pickles & preserves

Portuguese fig jam

Fresh Jam from Portuguese Figs

When we lived in London, we didn’t get on particularly well with our neighbours. Every knock at the door seemed to result in a dispute over a car parking space or some similarly mundane hassle. One of our neighbours was also strangely obsessed with calling in tree surgeons at every opportunity and messing with our garden.

We love our neighbours here in Portugal, always greeting us with a smile, and patient with our faltering Portuguese. We also seem to have set up a wonderfully traditional ritual of swapping food, from cakes and biscuits to whatever produce our respective families have a glut of.


Fresh Jam from Portuguese Figs

This week, the knock at the door brought us a mountain of fresh figs, sweet and delicious, but far too many to eat fresh, so my wife grabbed some jam sugar and got to work, with delicious results. Read on for details of the simple method she used to make it.

This was my first ever attempt at making jam, and with the exception of the Kilner jar that I broke whilst sterilising it, the result was a triumph.

I used 2:1 jam sugar which includes pectin (to set the jam).


Ingredients – 1 kg ripe figs, 1 500g pack of 2:1 jam sugar

Fig Jam

Fig Jam

1. Peel the figs and cut them into small pieces.
2. Put the figs into a pan with the jam sugar.
3. Turn on the heat and bring the pan to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Continue boiling for 3 minutes, still stirring all the time.
5. Turn off the heat and tip the jam into sterilised, pre-heated Kilner jars.
6. Cover the jam in each jar with a small disk of baking parchment cut to size.
7. Seal the jars and allow them to cool.

As with all jams, it will need to be refrigerated after opening and used within a few weeks.

It was wonderful to be able to repay our neighbours kindness by presenting them with some of their figs back, in jam form!