Making your own preserves is easier than you might think, and there’s no better time to start than now, when fruit is still ripe, juicy, and plump. You can make any of these 7 fresh jams and jellies and store it in the fridge for up to a month, or freeze for up to 3. If you’re up for it, can in the traditional way for long, long keeping.
1. Grape Jelly
This most perfect of all spreads for the PB&J turns into something really special when you make it from scratch. Like all jams and jellies, it’s an easy process that takes a little patience and a bit of feeling your way. In this case, start with delicious Concord or other flavorful black grape varieties. Get our Grape Jelly recipe.
2. Strawberry Jam
Fresh, ripe strawberries, sugar, and a touch of fresh lemon juice are all you need to make this acme of summer jams. You can refrigerate the finished jam for up to a month, freeze for 3, or can in the traditional way for almost indefinite storage. Get our Strawberry Jam recipe.
3. Apricot Jam
A single green apple (a Granny Smith is ideal) adds just the right amount of natural pectin to help this rich, textured jam jell. Use the ripest, sweetest fresh apricots you can find (Blenheims take a little searching, but they’re the most flavorful variety). Get our Apricot Jam recipe.
4. Red Pepper Jam
Chopped red bell peppers render into a clear, sweet-tangy-spicy spread that’s perfect for serving with cheese or on turkey or chicken sandwiches. White wine vinegar, a bit of unsalted butter, and a touch of salt round out the flavors. Get our Red Pepper Jam recipe.
5. Tomato Jam
Fresh Roma tomatoes render into a delicious textured spread for crostini or to serve with cheese platters. You add brown sugar, onion, cider vinegar, cumin, and a bit of cinnamon, to yield complex results. Get our Tomato Jam recipe.
6. Fragrant Blueberry Jam
Grated apple peel provides the pectin necessary to set this simple, rustic, beautifully scented blueberry jam. Make it now, when blueberries are still sweet, juicy, and ripe. Get our Fragrant Blueberry Jam recipe.
7. Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote
Another delicious loose interpretation. Shredded chicken breast, cream cheese, pepper Jack, and chili powder are stuffed into fresh Anaheim peppers, wrapped in bacon. Some twists actually reinterpret an original in a way that makes them keepers. Get our Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote recipe.