Fig and vanilla conserve

Fig and vanilla conserve

The Produce Companion
500 ml
Jeremy Simons


Quantity Ingredient
1kg figs, halved, (see Cook’s note)
690g caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced, (skin, pith and seeds reserved)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped


  1. Put a layer of figs into a bowl or dish and sprinkle with some of the sugar. Top with another layer of figs and sugar. Repeat until all the figs and sugar have been used, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The sugar will extract juice from the figs.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and add the lemon juice and vanilla seeds.
  3. Place the lemon skins, pith and seeds on a piece of muslin. Bring in the corners of the muslin and tie with a long piece of kitchen string to make a bag. Tie to the handle of the saucepan, allowing the bag to drop into the fig mixture.
  4. Bring to the boil and cook for 20–30 minutes, skimming foam from the surface as necessary, until the conserve is at setting point. This can be tested by putting a teaspoon of the conserve onto a chilled plate; the conserve should appear firm with a wrinkle on the surface once it cools.
  5. Discard the muslin bag, ladle the hot conserve into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Refrigerate after opening.

Cook’s note

  • Some figs have thick skins, which can be peeled. To do this, hold a fig in one hand and insert a small paring knife under the skin at the top of the fig. Peel the skin away in strips, taking care not to remove too much of the soft, sweet flesh.
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