Drunken Fig Jam


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I’ve tried many fig jam recipes, and this is my favorite. This recipe calls for liquor of some kind (hence the name), which I think allows the jam to maintain its jammy consistency. The other recipes that didn’t use alcohol, I have found, set up like concrete. No exaggeration. I’m not a chemist, but I think the alcohol prevents the natural pectin in figs from becoming too rigid. And, who doesn’t like a little kick in their jam?


2 lemons
4 pounds fresh figs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup liquor (brandy, Cognac, or my favorite is Contreau)
1/2 t kosher salt


Remove the skin from the lemon with a vegetable peeler. Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan. Let sit at room temperature for one hour (the juices will come out of the figs during this time.) After the hour has passed, bring the mixture to a boil for one minute. Reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from heat. I personally like the jam thick and chunky, but you can mash it with a potato masher if you’d rather have smaller fig pieces in your jars.

Ladle into sterilized jars. This recipe should make about 5 eight-ounce jars, or 10 four-ouncers. Leave a 1/4 inch of space in the jar. Make sure the rim of the jar is clean before putting on the lids. Apply screw bands loosely. Put in a water bath that is an inch or so lower than the top of the jar. Boil for 10 minutes. The jam should last in a dark place for up to a year.

Enjoy with goat cheese and crackers, or on toast in the mornings (for, ya know, booze is the breakfast of champions!)


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