Grab fresh figs when you see them to make this delicious Cardamom Fig Jam ~ it’s wonderful on toast and scones, in sandwiches, with cheese plates, swirled into yogurt or oatmeal ~ or just by the luscious spoonful!


Figs are one of the most delicate fruits out there; they don’t keep or travel well, and they are very sensitive to weather conditions.  They sometimes split open even before they can be harvested, and if you so much as touch a ripe fig you can bruise it, so they only make the briefest appearance in markets.  I like this thick garnet colored jam because it will let you keep savoring the figs long after they’ve disappeared from the produce section.   Spoon some on a nice blue or sharp cheddar cheese and you’ll be hooked.  If you  sterilize the jars you’d have an ideal holiday food gift.

There are a few different varieties of figs, and you can use any one of them for this jam.  I used black Mission figs, but you might find green, brown, or yellow ones as well.   These black figs surprised me with their intense berry flavor and aroma, and of course the stunning deep color of the jam, which is a result of the purple skin, is a bonus.


I made this with roasted cardamom pods for a background flavor that hints at the fig’s Middle Eastern roots.   Brown sugar, brandy, and a dash of pomegranate molasses are the only other elements.


Cardamom Fig Jam

Yield: about a pint


  • 1 lb figs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)


  1. Crush the cardamom pods lightly so they crack and the seeds are exposed. I do this with gentle pressure from the side of a rolling pin. Don't lose any of the precious seeds! Add them to a medium sized (3 qt) saucepan or small stockpot.
  2. Toast the seeds over medium heat for just a couple of minutes until you can smell their aroma.
  3. Rinse the figs and cut off the stems. Chop them coarsely and them to the pot. Add the lemon juice, sugar, brandy and molasses (if using). Stir to mix well and set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for about 35 to 40 minutes until thickened and glossy. Pay special attention to the jam during the second half of the cooking time to make sure it doesn't stick or scorch.
  5. You can leave the jam a little chunky, or use an immersion blender to blend it out at the end of cooking. Be careful not to splatter yourself with the hot jam.
  6. Let cool and then put in a jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and eat within the month.


I was all set to say that this isn’t a jam for your morning toast, but as soon as I took my first taste I realized that I was wrong.  It would be amazing with toast, biscuits, or bagels.   I will mostly use it as a savory ingredient, fig jams are great as a part of a cheese or charcuterie platter, or on sandwiches, etc.   But as it turns out, this  is a very versatile jam.



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21 Responses to Cardamom Fig Jam

  1. marwa says:

    this looks yummy. can’t wait to try. Do you leave the Cardamom in? doesn’t it leave a bitter after taste? I am curious

    • Sue says:

      I do leave them in and I love the taste. If you are concerned you could either just use the seeds, and leave the pods out, or use powdered cardamom.

  2. Amanda says:

    Omgosh. Figs just started overwhelming our markets. I have so many. Definitely making this soon! I bet it would be wonderful in figgy muffins :D

  3. Jen says:

    What is pomegranate molasses and where do I find it? I live in eastern Washington, I’ve never heard of it?

  4. I bought figs for some photography I was doing and, as I had about 5 minutes afterwards to either eat all dozen or figure out something to do with them I scrambled online to find a recipe. Hallelujah that I found yours! Just made this…..well sort of…..I only had about 10 left and I didn’t have a lemon, but had orange juice and a regular ol’ molasses had to stand in for the exceedingly intriguing pomegranate version….but hot damn! I am actually raiding my pantry and fridge to see if there is anything it ISN’T good on.

  5. Marianne says:

    I was wondering if you would have a recipe to make a maple filling for homemade maple filled chocolates..??? I have been asked to make some maple filled chocolates for a wedding and everything I try is not coming out to what I expect… I would like something in the form of your recipe for maple cream or butter… but more like a soft caramel…. If you could help me I would most appreciative of your help…Thank you in advance….

    • Sue says:

      Hey Marianne—I think that the maple cream would be great as a filling for chocolates, I think it has a good texture for that.

  6. Julie says:

    I’ve made a few fig jams, but this is definitely my favorite! Thanks for a great recipe.

  7. Yasmin says:

    Amazing photos! Must try making this this weekend. Does the jam set? I didn’t think figs had much pectin in them? x

    • Sue says:

      The jam got very thick, and I’m not sure if it was pectin or just that figs have a lot of body to them compared to other fruits. I’ll have to look it up, I remember wondering the same thing while I was making it. Enjoy!

  8. I was looking for a way to use up all of the figs I had and this was it! Have a batch cooling right now and it’s absolutely delicious. I didn’t have any brandy on hand so I used bourbon instead and it’s just as tasty. Looking forward to a glass of wine and some cheese with this later. (Oh, and can you believe its my first time making jam?)

    • Sue says:

      Yay! This is the most luscious stuff—have fun finding ways to devour it, and congrats on your first jam making adventure!

  9. George W. Tush says:

    This is high season for the fig tree in my Brooklyn backyard. From about August 15 to Labor Day, figs fall from the skies. I picked two pounds from the tree this morning and made this jam in the afternoon. What a delicious jam this recipe produced. I cooked it in a black cast iron dutch oven. As the figs cooked down, it was as beautiful to see as it would soon be to taste. Thank you!

  10. Do you know if this recipe could be canned? I would love to make a big batch for Christmas presents!

  11. What a stunning colour, I made a similar jam last year, fig and pomegranate, but I love the addition of cardamom, it sounds scrumptious!

    • Sue says:

      I was delighted by the color! I was actually thinking of doing a fig and pomegranate at first, I’d love to try that.

  12. Monique says:

    Wow that looks great!

  13. I will look for figs again this weekend – I want some of your beautiful jam! Have a lovely weekend Sue.

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