Confiture de figues

I first discovered fig jam many summers ago when I spent a few weeks at a country house in the Cévennes region of southern France. The place was idyllic, lush with fruit both cultivated and wild. We picked the figs straight from the tree. Making the jam was easy, as no pitting of the fruit is involved. And, as I learned, fig jam is heavenly. It manages to capture the musty, lusty fragrance of fresh figs — which happen to be in season right now.

Confiture de figues / Fig jam

Fig jam is fabulous not only on toast or on buttered baguette, as in the photo, but also on yogurt (which we also made ourselves during that summer in the Cévennes). I usually make this jam with dark purple figs, which lend the jam a beautiful ruby color, but I suspect it would be equally good if made with green figs.

In today’s recipe, which was kindly passed along to me by a neighbor, rosemary and lemon juice are added to the figs and sugar as you set them on the stove to boil. The recipe is super quick, especially if you a) limit the amount you make at one time, and b) use jam jars with screw-on lids, which eliminates the need for paraffin (a vacuum forms when you screw the lid on a jar of hot jam, and this preserves it).

Fig jam didn’t exist in Wisconsin to my knowledge when I was a kid growing up. Nor did fresh figs. The only figs I tasted during childhood were the dried variety that came in Christmas fruit baskets sent by elderly relatives once a year. Then came a summer study program in Avignon. Walking to class one day, I smelled a deiicious aroma. I looked around, and there was a fig tree, heavy with fruit. Well, dear readers, that was an ‘aha’ moment for me.

Other recipes involving figs on this site include country ham with figs, salad with fresh figs, savory goat cheese tart with figs and rosemary, chicken with fresh figs, figs roasted in vanilla cream, fig tart and caramelized peaches with fresh figs and pine nuts. And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m quite fond of figs…

Happy cooking.

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4 Responses to Confiture de figues

  1. DAVID LEWIS says:

    I have planted two fig trees in my garden this year, and look forward to using your recipes with my own fig harvest in a few summers’ time.
    Item: this year my olive tree is fruiting for the first time. Any ideas what I should do with the harvest?

    • Meg says:

      David, funny you should ask. As of this spring, I’ve had an olive tree on my balcony and was looking forward to curing some olives this autumn. But unfortunately, although the tree flowered profusely, it has not produced any olives! So I’m afraid I can’t help you on that. But I’m sure a quick surfing trip on the web will provide some answers.

  2. Harley Schlanger says:

    Hi Meg — I just discovered fig jam on a trip with my family last month to Corsica. It is delicious, especially with goat cheese, a wonderful conclusion to a dinner, while looking out to the sea from a mountaintop. I hadn’t thought about making fig jam — thanks for the suggestion.

    • Meg says:

      Harley, thanks for mentioning the pairing of fig jam with goat cheese. It’s a great combination — and btw fig jam also marries very well with ewe cheese, such as Ossau Iraty from France and Manchego from Spain. Meantime, your recent discovery during your trip to Corsica would tend to confirm that fig jam isn’t well known in the States. I hope you try the recipe. Cheers, Meg

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