Pickle & Preserve

How to Make Pickles and Jam at Home

We're all about collections over at Provisions -- and we don't want you to miss out on the fun.

Today: Homemade kombucha, jam, pickles, and preserves are within reach -- today's collection can help.

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Summer is one of the best times for food -- peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries abound. But when the season ends, you have to give them up. Or do you?

We've got some excellent recipes -- think pickled beets and sweet and savory tomato jam -- that will help you preserve fruits and vegetables year-round. Learning to pickle and preserve does take a little more effort than buying a jar of jelly, but it’s far more satisfying. It’s also interesting in a science-experiment, kitchen-nerd kind of way. Best of all, you’ll save yourself from all the additives and fillers of packaged foods.


With very little equipment, you’ll be eating toast slathered in pickled strawberry jam in no time. We have everything you need to pickle and preserve from start to finish:

  • Cook up your jam using the basic equation of fruit plus pectin plus flavorings. Our favorite pectin to use is Pomona’s Universal -- it's activated by a pinch of calcium powder, not sugar, so you can keep the jam unsweetened (very ripe fruit is sweet enough on its own). 
  • Can it! Ball jars are the gold standard for jams, pickles, and preserves (and their cookbook is top in the field too). 
  • Make it pretty: We found this nifty custom stamp kit to label each jar with the contents and the date it was made. Labeled jars are easier to store and are nice to give as gifts (the custom kit even comes with gift tags and twine).

Since you'll need good glass jars for preserves and pickles this summer, check back tomorrow -- we'll be giving away heritage Ball jars and telling you our favorite ways to use them.

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Dawn Williams
    Dawn Williams
  • Count Mockula
    Count Mockula
  • Jenny Chavira
    Jenny Chavira
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Dawn W. June 27, 2014
I recently tried canning for the first time and I think I may have messed up. The recipe didn't mention processing, but I have seen it mentioned more than once. It was a small batch of pepper jam I canned, but I did I ruin it but not processing it?
Jenny C. June 29, 2014
Sunny, it won't be shelf stable unless you process it in a boiling water bath or pressure canner. But if you put your jar in the fridge and eat it relatively soon, it will be fine, like any other open condiment.
Dawn W. June 30, 2014
Thanks, Jenny! Next time I will definitely process next time.
Dawn W. June 30, 2014
I only meant one "next time". :-)
Count M. June 26, 2014
I love Pomona's Pectin! You generally have to add some kind of sweetener, though it can be a small amount, and you have lots of flexibility with what kind, from honey to Splenda to maple syrup.