Cardamom Fig Jam

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

cardamom fig jam in a small jar with cheese

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.

fresh figs for cardamom fig jam
I used black Mission figs, but you might find green, brown, or yellow ones as well.

There are a few different varieties of figs, and you can use any one of them for this jam. The 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.

figs for cardamom fig jam

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 in a mason jar

Cardamom Fig Jam with blue cheese

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.

cardamom fig jam with yogurt

Reader Rave ~

“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?)”  ~ Vijay

3.74 from 19 votes

Cardamom Fig Jam

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!
Course Appetizer, Jam
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Author Sue Moran


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


  • 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.
  • Toast the seeds over medium heat for just a couple of minutes until you can smell their aroma.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Let cool and then put in a jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and eat within the month.
SHARE BY TEXT! The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Don’t forget to pin this Cardamom Fig Jam!

cardamom fig jam pin


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    If I don’t have pomegranate molasses, should regular molasses be substituted one for one?

  • Reply
    August 31, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Can you freeze this jam?

    • Reply
      September 1, 2020 at 4:20 am

      Yes it will freeze nicely.

  • Reply
    Lisa Manuel
    August 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hello, just received a box of green figs. Can I use frozen figs for this recipe? I am not quite prepared to dive in yet and I know the figs won’t last.

    • Reply
      August 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Yes, frozen will work fine.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2020 at 6:03 am

    3 stars
    A lovely flavour, but i found there was way too much liquid. It seemed rather a waste of expensive spirit to use so much and then spend an hour trying to evaporate it.

    • Reply
      August 12, 2020 at 6:25 am

      Remember the flavor will just concentrate down when the water evaporates, you won’t lose it! And figs can differ as to their moisture content, so you can continue to cook it to thicken further.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Can this be frozen?

    • Reply
      August 24, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Yes, it will freeze well.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I love cardamom so I made a batch of this fig jam last night. I used it for the filling in a batch of homemade fig newtons but had enough left over for my toast this morning. So good! I made the recipe just as published except about a third less sugar. Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Libby, I bet your homemade Newtons were amazing! Also good to know you can cut the sugar in this recipe.

  • Reply
    Jonathon Payne
    July 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Just made the jam today. I also user bourbon and regular molasses, I totally agree, it tastes just fine. I will definitely be making more of this! I think next time I will at least double the recipe, your original doesn`t make all that much.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Sue: You have just combined two of my favorite things.
    Figs and Cardamon.

    I have one question.
    How can I reduce the sugar without using sweeteners?

    I must tell you I love your blog.
    It is one of the few on my faithfuls list and you never cease to please.

    • Reply
      September 16, 2018 at 9:33 am

      You can certainly reduce the sugar, just add it to taste!

      • Reply
        September 16, 2018 at 6:21 pm

        Thanks Sue!
        Do I need to cook longer?

        • Reply
          September 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

          I wouldn’t think so, you’ll just cook it until it becomes thick, in any case.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    This is a very nice jam/chutney and the smells and taste are musky. I omitted the pom mellases and instead added a little more juice to be more fruity. Great recipe Sue, thank you! Will do this jam again and again as my fig tree is only 5 years old…..

    • Reply
      August 26, 2017 at 6:35 am

      This is an old recipe, Alexandra, but I can still remember the flavor well, and I also remember how surprised we were that we like it so much with our morning toast, almost as much as with a chunk of soft creamy Brie 🙂 I’m so envious of your fig tree, some of our neighbors have fig trees, but not close to the street where I can pick them :/

      • Reply
        August 26, 2017 at 10:37 am

        I wish I could send you some figs! Do not forget — fig tree branches are extremely flexible!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    This sounds amazing! Wondering if you fish out the cardamom pods and seeds or blend them right in with the immersion blender?

    • Reply
      May 2, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      I blend them right in, and if you’re keeping it somewhat chunky for texture, the blender won’t really pulverize the pods anyway. It’s a matter of personal taste, so do what you prefer.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    this sounds amazing. Question? If you use powdered Cardamon, how much do you use. I have powdered cardamon.

    • Reply
      April 29, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I’d do it by taste, Janis…and maybe start with 1/2 tsp.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    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

    • Reply
      August 26, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2015 at 6:49 am

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

  • Reply
    October 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

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

  • Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Haha, I’m so glad to hear you loved it!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

    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….

    • Reply
      September 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

      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.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

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

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 3:07 am

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

    • Reply
      September 18, 2013 at 6:33 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Vijay @ NoshOnIt
    September 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    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?)

    • Reply
      September 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

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

  • Reply
    George W. Tush
    August 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      August 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      It sounds heavenly!!

  • Reply
    lindsay | rosemarried
    August 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

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

    • Reply
      August 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Definitely, it can be canned just like any other jam or jelly.

  • Reply
    Jude- A Trifle Rushed
    August 17, 2013 at 8:59 am

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

    • Reply
      August 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

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

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Wow that looks great!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 16, 2013 at 9:12 am

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

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