Posted by: dinainsuburbia | September 7, 2008

Drunken Fig Jam, my review…

My step-grandparents gave me about a pound of figs on Friday- I figured I’d try out bon appetit’s drunken fig jam… I didn’t have enough figs for the recipe.  Two pounds is enough for about 1/4th of the recipe- I probably cooked mine a little too long and yielded only 1 half-pint.

Here’s the recipe below with my changes, as well as the measurements for making one half-pint, which would work if you didn’t want to can it, and just eat it right away with some delicious cheese and crusty bread!

Ingredients (recipe from Bon Appetit, page 121):

2 lemons (for reduced recipe, you only need 1)

4 pounds of fresh figs, stemmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, 9 cups. ( I used 1 pound and got about 2 1/4 cups.)

4 cups sugar (I used 1 cup)

3/4 cup brandy or cognac (I used brandy- slightly less than 1/4 cup which was probably a little too much)

1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt (I used a pinch)


Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips.  Cut peel into matchstick sized strips. (OK, I hated this- I couldn’t get the peel in a long strip and maybe my knife isn’t sharp enough, but I couldn’t get the peel thin enough either.  I think next time I’ll just use zest…. I also don’t like the texture of the lemon peel in the jam. There’s already so much texture with the figs & fig seeds).

Combine lemon peel (or zest), figs, sugar, brandy, and salt in a heavy sauce pan and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Bring fig mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer until jam thickens, about 30 minutes.  Stir frequently and mash mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces.  This takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes… remove from heat.


Ladle mixture into hot, clean 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Remove air bubbles by sliding a butter knife along the inside of the jar.   Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  Keeps for 1 year.. if it lasts that long!

While I do think the jam is delicious- I think I over-did it on the brandy.  I’m curious to see what the difference would be between using brandy and using cognac… if cognac is less sweet, maybe I will use that next time… and I will definitely use lemon zest- although I would think zest is more potent, so you’d need to use a little less than the matchsticks.

If anyone makes this, let me know what you did, and how it turns out!



  1. […] I’d take the opportunity to revisit Bon Appetit’s Drunken Fig Jam which I wrote about here.  The last time I made the jam, I thought that the lemon peel “matchsticks” had a […]

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