Southern Fig Preserves

Spring is here. And that means all sorts of good things from the garden, and the market. Fresh veggies. Artichokes (some of my favorite things) Fresh Fruits straight from the tree. Figs!  I love figs, fresh, dried (I used them in cookies and cakes) and fig preserves. This Southern Fig Preserves recipe has been in my recipe box for forever, and though I can’t remember where it came from  exactly, I remember the first taste of these like it was yesterday.  I’m sure you’ll love these as much as I do!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Southern Fig Preserves

Simple and Delicious


  • 8 cups small firm but ripe figs
  • 2 cups unrefined sugar
  • 1- inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and diced
  • 1 small lemon thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 additional lemon
  • 1 cup of water


  • In a wide, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot, layer the figs with the lemon slices, sugar, sliced ginger, and lemon juice.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • The next day, add the cup of water and cover the pot with a lid .
  • Bring the fig mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the figs down to low and slow cook covered for 1 hour. (watch carefully)
  • After the figs have cooked covered for 1 hour, vent the lid and cook for another 1/2 hour with the lid vented. ( or until the figs are translucent and the syrup has thickened.)
  • Transfer the fig mixture(with the lemon and ginger) to sterilized jars and refrigerate
  • or process for 5 minutes in a water-bath canner to store on the shelf.


This makes 4 to 6 pint jars. Leave the lemon and ginger in the mixture when you load up your jars. They will add flavor as time goes and have a wonderful ‘candied’ flavor.

Serve  with warm biscuits and butter.

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  • Christine Buffaloe April 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I have the most prolific fig tree ever!!! I make fig jam every year, I freeze them, dry them, bake with them….the list is endless.
    I finally give up towards the end of the season as I just don’t have anywhere else to go with them. Freezer is full….

    New and fresh ideas would be great!


  • Sandra July 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. I picked figs today and thought a little ginger might be good in fig preserves, but I was afraid to mess the preserves up because I’d never heard of adding ginger. I just came across your recipe which has, yes, ginger. Yea! Thanks again; I’m going to give it a try.

  • Jeff August 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    5 stars
    Have never canned anything in my life but a good friend gave us a bunch of fresh figs and I decided to give this a try. Love this recipe. Cut the sugar in half, doubled the ginger and was a bit more generous on the lemon. Just finished the whole process and am loving the flavor of what I put together here. Can’t wait to share with friends and to enjoy all year long.

    • Debbie Lawrence October 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      I do hope you’ll come back by and let me know how much you love it!

  • Roland September 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    5 stars
    WOW GREAT- made this about 3 weeks ago, opened it today. Wonderful flavors, hint of ginger some lemon and the wonderfulness of the figs. We all love it!

    • Debbie Lawrence October 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      so glad!

  • Melanie October 15, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I loved the results from this recipe so much that I just HAD to leave a comment. :) I think our fig tree is nearing the end of its harvest and I was getting a bit tired of picking so many figs. However, this recipe made 7 half pints and I feel like that might not be enough to last me through the year – I think I will have to go scouring our fig tree again!! Thanks so much for the fabulous recipe!

    • Melanie October 15, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Oh, I also forgot to write – I think my syrup thickened but it did seem to make more than the called for quantity (even after cooking vented for 45 minutes). I did the cold-plate test and it never really set to the soft wrinkle stage. Should I have cooked it longer? Thanks for the help!

  • cindy August 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    How long will the preserves last in the refrigerator?

    • Debbie August 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

      once opened you should use them within 7 days.

  • Kat at Low Carb Dessert Recipes September 21, 2014 at 1:47 am

    I can’t wait to try this out as a “sauce” for fruit pizza, stirred into yogurt, as a spread in between cake layers …

  • Claudia August 31, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Do you peel the figs? And lemon peels stay in as well?

    • Debbie September 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

      no peeling. And yes the lemon peel stays in.