Balsamic Fig Jam

Balsamic Fig Jam


This jam recipe is from the cookbook from Ad Hoc, my favorite Napa restaurant. It’s Thomas Keller’s more casual restaurant, and he uses this jam in his Fig-Stuffed Roast Pork Loin. It’s an amazing dish, which I’ll hopefully put on here sometime soon, but this jam is amazing on far more than that. It’s great on brie on a cracker. It adds great flavor to a grilled cheese sandwich. I’d even venture to say it’s great over vanilla ice cream, though I haven’t tried that particular pairing myself yet. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly, by adding lemon juice for safer canning, and vanilla extract because… vanilla!

Like most jams, this is a pretty simple recipe. First wash and chop all your figs.


Next, add sugar, balsamic vinegar, peppercorn sachet, and lemon juice.


Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to break up large pieces of fig, and cook until the jam reaches 200°F. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat, and add the vanilla extract.


Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe around each rim to remove any spilled jam, put lids and rings on, and add the jars to a boiling water bath with a jar lifter or tongs (jar lifters and lid lifers are wonderful tools for any canner, I highly suggest getting them). Make sure you use a canning rack or other method to insure that the jars do not touch the bottom of the pot. Process for 10 minutes, then use tongs or a jar lifter to remove each jar and place onto a towel on the counter. If you place the jar directly onto a cold counter, it can crack. Let cool, and after an hour make sure you can’t press down the center of the lid of the jar and hear a popping sound. If you can, it hasn’t sealed properly, so you need to re-process, or refrigerate it and use immediately.


Balsamic Fig Jam
4 from 1 vote

Balsamic Fig Jam

Recipe adapted from Ad Hoc at Home
Course Canning
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 -14 pint jars
Author Cooking Madly


  • 6 pounds fresh figs
  • 4 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon black peppercorns tied into a sachet
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Wash the figs, remove the stems, and coarsely chop them.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the figs, sugar, balsamic vinegar, peppercorn sachet, and lemon juice. Bring them to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring to break up large pieces of fig, until the jam reaches 220°F, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and stir well. If you prefer smoother jam, you can use an immersion blender to puree the jam. Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims, add lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Milk and Honey September 5, 2013, 9:27 pm

    This looks delicious. I have a huge fig tree in my garden and I’m always looking for ways to use the fruit. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration.

    • Cooking Madly September 6, 2013, 7:48 am

      Thank you! I’ve really started loving more savory jams. This and tomato jam are two of my absolute favorites.

  • Courtney September 12, 2013, 6:37 pm

    I made this today. Soooo darned good. Thanks a million!

    • Cooking Madly September 12, 2013, 6:39 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Dave February 9, 2014, 7:27 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I made this yesterday to use up some of the excess figs from the tree out back (there’s only so many you can put on your breakfast in the morning). I had about 2lbs of figs so reduced all the amounts accordingly (1/3). Recipe works well and I like the addition of vinegar and pepper (I made a sachet up for the peppercorns by opening up a chai tea bag, adding the pepper corns, and tying it up again with the teabag string!). It seemed to take a lot longer (maybe 1.5hrs) to get jammy so maybe my variety of figs didn’t have quite enough natural pectin in them. I also think when I make it again I’ll reduce the amount of sugar and balsamic a bit as once it had thickened the resulting preserve is very strongly flavoured – does it mellow a bit in the jar? All my teething issues notwithstanding I reckon that when paired with some brie and crackers it’ll be just the job! 🙂

    • Cooking Madly February 10, 2014, 12:14 am

      I’ve made batches with less sugar myself, though having less can cause problems with getting it to set, so it requires longer cooking time then. Hope you enjoy it with the brie!

      • Dave February 10, 2014, 5:28 pm

        Yep, I was being hasty. Had some in my wrap yesterday and it was awesome. Friend I gave a jar of it to thinks it’s perfect as well, so my taste buds just needed recalibrating!

        • Cooking Madly February 10, 2014, 7:55 pm

          Awesome, glad it worked out for you.