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As warm weather rolls around, I look forward to an abundance of rosy rhubarb in late spring, luscious berries in early-to-mid summer, and heavenly stone fruit towards the end of the season.  When you can’t work fast enough to eat everything up, homemade jam is in order. To make things as simple as possible, I don’t rely on canning methods, use store-bought pectin, or keep my preserves in special jars. Instead, I focus on basic pantry ingredients coupled with a simple stovetop method that turns the fruit into scrumptious jams which store beautifully in the freezer.

Instead of pectin, use corn starch, potato starch, or arrowroot powder diluted in a little water to thicken your cooked fruit.

Your jam will only be as good as the fruit you put into it. Over or under-ripened fruit won’t taste as good.

Try these recipes:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Peach Jam with Blueberries

Now that you have them stocked in your freezer here are 10 Easy Ways to Use Summer in a Jar:

  1. Use instead of syrup for pancakes and waffles
  2. Drizzle on top of vanilla ice cream
  3. Spread onto toasted challah
  4. Mix into hot oatmeal
  5. Swirl with yogurt
  6. Spread on top of cheesecake
  7. Use as a filling for blintzes and crepes
  8. Before baking, add a dollop to muffin batter already ladled in the muffin cups
  9. Serve with pound cake and whipped cream
  10. Mix into batter for scones

How do use your extra jam?