By Ms. Mary Michaela Parker, MSU Extension Service
Summertime is a great time to try new recipes with in-season produce. Whether you garden yourself or have several friends who share their produce with you, there is always plenty of fresh produce to choose from this time of year. If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for new recipes to try with fruits or vegetables.
Delicious homemade jams and jellies can seem daunting to make, especially if you’ve never made them before. Extension Publication 220, “Pickles, Relishes, Jellies, Jams, and Preserves,” has plenty of great jam, jelly, and preserve recipes that will put that fresh fruit to good use! Give a few of these featured recipes a try:
- 2 quarts figs
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
Wash, stem, and peel figs. Crush or chop figs. Add sugar. Cook slowly, stirring often until the mixture is thick (about 1/2 hour). Add lemon juice and stir. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Seal immediately. Process in boiling water 5 minutes. Remove jars; cool and store. Yield: 4 half-pint jars.
Spiced Blueberry-Peach Jam (without added pectin)
- 4 cups chopped or ground peaches (about 4 pounds peaches)
- 4 cups blueberries (about 1-quart fresh blueberries or two 10-ounce packages of unsweetened - frozen blueberries)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 5-1/2cups sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole clove
- 1/4 teaspoon whole allspice
Sort and wash fully ripe peaches; peel and remove pits. Chop or grind peaches.
Sort, wash, and remove any stems from fresh blueberries. Thaw frozen berries.
To make jam, measure fruits into a kettle; add lemon juice and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and salt; stir well. Add spices tied in cheesecloth. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, to 9 degrees F above the boiling point of water (221 degrees F) or until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat; take out spices. Skim. Fill and seal containers.
Process 5 minutes in boiling water. Remove jars; cool and store. Yield: 6 or 7 half-pint jars.
- 4 cups crushed strawberries
- 4 cups sugar
Sort and wash berries; remove stems and caps. Crush the berries.
To make jam, measure crushed strawberries into a kettle. Add sugar and stir well. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, to 230 degrees F, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat; skim. Fill and seal containers. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water. Remove jars; cool and store. Yield: 4 half-pint jars.
This publication is great because it also has several recipes that feature fresh vegetables in it like homemade ketchup, pickles, relish, and more!
If you want to learn more about canning your produce, check out our blog post on the basics of canning fruits and vegetables.