Simple Fig Preserves

I'll be honest with you. I had never eaten a fig until last week sometime. I've always seen fig newtons, and knew I didn't like them. Never had I appreciated a fresh fig right off the tree. I'm a changed woman.

I scoured the internet and found a source for fancy fig recipes... let me see, where did I bookmark it? AH! Here it is, California Figs - Recipes.

I ended up overwhelming myself with too many variations and simply made a batch of figs into preserves. It was quick, it only took about 15 minutes, then I went on with my day.


  • 1 pint of fresh ripe figs (15 small figs), roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Put all the ingredients EXCEPT lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered until a sauce forms and thickens, 10 minutes or so. Allow to cool, stir in lemon juice and transfer to a clean glass jar.

I plan to eat it all in about a week. A little on my morning toast, or spread on crackers for an afternoon snack.

Be sure and share this recipe with your fig loving friends.

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On the side...

I love to listen to Jazz while I'm cooking.  I've been on a Duke Ellington kick here lately.

  • I love fresh fig preserves on fresh bread or biscuits, or as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or French toast. Yum!

  • They are good, Doug. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out this whole time.

  • lini

    do u peel the skin off or cook the figs with skin On?

  • Many recipes say to remove the skins when using DRIED figs, but since I had fresh tender figs there was no need to remove the skins.

    So, no I did not remove the skins.

  • I am making the recipe right now and I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for such an easy recipe.

    • You’re welcome, Tonya! Let me know all the way you enjoyed the preserves, i.e. on toast, with pork loin, etc.

  • Is this recipe good for jarring fig preserves for later enjoyment?

  • It should work out just fine. I checked my Ball blue book, they called for only 1/4 cup lemon juice for 5 pounds of figs.

    Here’s their exact recipe:

    5 pounds fig
    6 cups sugar
    3/4 cup water
    1/4 cup lemon juice

    To prepare figs: Completely cover fig with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain, stem and chop figs. Measure 2 quarts chopped figs.

    To Make Jam: Combine figs, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add lemon juice and cook 1 minute longer. REmove from heat. Skim foam if neccessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

  • reminds me of my summers growing up in Alabama! do you think these would freeze well, or should be process and canned?

    • Jill McKeever

      Hi Willnyc!

      You can freeze figs whole on a cookie sheet (do NOT wash the figs), then once frozen, put them in a freezer bag. They keep well for up to 6 months in the freezer. I’ve been told that after freezing, the figs have a softer consistency. Therefore, they’re best used for making preserves at that point. A trusted canning friend told me it’s not necessary to thoroughly thaw the figs before processing. It’s okay to chop them frozen and start cooking the preserve recipe as directed. There’s no loss in flavor or texture using frozen figs to make preserves.

  • I made this recipe with green figs, which is what is available to me regionally, and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY. Thank you so much. I added two tablespoons brandy near the end to build an extra layer of flavor and it was great. Good recipe.

    • Thank you, Mina!

  • How long do fig preserves last? I have several jars from 2009. What do you think? I would like to use the fig preserves in a cake.

    • That’s a good question, Grace-Anne. The Ball Blue Book gives home canned foods a one year shelf life. I’m sticking to that rule, too. I would let that 2009 batch go and make a fresh batch of fig preserves.

      I know it’s hard to let all that hard work and what looks to be perfectly good food, go to waste. But you’re health will always be more important than a few jars of preserves.

  • Nice and simple, just the way I like life!

  • Traci

    I know this is an old recipe so I hope you’re still available but I bought 1LB of figs, your recipe calls for a pint…can you tell me how many figs to use for your recipe?

    • Hi Traci! LOL! I’m still around with no plans of ever leaving Simple Daily Recipes. ;D

      According to my Ball Blue Book, it takes 12-13 small figs to make 1-pound. It takes 2 1/2 pounds to make a quart.

      So 2 pints makes a quart, that’s 1 1/4 pounds, 12+3 = 15 small figs makes 1 pint.

      Did you figure the same number?

    • I have never heard of eating green figs, Naly. You need to find a farmer or someone with fig trees. It would be a miracle if you found green figs in an American grocery store.

  • lyn

    I’m wondering if you have posted the recipe for “whole figs preserves” or if I have missed it.

  • lyn

    Thank you,Can’t wait to try it!

  • Bogga

    You should try it with cheese, maybe some crackers, bit of butter a smidge of fig stuff and a bit of cheese, strong cheddar is nice or that white gooey stuff, is it camenbear?