Any recipe that allows me to utilize what we grow and harvest from our urban homestead is always a favorite. This recipe allows me to use our honey, lemons, and thyme. Eventually, we'll have fig trees that we can harvest the figs from. Since there are only two of us this small-batch fig jam recipe is perfect.
Preserves, Jelly, Or Jam
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between preserves, jelly, or jam? The difference between jelly, jam, and preserves is how many whole or partial pieces of fruit remain in the final product. Jelly has the smoothest consistency. Jelly is made by crushing fruit and discarding the solid chunky leftovers. The juice from the fruit is what remains. The juice is then mixed with pectin and heated to form the spread. Jam is made by crushing the fruit. In Jam, most of the solid pieces of the fruit’s fibers and seeds (if they’re small enough and safe to consume) are left in. Preserves use the largest portion of the fruit and are simply chopped into smaller pieces of fruit that are mixed with sugar to keep them fresh and combined with syrup or jam to contain them.
- 2 lemons or 1 cup of bottled lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 pounds ripe fresh Figs, stemmed and quartered
- For a very thick jam simmer for the full 50 minutes. For a looser jam, simmer for 40 minutes.
- Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove strips of rind from lemon, Do not include the white pith as you peel the strips. The white pith is very bitter and will ruin the flavor.
- Place lemon rind strips and all other ingredients into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Bring contents in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 40-50 minutes depending on the consistency you want, continuing to stir frequently so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Discard thyme stems and lemon peel. Pulse jam with an immersion blender to chop up the fig skins.
- Pour into two 8-ounce jelly jars. Keep refrigerated for up to one month.
Be sure to give our black jelly recipe a try too.
Water Bath Canning the Small-Batch Fig Jam Recipe
This jam may also be canned in sterilized jars using the water bath method. If you are not familiar with water bath canning read the following article.
- Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles.
- Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight.
- Place jar in boiling water canner.
- Next, process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes.
- Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when the center is pressed.