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Spiced fig jam drops

Just the afternoon tea pick-me-up you need.

By Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 12
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Make the most of the last fresh figs by turning them into jam so you can enjoy them year-round. These jam drops are delicious eaten warm with a glass of frothy milk spiced with cinnamon and cardamom.


  • 185 gm softened butter
  • 165 gm caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 225 gm (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 60 gm almond meal
  • ½ tsp baking powder
Spiced fig jam
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1 cardamom pod, cracked
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon (seeds reserved)
  • 1 kg ripe black figs (about 10), trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 500 gm coconut sugar (see note)
  • 1 tsp rosewater


  • 1
    For spiced fig jam, tie vanilla bean, spices, lemon rind and seeds in a piece of muslin with kitchen string. Combine vanilla seeds and remaining ingredients and spice parcel in a large saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until sugar dissolves (2-3 minutes). Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to very low and stir occasionally, breaking up figs gently with a wooden spoon, until jam reaches setting point (45 minutes; see cook's notes p200). Remove spice parcel and set jam aside to cool before pouring into sterilised jars, then seal. Spiced fig jam, unopened, will keep for up to 3 months.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150C. Beat butter, sugar, yolks and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until pale. Add flour, almond meal and baking powder, stir to combine, then roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place 5cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Gently flatten slightly, make a small indentation in the top of each, fill with a teaspoonful of spiced fig jam, then bake until golden (30-35 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly on trays.
  • 3
    Serve warm with extra jam. Spiced fig jam drops will keep for 3 days stored in an airtight container.


Coconut sugar is available from health-food shops. If it's unavailable, substitute dark brown sugar.