This Fig Preserves Recipe with Vanilla is made with whole vanilla beans and fresh figs. It's fantastic on toast, scones and crackers, as well as grilled meats and poultry.
This unique fig preserves recipe is absolutely delicious -- even non fig lovers love it!
This is an especially excellent recipe to have on hand towards the end of fig season when you might have an abundance of fresh figs (or maybe your neighbors do). 😉
It's great to have at the ready as it's delicious serves with so many foods.
I love creating recipes for things that are typically not available or easily found at the grocery store.
What fig varieties can you use?
The preserves pictured here are made with Brown Turkey figs, but you can use any variety you like.
The following fig types will all work well:
- Black Mission
- Brown Turkey
What's the Difference Between Preserves and Jams
- Generally both jams and preserves have a 50:50 ratio of sugar to fruit.
- Jams are a mixture made of crushed fruit and sugar, cooked together -- with or without the addition of pectin. (Pectin is a soluble gelatinous polysaccharide that's naturally present in ripe fruits -- it's used as a thickening agent.) The amount of pectin added (or not added), depends on the pectin content of the fruit.
- Preserves, also a mixture of fruit and sugar, are cooked the same way as jams -- the difference is that the fruit in preserves is usually cut into chunks or in some cases left whole. I love the chunks of figs in this fig preserves recipe as much as the apricot chunks in my Basil Apricot Preserves!
This Fig Preserves recipe is sweet and delicious -- and quite sophisticated when infused with the vanilla beans.
How to Make Fig Preserves
- Wash the figs and add them to a medium-sized sauce pot.
- Use a paring knife to slice open a vanilla pod. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan with the emptied pod.
- Add the water, vinegar and sugar and cook until it's soft and thick.
- Remove the vanilla pods and let it cool to room temperature.
- Store in an air tight jar or container, where it will keep for a few weeks.
How to Serve it
- Fig Preserves (with or without vanilla), make for a lovely, low stress appetizer for your weekend brunch. Spread it on a cracker with goat cheese or brie, maybe with a touch of fresh herbs.
- Try it spread on toast, scones or muffins with a little melted butter, for breakfast to have with your coffee.
- It is also delicious with savory foods like chicken, duck or pork.
- And how about a dollop on your ice cream!?
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- As I said, you can use any variety of fig you like.
- If you don't have vanilla pods, you can substitute with two teaspoons of vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
- When cooking the fruit, a little more than mid-way through, you break it into smaller pieces with a wooden or spoon. "Mash" it as little or as much as you'd like, depending on how chunky you want the preserves to be. You can also cut them in half beforehand to make this step a bit easier.
- If you find yourself with tons of figs, make as much of the preserves as you can at once. Here is a guide to Sterilizing Jars for Preserves.
I hope you enjoy this Fig Preserves Recipe with Vanilla as much I do.
More recipes with figs:
- Upside Down Fresh Fig Coffee Cake
- Port Glazed Figs with Manchego and Prosciutto
- Fig Cake with Orange and Brown Sugar Glaze
Fig Preserves with Vanilla
- 1 large (about 7 inch) vanilla pod
- 1 pound figs, ripe but not too soft (Kadota, Brown Turkey, Mission, or another variety you like )
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Add figs, water and vanilla to a pot. Wash the figs and place them in a medium-sized sauce pot. Add the water, balsamic vinegar and sugar.
- Add the vanilla. Use a paring knife to vertically slice open the vanilla pod. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan and add the emptied pod as well.
- Cook. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the mixture becomes very soft and thick, about 45 minutes. (About 30 minutes in, use a wooden spatula or a spoon to gently break the figs into smaller pieces.) Remove the vanilla pods and let it cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight jar or container, where it will keep for a few weeks.