To make fig jam, boil 1 pound fresh, chopped figs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean and a pinch of salt for approximately 20 minutes, or until the jam sets when it is dropped onto a chilled plate. Stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of ruby port and a pinch of black pepper. Pour the jam into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace, and process the jars for 15 minutes.
Alternately, pour boiling water over 5 pounds of figs, and drain after 10 minutes. Remove the stems, and chop the figs. Add 3/4 cup water and 6 cups sugar, and boil the mixture until the juice thickens and the sugar melts.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, cook for one additional minute, and ladle the mixture into sterilized jars, allowing 1/4-inch headspace. Process the jars for five minutes in a boiling water canner.
Another option is to pour 2 pounds of sugar over 6 pounds of figs, and store the figs in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, boil the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and turn the heat to low. Stir in 6 thinly sliced, seeded lemons, and cook the jam for approximately three hours. Ladle the jam into sterilized jars, and store the jars in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.