Spicy Fig Orange Microwave Jam

Fig jam made with figs, orange, lemon, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Easy to make in the microwave.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one pint, or two 8-ounce jars


  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh figs (6-10 figs, depending on the size of the figs)
  • 1/2 cup seeded, peeled orange, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar (reduce if you want, though it won't set as well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 2 (8-ounce) canning jars



1 Place the ingredients in a large ceramic or glass bowl or casserole (we use a 2-quart pyrex measuring cup), stir to combine, let sit for 30 minutes for the fruit to macerate in the sugar.

fig-orange-jam-2.jpg fig-orange-jam-3.jpg

2 Place in microwave. You will cook the fruit mixture on the high setting for approximately 15 minutes. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, after about 6 to 8 minutes, stop the cooking and stir. Continue cooking and stir every few minutes. At about 13 minutes the mixture should start to get viscous. If you spoon out a bit on to a small plate that has been in the freezer, you can push the mixture around a bit with your finger tip to see how thick it is. If it is runny, cook it a couple minutes more. You can also check by seeing how the jam runs off of a spoon. If it seems to firm up a bit as it drips, it's done.

If you use a large pyrex measuring cup as we have done here, you can see that you start with close to 3 cups of liquid. You want to boil it down to 2 cups.


3 Pour out the jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headroom from the top of the jars. If you want to keep your jam in a cupboard, then use sterilized jars (heat them in the oven at 200°F for 10 minutes). If you plan to eat up quickly and will keep them in the refrigerator, regular clean jars will do.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • kaoko

    Lovely! Will this microwave method work for other jams as well or is this strictly a fig jam thing? Figs aren’t accessible to me but I’d love to try if it’ll work with other ingredients as well.

  • Elise

    Hi Kaoko – Sure! Just use the proportions of 2 cups of diced and crushed fruit to 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon butter, and some lemon juice and spices. You might have to experiment a bit. Plums, apricots, and berries work great with this recipe.

  • Jeanne

    Thanks for that microwave jam tutorial! A friend’s father used to make apricot jam in the microwave but I never managed to prise the recipe out of him – now I can try my hand at it! I love the fig and orange combo and when you mentioned cheese, I was sold ;-)

  • AK

    Gorgeous, Elise! (For just a minute, I thought the figs were tomatillos, and hmmm, wouldn’t that be interesting … ) I bet even people who haven’t ‘canned’ before will say, “I can make that!” And good news, they CAN. (Tee hee.)

  • jonathan

    Perhaps Kaoko can find some nice dried Mission figs and rehydrate them?

    I’m thinking this might go well with some Serrano ham and Manchego cheese.

    You’ll notice I took the high road and didn’t mention “bacon”, Elise…

  • TexanNewYorker (Kyleen)

    AK, you’re right — I’ve never canned before, and I’m thinking, “I can make that!” Thanks for sharing, Elise! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Paul Shipman

    Wow, Elise! I’ve always wanted to make jam, but have been put off by the many steps. Not only does this sound easy, it’s also a terrific flavor combination. I’m trying this over the weekend.


  • Mercedes

    Oh, I’m an absolute fig fanatic, and that is the kind of fig jam one dreams about. Too bad I don’t have a microwave!

  • Carol

    I assume you’re talking about fresh figs, right? Where I come from, we have both types but the dried ones are more prevalent. Since others mentioned different kinds of fruits, we are talking fresh?
    Anyway, sounds good, and I’ll go for it tomorrow morning.

  • Elise

    Hi Carol – Yes, fresh figs. I’ve clarified that in the recipe, thank you. I may make a batch that includes a half cup of dried figs just to see if I can intensify the “figgyness”.

    Hi Jonathan – For you my dear, bacon jam, coming right up. (Uh, no not really, but it’s a thought, eh?)

  • Caroline

    A couple years ago I scored tons of free peaches from the farmer’s market, and I decided to make preserves with them. I did it the traditional way and the results were good, but not so good that it was worth repeating the process. I was also scared that I didn’t sterilize the jars properly, so I ended up keeping them in the fridge anyway.

    This looks like a great alternative, though, and an excuse to use my barely-touched microwave. I normally don’t get excited about jams– why cook fruit with all that sugar when it’s so much better fresh?– but the fig with orange accents and fall/winter spices sounds like a winner.

  • radish

    This is SO exciting – I’m going to have to give this a go – this is pretty much as simple as it gets! How long does this jam keep?

  • Suzanne

    I’ve done this before with apricots. It is so easy–you don’t even have to peel them! My mom has a old microwave cookbook that has proportions and instructions for other types fruits. You could probably find a book with similar information in a 2nd hand store. For long term storage, I’d go for the freezer over a cupboard.

  • jennbec

    This is the answer to all my prayers! I have such a tiny kitchen that I can’t undertake large canning endeavors such as typical jam making. Now I will make little batches like this to appease my desire to make my own preserves. I’m thinking of plum pear jam to start… Thanks, Elsie!

  • Garrett

    Your mom is so smart at all this. She always teaches me something new!

  • janna

    I’m totally trying this. One question, though: How long do the jams usually last in the fridge? (ie. do I need to scarf the stuff in a couple of days, or do I have a week or two of happiness?)

  • nikki

    Cool. Wonderful. That is all I can say now. I didnt know that making Jam is this easy.Thanx a lot dear. Can you suggest me some other fruits that goes with orange? (I am not a fig la la..). And also can I use this recipe with apples??

  • Elise

    Hi Radish and Janna – Our jams and jellies usually last for months in the fridge once opened. Don’t see why this one would be any different.

    Hi Garrett – My mom is brilliant! She’s the unsung hero of this website. She doesn’t try out new recipes the way that dad does, so she doesn’t get as much air time here, but she’s the one dad and I constantly consult. Her long and winding explanations (which you have personally witnessed) can drive us nuts, but she’s almost always right, and the explanations almost always help us be better cooks.

  • The Cooking Ninja

    I love fig jams. Your recipe seems so easy to do.

  • Noro

    Excellent as usual. I will give it a try this week end. I just got some berries from my mother-in-law. They will make excellent jam.

  • barbara

    I’ve made strawberry jam and lemon curd in the microwave. I shall save the fig recipe for next autumn.

  • Amy

    I tasted my first fresh fig just yesterday and it was unbelievable. I’m saving this recipe because I’m hooked!

  • Susan from Food Blogga

    I have begun my fig frenzy, Elise, and this jam is being added to the list of recipes I must make during fig season. I love that it’s so easy too. Mmmm… I can just taste it on some toasted multigrain bread right now.

  • Liz

    This sounds wonderful. I too had stayed away from making my own jam because of all of the steps involved, but this makes it sound like something I could actually do! And if I feel like experimenting a bit, I might be able to catch some of the great peaches before their short season is completely gone! Thanks again Elise!

  • Brooks

    I made this the other night with peaches and the last cherries of the season, along with some lemon zest and fresh ginger. The taste is wonderful, but I must have overcooked it, since it has a texture more like taffy than jam. I guess I’ll just keep experimenting with other batches.

  • Annie

    Elise, Elise, how I love your blog. I subscribed to it sometime last year and my co-worker thought you were a friend of mine from the way I’d eagerly share your recipes. Even her husband, who has never read you, knows that any recipe I pass along from “that internet lady” is a winner.

    I, too, was afraid of messing up all those steps in jelly-making. And why did no one else ever mention that a 10 minute stay in a low oven would sterilize canning jars?? Does that include the lids, too? I am definitely going to give this a try. You’re the best!

  • Lynn D.

    I made this yesterday and it is just fantastic. My batch didn’t boil down to 2 cups in 15 minutes but it set up just fine–more for me! I only added the ginger and a few thyme leaves and is the most gorgeous pink. Thanks for this recipe Elise; I’m no longer jam-impaired.

  • lea

    Can I use oil instead of butter?

  • Jora

    Can this recipe be adapted to the stovetop? I don’t have a microwave, but this recipe sounds divine!

  • claudia

    This is absolutely wonderful.

    I confess, I didn’t use the microwave – I have a German product called “jelly helper” (it’s basically pectin(e?)) which makes anything jelly a snap (boil for 3 minutes and you’re done).

    The fig-orange-spice combination is a winner, especially with the cheese! Very yummy, and sure not to last very long in our house. Also, I was very glad to find something with figs – we’re Expats and our current garden in Armenia is flowing over with figs at the moment. I’ll have to make lots more of this! Thanks!

    (What do I do with all those grapes now?)

  • Barbara

    We just had apricot-fig jam on a cheese plate and it was delicious! Now I know how to try it at home.

  • phillyUKgirl

    I’m so pleased with this technique–no chance of scorching at the bottom of the pan. I actually modified the recipe into chutney, using vinegar instead of the lemon juice and adding lime and chilli. Really nice–as usual, thanks so much, Elise–your recipes are super!

  • Jennifer

    I would like to know if there’s any way to reduce the sugar without compromising the jam quality? Any imput is welcomed!

  • Elise

    Hi Jennifer, the sugar helps the jam jell. So if you don’t use as much sugar, the jam will be runny, unless you add commercial pectin, which is easy enough to do. You will have to guestimate the amount, but all pectin packages come with guides inside.

  • kiches

    Great recipe! I made the process harder on myself by trying to cover my bowl with a towel, which then soaked and got some of the microwave sticky, but still good. I think I’ll try it with the pectin next time, mine turned out a little sweeter than I like. Instead of oranges I used tangerines since that’s what I have in my yard, and left out the cloves – but I added a tad bit more cinnamon and fresh ground ginger that it still tasted great. Will probably be making jams for the holidays, thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Miss Fork

    Elise – this recipe has been a Godsend! I am a caterer, and I wanted to make a different kind of mini flatbread pizza, so I whipped up a batch of this and spread it on thin crust pizza dough, crumbled up some goat cheese, and scattered caramelized shallots on top. After I pulled it from the oven, I threw some baby arugula tossed with EVOO on top and voila! A new hors d’oeuvres cut into bite sized pieces for my spring menu. Yesterday I made it with blood oranges and dried mission figs, since we can’t get fresh ones here in Boston right now (which I plumped up with a little hot water for about 30 minutes). ‘Twas lovely as well. Thanks so much for all your inspiration.

  • bonny

    Absolutely beautiful recipe. I am trying it now with cherry tomatoes. I also used allspice instead of the spices given, and it was just as nice. That pizza idea also sounds wonderful, Miss Fork!

  • Kelle

    Oh perfect! I was just given about 50 fresh figs last night and wanted to make fig jam, but the thought of cooking in this heat put me off. Depending on how much I end up making, it’s good to know the oven trick for sterilizing jars too. Thanks so much Elise!

  • Kelle

    There are 3 jars of this gorgeous jam in my kitchen now. I can’t get over how pretty it is! And the smell is wonderful. I can’t wait to spread this on some crusty bread with arugula, cracked black pepper and soft cheese. It was super easy to make and, thankfully, did not heat up my kitchen!

  • Latha

    Hi Elise,

    Glad i found this recipe:) I bought a kilo of the german plums (zwetschken) for trying out a jam from a book. But I’m dying to make this instead. I’ve a question though! Do you think equal quantity of honey would work fine too? and if I use sugar with pectin in it (I’ve that too… blame my pantry) do I use the same proportion?

    Hi Latha, I really don’t know about those substitutions, all I can recommend is that you experiment. ~Elise

  • Michele

    I’d like to try this recipe but instead of microwaving can I use the stovetop?

    Yes you can, but you will likely have to cook it longer. ~Elise

  • Bea

    I have to be honest I scoffed at the whole idea until I found myself with an over abundance of figs. I have made fig jam the conventional way for years and even this year. I tried this and have already made 10 jars. This jam is unbelievable. It is just delicious. Thank you.

  • Tish

    We’re at the end of our fig season in New Zealand. I’ve just made a couple of batches, for the second batch I substituted grated fresh ginger (about 1 tsp) and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom for the spices in the recipe and I liked it better – more fig taste gets though. Nice and easy as long as you don’t use too small a bowl/jug. Each batch took appox 9 figs and one orange and made a jam jar full. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • patti

    I’ve made this jam for two summers in a row. It is wonderful, tasty and so easy to make..
    Just place it with cheese and fruit and wow your ready to go for guests….Sometimes I’ll just lay it on cream cheese for company to dip with a cracker. I’ve also given it as a gift with boxes of speciality crackers and a nice bottle of white wine. It will last several months in your fridge. In my home it usually gets eaten before then. Once my husband placed it on grilled salmon about one minute before the fish was ready… FABULOUS!!!
    I plan to use this recipe with strawberries from our garden as soon as they are ripe.
    Even if you don’t really care for figs, you’ll love this recipe…. Have fun…

  • ladyloo

    Another one here who’s never canned a thing, but I tried my had at this. It smells and tastes fabulous! But I cooked it much too long and I now have spicy fig candy. Also very tasty, but definitely not jam. I still have lots of figs though, so I think I’ll give it another try.

  • Deb_W

    My 9yo daughter just finished making this recipe with brown turkey figs from our tree. The house smells intoxicating! I cannot wait to taste this once it cools a bit. She’s beaming with pride.

  • faith

    OMG was this the BEST !! I have a fig tree and I have been picking 20 a day and could not figure out what to make.
    I just did Figs and 1/2 peach because I didnt have a orange.. and just cinnamon and Lime juice 2 tbs. I didn’t use butter either.
    It came out GREAT! I tend to change recipies around and fortunatly it came out great.
    I have made roasted garlic and onion and fig jam too. I used 2 cloves garlic and 1/4 onion, chopped tiny in the processor, sautéed them till real tender, added to 10 figs pureed in food processor, 2 tbs lime juice and only 1 cup sugar, then did the same in the microwave.
    It’s AWESOME. I put that on turkey burgers or sandwiches. It’s so yummy! I made the fig jam today 10 figs, 1/4 cup blueberries and 5 strawberries and 1 1/4 cup sugar, it’s great too. You mainly taste blueberries! I wish I could make a sugar free recipe or light sugar but this is what seems to make the jam thick.
    Thanks so much for the simple recipie I will continue to make fig jelly and other yummy mixes.
    Thanks again !

  • harriet

    Does anyone have any idea how to make a sugar-free fig jam? I once bought an amazing jar in Italy that my friend informed me was sugar-free -but there are no ingredients listed on the side. The jam is a pale-green brown in colour so I assume it uses the ‘mild green’ figs as opposed to the ‘mission’ figs. The consistency is normal. I have found sugar-free recipes for combinations of fruits but no fig-only ones.

    Thank you!

  • Debra

    This recipe is beautiful and delish and sooo simple. My jam was perfect after 13 minutes, so I’m sure the wattage on each individual microwave varies. Just start checking the consistency after 13 minutes. You really must try it! Thank you for the recipe Elise!

  • Garrett

    Made this last night with the figs your mom gave me. I used lemons rather than oranges since that’s what I had. Also, my microwave is a piece of junk from Target. The process took about 30 minutes (20 to just get to the boil), I got a bit impatient and undercooked it, so rather than jam I have a rather tasty fig sauce that will adorn pancakes and possible some pork loin.

    Most of the jars – I got three – went to the freezer to save for the fall and winter. Will be doing a second batch tonight.

  • Carol

    You are a genius! I have been desperately trying to find a site to tell me how long to cook jam and why my fig jam never sets – even with sugar and pectin. I tried the microwave recipe and I was shocked that it worked! My problems are solved and now I can use all of the mission figs on our tree! Thanks so much!

  • Florida Girl

    Just made the recipe. After 6 minutes the whole house smells of burt spiced figs…. Something went terribly wrong! :( A big black sticky mess to clean… *sigh*

    Microwaves vary in their strength. The first time you make this you really need to watch it carefully to see what amount of time is the right one for your microwave. ~Elise

  • Susanne

    Made this tonight and it is really good but a little too sweet! I may cut back on the sugar next time. Totally forgot to add the butter! It looks great and the apartment smells awesome! Can’t wait to try out other fruit combos.

  • Simon Joseph

    I tried your recipe tonight with my home grown figs and it came out very good. Thank you!

  • Lindsay

    How about adding hot spice, like a pinch of chili flakes to add some zing? Would this ruin the jam?

    Hmm, sounds like it might be worth a try! ~Elise

  • Ken Cribb

    This is the very first time that I have ever made jam. We have a fig tree, haven’t done much with them before apart from making deserts.
    Saw your recipe & thought it was interesting, nice combination, never thought that could use the microwave to make jam.
    Your recipe is just so good, love the taste.
    I did a few jars as per your instructions and also put the ingredients through a food processor after letting it sit for the half hour. Thank you.

  • Gale

    My next door neighbors have a fig tree and they have graciously allowed me to pick all that I want. I was looking for a quick jam recipe and this one filled the bill. And, to make it an even better find, IT’S DELICIOUS. I forgot to put lemon in first batch and it is quite good but a little too sweet for me. Next batch added lemon juice and it is perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Erica

    My friend gave me some figs off of her fig tree. I just tried this recipe this morning, although I made it on the stove, and it was divine! My husband kept raving about how it was the best jam he had ever had and he doesn’t even like figs. This was my first attempt at making fresh jam and thia recipe was so simple and easy. I cant’t wait to try more. Thanks for this delicious recipe.

  • Marina

    Just got through making this jam. It is wonderful! Will be making again real soon!

  • Suzie Homemaker

    This is wonderful and I have been using it since I found it several years ago. I too have played around with the recipe using what I had on hand. I have used crushed pineapple instead of orange, lime zest and juice instead of lemon, used combo of pears and figs with cinnamon and cloves, figs and chopped dried apricots and figs and cranraisins and more. But I think my all time fav, being from Tx, is the Lime Jalapeno Fig…omittimg the spices using lime juice and chopped jalapeno…more the better. I have put on ribs and pork…delish. Love, love, love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Suzie Homemaker

    Oh I forgot to say…I always double the batch and it turns out great. Takes just a tad longer to cook but it works.

  • Becka

    We have a small fig tree in our yard that my husband planted just a couple of years ago. This was the first year that it has set fruit. Since it is small just a few figs have ripened at a time. This recipe was just perfect! I have made four batches so far to use up the fruit as it ripens and hope to use this technique for other fruit jams as well. Thank you and your mother for sharing this.

  • Lea

    Well, you have a convert! I hate raw figs!!We have a giant fig tree here in our garden in Spain. Every year my poor husband eats as many as he can, or we try and give them away. This doesn’t always work as many Spanish people have a fig tree. But after browsing and finding this recipe you can guess where all the figs are going! Now the trusty old microwave gave up the ghost a short while back, so I have to use the stove top. Obviously it takes longer to cook, but it’s only a case of waiting and testing to see if it has set. So far I have made 12 jars, we have stored them away for the winter months, although the mother in law is enjoying hers! More figs are ripening daily, so I think I shall have to get round the market for some oranges, lemons I have growing too. Note to self; plant orange tree!. The orange trees you see on our streets are the large thick skinned bitter oranges, no way could they be eaten raw, so we use them for Seville Marmalade…oh one minute I shall just go round the square and get a couple of those instead! Thank you very much for this recipe Elise,and making me love figs so much, I shall be trying out some of your others too.

  • April

    I love this!! Last year I cooked mine on the stove and it tasted ok. This recipe is easy and is the best tasting fig jam I’ve ever had.My jam cooked in exactly 13 min. I stopped it every 4-5 minutes and stirred it well. The pictures were great to have to show the thickness of the jam if it has set right.The only other extra ingredient I added was some finely chopped walnuts.I could’t wait to make some toast have some of this jam.The color is beautiful and the smell is wonderful. I will probably make this Christmas presents.Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Needs Mead

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I’ve made several batches in the past few days, using fresh peaches instead of the orange, and I’m completely hooked. YUM! :)

  • Chef Jim

    Had some figs in the fridge about to go south, so googled fig jam hoping to find something easy and quick with ingredients on hand. Of course everything I found at first was typical canning methods with huge quantities of figs. I had seven! Then I read your recipe and it’s perfect. I only had 1 cup of figs diced so I adjusted the qtys accordingly. It’s now sitting in a pyrex bowl cooling, we licked the spoon and can’t wait for tomorrow’s toast & fig jam. Never bothered to look to see when it was posted, can’t believe how old this is and how perfect it works! Thanx for sharing as always!

  • Kyle Brown

    What a cool recipe! I grew up with a mom that canned jellies and jams every year, but I’ve never tried it myself because of all the equipment and space necessary. This sounds like a great idea, and your post combined with a quick google search has resulted in a lot of recipes I’m going to try. Thank you!

  • johanna

    Microwave jam? I’ve tried freezer jam before which didn’t turn out the way I expected it, but at least there’s heat involved with a microwave plus I trust your recipes… always. So this one I will give a try, I wanted to make some fig &amp peach jam, now I have a new way of doing it! Thanks.

  • Diane

    Wonderful! My great aunt used to make fig preserves with walnuts, all from trees in her yard. Alas, she died years ago and the property had to be sold because her nephews couldn’t afford the inheritance tax, & no one has made the fig preserves since. I can hardly wait to try it!

  • Sal

    Just can’t seem to get this to thicken up, it is greatbut, alittle watery. what to do?

  • halva

    I love this!! Last year I cooked mine on the stove and it tasted ok. This recipe is easy and is the best tasting fig jam I’ve ever had.My jam cooked in exactly 13 min. I stopped it every 4-5 minutes and stirred it well.

  • Debra

    Such a wonderful recipe! My family loves your figgy jam, even the self-professed fig haters ;-) Thanks so much for sharing.