In the Kitchen with Arietza: 12 Simple Jam Recipes with Fruit from Your Garden

(Note from editor: Welcome to our new series! Arietza loves cooking and baking as much as she loves gardening. We are excited to share her recommendations with you. From garden to table, she's got you covered.)

We're all about delightfully odd yet surprisingly tasty jam recipes in this blog! These unique flavor combinations stem from the most popular fruits typically found in home gardens, and are brought to you with the purpose of extending your fruit's shelf life.

From classic favorites with a twist to savory surprises, these recipes will ignite your creativity in the kitchen. We'll also offer tips on ingredient substitutions and storage to ensure your jams turn out perfectly every time.

If you're new to canning, fear not! Making jam is easier than you might think. Here's a quick overview of the process:

Start by preparing your fruit—wash, peel, and pit as necessary. Then, combine the fruit with sugar, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and any additional flavorings in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens, then transfer it to sterilized jars and seal. Voilà! You've just made homemade jam! 

Now that you got familiar with the process let’s talk jams!

1. Sour Cherry and Lemon Jam

Enjoy the balance of sweet and sour in this cherry and lemon jam. The tartness of sour cherries complements the citrusy notes of the Meyer lemon juice, creating a flavor packed jam. Use it on toast, with Greek yogurt, or as a filling for carrot cake for a refreshing twist.

Recipe: Tart Cherry & Meyer Lemon Marmalade

2. Apple Pie Jam with Cinnamon

Enjoy the cozy comfort of apple pie in jam form! Use your fresh apples combined with cinnamon and brown sugar to get that perfect homemade apple pie taste. Spread it on vanilla ice cream, swirl it into yogurt for an energizing way to start the day, or add it to biscuits for a comforting treat on chilly mornings.


3. Raspberry and Lime Chia Seed Jam

This raspberry and lime chia seed jam is bursting with bold flavors, and the texture of the chia seeds adds a delightful bite. Plus, it's packed with fiber, making it a nutritious choice. Enjoy it on pancakes, vanilla ice cream, toast, Greek yogurt, or with a buttery croissant.


4. Peach and Lime Jam

Peaches are one of those fruits that are juicy, sweet, and abundant; when a tree decides it’s time to give, it gives! After you've enjoyed them in salads, salsas, on their own, and in margaritas, preserve the amazing flavor of summer by making them into jam. This recipe is perfect for using on your recent sourdough batch, toast, or scones. With the right balance of sweetness and tartness, it's sure to become a favorite.


5. Blackberry and Apple Jam

For a savory twist on traditional jam, try this blackberry and apple jam recipe. The tangy acidity of the blackberries pairs perfectly with the sweetness of ripe apple, creating a jam that's ideal for spreading on sandwiches or as the star of any cheese board. The best part is that this recipe is low in sugar, making it perfect for those who enjoy a sweet kick without the traditional sweetness punch of regular jam! Plus, blackberries and apples are one of those fruits that, once the tree starts to give, it keeps going in abundance!


6. Tomato and Bacon Jam

Now, before you go running for the hills, this combination has some credit to it! The savory richness of bacon pairs perfectly with the tangy sweetness of ripe tomatoes, creating a jam that's perfect for slathering on sandwiches or serving on your favorite cheese board. Depending on how you like your bacon, tomatoes, or jam, consider adding flavors like garlic and paprika to add depth and complexity to the flavor profile.


7. Fig and Rhubarb Jam

While the fig tree may not be a popular choice for backyard planting, rhubarb is an easy green to grow. In this case, the natural sweetness of the figs balances out the tartness of the rhubarb for a unique and delicious preserve. Remember that the leaves from the rhubarb are toxic, so make sure you do a good job of separating them. Enjoy it alongside prosciutto, savory ham, or on warm biscuits for a delightful breakfast treat.


8. Tomato Jalapeno Jam

Since we're on the topic of tomatoes, let's explore a simple version with a kick! Tomato jam with jalapenos is amazing with grilled cheese for a gourmet twist on a classic sandwich or with roasted meats for an extra kick of flavor. Don’t let this combination pass you by—even though it sounds odd, it’s a fun jam combination to have at home!


9. Plum and Maple Syrup Jam

This is a refined sugar-free recipe. Since we've already shared a sugar-free option, how about something equally delightful? The rich, caramel-like flavor of maple syrup complements the sweet-tartness of ripe plums, creating a jam that's perfect for spreading on freshly baked scones or drizzling over savory meats, like ham or pork chops. You can even use it as a sauce for your meat!


10. Plum Jam with a Hint of Pineapple

Pineapples are not your typical backyard fruits, but plum trees are! Once you are done dehydrating the excess into prunes, how about saving some for plum and pineapple jam? Put together your pitted plums and chunks from fresh or canned pineapples to make this combination that pairs great with meat. Use it for marinating meat, as a sauce on gravy and mashed potatoes, or enjoy it with meat and biscuits, and perhaps even slathered with cream cheese.


11. Triple Berry Jam Trio

Combine the vibrant flavors of any berries you have at home. Usually, it’s strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, but it doesn't have to be limited to those. You'll need to do some foraging beforehand, so make it a family activity to ensure everyone gets involved and tired. That's usually what can make food taste even better!


12. Blackberry Basil Jam

Berries allow for versatile flavor combinations. Basil and blackberry jam, for instance, offer a savory twist on traditional blackberry jam. Blackberry shrubs are prolific, and basil is one of those herbs that are staples in gardens. If you have both, you've hit the "jampot!" Get it? This combination pairs well with ice cream, pancakes, and cheese boards!


Final thoughts

Here's something interesting to note: if you're vegan, remember that gelatin is not vegan, but pectin is. There are many ways to make jam sugar-free or reduce the sugar content. Simply adjust the recipe as you go, or in some cases, substitute with maple syrup or honey, although flavor profiles may vary.

Homemade jam is not only delicious but also a wonderful way to preserve the flavors of the season. Whether you're enjoying it on your morning toast or gifting jars to friends and family, there's something truly special about spreading the love with homemade jam. So, grab your fruits, roll up your sleeves, and let's get jamming!






1 comment

  • ACB

    A caution to “adjust[ing] the recipe as you go”- if you alter the sugar volume you will be altering the product outcome and not just the sweetness. Not only could it be different in texture (possibly runnier) but how long it lasts in the refrigerator after opening, etc. Sugar in the world of canning is a part of the preservation (as is the high heat, length of cooking, use of acid, etc) Canning is like baking- there’s less room to improvise. But have no fear! There are plenty of recipes with granulated sugar alternatives or that require less sugar, so you don’t have to tweak a recipe, just find a new one from a reliable source.

Leave a comment