Canning, Freezing & More Preserving / Recipes

Spiced Fig Jam With Ginger

Tree-ripened figs

Last week I brought you my all-time favorite homemade preserve — balsamic fig jam with black peppercorn. Hopefully, you still have enough figs left over because you will definitely want to try my other favorite fig recipe. It’s just as simple to make, sweeter but not too sweet, and even low in sugar without sacrificing that decadent jammy flavor.

Tree-ripened figs

We start with tree-ripened figs… spice ’em up with some cinnamon and cloves… and just a touch of fresh ginger. The ingredients alone conjure up comforting images of fall colors and cashmere and holiday music and sitting next to a fire with a cup of tea and a slice of toast smeared with this delicious, spice-scented jam.

And while you’re making it, your house will smell amazing.

Spiced Fig Jam With Ginger

Makes 5 half-pints


20 to 25 medium to large figs
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice


Destem and coarsely chop your figs. You should end up with about 7 to 8 cups of chopped fruit.

Destem and coarsely chop figs

I use 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger for a subtle ginger flavor, but feel free to add another spoonful if you want a more gingery kick.

Fresh figs and ginger root

Minced fresh ginger

Bundle the cinnamon stick and cloves together, and tie the spices into a cheesecloth satchel.

Bundle and tie cinnamon stick and cloves into a cheesecloth satchel

Combine the figs, spice satchel, ginger, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring everything to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring to prevent the figs from sticking and burning. You want the mixture to remain boiling at a point where it cannot be stirred down.

Combine figs, spice satchel, ginger, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot

Boil down the mixture until a candy thermometer inserted into the pot reads 220°F. On my stovetop, this took about 30 minutes of constant boiling and stirring. The jam should be rich and thick, and the volume reduced by almost half.

Boil down the mixture until the jam is rich and thick

When your jam is ready, remove from heat and discard the spice satchel.

Ladle the jam into hot, clean jars, seal with lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjusting time for altitude if necessary).

Ladle jam into hot, clean jars

Ladle jam into hot, clean jars

You can spread the jam onto toast or muffins, but it’s also good for other things besides bread. I’m not much of an oatmeal person, but a few heaping spoonfuls of this spiced gingery fig preserve on top of warm oatmeal is enough to almost make me change my mind!

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Lynndraper
    January 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    could i make double batch?

    • Linda Ly
      January 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Absolutely. Since no pectin is needed to set the jam, you just have to make sure you cook the fruit down enough to make it jammy. I’d recommend making your double batch in a wide (rather than a deep) pot, so that the heat distributes evenly.

  • Bobi_white
    November 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I am planning on making both of your fig jams, but would like to do a saller batch on the ginger one… Do you think it will be okay if I cut the recipe in half? Are there any adjustments you recommend if I do so?

    • Linda Ly
      November 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Cutting the recipe in half will work out just fine!


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