Top 8 Best Fig Jam Substitutes

Best Fig Jam Substitutes

I don’t know about you, but fig jam has become a staple in my pantry. There’s nothing like spreading it on toasted bread along with a creamy brie. But you know what the hardest part is? Actually finding the darn stuff! Just when I’m craving that sweet earthiness, the supermarket is fresh out of fig jam. Talk about tragic.

I know I’m not alone in my struggle. Whether you live in a jam jelly or one of those times when your spoon hits the bottom of the empty fig jam jar, It’s a sad, sad day. But no more—I’m here to share the best substitutes for bringing that fig jam flavor back without the hassle of hunting it down. Because who has time for that when cheese boards are calling our name?

After lots of taste testing, I’ve discovered some surprising substitutes that will fool even the biggest fig jam fan. Get ready to expand your preservation horizons! In the following pages, you’ll learn about my top substitutes, how each one compares to the real deal, and how to use them. By the end, you’ll be stocked up on backup options, so you’re never without that perfect fig jam pairing again. So hop to it—your next charcuterie adventure awaits!

The Taste Test

To find the best substitutes, I went full scientist in the kitchen. I gathered a wide variety of potential replacements, and it was time for a serious taste test.

I settled on using brie cheese-smeared crostini as my test medium. Fig jam traditionally shines when paired with salty, creamy cheese, after all. I wanted the true flavors to shine through without any other distractions.

For each substitute, I dolloped a small amount onto its own crostini slice. That way, I could directly compare textures and flavors side by side.

I judged the substitutes based on similar criteria to the real deal, fig jam. Things like:

Flavor: How similar was the taste to fig jam’s signature sweet-earthy profile?

Texture: Did it have a smooth, spreadable consistency like fig jam? Any crunchy bits from the seeds?

Pairing: How did it complement the rich brie? Was one overpowering, or did they balance nicely?

Using this method, I tasted my way through a dozen possible fig jam fakes. Some were spot on, while others missed the mark. By the end of multiple testing rounds, my favorites emerged as top substitutes worthy of your charcuterie board.

The Best Fig Jam Substitutes

1. Apricot Jam

When it came to replicating that figgy flavor, apricot jam surprised me as the number one substitute.

While it lacks the subtle earthy tones of fig jam, the apricot variety I tested had a silky-smooth texture that spread beautifully. Its sweet flavor burst forth with just a hint of tartness—similar enough to fool my taste buds at first.

Apricots are generally cheaper than figs too, making this a budget-friendly swap. I was worried the texture might be too loose without the seeds, but that didn’t take away from its pairing with the brie.

This jam stood up very well on its own without overpowering the cheese. At a rating of 10/10 on my scale, apricot jam is the easy stand-in when figs aren’t in stock. It’s also great stirred into vinaigrettes or used as a filling for pastries.

Best of all, substituting apricot jam for fig jam in recipes is as simple as a 1:1 ratio swap. So next time the preserve aisle disappoints, turn to apricot jam for a taste of figgy bliss.

2. Peach preserves

For an even sweeter substitute, I was wowed by peach preserves. Bursting with the essence of summer, these treats delivered big on flavor.

Compared to the more subtle fig jam, peach preserves packed intense sweetness that danced across my taste buds. Some might find it overpowering for plain toast or crackers on their own.

However, I discovered it was the perfect partner for richer flavors like blue cheese or sliced country ham. The preserves complimented salty meats and pungent cheeses without getting lost.

At a 10/10 rating, peach preserves offer a unique twist on the figgy experience—great for those who prefer elevated sweetness. Just be judicious when spreading onto neutral carriers on their own.

Substituting for fig jam recipes is as easy as swapping peach preserves in a 1:1 ratio. Look for brands packed with natural juice for a texture reminiscent of homemade. Satisfy your sweet tooth when fresh figs aren’t available!

3. Homemade Fig Jam

While store-bought jam is convenient, nothing quite compares to the real deal: homemade fig jam. With only a few basic ingredients, you can whip up a batch to rival any preserve aisle find.

I tested a simple recipe using fresh black mission figs, sugar, and lemon juice. After a short stint in the jam pot, the result was spreadable perfection.

The fig pieces melted into the jam but remained lightly intact, offering texture without being too chunky. And owing to fewer processed sugars, the flavor tasted brighter and more nuanced than in store versions.

At a glowing 9/10 rating, homemade fig jam delivered everything I wanted—the true essence of sunny fig fields with a natural sweet edge. No artificial flavors or excessive sugar are needed.

Plus, knowing exactly what went into it gave me more peace of mind. While an investment of time, homemade is easy enough for a weekend project. And the rewards last all season!

By substituting homemade fig jam 1:1 for store-bought in recipes, you uphold the integrity of the true figgy experience. So grab those ripe figs and get your preserve on!

4. Fig Butter

For those who prefer a thicker spread, fig butter makes a delightful substitute for fig jam. Made by simmering figs until they break down into a smooth paste, it has a richness reminiscent of fruit butters. 

The texture was dense and sticky-sweet on the crostini, clinging to the brie without being stiff. Best of all, the crunch from the tiny seeds still shined through.

Flavor-wise, fig butter matched fig jam’s signature sweet-earthy profile perfectly. It tasted of concentrated fig essence without any artificial flavors muddying the natural fruitiness.

At a high score of 9/10, fig butter is a luxurious alternative for those craving jam’s heartiness in a spreadable form. Look for brands packed with only figs for homemade quality.

It substitutes seamlessly for fig jam in a 1:1 ratio, easily spreadable onto crackers, scones, or even stirred into oatmeal. So if you prefer something decadent, let fig butter be your new preserve BFF.

Additional Good Fig Jam Substitutes

5. Plum preserves

For a more tart take on the figgy theme, plum preserves earned a 9/10 rating. Bursting with deep berry flavor, the jam surprised me with its complexity.

While the texture wasn’t as soft and silky as fig varieties, it had a lovely jammy thickness that clung nicely to the toast. Tiny seeds throughout added a pleasing crunch.

More tangy than sweet, plum preserves were the perfect counterpoint to rich brie or crumbled blue cheese. The tart pop cuts through fat without overwhelming other flavors.

Look for preserves made from dark-hued Damson plums if you crave maximum tartness. Their bitter tang provided the perfect zing.

Substitute plum preserves 1:1 in place of fig jam in recipes or pairings. Whether used on scones or glazing meat, their bright acidity enhances dishes beautifully.

So if you yearn for figs but desire an acidic edge, keep plum preserves stocked for a change of pace. Their versatility shines through.

6. Dates

Craving fig jam’s essence without the preserve? Dates make an unconventional whole-food swap.

Blending plump Medjool or Deglet Noor varieties results in a dense paste rivaling fig butter’s texture. Richly sweet with a subtle earthy slant, it tasted of concentrated fig nectar.

On its own, the “jam” lacked viscosity, falling more heavily onto the crostini than spreading easily. But tasted in small spoonfuls, the flavor wowed.

At a rating of 8/10, date paste satisfies those seeking 100% natural spreads. Whole dates offer chewier bites of the same essence.

Look for moist Medjools or softer Deglets for the easiest blending. Use a 1:1 sub for fig jam or spoon onto crackers and toasted breads as a jam alternative.

Whether blended into a puree or eaten whole, dates add fruitiness without artificiality. Perfect for those craving nature’s sweets without extra ingredients.

So satisfy your sweet tooth without ditching health goals by keeping dates stocked as a wholesome figgy swap.

7. Raspberry preserves

For a lighter yet still fruity substitute, raspberry preserves are rated an 8/10.

Though more vividly pink than the fig brown, raspberry had a vibrant tartness playing nicely off Brie’s creaminess. Its texture fell between figs’ and plum’s—thicker than one but easier to spread than the other.

Floral undertones stood out more than the fig’s earthiness. However, a shared underlying sweetness shone through.

Look for preserves made with whole raspberries if you want a texture resembling fig pieces. Their crunchy seeds added pleasing pops of flavor and fun chewing.

Substitute raspberry preserves 1:1 when figs simply won’t do. Enjoy alongside cheeses, in breakfast yogurts, or in lemonade syrups for tasty twists on old favorites.

So stock these tempting treats for a bright berry option in your preserve routine. Their delicate sweet-tart balance works well as a somewhat lighter yet still complex fig alternative.

Alternate Fig Jam Substitutes

8. Quince Paste

For those seeking an exotic substitute, quince paste proved to be an intriguing option.

Made from slow-cooked quince fruit, its texture resembled thick fig or date butters with an alluring rosy hue. Aromas filled with floral perfume made my mouth water.

Flavor showed off Quince’s unique blend of sweet floral honeyed notes—familiar yet unusual. After some time, a subtle tang emerged, subtly rounding it out.

Though rich at 9/10 thanks to concentrated quince essence, a little went a long way toward spreading onto the crostini. Its density demanded small, savory bites.

For those adventuresome souls, quince paste rates as a gourmet alternative for special occasions or as gifts. Look for varieties packed tightly in jars.

Substitute ½ cup quince paste for 1 cup fig jam in recipes where a dense texture and floral accent shine. A natural fruit butter option for the discerning palate!

Other Fruit Alternatives for Fig Jam

While the preserves above excel as figgy fakes, many other fruit jams offer tasty twists too when figs aren’t an option. Here are a few other ideas to try:

Blueberry jam Bursting with antioxidants, blueberry’s balance of tart-sweet flavors stood out. Try it swirled into yogurt or spread onto scones.

Grape jam: With notes of juicy Concord grapes, this jam impressed with its smooth texture. Enjoy it stirred into vinaigrettes or glazing meats.

Strawberry jam: A classic for good reason, strawberry preserves have a delicately sweet flavor great for toast or adding to curd.

Cherry jam: richly hued with a bright tart cherry pop, this jam pairs nicely with crispy cheeses or drizzled over pancakes.

Blackberry jam: Deeply colored and jam-packed with antioxidants, blackberry spreads shine for breakfast breads or mixing into oatmeal.

Marmalade: Orange or grapefruit bring floral citrus notes that lighten up rich cheeses or stand out in baked goods.

Feel free to experiment! Nearly any fruity compote or preserve has potential as a tasty fill-in when you run out of figs. Open your mind and tastebuds to new preserve pairings and creations.

Substitutes to Avoid

While many spreads come close, some miss the mark against fig jam’s signature flavor profile. Here are a few substitutes that are best sidestepped:

Strawberry jelly: too thin and lacking complexity for the fig’s depth. Jelly’s sharp sweetness overpowers pairings.

Grape jelly shares the jelly’s thin consistency while adding an artificial grape flavor that is not suggestive enough of figs.

Apple butter: richly spiced apple butter tastes delicious on its own but stray far from fig’s subtler tones.

Cherry pie filling: nice in pastries, but canned pie filling provides an overprocessed cherry pop versus a nuanced fig flavor.

Commercial fruit fillings Spreads with vague “fruit flavors” offer no substitute for real, identifiable fruit essence.

Fruit-dipping sauces: While tasty for desserts, sauces don’t replicate fig jam’s jammy texture and versatility.

Honey is great on its own but lacks the complex fruity characteristics that fig lovers crave. Too elemental.

Stick with whole fruit preserves, compotes, and butters to capture fig’s unique taste profile. Avoid substitutes better suited to other uses instead of recreating figgy magic. Your palate will thank you!


Can any jam be substituted for fig jam in recipes?

While many fruit jams can stand in for fig jam, some substitutions work better than others. Strongly flavored jams like mint or savory jams may throw off the balance in some recipes. Stick to similarly sweet fruit jams when substituting.

Do I use the same amount of substitute as fig jam?

Yes, for the best results, you’ll want to substitute other jams, preserves, butters, or pastes on a 1:1 ratio basis when replacing fig jam in recipes. This ensures the proper balance of flavors and textures.

How long will substitutes last in the fridge?

Properly stored in the fridge, most jams, preserves, and fruit butters will maintain their quality for 4-6 months. Check the package’s expiration date as well. Always inspect the lid and contents before use to avoid spoilage.

Can I substitute dried figs for fig jam?

While dried figs can provide a similar flavor experience, they don’t have the same texture and thickness as fig jam. They often won’t work as a direct substitute, but they can be rehydrated and blended to form a thick paste.

Any tips for using up an open jar of substitute?

Get creative beyond toast—stir into oatmeal, yogurt, or cocktails. Use in marinades, glazes, or sauces. Or simply enjoy with cheese on crackers for a tasty snack. Refrigerate tightly lidded jars for freshness.

How do I know if a substitute is suitable for vegan or gluten-free recipes?

Always check the ingredient list for potential allergens like gelatin or refined sugar. Fruit-only preserves are generally vegan or gluten-free, but some contain additives.

Can substitutes be used in baking instead of fig jam?

In most cases, yes—substituting another jam in the same proportion will work fine in baked goods. Just be aware that some flavors, like cherry, may come through stronger than fig.

Feel free to experiment! Not all substitutes will appeal to every palate. Try a few options to see what flavor profiles you enjoy as fig jam replacements.

Do substitutes work the same frozen?

Freezing can cause some fruit preserves to stiffen or develop ice crystals, so they may not spread as smoothly right from the freezer. Thaw to room temperature before using as a substitute.

Can substitutes be canned at home, like fig jam?

Yes, many fruit preserves can be successfully canned at home using tested recipes and safe processing methods. Always follow directions exactly for preservation and safety.

Any nutritional differences between fig jam and substitutes?

Nutritionally, substitutes may vary; some, like dates, are higher in natural sugars, while berries pack antioxidants. Overall nutrient profiles should be similar among whole fruit preserves.


In the end, whether you choose fig jam or one of its delicious substitutes comes down to personal preference in flavor, texture, and nutrition. The best option is whatever showcases your favorite fruity taste.

While none can fully replicate the unique essence of Black Mission or Calimyrna figs, many preserves, butters, and pastes come admirably close through cooking down concentrated fruit sugars.

From classics like plum and raspberry to more exotic treats like quince and date, feel free to find your new favorite preserve based on the flavors that appeal most to your palate.

Whether enhancing breads and cheeses or whipping up baked goods, these natural substitutes let you enjoy fig jam’s best qualities even when the real thing is not available.

So next time you crave that quintessential figgy experience, don’t be afraid to experiment until you discover the perfect backup plan. With luck, you may just find an exciting new preserve to add to your routine. Bon appétit!

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