Balsamic Bourbon Fig & Bacon Jam

Balsamic Bourbon Fig & Bacon Jam
Harlem, GA - 28

Believe it or not, I was in college before I had ever tried a fig, like a real, fresh fig. Growing up it never occurred to me that figs might come in any form other than Newton… and then I met my husband who has given me many wonderful things in this life but towards the top is a super awesome Granny with a super awesome fig tree in her backyard. I was hooked. On the figs, on the man. At first I was disappointed that fig season is so short. It usually only lasts about a month, max, and lands in either July or August depending on what zone you’re in. But I soon learned about fig jam and the possibilities started there and became endless!

I was pretty sad when we moved to Georgia and I couldn’t get my hands on fresh figs without paying for them with an arm and a leg and my nonexistent-first-born-child at the market. But a year or two into living here and I’d met Missy, who owns a lovely little farm where she sells eggs and gives away love for free. And Missy has a fig tree.

Harlem, GA - 22
Harlem, GA - 21

She also has a funny little dog named Nugget that likes to run around while I pick figs:

Harlem, GA - 17

So last year I picked a bunch of figs and made a bunch of jam. Because it’s jam it keeps for quite a while and I had more than enough to last me another year so this year I determined I was only going to pick as many figs as I was planning on eating fresh. Turns out I have no self control and just kept picking figs until it was too hot to keep going. So now I had the problem of having more figs than I knew what to do with and not needing jam and having no space in my freezer. They don’t stay ripe very long so I had to figure out something pretty fast.

Figs - 2

I figured jam was the easiest thing to make since I’ve done it a number of times but I wanted to add something different and maybe make it a bit more savory. What I ended up doing was adding everything different. I got on Pinterest and read a few recipes on Bourbon Fig Spreads, Balsamic Fig Spreads, Fig and Bacon Spreads…you get the idea. And I got started. I de-stemmed and halved all the figs and put them in a big pot to mash. Without question my potato masher gets used way more for fruit than it ever does for potatoes.  The figs are dense enough and sweet enough that I could add some sugar but didn’t need to add any other thickening agents. So at this point, with figs and sugar, I essentially had jam.

Jim Beam Bourbon

Then I got down to business. I cooked up an entire package of bacon, drained it, and set it aside while I added bourbon and balsamic vinegar. I meant to add in some onion but I forgot and though I’m sure it’d be even better with it, it tastes just fine without it too. I added in the bacon toward the end and brought the mixture to a boil before I ladled it into sterile jars, added lids, and left them to cool and seal on their own. 

    Obviously I had to try it the next day and plated it up with some cream cheese and crackers with a little bit of additional crispy bacon on top. I’m pretty convinced that it’s impossible to have too much bacon. Ever.

Balsamic Bourbon Fig & Bacon Jam - 6

I’ve got to admit, it was an impressive little appetizer. I’d probably stick to serving it to fellow foodies and next time I’ll try adding onion. But I certainly cleared the sampler plate with no problem and it was husband-approved so I’m going to call that a win!

Balsamic Bourbon Fig & Bacon Jam -14

On a side note, several of the silver dishes in these photos are for sale in my Etsy shop!