I love love love figs, but sadly, their season is so short. That explains why, this season, I had my heart set on making fig preserves the second I saw fresh figs on grocery store shelves. After recently learning just how simple it is to make small-batch preserves/jams, I’m all about prolonging the life of my favorite fruits – particularly, those that are highly seasonal.

This particular jam features balsamic vinegar to add the perfect amount of acidity. Meanwhile, fresh lemon acts as a natural source of pectin and a small amount of raw honey acts as a natural sweetener. Any cheese lover knows that fig preserves make for an incredible addition to any cheese plate, which is the means in which I first gave this recipe a taste test and decided it was a keeper. I mean, what’s not to love about gourmet cheese paired with sweet jam paired with fresh and dried fruit paired with delicious gluten-free crackers paired with crunchy and salty nuts? Nothing, I say!

Pictured in the post is one of my all-time favorite cheeses, Trader Joe’s Creamy Toscano Soaked in Syrah. This cheese is the best of both worlds: top-notch and highly affordable. TJ’s describes this cheese as combining “the robust nutty characteristics of aged Parmesan with a creamy farmstead cheddar.”

Clockwise: TJ’s Creamy Tuscano, pink lady apple slices, gluten-free caraway crackers, Medjool dates, creamed local honey, fig preserves surrounded by fresh figs, macadamia nuts, pistachios, crumbled goat cheese, and golden raisins.

Being that I’m in the midst of a stretch of weekend night shifts as I write this, and being that Dan and I leave for our long-anticipated road trip in a little over a week (eeek!), I thought the tea towel that I used in this shoot was more than fitting. Aside from spending quality time with my extraordinary friends and family, enjoying an incredible meal (eating well) and exploring the world around me (traveling) are the times in which I feel most fulfilled. While it’s important to work hard, it’s infinitely more important to take the time out of your day-to-day and do what makes you tick. On that note, Happy Weekend. :)

Note: Makes enough to fill one half-pint (8 oz.) mason jar.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. brown turkey figs, de-stemmed and chopped into eigths
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

What you’ll do:

  • Combine prepped figs, lemon juice and zest, and honey in a medium pot
  • Turn the burner to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often
  • Once 10 minutes have elapsed, stir in the balsamic vinegar
  • Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often and using a masher to ensure that all large pieces are broken up
  • Spoon into a mason jar and refrigerate