Helping Hands in the Kitchen: Let’s Jam

Strawberries, add sugar, bring to boil, and enjoy your jam!

June 7, 2022

It’s that time of year; fruit is getting ripe, so let’s make some delicious jam! Jam can be both sweet and savory. Making jam is fairly simple and uses few ingredients. Jam can be made with a commercial jam powder (pectin) or without. In this blog, I will share a scone and a biscuit recipe, as well as some ways you can use your freshly made jams as well.

Sweet jams can be used as a spread, glaze, topping, filling, or as a main dish or side dish attachment!

Apricot jam in mason jars


This recipe was shared by a cousin many years ago and I make it every year! This recipe may be made with peaches, or nectarines – any stone fruit works. “Stone fruit” meaning a fruit with a hard pit in the center.


  • 3 cups ground apricots
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups granulated sugar


  1. Mix fruit with the sugar and lemon. Cover tightly. Let stand 4-5 hours in a cool place.
  2. Heat slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
  3. Cook rapidly until fruit is clear. About 30 minutes. As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  4. Pour boiling hot into hot jars (Run the jars and lids in the dishwasher or pour boiling clear water in them and on them to heat them. Pouring boiling liquid into a cold jar will break the jar. Do not burn yourself.)
  5. Adjust caps. Process 10-15 minutes. If I don’t have a way to process it, I put a dry, clean dish towel on the counter. I use pot holders or a towel to keep from burning my hands. I tighten the lids and turn the jars upside down on the clean towel. As they cool I turn them right side up – and the lids will “pop” when they seal.  If they aren’t sealed, refrigerate and use immediately. The jam only keeps when the lids are sealed. If processing, let it process 10-15 minutes (to seal the lids). Makes about 4 half pints.


To make a sugar-free jam, use a box of powdered pectin (like MPC).


  • 1 quart peeled peaches
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 teaspoons artificial sweetener
  • 1 box of pectin


  1. Crush the peaches or fruit.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice, powdered pectin, and artificial sweetener.
  3. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat. Continue to stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour into sterilized jars within ½ inch of the top.
  6. When cool, store in refrigerator. Yield is 2 ½ half pints.
Strawberry jam in mason jars



  • 1-quart strawberries, hulled
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Put the strawberries in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Transfer to a large sauté pan along with the sugar, lemon juice, balsamic, and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 8 to 9 minutes.
  4. Transfer the jam to a heat-resistant container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam being made in a pot


I like to combine strawberries and rhubarb, which is delicious. Rhubarb is tart, whereas strawberries are usually sweet when you make jam.


  • 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups 1” pieces rhubarb
  • 1 ½ – 3 cups quartered fresh strawberries
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Vanilla bean, paste, or extract
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Combine in a large saucepan. Crush ingredients with a masher.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Cook at a slow boil for 45 minutes or until done.
  4. Take a plate and put in freezer.
  5. When you think it may be done, put a spoonful on the frozen plate, and put it back in freezer for a few seconds. If your finger can go through the jam on the plate and it stays, it is done.

Here are a few ideas for using your efforts making jams in the summer to last you all year long:

Bread (Yeast & Corn)
 Bread (Yeast & Corn)
Filled Scones
Filled Scones
Pancakes & Waffles
Pancakes & Waffles 
Toaster Pastries
Toaster Pastries 


The process is similar to making fruit butter, such as apple butter, pear butter, or pumpkin butter.

Ingredients in the pot
Putting ingredients through the colander
The fruit butter coming together in the pot
Using a funnel to fill the jars with the fruit butter
The jars of fruit butter upside down to process
The finished fruit butter in mason jars


  1. Wash, core, and slice the fruit. Do not peel.
  2. Add a small amount of water to start the cooking. Cook until very soft.
  3. Press through the colander (the peels, etc. will not go through and you’ll be left with nice soft, cooked fruit.)
  4. To each cup of pulp, add ½ cup sugar (granulated or brown) and add spices. Add allspice and cinnamon to pear butter. To apple butter, add cinnamon, mace, cloves, allspice, and a little nutmeg. Taste and adjust to your tastes, but be careful not to burn yourself.
  5. Cook until thick (this step takes awhile), stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  6. Pour into sterilized jars, seal while hot. Use a towel to not burn your hands, tighten the lids, turn them upside down, and let the seals get hot and seal. When you turn them right side up the lids should “pop” to tell you they are sealed. If they are not sealed, best to eat right away or refrigerate.
Lemon curd



  • 2 extra-large eggs or 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depends on the tartness of the lemon)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (cut into 1 T. pieces, at room temperature)


  1. In a glass bowl that stands up to the heat (like Pyrex) place over a saucepan of simmering water (double boiler technique).
  2. Whisk together the eggs. Add lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Cook stirring constantly until thick like a commercial sour cream texture at 160 degrees F. for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and put through a sieve to remove any lumps.
  5. Whisk butter into the mixture and add the zest to the mixture. Stir.
  6. Let cool. It thickens more as it cools. Cover immediately with plastic wrap. This will eliminate a “skin” to form on the curd. Makes about 1 ½ cups lemon curd. Use in the same ways as the jam. Great on scones and other pastries.


You could use savory jams with complimentary meats, on crackers or breads, or with a salad.

Example of red onion jam



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (if fresh, less if dry)
  • Salt
  • ½ cup dry red wine (less if using red wine vinegar or use a broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (either along with or added to dry red wine or broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened about 8 minutes.
  3. Add wine and simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the wine has evaporated – about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook until onions are very tender and liquid is syrup – about 3 – 4 minutes.
  5. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Example of tomato jam



  • 2 pounds ripe Roma or Plum tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Chop tomatoes and remove seeds. Grate the ginger. Put in a pan and bring to boil.
  2. Simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring regularly.
  3. Add spices and cook to blend flavors. Taste and adjust to your tastes.
Baked loaves of bread
Baked Loaves


My cousin in Colorado shared this recipe with me. Makes rolls, loaves, flatbreads, doughnuts, coffee cakes, or fried bread.


  • 1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 deg F)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water.
  2. Heat the milk to just below the boiling point. Then cool to lukewarm (80-85 deg F).
  3. Add lukewarm milk and 3 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat 130 strokes or until smooth (or sometimes I use the mixer). Let stand for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Add beaten eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes (about 350 times) until smooth and elastic.
  6. Cover with damp (not wet) kitchen towel and let rise in warm place until double in size. About 45-60 minutes.
  7. Punch down and let rest 10 minutes. Shape and bake in 375 deg F oven until done and brown. About 15 minutes or more. This stays really well in a zip lock plastic bag in the refrigerator – take out what you want to bake and put the rest back in fridge.
Example of Blue Ribbon Biscuits



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons Crisco shortening


  1. Sift dry ingredients.
  2. Cut Crisco in with knives, forks, or a pastry blender to make the shortening pea-sized.
  3. Pour in milk. Stir just to combine.
  4. Place on lightly floured board. Knead a few times to hold together.
  5. Flatten to ½” and cut into shapes.
  6. Bake in preheated 400 deg. F oven for about 15 minutes, until done.

If you’d like to have biscuits like in the picture, add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients and proceed.



This is a basic scone recipe. You can fill them, top them, put fresh fruit in them, and serve them with lemon curd. You can also serve them with savory dishes, coffee or tea, or most anything you want. They were very popular in my bakery.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup egg


  1. Place flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  2. Add egg to measuring cup and fill with milk. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Place on floured board and knead until no longer sticky.
  4. Form into 3 balls. Roll each into about 6” circle and cut into quarters in a pie shape.
  5. Bake at 400 deg. F for 20 minutes or until done on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Bon Appétit!
With Love,

Granni K

Download these recipes here.