Today, my mom and I have teamed up to tell you how to make the best old-fashioned strawberry fig preserves easy recipe. It’s a tradition we at First Day of Home hope you’ll enjoy sharing with your friends and family all summer long!
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Notes About Fig Preserves Recipe
One of my favorite childhood memories is picking fresh fruit in the summer. Sometimes I’d eat the fruit “paleo” style, but true summer bliss came when Mom made fresh strawberry fig jam.
The photo below comes straight from the tree in my mother’s backyard. There’s nothing like pulling these fresh figs straight from the tree and turning them into gooey jam.
Here are the most important tips to making old fashioned fig jam that lasts:
- Always sterilize your mason jars before canning.
- After canning, make sure the lids of the mason jars are indented, not raised. This means you have a full seal and can store the jam without having to refrigerate (until opened).
- Don’t skip the lemon juice! It’s needed to help the preserves “set” and also to prevent bacteria from forming.
How long do fresh fig preserves last?
I always like to write the date on my fig preserves so I won’t forget when to toss them out. Here are some good guidelines on how long to keep your preserves:
- Homemade jam will last 6 months to 1.5 years if sealed properly.
- After opening the jar, the preserves will keep 6 months to 1 year.
Ingredients for Fig Preserves Recipe
This recipe for fig preserves uses only four simple ingredients and four (8-ounce) mason jars per batch.
- 3 cups of fresh figs (about 40 figs, washed with stems removed)
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 boxes of strawberry gelatin (3 ounces per box, Jell-o or another brand)
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice*
*This is an update from 1 tbsp recommended before.
For best results, my mom recommends making only one batch at a time. And I highly recommend taking my mom’s advice when it comes to cooking!
Bonus Free Printable Labels!
As a bonus, I’m now offering free printable labels to decorate your homemade fig preserves. These fit a standard 8-ounce mason jar.
See the end of the post for details…
Steps for Cooking Figs and Canning
1. Prepare jars for canning
Before cooking your small-batch fig preserves, you’ll need to heat the glass mason jars in the oven at 300 degrees to sterilize them. Then, place the lids in a pot with shallow water, and warm them on the stove at medium heat.
Once you have heated the lids for about 10 minutes, remove them from the hot water and place them on a clean towel.
2. While the jars and lids are heating, prepare the figs
In accordance with the latest USDA home canning guidelines, I now recommend placing the figs (with stems and peels) in boiling water for 2 minutes before proceeding.
You can read the full USDA guidelines here.
Once the figs are drained, you can remove the stems and cut off any bruised pieces. Then begin mashing the figs.
When mashing your figs, leave a few small- or medium-sized pieces if you desire a thicker texture. Nothing is better than a PB&J with some chunks of fig preserves in the mix!
3. Add all ingredients to mashed figs
My kids love spending time at grandma’s house, partly because there’s always something good cooking in the kitchen. My little helper added the strawberry Jell-o and other ingredients into our fig preserves mixture for us.
Don’t Skip the Lemon Juice!
Since the pH of figs is in the low acid range, lemon juice is needed to “acidify” home-canned figs. This makes them safe for consumption.
4. Place preserves on the stove and bring to a boil
At low heat, cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.
5. Pour preserves into mason jars
Remove the heated mason jars from the oven, and use canning tongs or an oven mitt to handle the warmed jars.
When canning fig preserves, use a kitchen funnel. The shape fits perfectly into the hot sterilized jars and leads to minimum spillage.
You’ll want to wipe the rims if the preserves do spill over the edge. I usually can’t resist the urge to steal some finger-licking goodness in the process.
6. Seal the mason jars
After filling the jars and replacing the lids (finger-tight only), flip the jars over to set for about 5 minutes. Once the jars are set, flip them right-side-up again. You’ll know the jars are sealed when the tops of the jars have an indented lid.
Luckily, the strawberry fig preserves do not need refrigeration as long as the lids are sealed properly. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1-2 years, and always refrigerate after opening. Your preserves will last 6-12 months in the refrigerator after opening.
If your lids did NOT seal properly, have no fear! Just refrigerate the preserves immediately.
Free Mason Jar Labels
I’m now offering free printable labels for your 8-ounce mason jars!
E-mail subscribers: You can find these printables in the VIP Members-Only Library using the password in your most recent e-mail.
If you are not currently a subscriber but would like to receive the printable labels and all other freebies, you can sign up below:
Enjoying your homemade fig preserves recipe
Now that you know how to make fig preserves with fresh figs, you’ll have loads of jars to give away to friends and neighbors.
Try dressing up your mason jars with some simple fabric and ribbon, and print off my free recipe card template to share the love!
Pin it for later!
How to Make Fig Preserves
- 3 cups figs (washed, about 40 figs)
- 2 cups Sugar
- 6 ounces Strawberry-flavored gelatin (2 boxes, 3 ounces per box)
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- Place glass mason jars (without lids) in an oven-safe cake pan to heat at 300 degrees.
- Heat mason jar lids in a pan on the stove at low heat (not boiling).
- Place the figs (with stems and peels) in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then drain, remove stems and any bruised ends of the figs. Gently mash figs and transfer to soup pot. There is no need to remove skins.
- Add lemon juice, sugar, and gelatin mix to mashed figs.
- Bring mixture to a boil on the stove, and boil gently 15 – 18 minutes until thickened. Remove the preserves, mason jars, and lids from heat. Gently dry lids.
- Pour preserves mixture into hot jars and wipe any excess around the rim of jar before sealing with lids (finger tight only).
- Turn jars over to rest for 5 minutes. Then, flip the jars right side up again. The mason jars are sealed when the center of the lid is indented.
Thanks for visiting!