This is a thicker and heartier treat than your traditional fig jam recipe. This sweet and savory Meyer Lemon and Dried Fig Conserve, enhanced with wine, honey, and walnuts, is a lovely savory and sweet appetizer pairing, ideal for your meat & cheese tray or as a topping to goat cheese or brie.
I guess I’m a little predictable. When the weather starts to cool, I am ready to bring out my canning gear and spend time putting up preserves, stocks, and soups for our enjoyment as well as for gifting. You don’t need fresh figs to make fig jam and the jam can be made all year round. I mean come on, who doesn’t like a fig and walnut jam anytime? This Dried Fig Jam is always a big hit on our charcuterie board, over brie, over goat cheese or just on its own!
What is the difference between fig jam and fig conserve?
I’ve been asked the question about the differences between a fig jam recipe and a fig conserve. A fig conserve is just a fig jam recipe with a thicker, chunkier texture often including dried fruit and nuts. This fig and walnut is rich, thick, chunky and very tasty.
For this delectable fig conserve recipe, I used a bag of dried figs, a luscious and sunny Meyer lemon, and a few pears. As to whether or not there is a difference between fig jam made from fresh figs and dried figs, I think the difference is so subtle that you can’t tell them apart. Both divine…..!
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With figs being a low acid fruit, I am not comfortable totally ‘winging’ a recipe. As such, I used the Fig Preserves recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving as a reference, making adjustments but assuring that I kept the Ph low with lemon, lemon juice, white wine, and vinegar.
This was also the first time I have canned with Weck jars and very much enjoyed the process. They are more expensive, but there is no guessing about whether or not you have the lids screwed on too tight or too loose. Plus, they are really pretty and I am a sucker for pretty storage things.
What Tools Do You Need For Canning?
These are the tools that I regularly use for all my canning recipes:
- Jam Pan (this one comes with a funnel!)
- Canning Utensil Set
- Stainless Steel Funnel with Strainer
- Weck Jars or Ball/Kerr jars
- If using Weck jars, you might want a Weck Jar Lifter
That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes!
So…this dried fig conserve…a turbocharged fig jam recipe with lots of goodies packed inside!
I found myself eating it by the spoonful….please don’t judge.
Let me see if I can put the taste into words (hold on a second, I and need to get a jar and a spoon to be as accurate as possible)
OK…I’m back. Wow! If you love a good fig jam recipe, you’re gonna love this. So…in each bite there’s clearly the fig and yummy morsels of nuts and honey, but it’s also accompanied by the sublime flavor of the Meyer lemon rind which gives it just a little tang. Don’t try to substitute a regular lemon…you really do need a Meyer Lemon. Not only is the rind of the Meyer edible on its own, but its flavor just can’t be replicated with a regular lemon.
(Wait a minute, I need another bite) And then there’s the earthy crunch of the walnuts! The Balsamic vinegar is barely there, just enough to offset the sweetness from the honey and sugar.
There’s no overt taste of rosemary, it’s very subtle, in the back.
So, you’ve made your Dried Fig Conserve and after you’ve given one to your mom (because she birthed you after all…it’s the least you can do) and you ate one full jar (because you lack self-restraint), what is the best way to enjoy this deliciousness?
- When I made it, I had a lovely meat and cheese board in mind. We have enjoyed it over Manchego and Goat cheeses and I will surely be using it for that purpose again in the near future…like next week.
- But what about in a grilled cheese sandwich with a smear of dried fig conserve? Maybe with some gooey Brie and a slice or two of prosciutto?
- This fig and walnut jam will also make a lovely topping over your morning yogurt or oatmeal.
- And of course, it will only do good things to your biscuit or toast.
- Serve a dollop alongside your pork roast
- If you make rugelach, it will be a great filling.
Now, before you start making these, I want to tell you one of my favorite useful lifehacks. Before measuring the honey, coat your measuring spoon with oil which will make the honey slide right out without leaving any residue on the spoon!
Meyer Lemon and Dried Fig Conserve
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary rinsed well
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 1 pound dried organic figs chopped into thirds or quarters, I used Mission Figs
- 1 large meyer lemon chopped with rind on. Save any juice that escapes while chopping...you should have at least 2 tablespoons., remove seeds
- 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or enough to total at least 3 tablespoons of lemon juice when combined with juice from the Meyer Lemon.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 pears chopped, skin removed
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Prepare canner, jars, and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance
- Bring 2 1/2 cups of wine and rosemary to a simmer.
- Turn off heat and let steep while you chop and prepare the remaining ingredients
- After 30 minutes, or when all other ingredients are prepped, remove rosemary branches and remeasure wine. Add additional wine so that you still have 2 cups, in case any evaporated while it simmered.
- Pour wine into your jam pan or wide-bottomed stainless steel pan and add chopped figs, chopped Meyer lemons and lemon juice
- Bring mixture to a full boil that cannot be stirred down.
- Add sugar, honey and pears, stirring to dissolve and return mixture to a full boil. Stir constantly and let boil for 1 minute.
- Stir in walnuts and balsamic vinegar and remove from heat.
- Spoon your jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace if using Ball/Kerr jars or 1/2 inch if using Weck jars
- Remove air bubbles and wipe rim with white vinegar.
- Center lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Or, if using Weck Jar, place rubber gasket, glass lid and metal clips on the jar.
- Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered with water by at least one inch.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil
- Boil for 10 full minutes, or adjust for altitude via Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The time to bring your pot to a boil should not be counted in the 10 minutes boil time.
- Turn heat off, remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes
- Remove your jars from the pot and let them sit, undisturbed for 24 hours. Your Ball/Kerr jar lid centers should pop down when sealed and the orange tab on the Weck jars will slightly curve down.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this Chunky Fig Jam Recipe in the future. And, while you’re at it, check out this honeyed fruit and nuts recipe for a similar, but different recipe.
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