1/2 tsp with 1/2 cup water. The extra keeps for a month in the fridge. The directions are inside the box.
Stir contents well and heat to a rolling boil.
Step 5: Prepare Pectin
Meanwhile, measure 1 cup of honey in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add 2 tablespoons of Pomona pectin and mix well.
Step 6: Add Honey-pectin Mixture to Figs
Add honey-pectin mixture to figs, stir well, and return to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to medium and let boil for five to ten minutes to thicken. Be sure to stir constantly so that your jam doesn't stick or burn.
Meanwhile, bring water to boil in canner. You will want the water in the pot to cover the jars by at least an inch. It takes a little practice to know how much water you'll need. I fill it to the upper groove in the pot. It will boil faster if you put the lid on.
Step 7: Ladle Jam Into Jars
Bring a small pot of water just to a boil. Turn off heat and add the jar lids. Let steep for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a sterilized stainless steel ladle and a canning funnel, pour jam into warm, sterilized jars.
Carefully lift lids from the water with a sterilized fork and place them on top of jars. Tighten lid bands down.
Step 8: Add Jars of Jam to Boiling Water Bath
Set the rack on the lip of the canning pot and place jars across from each other to balance the load (so it doesn't tip). If you have an odd number, as I do, place one in the middle. Note: if your water has reached a boil, add a few cups of cold water. You don't want to break your jars by adding them to water that is too hot.
Lower rack into water and replace pot lid.
Step 9: Process Jam for 10 Minutes
Process your jam for 10 minutes. Begin timing the 10 minutes once the water reaches a rolling boil.
Step 10: Remove Jam to Cool
Carefully lift the rack and set it on the lip of the pot. Remove jars with a jar lifter and place them on a towel on the counter. If you don't have a jar lifter, you will have to wait for everything to cool as the jars are hot.
As the jars cool, you'll hear them popping, which means they are sealing. Once the jam has cooled, check the jars to make sure the lids have sealed. When you press on the top of the lid, they should not give and pop. If they do, you will need to freeze the jam for long term storage, or place it in the fridge for short term storage.
Label jars with content, month, and year using a Sharpie or stickers.
Use within one year; use within three weeks once opened.