Brown Turkey “Figgy” Jam

Another creation from my Alabama mother-in-law’s backyard!  As always, my eyes are bigger and badder than my stomach; therefore, I insisted on traveling home to Florida with the remaining bounty of my backyard farming.  (No surprise when I realized the life of these beauties was nearing an end.) 

I did the best thing I knew and made jam!  Images of fig jam creations danced thru my head: croissants, Greek yogurt parfaits, chicken marinates, pork belly glazes, salad dressings…etc. –  You get the idea!

Alabama Brown Turkey Figs- Roll Tide!!!!

Fresh figs are in season beginning in July in the south, and a bit later in the summer as you travel north.  Many people we ask have never tried a fresh fig, and only refer to the almighty “Newton” or a dried figs as something they’ve tried.  Well there is more to figs than the “Newton” – the flavor is night and day. A fresh ripe fig has the texture of a ripe peach, and a juicy sweetness.

This is another really easy recipe that will provide endless results.  The shelf-life is great, so no need to feel like you have to use it up right away.  It is also perfect for canning.  **Mental note to myself -must learn how to can soon!!

Figgy Jam

  • 2 ½ cups Fresh Brown Turkey Figs, quartered
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (depending how sweet your figs are you may adjust)
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup water (depending how plump and juicy your figs are you may adjust)

Figs cooking -Simmer slowly, let the sugars carmelize

This is super simple – just put the figs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugars into a heavy 2 quart pot and slowly simmer.  The sugars and juices from the figs will slowly release and start to caramelize.  My figs did not release enough juice so I helped it along, with a couple of tablespoons of water at a time.  When the figs had cooked down and a nice golden brown color appeared, I removed from the pot from the stove and ran the chunky jam thru a food processor, giving a smooth spread.  Allow it to cool and keep refrigerated for 3 months.

Cooked down figs- nice caramel color!!

Fig Jam! Spreads, sauces, marintates, dressings, and even homemade poptarts!!!!!!!

Happy cooking!!



Backyard Fig and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze

Fig Farmer!!  While we were in Alabama I became a farmer, yup- I went out in the morning and got myself some food from the yard, brought it into the table and ate.  It was awesome, fresh figs from the tree, blueberries from the bushes.  While blueberry cobblers were baking, I sat myself in front of a bowl of Brown Turkey Figs and had a feast.  As far as the chores of farming, I have to admit, I did not get a chance to participate, none the less, I did supply some tasty treats!

Brown Turkey Fig Tree! Endless Possibilities!

This Fig and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze made it to the rest of our meals, it was lovely on a Caprese sandwich, drizzled over grilled asparagus, and went perfectly on a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  I made it while the cobbler was going; it really is a “Set it and forget it” item.  Just prep it up, put it in the pot and let it simmer slowly.  Easy!  I am super fond of things that offer a long shelf life, time is limited in most of our lives, so I like to make things that don’t have to get used up within a week- This glaze is certain to be gone for it spoils –

Brown Turkey Figs- quartered with the tree stem removed.


Fig and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup fresh brown turkey figs, quartered
  • 1/3 vanilla bean, sliced open lengthwise (you can substitute ½ teaspoon vanilla extract if necessary)
  • 12 oz balsamic vinegar (I use inexpensive vinegar when I am playing with it, and save the good stuff when the balsamic will stand alone)

Figs, sliced vanilla bean and balsamic vinegar- this will simmer slowly into a delicious syrup

It’s super easy!! Place all the ingredients in a heavy 2 quart pot and let it simmer slowly.   Boiling it too rapidly will result in a burnt flavor, one that cannot be fixed.  The same burnt flavor will occur if you reduce it too far.  When the balsamic vinegar has reduced to about a quarter of what you started with you are in business.  Too test if it is thick enough, check to see if it is nappe, which is to “coat the back of a spoon”.  Just dip your spoon into the pot, if most of the glaze fall from the spoon, but the back is still coated ….You’re Winning!!!!

Strain the glaze- Apply some pressure with the back of a spoon to get the glaze, I don't mind if the seeds of the fig squeeze thru, it just makes it look more homemade 🙂

Strain the glaze and allow to cool- I reserved the balsamic figs as sundae toppers.  Keep the glaze refrigerated* for up to a year.

** I recommend refrigerating this because of what I added to it- a vinegar reduction with nothing added does not need to be refrigerated.

Fig and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze- perfect with fish, chicken, grilled vegetables and meats, cheeses, berries and ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream with Fig and Vanilla Glaze- here I used the balsamic figs I cooked in the vinegar

Fig and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze with Vanilla Ice Cream- Move over hot fudge, here something better!!!!

Bon Appetit Ya’ll!


Farmer Carroll