Black fig jam


Preparation info

  • Makes

    2 Jars

    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      45 min

Appears in



By Alice Hart

Published 2018

  • About

I find it more effective to make smaller quantities of really special conserves than endless pots of everyday jams that sit sullenly at the back of the cupboard for months. This black fig jam is intensely rich and it’s the perfect foil for cheeses, crisp crackers or perhaps with little blue cheese tarts warm from the oven.


  • 800 g (1 lb12 oz) ripe black figs, halved
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 300 g (10½ oz) golden caster (superfine) sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon


    Stir the figs, fennel seeds and sugar together in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 4 hours or chill overnight.

    Tip the fig mixture into a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Once the mixture has come to the boil, scoop out the figs with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Increase the heat and simmer the syrup briskly until it reaches the ‘hard ball stage’ at around 120°C (235°F/Gas ½). If you don’t have a thermometer, scoop a tiny amount of syrup out with a teaspoon and drop into a cup of cold water; it should form a hard ball when ready.

    Return the figs to the syrup and continue to simmer for about 25 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally to break up the fruit. Stir in the lemon juice.

    Pour the jam into sterilised jars and keep in a cool, dark place.