Fig/Earl Grey Preserves


Please read my page on preserving before attempting this recipe.

I used to limit my choice of fresh figs to the ones my Uncle grows in his back yard or those from a farmer who brings his locally grown figs, called “Chicago Hearty” to market in early September. My Uncle has several fig trees, all children of the fig tree that my Great Grandfather Ben Sala grew in his back yard in Chicago. Great Grandpa Ben grew his fig tree from a cutting he brought with him from Sicily when he immigrated to Chicago, Illinois in 1920. Lately, I’ve been able to find very nice Black Mission figs from California at our local whole foods and they are making very good preserves. Make sure you taste one before you invest in making preserves. They should have some flavor although the flavor will intensify with cooking.


My family has a long standing love affair with Earl Grey tea. It’s one of my favorite teas to drink. My husbands favorite cake from his childhood was an Earl Grey pound cake from Dalloyau Patisserie in Paris. While they don’t make that pound cake anymore they do make an Earl Grey macaroon which my son loves. I created this preserve for the men in my life.



  • 1000 grams fresh local figs
  • 800 grams superfine sugar ( Depending on the sweetness of the figs you can reduce to 750 grams but don’t go below that or you’ll risk the integrity of the color and texture).
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 grams fresh lemon juice ( save the rinds, seeds and membranes from the lemons for your pectin bag)
  • 1 Tablespoon of premium Earl Grey tea. I use Earl Grey Royale from The Tea House that has real pieces of bergamot in the tea and not just oil.
    You will also need:
  • A preserving pan
  • An unbleached, food grade muslin bag about 5″x7″.
  • six 6 oz glass jars with lug tops lined with Plastisol ( you will probably only get 5 but I always sterilize an extra one)
  • a 3 quart heat proof container
  • a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the top of the 3 quart container
  • A heat proof measuring cup
  • a wood skewer
  • a lint free kitchen towel

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