Your favorite jam/pickle/preserve discoveries: What must-make-again canning/other preserve recipes (or "not recipes") did you discover last summer?

I have a few to recommend; I'll post them after you all answer. Thanks so much. ;o)



Bevi July 2, 2014
I played around with blueberries and came up with a blueberry cherry lime jam that I adored. I make Meyer lemon marmalade every winter, and gift it to friends. I also loved the strawberry vanilla bean jam from food in jars. Lastly, a fig and cognac preserve found its way into many savory meat dishes, as well as on cheese platters, and it was always appreciated!
Susan W. July 2, 2014
OMG...I had no idea how amazing preserved lemons are. Someone gave me 10 organic lemons so I decided to preserve them using Kristen's Food52 method. I could only wait 14 days. They are such summery jewels. Last night, I made my Mom's version of James Beards chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I added chopped preserved lemon and I can't stop snacking on it.
AntoniaJames July 2, 2014
Sounds delish! Great idea, Susan. I make a lot of preserved lemons (we have a Meyer lemon tree right outside my kitchen door), but have never thought to use them that way. Last batch I made, I added a cinnamon stick, bay leaf, allspice berries and peppercorns. Outstanding. ;o)
Horto July 2, 2014
actually Queen Ann's lace looks like Poison Hemlock!
so be sure you know the difference if you are thinking of making that jam!
hardlikearmour July 2, 2014
The link I provided has a warning about that and good information on telling the two apart.
Horto July 2, 2014
there is a rhubarb chutney on this site, it's the season here in CT. i put it on everything
London_Eats July 2, 2014
If you're looking for some inspiration, Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke has amazing recipes - Kumquat & Passion Fruit jam, Quince & Star Anise jelly, Rose Raspberry & Cardamom jam...highly recommended!
hardlikearmour July 2, 2014
LOVE that book! The Apricot Lavender is really good, too.
London_Eats July 2, 2014
I should also add - there are some superb recipes for infusing fruit in various spirits. The spiced pear liqueur and quince ratafia are excellent. Prepare them now and enjoy by the fire at Christmas.
hardlikearmour July 1, 2014
Queen Anne's Lace Jelly - it has a subtle floral flavor, and there is a magical transformation when the pectin is added. It goes from a murky green liquid to a lovely pale pink.
VanessaJo July 1, 2014
I just tried this for the first time this weekend! I agree -- it is lovely and unexpected.
Midge July 1, 2014
Strawberry-Rose jam?! Sound like I have to pick up the Preservation Kitchen. I make Meyer lemon marmalade every year with the tiny crop from my tree; this year I used the recipe from Food in Jars and I'll never use another one. Other hits were loquat chutney (based on mrswheelbarrow's mango chutney), seven day sweets (making a double batch right now), and boozy sour cherries. One miss was a batch of sour cherries in vanilla syrup. Several jars were fine, but one turned kind of funky/fermented in the fridge only a few weeks after opening. It had sealed fine so not sure what happened? Great question AJ! It's been so fun to read what everybody's canning. Oh, and I ditched my thermometer too a couple years ago after a candy disaster. The chilled plate method hasn't let me down so far.
Droplet July 1, 2014
My father planted several kiwi vines a few years ago to climb over some arbors he constructed, as supposedly they provide thick shade once established. The gentlemen that he bought the seedlings from told him that the plant is proliferous. In anticipation I decided to play with kiwi jam and see how it tastes. I did just simple peeled and chopped fruit with sugar and some lemon, and it turned out very nice. The pieces mostly retain their shape, so next time I will chop them even smaller. It is something different to try if you can for pleasure, since kiwi is available fresh in the winter.
AntoniaJames July 1, 2014
Whoa, that sounds so good, Droplet. We can get kiwis at the farmers' market in the fall. My older son has loved kiwis since he was a baby -- the astringency must have sparked his little taste buds, I guess, -- plus kiwis are full of natural pectin, so this excellent suggestion is now on my project planner for September! Thank you for posting this. ;o)
Droplet July 2, 2014
You are welcome, AJ. Kiwis have been a favorite of mine since I was little as well. My jam did indeed set quite firmly, so you can easily scale down the sugar to retain some of that tang.
AntoniaJames June 30, 2014
To update you . . . I noticed for the first time this weekend that Virant recommends using Pinot Noir with dark plums as a variation on his Yellow Plum + Riesling jam. So I did just that, with a combination of black plums, Santa Rosas, and few nectarines, because that's what I had. The wine + fruit + sugar is resting now; I took a taste of course before putting it away for a few days. It's going to be terrific! Made a fairly simple nectarine + plum jam over the weekend with the tiniest touch of almond extract; outstanding! Also made my first batch this year of Virant's dill pickles, but will have to make many more, given the clip at which we consume them (not to mention that I want to send them regularly to my sons who are now out on their own in faraway cities).
I've really enjoyed -- and appreciate! -- everyone's answers and hope that more will join in. So many great ideas. ;o)
sarabclever June 30, 2014
Also, the blue chair jam company recipes are great. I loved the strawberry-blood orange marmalade (and since the strawberries really just flavor the marmalade, you can use frozen ones).
AntoniaJames June 30, 2014
Can't wait to check that one out, sarabclever. I like making marmalade for my father, who likes the Valencia orange + lemon marmalade from the Blue Chair Fruit book. I've been meaning to try to find another variety. This is helpful! ;o)
Diana B. June 30, 2014
AJ, I'm fortunate enough to have a Bearss lime tree in my yard that buries me in fruit in winter, so I make enormous quantities of lime marmalade then. Kumquats are planted at lot here for ornament, rather than consumption, so I regularly pick them (with permission, of course) on my dog walks and use them for a wonderfully tart marmalade.
petitbleu June 28, 2014
I love the tomato jam recipe from Food In Jars. Most of the recipes I've tried from Marisa's books are excellent--Pickled Radishes and Carrots, Pickled Garlic Scapes, Strawberry-Vanilla Jam...
There's also a great recipe for Golden Cherry Tomato and Ginger Jam in the 2006 Joy of Cooking.
Recently, I made a Strawberry-Rosé Jam based on a recipe from The Preservation Kitchen. He uses Pinot Noir, but I substituted a bottle of rosé--so dreamy!
Last year, I tried making cantaloupe jam for the first time, and I can't wait to make it again. It was completely new to me and seemed a bit odd, but it was totally delicious.
I've also been loving half-sour pickles lately. They're so easy to make and perfect for summer meals.
AntoniaJames July 1, 2014
petitbleu, that Strawberry-Rosé Jam sounds wonderful! I just discovered a bottle of rose leftover from a party last summer, so I have bookmarked that in "The Preservation Kitchen" for this weekend. I'm not terribly fond of strawberry jam, but that sounds like a real winner. Thank you for sharing this tip! ;o) P.S. Virant's dehydrated strawberry jam beckons as well. It sounds utterly amazing. I have great confidence in his recipes . . . . and especially appreciate his menu suggestions/recipes, pairing his interesting preserves with savory meat and poultry dishes enjoyed in the fall and winter. ;o)
SKK June 28, 2014
What a wonderful question! I have been making Mrs. Wheelbarrow's roasted poblano salsa in small batches for immediate use, and have now preserved it per her recipes.

I have a lot of cherries this year and am going to can in pint jars. And am pickling carrots and green beans. (Anyone have good recipes for either?)

Jan W. June 27, 2014
Piccante Calabrese/small cherry peppers - very easy to process or even do refrigerator non-processed pickles, and they're great to stuff with prosciutto or fresh chèvre.

I also pickled okra last year and loved it because they stay crunchy for so long.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
This is less than half of what I made last year. (We had a tiny crop of blueberries, so I had a lot more time, and more empty jars, than usual!)

These were the real winners, when all was said and done:

Sweet Pickled Cherry Tomatoes (Paul Virant, “The Preservation Kitchen,” page 44) You blitz the pickled tomatoes to make the wonderful vinaigrette ever. I’ll be sending this one over to Kristen for Genius consideration. Ridiculously easy; tremendous ROI.

Yellow Plum and Riesling Jam (Virant, page 74) I used Gewurztraminer, and made a batch with Santa Rosa plums, and a batch with plums and nectarines. Both were fabulous. Making more this weekend!

Pickled Watermelon Rind (Virant, page 49) Excellent; best recipe for these I’ve ever used. Now, if I could only find a watermelon with a good hefty rind on it . . . . (They’re hard to come by.)

Dill Pickles (Virant, page 30; I cut them into spears to pack in smaller jars.) Best Kosher dills I’ve ever made, hands down. His recipe calls for champagne vinegar instead of the more familiar household varieties. I used white wine vinegar; the pickles were terrific. I made several dozen jars; this year, I’ll be making even more.

Red Wine Pickled Beets (Virant, page 52) Great recipe but NB: don’t add the rosemary sprig to the jar. It gave mine a musty quality, which was not noticed until they’d been in the jars for awhile.

Pickled Golden Beets with Ginger (Kevin West, “Saving the Season,” page 143) Outstanding. Keeper. And so, so beautiful! Much more versatile for putting in salads, too, if you don’t care for what dark magenta beet juice does to most salads.

Sweet Pickled Damsons ((Pamela Corbin, “The River Cottage Preserves Handbook,” page 111). One of my favorite pickles, ever. People love these, so I’ll be making several dozen jars for gifts.

I’ve made a lot of applesauce over the years. Last year, I roasted a variety of apples to which I added lightly spiced pear cider and no sugar; after roasting, I blitzed it in the food processor, deglazed the roasting pan with a cup or so more cider, which I added to the pot, cooked at a low boil on the stove for 5 minutes, put in jars and processed 10 minutes. Best applesauce ever.

Cheers! ;o)
Susan W. June 27, 2014
This thread has motivated me to can tomatoes this summer. I've always been leary of bacteria seeping in unbeknownst to me, but Kombucha and kraut have instilled bravery. :0) My stockpot is not large enough to process qt jars, so Craigslist, here I come.
Panfusine June 27, 2014
Canning my own tomatoes. My local Farm overflows with the fruits at the end of summer and I ended up making enough to last me through the winter..I bid good bye to to the canned variety entirely. The flavor is unbeatable!
Panfusine June 27, 2014
I meant the store bought cans..
aargersi June 27, 2014
From the Preservation Kitchen - the corn chow-chow is fantastic - I am making a batch this weekend! I also want to try the brandied peaches since Texas peaches are at their height right now. Have you tried Miss Ginsu's spice green tomato chow chow? It's delicious!

Figs are coming in soon too (at my mother in law;s house) - I will make my Moroccan spiced figs and also a fig and honey jam (for my younger sister - it's her favorite)
Dona June 27, 2014
Thanks Diana B for the link, it looks good!
Susan June 27, 2014
I had a bumper crop of cayennes last summer and instead of drying all of them - which has been my habit - I pickled a large part using the simple pickled pepper recipe from foodinjars. I love them! They are perfect for everything from soups to salads and make a seriously mean cheese dip. I tried canning a mix of okra and tomatoes thinking it would be ideas for quick Indian dishes, but was unhappy with the results. Because of the necessarily lengthy pressure cooking time, the okra turned to mush. Better is to freeze the okra and can the tomatoes separately.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
Great idea, Susan. I don't eat peppers, but my son loves them, so I'll probably try that! ;o)
Greenstuff June 26, 2014
I can't wait to read what you've learned. As for me, I can't say I learned any new recipes, but I did learn that instant-read thermometers are not end-all-be-alls. I've been making jams all my life, but the marmalade I made this year, continually checking my Thermapen, is too thick. As stressful as it may be to drip jam off a spoon, temperature isn't everything.
Diana B. June 27, 2014
I have to agree - often by the time it reaches the magic 220F, it's overdone. Make jam enough, and you can actually hear when it's done by the sound it makes in the pan, but failing that, there's always the chilled plate method.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
Chris, the same thing has happened to me. So maddening! I like the dripping off the spoon method recommended by Rachel Saunders, and described in more detail here: // (Step 10). This, by the way, is the best marmalade recipe I've ever used. It looks like a lot of work, but the active time is minimal. (You can't decide to make it today, however, to use as a gift tonight or tomorrow.) Use Valencias; they have much more flavor, and are more tart than navel oranges. ;o)
Greenstuff June 27, 2014
Thanks for the recipe. Your link didn't work for me, but I found the recipe at
I usually make my marmalade from my neighbor's no-name oranges, but "the best marmalade" is high enough praise that I'll make it with Valencias next year. A nicely written recipe too (though I guess we can expect that from Blue Chair Fruit).
Greenstuff June 27, 2014
Hmm, seems like links aren't copying very well today!
AntoniaJames June 30, 2014
Chris, your neighbors oranges are just fine for that, I'm sure. ;o)
AntoniaJames June 30, 2014
That should have been "neighbor's" . . . . last day of the quarter and it's been a challenging end-of-quarter, to put it mildly. ;o)
Susan W. June 26, 2014
A little of topic, but a preserve of sorts..I have been making my own sauerkraut and kombucha for a couple of years. My favorite krauts are the Mexican and Asian versions.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
Not off topic at all, Susan! ;o)
Jean B. June 26, 2014
Bon Appetit from Sept.1982 had avery simple recipe called Georgia Peach 'Honey', a simple jam with only peaches and sugar. I think it was the best I ever tasted.

Dona June 26, 2014
Wow, that sounds so good. I googled but didn't come up with anything. Any chance you have that recipe?
Diana B. June 26, 2014
Dona, this has a couple of citrus in the mix, but looks otherwise like what Jean is talking about:
aobenour June 25, 2014
Every summer I do sour cherry preserves, peach raspberry jam, sweet pickle chips, and bread and butter pickles. In the fall I do a couple gallons of apple butter. Maybe not the most exciting, but they are all heirloom recipes and family standbys.
I am also a big fan of wine jelly - I do one with red and one with white and berries. Excellent with cheese, and good on toast too :)
jeinde June 25, 2014
Lacto-fermented pickles with garlic scapes from this site. They are not canned, just fermented on counter then fridge so don't keep for longer than a month or so. But they are wonderful, like NYC deli pickles and are SO easy and yummy. I didn't have garlic scapes (only get them occasionally in CSA basket) so used a slightly crushed clove of garlic. Delicious.
Diana B. June 25, 2014
Tobi, I see no point in competing with Smuckers or Knotts on plain-wrap jams and jellies, so I'm always on the prowl for unusual combinations! I don't know where you live, but your local county extension office may have canning classes and there are lots of very good websites that will help you learn to can safely, including these:

Besides, the sooner you get into jam-making, the sooner you can justify buying one of those gorgeous French copper confiture pans ( and you'll never be stuck for a hostess gift again, either!
TobiT June 26, 2014
Thanks for those tips!
mainecook61 June 25, 2014
You might like the cherry preserve with pinot noir in Ferber's Mes Confitures. I do find that her recipes require tinkering and a bit of experience in the jam making department, since she doesn't use (thank goodness) Sure-Jel and its ilk. This recipe calls for green apple jelly (right!) as the pectin source but I swapped in crab apple jelly. Even if it comes out runny (and it may), it's awfully good on ice cream or in a crepe. I never tinker with sugar amounts; it always looks like a lot going in, but unless one is planning to eat it by the ladle-ful . . . .
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
Have never tried cherries plus red wine. Sounds interesting! I have quite a few jars of apple pectin that I made last year (using all those peels and cores from the applesauce I make). I find Ferber's jams to be much too sweet, however. I suppose if you get a good dry Pinot, that might balance it. ;o)
Liza's K. June 25, 2014
I LOVE cherries and hate when the season ends. I usually buy a few pounds of them and cook them down with a little bit of sugar and lemon juice and then can them. I don't like to add too much sugar, as then they turn to candy, but just enough to give them a glaze. Perfect for a taste of summer in the middle of February.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
What a great idea! I don't usually process cherries many berries -- occasionally I'll combine with blueberries in a chutney or jam -- because it's just so much work to pit them all. (I eat cherries like crazy fresh during the season, though.) This sounds perfect. ;o)
nancy E. June 25, 2014
I love the seven day sweet pickle recipe. Love the crunch and the taste. Also, the blood orange marmelade recipe on this site is awsome for it's method of soaking the whole fruit for a few days instead of peeling and chopping. To top it off, it is delicious. Besides that, I make a red currant, raspberry jelly every year. So good.
Diana B. June 25, 2014
Apricot jam with saffron and rose (, Cranberry sauce with rosemary and juniper berry (, Fig jam with cardamom, Meyer lemon marmalade with tarragon (, Pear jam with rosemary and pine (, and Strawberry jam with balsamic and black pepper.
TobiT June 25, 2014
Wow, Diana, these all sound so amazing. I have never made any sort if jam in my life, but now I want to try. Can't wait to dive into each of these with a spoon.
sianbum June 25, 2014
This tomato jam from Mark Bittman is truly extraordinary. That said, I'm working on getting the sugar qty down because 1c is an awful lot.
VanessaJo June 25, 2014
Have you had any luck canning this in a water bath?
Recommended by Food52