I was very excited last week when I snagged perfectly ripe figs to make fig and caramelized onion jam! I’ve made six batches of jams and jellies this season, but I couldn’t resist making one more! Rows of neatly stacked jelly jars filled with their jewel-like contents are gorgeous to behold!

My mom’s basic recipe was perfect, but I had a particular flavor in mind, and the end product tastes as good as I imagined. The black pepper, vanilla, and ground fennel seed can all be left out, and you’ll have her basic recipe. You can even leave out the balsamic glaze, but seriously, don’t. It takes figs to a whole other level, and I can tell you they are pleased with the promotion!


¼ cup butter

1 large chopped (red or white) onion

1 medium chopped onion

4 cups chopped ripe figs

2 Tbs balsamic glaze

2 Tbs Organic brown sugar

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

2 tsp real vanilla

1 tsp ground fennel seeds


Over medium heat, melt butter in a Maslin pan, or similar pan. Add chopped onions and reduce heat to low. Occasionally scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan as you stir the onions. Cook until they are soft and golden brown, about 25 mins.

Remove stems and add the figs. Don’t worry about the skins; they meld right into the mixture. I use my immersion blender to make a less chunky jam, but that’s up to you what you want for texture. Cook about 15 mins. Stir in the balsamic glaze. Some recipes call for balsamic vinegar, but I use Trader Joe’s glaze. I think it has a sturdier flavor with a hint of mint. Cook another 10 mins. Watch for a trail in its wake as you pull your spoon across the bottom of the pain, or take the mixture’s temperature with a jelly thermometer until it reads 220 degrees F. The bubbles should be slowing. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, vanilla, pepper, salt, and fennel. It will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator or jar it and process for 10 mins in a hot water bath to keep up to 18 months.

This method makes a thick, gourmet style jam. It’s great on bruschetta or with bleu cheese on Trader Joe’s fig and olive crackers. Try a dollop on a burger! Warm a few ounces and dilute with a little water or white wine to make a pork glaze. Or eat it right out of the jar!

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