Fig Spread

September 13, 2016 By Cathy — 32 Comments
Fig spread is the perfect accompaniment to cheese, crackers or even better, slathered on crunchy toast.

Fig Spread

Full disclosure? I’ve never liked fig newtons. I think we always had a package in our pantry cabinet when I was a kid, but no matter how big my sweet tooth I was never tempted. But I do love figs. Fresh, dried, jammed…I’ll take figs in every form (obviously other than the newton).

To me figs and cheese are as perfect a pairing as Laverne and Shirley, Will and Grace or Ross and Rachel.  I’ve practically shouted from the rooftops again and again how I love to marry sweet and salty and this is the perfect example. I could pretty much exist solely on this cheese board chock full of hard nutty cheeses, soft tangy wedges and crumbly bold blues paired with crusty bread, a handful of nuts and this fig spread (with a glass of red wine of course).

Fig Spread

But my fig affection isn’t limited to just cheese plates. I love fresh figs as a snack, sautéed or grilled for a quick appetizer or served with some whipped mascarpone for an easy dessert. I mean, fig season is here people and I can’t seem to leave the grocery store without a pint in hand.

But it seems my recent fig buying was more aggressive than my fig consumption, so this spread was born out of necessity. I needed to cook those babies at their peak before they could turn to mush. And boy am I glad I did.

Fig Spread

I have been buying jars of fig spread for years. Like my parents and the fig newtons, I always seem to have a jar of fig jam at the ready. If friends drop by, I can grab a block of cheese, some olives, crackers and that trusty spread and we’re off to the entertaining races.

So clearly I knew what to do with my recent abundance of ripe figs. I really wanted the flavor of the figs to shine in this spread, but I also love an herby undertone. I added some fresh rosemary and amped up the flavor with some brandy, brown sugar and tossed some caramelized shallots into the mix for depth.

Fig Spread

The result is a sweet and tangy spread with a nice, woodsy herb flavor from that rosemary. It can be stored in your refrigerator for a good week so you’ll be ready for impromptu weekend visitors. Or if you’re a fig fiend like me, toast up some bread in the morning when the kids shove off for school and slather it on your crunchy toast. Because the only pairing better than cheese and figs (in this nutty month), is a simple, satisfying breakfast and a quiet, kid-free house.

Fig Spread

5 from 4 votes
Fig Spread
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Fig spread is the perfect accompaniment to cheese, crackers or even better, slathered on crunchy toast.
Course: Condiment
Author: Cathy Roma |
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots minced
  • 1 lb fresh black figs stemmed and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan and add the shallot. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5-8 mins.
  2. Reduce the heat to med/low and add the remaining ingredients. Continue to cook until figs are soft and jammy and begin to break down, about 10 mins.
  3. Cool slightly and transfer to a food processor or mini prep and blend for about 30 secs, until relatively smooth.
  4. Serve with cheese, crackers or crostini.
Fig Spread

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Filed Under: Condiments, Recipe


32 responses to “Fig Spread”

  1. Ahh, funny…I’m posting mine tomorrow!!! This looks so delicious and the perfect merger between sweet and savory!! Bring on the cheese boards!! xoxo

  2. That’s so funny Cathy because I’ve never liked fig newtons either, but I love fig spread on a cheese tray! I always have a jar in my fridge and love making homemade. Yours looks delish!

  3. I’m right with you on this one. Never liked the cookies, but always a fan of figs when they show up in other places. This spread is perfect! Would be great to have on hand for the holidays 🙂

  4. I love fig spread so much and it is a regular at my house with Robusto cheese. This cheese tray makes me excited for holiday entertaining!

  5. Lol, too funny about the fig newtons! I used to LOVE those things… but I haven’t had them in YEARS so I’m not sure what I’d think now. But fresh figs? OMGeeee, I loooooooooooove them to pieces! Each year I wait patiently for fig season and then I buy pounds and pounds. This year however has seriously… sucked. <–For lack of better word. Our area hasn't gotten ANY figs!! Can you believe it? I've been stomping my feet and having a pity party of one. 🙁 This spread looks BEYOND AMAZING, Cathy! I could definitely live off this board too! And that fig spread looks delicious! I'm SO jealous!! Pinning… hopefully next year I can make this! <3 Cheers!

  6. I’m totally right there with ya screaming from the rooftops my love of sweet and salty combos! The absolute best, right? And fig and blue cheese? YES, please! So much yes!
    Unfortunately, we do not get fresh figs around here very often, probably once a year and by the time they get here they are in ok condition at best, but I always still get ’em because they are so great.
    I often overbuy produce too. I just get so excited in the grocery store and can’t help myself, especially if I go there hungry (the worst time to go, isn’t it??). But, it looks like you have made one delicious spread with your excess figs. I have premade fig jam in the fridge and I just know that this is a million times better. Love the shallot and brandy in there! Pinned and next time I get my little hands on some fresh figs, this is what I’m making 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      i feel like i’m always in the store with an empty stomach. and then i end up buying for a family of 14 instead of a family for 4. i hope you get some decent fresh figs before the season ends Dawn!

  7. Helene says:

    Rachel told me about your blog. Yum!! Figs are the bomb. They go really good with mascarpone on toasted french bread brushed with olive oil and sea salt too. Salty and sweet is the best! I’m def going to make this.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for stopping by Helene and taking the time to comment. Yes to figs and mascarpone with a sprinkle of salt! Simple perfection. This fig spread is super easy and extends the life of the figs if you’ve come home with more than you can eat (like me). Hope you give it a whirl.

  8. Matt says:

    I love figs, even in Newton form 🙂 This looks awesome!

  9. Oh yum! I need to have fig jam at the ready! I love your shots, Cathy! That’s a table I’d love to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and good conversation over!

  10. That fig spread looks crazy good Cathy! I am not the biggest fan of figs (shock!) but I could totally get on board with this recipe. Yum!

  11. Hi Cathy, haha, I actually loved fig newtons as a kid .. I was the only one in my family who liked them so I remember me asking my mom to buy them all the time! This fig spread is glorious and I absolutely agree!!! There’s nothing better than figs and cheese!!! yummmmm!!!

  12. I’m with you on fig newtons! My husband loves them and I’m…not a fan. But I certainly love figs and, like you, I always have fig spread in the house. Next time I nab some figs at the store, I going to have to try making this. Fresh is always better in my opinion.

  13. Nicole says:

    Hi! My family has a ton of fig trees and I’m trying to think of the best way to utilize all the figs this year! Any idea in regards to making a larger amount?! Any help is appreciated!! Can’t wait to try this recipe!! Thanks!

    • Cathy says:

      Nicole, I would just multiply the recipe and make the jam in a big pot. Adjust the rosemary to taste. You can then can it and store…I’m not a canning expert so I can’t provide those instructions, but I’m sure google has plenty of resources.

  14. Sheryl says:

    Going to give this recipe a go tomorrow. I’m in Spain and the figs on the tree plentiful and ready for picking. One question, how long does the spread keep for. I’d like to make some to use at Christmas.

    • Cathy says:

      The jam will keep in the refrigerator for several days and for several weeks in the freezer. I’m envious of all your figs!

  15. Julia Grifg@live .conJ says:

    I still do nor have my answer for the best bread to serve or top with figs figs preserves that I would like to serve at an afternoon TeaParty
    19889 benissimo dr.
    venice fl

    • Cathy says:

      I usually serve the fig spread with a cheese platter including crackers, a sliced baguette and/or ciabatta bread.

  16. Brian Burleson says:

    Thanks for this post. Thus far I’ve made 10 batches and counting. Actually, I’ve learned to “can” it. I have doubled and even tripled the recipe and then placed it in the hot jam jars and pressure cooked it for 10 minutes. Works perfectly. Thanks again, Brian

    • Cathy says:

      That is awesome Brian! I recently been sticking my toe into the canning waters and love that you’ve had success with this recipe!

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