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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Cardamom Fig Jam
- 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.
Don’t forget to pin this Cardamom Fig Jam!
Questions and Reviews
Can this be frozen?
Yes, it will freeze well.
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!
Thanks Libby, I bet your homemade Newtons were amazing! Also good to know you can cut the sugar in this recipe.
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.
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.
You can certainly reduce the sugar, just add it to taste!
Do I need to cook longer?
I wouldn’t think so, you’ll just cook it until it becomes thick, in any case.
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…..
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 :/
I wish I could send you some figs! Do not forget — fig tree branches are extremely flexible!
This sounds amazing! Wondering if you fish out the cardamom pods and seeds or blend them right in with the immersion blender?
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.
this sounds amazing. Question? If you use powdered Cardamon, how much do you use. I have powdered cardamon.
I’d do it by taste, Janis…and maybe start with 1/2 tsp.
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
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.
Omgosh. Figs just started overwhelming our markets. I have so many. Definitely making this soon! I bet it would be wonderful in figgy muffins 😀
What is pomegranate molasses and where do I find it? I live in eastern Washington, I’ve never heard of it?
You’re in for a treat, Jen! It’s just reduced pomegranate juice, and it has the consistency of molasses, It’s a Middle Eastern condiment, and so you can find it in the International section of stores. It’s becoming much more commonplace these days. You can get it on online, of course, here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_qf_sp_sr_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=aps&keywords=pomegranate%20molasses&linkCode=as2&tag=thvifrthgris-20&linkId=YMRCALH63O5Z63SE
AND, I have a recipe for it on the blog, here:https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2012/12/minimal-monday-pomegranate-molasses.html