Last month I discovered a lone fig tree growing in a field near my house. All the branches were bursting with big, beautiful figs. Can you just picture the happy dance that I did?
Wait. Don’t do that. That would be embarrassing for me. Let’s just agree that I was pretty excited about these figs and forget all about the awkward dancing that occurred.
While waiting for the figs to ripen, I spent hours dreaming up all kinds of delectable fig-based recipes. But as luck would have it, the squirrels and birds were also dreaming. And eating. So in the end, I only ended up with about two bags of figs. Not nearly the amount I had pictured in my head. So I had to make some careful choices to determine the best way to use up my precious supply. So obviously, I combined them with bacon. Best choice ever.
I don’t even know if I can describe how good this Fig-Bacon Jam is. Mostly because I’m shoving it in my face and my mom always told me not to talk with food in my mouth. It’s savory, sweet and very complex. It pushes all the right buttons for me: bacon, bourbon, coffee, maple syrup. I can’t even. And you can actually tastes the figs here. I was worried that the bacon would just overpower them, but they really hold their own.
My favorite way to eat this is simply with some sharp cheddar cheese and crackers. But put this on a grilled cheese, a burger or a grilled chicken and mushroom sandwich and you have yourself something totally drool-worthy. Or if you can stand to part with some of this Fig-Bacon Jam, a jar makes a great gift.
You can make this recipe with fresh or dried figs, but the instructions are slightly different so just make sure to read through the recipe before starting.
- 1 lb figs (fresh or dried)
- 1 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- If you are using dried figs, remove and discard any woody stems then cut the figs in half. Place them in a medium bowl. Add the bourbon, brewed coffee and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let the figs soak for about 1 hour.
- If you are using fresh figs, you can skip this soaking step (you will be adding the bourbon and coffee directly to the pot in the steps below). Remove and discard the stems, cut the figs in half and set aside.
- Heat a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until the bacon is done and slightly browned, but not crispy. You can do this in batches if necessary. Remove the bacon from the pot and transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate. Pour off some of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot with the reserved bacon grease and sauté until the onions are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the figs and all the remaining ingredients, including the cooked bacon. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally during this time. The jam is done when most of the liquid has evaporated and it has darkened in color.
- Remove the pot from the stove and allow the jam to cool slightly. Then transfer the jam to your food processor with the blade attachment and process it until the desired consistency is reached (I like my jam to have a little bit of texture).
- Transfer the jam to airtight containers and store in your refrigerator. The jam will keep for approximately 2 weeks.
Thank you for accepting the Bacon Challenge Liz! A truly amazing jam, and I was completely thrown off because it is a jam! Love it for breakfast, or in a Puff-Pastry Brie with mixed nuts and Your jam in the middle… talk about flavor!
Glad you are enjoying it, Elliot. We had it last night on a grilled cheese – YUM!
Mmm, it looks delicious 🙂 Im gonna try this, love your blog.
Thanks Mary! I love this savory jam. It’s good on so many things!
I’d love to make this. Is there a way to can it? I guess it’d need to be pressure canned? Thanks
Hi Andrea! I haven’t tried preserving it. But yeah, pressure canning would be my guess for the best method. Let me know if you try it and what works! I would love to hear about it!
If you use fresh figs do you leave out the bourbon and coffee or use a different amount???
Hi Eileen. Sorry if it was unclear. You add all the liquid in both cases, but if you’re using dried figs you just soak them first. So yes, use coffee and bourbon with either fresh or dried. I’m going to edit the instructions now to make it more clear!
I want to slather this on my face!!! Holy moly!
Ha! You crack me up, girl! XO
Can you use brandy instead of bourbon?
Hi Lisa! I haven’t tried it with brandy, but I’m fairly confident that it will work out.
This is sooooo good, it’s cooling down right now ….waiting to go In the food processor….this is going on my leftover turkey sandwich after thanksgiving
William sanoma discountinued a similar spread….I’m so glad I found this.
Yeah! So glad you love it, Lisa! And putting this on leftover turkey sandwiches sounds amazing!
Have you had any success freezing this recipe?
I have not tried freezing it. Sorry I can’t give any advice on that. If you try it out, I’d love to hear the results!
Hi Liz! I am making your bacon fig jam. I am very excited to have found your recipe. I first had bacon fig jam at our favorite brewery and have be dying to make my own ever since. I noticed that someone asked about canning it and I found a website with some good information I thought you might want to share.
So glad you’re trying it, April! And thanks for the link to the canning tips!
My husband and I made the jam yesterday we did 4Xs the recipe for gifts, We also pressure cooker it. Turned out fantastic even my 14 year old son Zach. loved it on his burger! Thank you Liz.
Oh that’s awesome! Hooray!
I’ve just made a batch with dried figs and Altho the flavor is great isn’t very jammy (bit on dry side). Could I perhaps make it more jam like with some more bourbon/coffee/vingegar cooked and poured on?
You can try adding small amounts of liquid at a time and tasting it as you go. I have not had this problem, so I can’t suggest an exact amount to add.
LOVE this recipe! Served with a cheese plate and got rave reviews! Since then, the recipe making a nice amount, we have given a jar as a gift (they also raved), eaten it on toast, on apple slices, on crackers… it’s amazing stuff!
Oooo all that sounds so good! Glad you tried it!