Fig jam

December 25, 2020  •  Category:

At the end of Summer in Lebanese villages, one could frequently see rows of figs drying in the sun on bamboo mats. Making this fig jam would eventually follow and jars of it would line-up the kitchen cupboard. This jam is not so much used the Western way like a topping  with butter and bread like any ordinary jam, but more on its own merit as a sweet pause in the afternoon or evening.  Eat it by the spoonful with a few pieces of walnuts. It has a fragrant and rich taste with the  addition of anise, toasted sesame seeds, walnuts, and ground mastic aka meskeh.



Fig jam

Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern December 25, 2020 Pantry, homemade jam, dried fig jam, fig, lebanesefood, pantry, preserves, jam,

12 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


1 lb dried figs, preferably light-colored figs

1 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar

Water, as needed (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

3/4 cup toasted walnuts

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp ground anise

4 or 5 mastic crystals, mashed-up in a mortar with a dash of sugar till powdery



  1. Using kitchen scissors, (or a good knife), cut-up the figs into small pieces and place them in a saucepan. Add the water to cover and the sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and stir a bit.
  2. Add the anise and stir a bit, add the walnuts and stir a bit; let the jam cook over a very slow simmer until a candy thermometer reads 220F or until the syrup has reduced sufficiently. This process may take an hour or longer. Add the sesame seeds and stir to mix, then add the mastic and stir to mix. Remove from the stove and pour into sterilized jars. Seal and keep in the fridge.

NOTE: How to know if the jam is ready? The best test is to place a small saucer in the fridge for a few minutes; test the consistency of the jam by pouring 1/4 teaspoon on the saucer. If it runs then it needs longer time on the stove; if it looks jellyed, then it is ready. It should not move and be somewhat congealed.

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10 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Hassan Saba says:

    Here, Here, Cheers to you!
    You always manage to touch our hearts with your beautiful prescriptions.

  2. Christiann says:

    My father was born in Lebanon and my mothers parents were born in Syria . Anytime any of her children or grandchildren didn’t like something that most Middle Eastern loved eating, my mother would jokingly say, “What kind of a Syrian are you ?!” So, I can hear my
    Mother right now when I say I don’t like gigs in any way, shape, or form! As a matter of fact today I was just looking at a family photo album and saw a picture of my college age sister who won scholarship to study in Lebanon. In the picture she was standing in front of a fig tree that was on my fathers property where he grew up.. I love the picture, I love the fig tree, but not figs!!

    • Joumana Accad says:

      @Christiann LOL. No worry, when my daughter announced she did not like olives, I was (inwardly) shocked (I adore olives). But like Gibran says, our children are separate individuals and should not be identified with us.. Thank you for sharing your story, am sure others will be able to relate!

  3. Albert Abdou says:

    Hi Joumana,
    I came across your recipe videos about a year ago. Your recipes are similar to the ones my Lebanese grandmother used to make for us as kids. Simple and full of flavor. I’d like to pass them along to my daughter in cookbook form.
    I live in Michigan in the United States and haven’t been able to find your cookbook for sale anywhere. Including on-line or a book store.
    Are you able to direct me to a website or other source to buy your cookbook?

    • Joumana Accad says:

      @Albert Abdou
      Hello Al, I am happy to hear you like my recipes! My aim has always been to try and recreate what my grandmother used to make for us year after year. Regarding the cookbook, the publisher without giving me advance notice, decided to quit reprinting it, so it is currently out , unless you can find a used copy online. I wish I had bought a few myself, so that I would be able to resell them. In any case, I am going to be searching for a new publisher and hopefully republish a better, improved version. Will keep you posted!

  4. Hola buenas noches saludos de México una pregunta Que es la masilla. Por favor. Saludos says:

    Muchas gracias por sus ricas recetas. 🇱🇧🙏🇲🇽

  5. Nowell says:

    Hi Joumana,

    I was wondering if you have the Nutrition Facts for the Fig and Walnut Jam.



  6. Joumana says:

    @Nowell I need to install a plug-in which computes that information, that will be my next add-on to the blog.
    Unfortunately, I have no idea how many calories are involved and where they’re supposed to go. So sorry!

  7. Nowell says:

    Hi Joumana,

    can you please advise how long does this fig Jam last for and would it need to be stored in the fridge once it is in an air tight Jars.


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