I know, right? Whiskey, plus bacon, plus glorious FIGS… who knew? From the fortuitous moment that I got three crates of fresh California Figs from the Food Bloggers Los Angeles’ Figology Fest, endless possibilities started running through my head.
Figs are such a versatile fruit, with so many varieties and complexities in flavor! Allow me to break down some of the different variations in relatable terms– through the language of wine, of course:
- Black Mission – The Cabernet of figs. Purple and black skin, with a deep, earthy flavor.
- Brown Turkey – The Pinot Noir of figs. Light purple to black skin, with a robust flavor.
- Calimyrna – The Chardonnay of figs. Yellow/pale green skin, with a buttery, nutty flavor.
Not only are figs varied in color and flavor, but they also boast a variety of health benefits. For example, the fig is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. Plus, they’re rich in antioxidants and fiber. What’s not to love?
Here are some fun facts… you know, just in case you’re ever on “Jeopardy” and “Figs” happens to be a category: Figs are in season for most of the year (from May through December), and wasps are the only pollinators of this unique fruit. Plus, did you know that 98% of the nation’s fresh figs are grown in California? Or that 100% of dried figs also hail from Cali? Just another reason to be proud of our stellar state! California Love, all the way.
The figfest was not only a great chance to catch up with the fab bloggers that comprise our fun-loving foodie group, but also an opportunity to explore the different ways that figs can enhance any given part of a meal. A variety of fresh figs starred in everything from drinks to savory dishes to desserts during our figgy soiree.
Created by two amazingly talented ladies, Erika (In Erika’s Kitchen) and Judy (Two Broads Abroad), here are some of the goodies they served up for summer “fig-spiration” (okay okay, last fig pun… for now!):
After tasting all this “fig-tastic” food (ha… couldn’t help myself!), we went home with an abundance of assorted figs. I really love a good sweet-savory combination, so I thought that a great way to prolong the life of these figs would be to turn a handful of them into a jam. A bacon and whiskey jam, to be exact.
The recipe I created also has a secret little kick– in the form of a dash (or two) of Sriracha!
For jams like this, I’m a big believer in improvisation and innovation with what you’ve got. So if you don’t have all these ingredients sitting in your pantry, don’t stress– you can always create your own flavor profile using the fig-bacon-whiskey base.
I just love the flavor and texture of using fresh figs here, but the other nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute dried figs if fresh ones aren’t in season. Big thanks once again to California Figs for the fig love!
So here it is… a little boozy, jammy, hint-of-savory goodness for you to enjoy in any way you can think of!
Whiskey Bacon Fig Jam
- 12 fresh figs (preferably Mission)
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup whiskey
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, brown the bacon. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat.
Add shallots and sauté until softened, over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients except lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, crumble the bacon and add it to the pot.
Reduce heat and partially cover the pot, while continuing to simmer. Stir occasionally until the mixture reduces to a thicker, syrup-like consistency.
Add lemon juice. Pour mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Final step: enjoy your boozy, bacon-y, figgy jam! It spreads wonderfully on crisp toast, adds a savory-sweet textural component to cool, creamy ice cream, and is great rolled into croissant dough and baked with a little mascarpone or Brie cheese. You can even glaze your chicken with it and bake it for dinner.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
This post was sponsored by California Figs. All opinions are my own.
All photos copyright © Tanaya’s Table.
I like figs…..so cannot wait to try the fig jam recipe. It looks delicious!
Thank you, Donna! Let me know what you think!
Wow sounds wonderful
Thanks, Paul! 🙂
I’m going to use your recipe for my leftover figs. Thanks for the great write up.
Glad to hear it, Judy! Looking forward to hearing how your jam turns out!
Sweet ans Savory. Yum. GREG
Thanks, Greg! I just had to incorporate a little salty bacon in there 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I recently failed my first attempt at fig jam so I will give this a try.
Oh no, what went wrong the first time? Hope you find success with this recipe. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
I recently stuffed green figs with feta, wrapped in prosciutto (http://unassaggio.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/al-fresco-living-green-figs-wrapped-in-prosciutto-with-feta/). The end result produced this amazing syrup which was really the flavor of the prosciutto as much as the figs. My husband loved it and thought I should make a fig jam. However I used a fairly basic recipe that didn’t have nearly the same flavor. I think your recipe will be much tastier. I’m going to try this weekend.
Wow, your prosciutto wrapped figs look so good! I hope the jam works out for you, and that you and your husband enjoy it!
The jam is so tasty! I used green figs not sure how that would have changed the flavor but we loved it. Thanks again!
What an action-packed recipe. Way to go girl!
Haha, thanks Cathy! 🙂
Whoa, first time I’m visiting your blog and I see this figgy post = yummy. That whisky fig/bacon jam is the bomb, I’m going to make it soon, now I just need to find figs in my neck of the woods which is tough!
Thanks Noel! The jam works great with dried figs too, which should hopefully be easier to find? I suppose you could also make it with a similar type of fruit, anything that would go well with bacon! 🙂 Let me know how it goes if you do get to try it!
I was wondering what to do with all the mission figs on my tree!!! Whoo hoo!!! Lots of jam!
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So glad! Hope you like the recipe… enjoy!
Can’t wait to try your recipe, have lots of figs and would like to can some of this jam. Just wondering if you have tried and do you think that would work
Hi there! It looks like my initial reply didn’t go through… apologies for that! Were you able to try the recipe? If so, I would love to know how it worked out for you. I hadn’t tried canning it before, so I wasn’t sure how it would keep. But I don’t think it would be a problem! Looking forward to hearing how it went for you, if you had a chance to try it! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂
How long will this keep in the fridge
Hi Barb, thanks for your question! I’ve kept mine for up to two weeks before with no problems, but it may last longer as well (I just haven’t tried for longer yet). If you decide to try the recipe, I would love to know how you like it! Cheers!