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There’s nothing quite like fig jam. The sweet taste of ripe figs, combined with sugar and often a touch of lemon, makes for a delicious spread on bread, scones, or straight off the spoon. But what do you do when you can’t find fig jam at the store? Never fear; we’ve got you covered at The Substitute Foodie! Here are seven of the best fig jam substitutes that will work in a pinch.
What Are Figs?
Figs are known as fruit, but figs are technically not. Shocking right? It’s actually a syconium. Which means that tiny little flowers grow inward inside the fig. While other fruit blossoms outside.
The common fig is indigenous to an area extending from Asiatic Turkey to northern India, but natural seedlings grow in most Mediterranean countries; it is cultivated in warm climates. (source)
They have been cultivated since ancient times. Figs are a popular food in many cultures and can be eaten fresh, dried, and even canned. They are grown on a fig tree.
What Does Fig Jam Taste Like?
Fig jam is a popular preserve made from cooked figs and sugar. It has a sweet and intense flavor that is often compared to caramel. The texture of fig jam can vary depending on the type of figs used and how much sugar is added, but it is typically thick and spreadable. It has a rich and unique fig flavor.
Fig jam is commonly used as a condiment or spread, but it can also be enjoyed on its own. It pairs well with cheese, meats, and bread and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Whether you’re simply spreading it on toast or using it as a filling for cookies or pies, fig jam is a delicious way to add sweetness and depth of flavor to any dish.
Fig Jam Substitutes That Work
It’s important to look at your recipe and understand how the fig jam is being used and what is the most suitable replacement. For example, if you are making fig cookies where the jam is the star, you can’t really replace it with blueberry jam and have them be fig cookies. They are now blueberry cookies. Which would be delicious but not have the same flavor profile.
This is 100% ok if you, as the cook, are ok with a different flavor but just need a different jam. Any fruit jam can replace fig jam if you are just looking for a jam replacement. Some will pair better than others with the recipe you have in mind. But for now, let’s look at the closest we can get to a fig jam in flavor and texture!
If you have some dried figs on hand, rehydrate them in boiling water for about 10 minutes until they’re soft. Then mash them up or stick them in a blender. You can add a little sugar to taste.
You can also add a splash of lemon juice or another citrus if you’d like. I also like to add a bit of balsamic vinegar. It brightens the flavor of the fig beautifully.
This makeshift jam won’t have the same texture as store-bought fig jam, but the taste will be very similar. Also, it’s easier to have dried figs on hand in your pantry. When stored in low humidity, they can keep for 6 months, or if you are like me, you can freeze them for up to 18 months. This way, you will never be short on delicious figgy goodness.
If you’re lucky enough to have fresh figs, this is the time to put them to good use. Start by chopping them up and adding them to a saucepan with the sugar and a splash of water. Cook over low heat until the figs are soft and the mixture has thickened into a jam-like consistency. Add more sugar or water to taste. But please taste it as figs are really sweet naturally. You might not even need any sugar.
Date Jam or Dates
Date jam is a delicious alternative to fig jam that’s easy to find at most stores. It has a similar sweetness and can be used in all the same ways.
To make date jam at home, simply combine dates, sugar (optional), water, and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened. That’s it! If you would like an even simpler recipe, check out Aubrey’s Kitchen’s Date Jam Recipe.
This may not be your first choice when it comes to flavor, but prune jam actually makes an excellent substitute for fig jam. Plus, prunes are much easier to find than some of the other options listed.
To top it off, prune jam is super simple to make. You can start by cooking dried pitted prunes (about 8 oz) with a cup of water until they’re soft. This usually takes about 20 minutes. Then mash them up or blend them until smooth. This option won’t be as sweet as the others on this list, but it will still get the job done, and prunes are pretty tasty.
When You Need A Jam To Replace Fig Jam
Let’s say you are doing a baked brie, and you are out of your favorite fig jam. No worries; many other fruit jams can be used as an alternative to fig jam.
*This will also work in many other recipes where you need sweetness, and a sticky texture and fig flavor aren’t a deal breaker. Really you can use any fruit jam you have on hand, even if you got some off-the-wall yet super yummy flavored ones like pineapple apricot, quince, mulberry, and more. But here are some common jams that tend to be interchangeable with fig jam.
Apricot jam works well in many recipes, both savory and sweet, making it similar to fig jam’s applications in recipes. Another huge plus is that apricot jam is extremely easy to find at the grocery store. You should be able to use this jam in the same measurement as your recipe calls for fig jam.
Blueberry jam is also easy to find and has a lot of the same properties as fig jam. It’s sweet and sticky and can hold its own in both sweet and savory dishes. The only downside to using blueberry jam is that it will change the color of your dish. But if that doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and give it a try.
Cherry jam is another easy-to-find alternative that will work in many recipes. For example, if the fig jam recipe involves cheese, cherry can be a great sub. It has a sweetness that is similar to figs and can be used as a 1:1 replacement. Just like with blueberry jam, using cherry jam will change the color of your dish, so keep that in mind.
Final Thoughts on Alternatives to Fig Jam
There’s nothing quite like fig jam, but sometimes it can be tough to find at the store. If you find yourself in need of a substitute, try one of these four options: dried figs, fresh figs, date jam, or prune jam. With a little bit of creativity and reconstituting, you can create a delicious fig jam substitute that will work perfectly in any recipe. And in the future, I encouraged you to grab some dried figs. They last for a long time, and you will always have them on hand.
If you need some jam goodness, I hope my suggestion was helpful, and you were able to find that perfect substitute for fig jam. Happy Cooking!