Spiced Fig and Pear Preserves

I think my mother might have been a masochist…

Every time she made jam when I was a kid, she went through this whole big rigmarole with a pressure cooker which used to scare the daylights out of me. Probably because of her insistent warnings that it could explode…

Just a wild guess!

As a result, I was always terrified to make homemade jam. Until one day I was watching Food Network (are there other channels besides Food Network?) and they made jam with no pressure cooker. Who would have thought it?! It was so ridiculously easy that I wondered if maybe my mother just liked to torture herself for no reason at all.

I’ve been a jam making fool ever since! In fact, not a day goes by that my family does not eat some version of jam, which is why I find myself forced to continually play around with new recipes for it, so that I don’t get bored out of my mind.

I have a soft spot for figs – the shape, the colors, the sweet insides. It’s like a little piece of heaven. A piece my children usually want nothing to do with… Unless it’s mixed with another fruit like pears and pureed up into jam. Then they’ll eat it on just about anything.

To keep it intersting for me though, I added a little ginger, and some cloves to give a nice little hint of something spicy in the background. Since I was making this full well knowing my children would be eating it, I went a little light on the ginger because it’s a flavor they’re not really keen on. Feel free to add more to taste if you prefer your jam to be a little spicier or want more contrast to the sweetness.

Spiced Fig and Pear Preserves

3 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ½” cubes
½ lb. fresh figs, halved
1 ¼ c. granulated sugar
1 – 3” cinnamon stick
½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp. pectin

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until fruit is tender, 20-30 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick and mash or puree to desired consistency.

Spoon hot jam into sterilized*, hot (definitely not cold or they will crack) 8-oz. jam jars; screw lids on firmly. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 3 months.

To vacuum seal them, don’t tighten the lids quite all the way. Almost, but not quite – you want that little bit of air to escape but no water to get in. Place hot jars into boiling water and heat for 6-7 minutes. You should hear them pop, but if not, they often pop as you remove them from the water and start to cool off. The lids should have a little indent in them. At this point, label them with the date, and they will last on the shelf up to 6 months.

*To sterilize your jars you can simply run them through a dishwasher or you can boil them in the water you plan to seal the jars in. Just be sure that once they are sterile, you don’t touch the inside of the jar or lid with your hand. This will add small amounts of bacteria which will grow inside the jar and ruin your jam.

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  1. 1

    This sounds like a great combination for jam! I have made it a few times, and it is pretty easy! I think there is one other channel and that is HGTV :)

  2. 2

    Oh, this sounds like fabulous jam. I’m much more fond of the more unusual fruit combinations…so yours is right up my alley!!! YUM.

  3. 3

    Figs and cloves are great together and your addition of ginger sounds absolutely delicious. I would put this all over my breakfast!

  4. 4

    Once you do it, water canning seems pretty easy! My first time, I just did it in a big crockpot, but I didn’t have the right tongs, so I burned my hands a bit. But now I have all the right equipment and i love it. Will be doing a whole lot of applesauce this fall! your preserves are beautiful.

  5. 5

    Jen….this is beautiful! That is a funny story about the pressure cooker. I never bought one for the very reason that I was sure I would cause it to blow up somehow! But I could eat jam and bread every morning for breakfast. And now you have me thinking I should just start making my own! I love figs too…so I’m thinking this perfect pairing of figs and pears is a great place to start! This looks delicious! : )

  6. 6

    You know people say, “This is making my mouth water”? I never get that…but that picture of the fig cut in two has made me more hungry than most other pictures I’ve seen. I love figs and this jam is one way of making them last longer.

  7. 7

    I really enjoyed reading your funny post about the pressure cooker! Love your pear and figs jam. This is so unusual, that I have not seen a recipe for the combo of these delicious fruits.
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  8. 8

    Thanks for your comments this week! I’m so glad you led me here. I just got a huge box of pears that’s ripening on my dining room floor as we speak! I’ve never canned before so I’ve been researching like a madwoman trying to find homes for the pears (and apples and tomatoes). These preserves look delicious!

  9. 9

    What an unique jam…I’d love to try this! Love the creativity!

  10. 10

    This is such a good combo for jam, especially with the Fall spices. Lovely presentation!

  11. 11

    Looks like a wonderful jam… yum!

  12. 12

    Oh wow! This spice fig and pear preserve came out perfect! The color is exquisite and your photos are gorgeous! Wonderful site you have! I’d love to hear more about your adventures in culinary school, just joined your site, nice to meet you! =]

  13. 13

    What a GREAT jam! My hubby loves figs…..fig anything! I have always been afraid of canning and we decided that 2012 is the year of the garden and the year of canning…and I’m super excited (and a little nervous)!

    Beautiful recipe and I really like the ginger in it!

  14. 14

    The jam sounds wonderful! Making jam has been on “my list” for WAY too long. I better get going soon because I really want to make at least one batch this year…

  15. 15

    Those preserves look great. I think you use the pressure cooker less acidic things that can spoil if not preserved at a high temp. I have one and am not sure how to can with it. I will stick with what I know pickes and preserves. Yours look great! I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  16. 16

    Um … yum!!! I’ve never made jam. There I admitted it! My mom and one sister are the jam makers. Me? I’m a jam eater!

    I’ve also never cooked with figs but you may have made me reconsider. This jam looks divine, Jen! You sold me with the ginger and cloves. Mmmmm. Great pics too! :)

  17. 17
    Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen says:

    You don’t know how envious this post makes me because I have a total obsession with fresh figs and they’re impossible to get here in the tropics! We have the dried version that we eat as snacks or reconstitute with water for baking, but really, it’s not the same. Your spiced up fig jam looks wonderful!

  18. 18

    I looove figs, esp fig newtons. You know this jam could be in those newtons … yummm!
    Haha! I used to be the same way about pressure cookers. The hissing they make used to scare me to bits with the idea it’s about to explode too! That’s why I still haven’t got one for myself …. childhood trauma. 😀
    Fresh figs here are super expensive so I guess it’s just for me to ogle at this… sigh.

  19. 19

    I wish we can get fresh figs here. I like that you put ginger and clove in your jam. I am sure this jam is a killer! I just made some fig bars this morning but only with dried figs.

  20. 20

    This looks sinful! I can only imagine how this would be on a nice scone or biscuit!

  21. 21

    Wow, what a great way with figs – it looks absolutely delicious nad reminds me of a great preserve I had on holiday in Spain!

  22. 22

    Yum! What a combination! I’m definitely adding this to my to try list.

  23. 23

    Love the recipe. I wish I could claim being a “jam making fool” but I’ve never gotten into canning. I will make preserves when overflowing in some fresh fruits or veggies that deserve to be preserved, but I only make an amount small enough to keep in the fridge and not in jars.
    I’ll be visiting more often looking for more tips, tricks and wonderful recipes like the spiced figs and pear. Looks soo good!

  24. 24

    yummy and creative!

  25. 25

    This kind of preserves are only available at specialty stores or you make it yourself… I really love the unique combination here. I’m too lazy to make it from scratch, but I have been hearing great things about preserves at home. One day I’ll have to try that on my own! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  26. 26

    I have a soft spot for figs too! This sounds wonderful & the addition of ginger is genius!!

  27. 27

    Gorgeous recipe! I’ve got to get my hands on some figs- so pretty!

  28. 28

    I always find myself scared of making jam until I do it and think “wow, that wasn’t so bad” I stick with the basics though, strawberry, blueberry, nothing mixed. I love the idea of making fig. I love the stuff! Looks delicious. I need to talk myself into this one.

  29. 29

    A yummy flavor combination!

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