Vanilla Fig Preserves are one of the most unique preserves recipes, and one of my favorites. They’re made with whole vanilla beans and figs, fresh from the tree. It’s divine on things like toast and crackers, as well as grilled meats and poultry. Everyone will love it!Don’t you think 7 AM on a Sunday is way too early to be awake? Let alone to be cooking?
My boys’ 4-year-old cousin had spent the night, and at 6:30 AM she came into my room and whispered in my ear, “Um, Valentina, can we make the pancakes now?” Actually, that was her second question. First she wanted to know if I could paint her nails. Really!
She’s quite cute and charming, so of course, I got right up, and the day began somewhat wildly with Buckwheat Banana Pancakes.Later the day became peaceful while I made this incredible recipe for Vanilla Fig Preserves. The fresh green figs were so beautiful, and the vanilla was so aromatic — I knew it would be lovely. And it was.
And the house smelled wonderful, to boot!
I love making unique preserves recipes — those that I normally wouldn’t easily find on the shelf at my local market.
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.) 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.
Fig preserves are sweet and delicious — and they become quite sophisticated when infused with the vanilla.
Vanilla Fig Preserves will make for a lovely, low stress appetizer for your weekend brunch — on a cracker with cheese would be delightful. I’d chose brie or goat cheese — maybe with a touch of fresh herbs.
Unique preserves recipes like this one are super tasty spread on a toast, with a little melted butter, for breakfast to have with your coffee. And you can spread the preserves on toast for a snack while you’re working on something else in the kitchen . . . like Lavender Rosemary Grilled Rib-Eye Steak for dinner. (Yum!)
I’m building up to a super yummy, weekend brunch menu this week — these vanilla fig preserves are just the beginning!
Made with whole vanilla beans and figs, fresh from the tree, these preserves are divine on things like toast and crackers, as well as grilled meats and poultry. Everyone will love it!
*Makes 1 cup
Wash the figs, cut them in half, and place them in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the water, vanilla extract, balsamic vinegar and sugar.
Then use a paring knife to slice open the vanilla pod horizontally. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan and add the emptied pod as well.
Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the mixture becomes very soft and thick, about 35 to 45 minutes. 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.