glass bowl full of gingered-lemon-fig preserve surrounded by the ingredients

Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves


Excerpted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013).
Allison says: In this spectacular preserve, a touch of heat from the ginger and a little tartness from the lemons beautifully highlight the lushness of fresh, ripe figs. Try serving sandwiched between gingersnap cookies to accentuate its flavor profile. To ensure proper acidity levels, be sure to use commonly available, full-acid lemons such as Eureka or Lisbon lemons in this recipe.


TIP: Grate That Ginger!
Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, slice the thin, brown skin off a chunk of fresh, firm ginger root. Then, using a fine mesh grater, grate the ginger root. Don’t peel the whole root at once—continue to peel as you go along, so that you don’t peel more than you need. Grating the ginger will create a good bit of juice; be sure to incorporate it into your measured quantity of grated ginger.
Servings 5 cups


  • 2 pounds ripe figs
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root peeled, finely grated
  • 7 medium lemons divided
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
  • Rinse figs, remove stems, and slice them in half lengthwise. (Cut them into smaller pieces if you prefer, or if you’re working with large figs.) Combine figs in a saucepan with grated ginger.
  • Wash lemons thoroughly. Using a vegetable peeler, slice off long pieces of the exterior of some of the lemon peels, avoiding the inner white part. Then, using a chef’s knife, slice these pieces into very thin strips about 1-inch long. Repeat this process until you have accumulated ¼ cup of thin, 1-inch long strips. Add these strips to the fig mixture.
  • Slice lemons in half and squeeze out their juice, discarding the remaining peels. Divide the juice, setting aside 1/3 cup for later use. Add the remaining quantity to the fig mixture.
  • Bring the fig mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until lemon peels are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • Measure 4 cups of the cooked fig mixture and return the measured quantity to the saucepan. Add the reserved 1∕3 cup lemon juice and calcium water and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • Bring fig mixture back to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil. Once the preserves return to a full boil, remove from heat.
  • Can Your Preserves: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.

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14 Responses

  1. Joy
    | Reply

    Hello, I wash and then freeze all my ginger. Can I use frozen, unpeeled ginger in this? I never peel my ginger before freezing and use the skin and all. It always works out well in all my cooking.
    Thank you,

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Joy,

      That should be just fine!

  2. Daine
    | Reply

    This recipe looks great. I realize figs do not have a lot of natural pectin. Almost all the jams and conservers I can I do not use any pectin. Som just need to cook down more then others. I know the lemons is not only needed for the flavor, but also the acidity. Is pectin a must for this ??

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Daine,

      Yes, would recommend the pectin for this recipe to achieve a good jell.

  3. Tina
    | Reply

    Could you clarify, are you only making 4 cups of the fig mixture into the preserves to can? What are you doing with the remaining mixture?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Anytime you have extra mashed fruit, you can add it to yogurt, top off your ice cream, pair it with some cheese and crackers and meat, or simply eat it by itself!

  4. regina
    | Reply

    can I use dried figs?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You can certainly try! To rehydrate the figs, place dried fruit in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes until plump then strain and use (you may wish to reserve the “juice” so that you can add it to your jam mixture if it appears to need more liquid…as we want it to behave as much like fresh fruit as possible).

      Happy jamming!

  5. Nancy B Radcliffe
    | Reply

    I made this recipe last year and thought it was a bit too lemony. Approximately how much lemon juice are you expecting from 7 lemons? I want to try this again but would like a specific amount of lemon juice that will be required? Thank you. Love Pomona’s

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Nancy,

      1/4 cup lemon juice is all that is required for this recipe.

      • Sejal Gohel
        | Reply

        The recipe says to set aside 1/3 cup lemon juice. So how much lemon juice should we add in the beginning?

        • Shelby Collings
          | Reply

          Hello Sejal,

          You will have however much the 7 lemons produced, minus the 1/3 cup that is set aside.

  6. Janet
    | Reply

    Could you use candied ginger?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      That should be just fine Janet!

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