Preserve Just About Anything with These Quick and Easy Jam, Jelly, and Pickle Recipes
These simple recipes for jams, jellies, and pickles will save you from standing over a steamy stove all day while also helping you stock your pantry with delicious homemade goods.
Keeping summer flavors in your kitchen all year long—in the form of jams, jellies, and pickles that capture the bright and fresh taste of in-season fruits and vegetables—is easier than you might think. The quick and straightforward recipes in this collection are simplified, so there's no standing over a steamy stove all day and absolutely no pressure involved (and we do mean that literally).
This collection includes a basic jelly recipe that walks you through simmering and straining, so the fruit takes on a glossy translucence; add fresh juice and you get that beautiful, silken texture that makes it ideal for spreading on bread or toast. You'll find recipes for apple, grape, plum, and raspberry jellies, as well as a hot-pepper jelly that offers a spicy contrast to creamy cheeses (or you can brush it on meats such as chicken or pork before grilling them).
And then there are jams, which, unlike jellies, contain pieces of fruit. In fact, making jams isn't much more than cooking the fruit down with sugar until it becomes thick and spreadable. You'll find some wonderful combinations in these jam recipes, such as nectarine-raspberry and peach-plum.
Finally, we get to the pickles! In addition to classic sweet cucumber pickle chips, there are lovely options that would make welcome accompaniments to a cheese plate, such as cherry tomatoes perfumed with rosemary or red onions and baby bell peppers that provide a palate-pleasing counterpoint to the richness of soppressata and other meats. There are plenty of other recipes for pickles, too, including ones made with beets, carrots, cauliflower, green tomatoes, radishes, and even peaches
Basic Jelly Recipe
Made by simmering and straining fruit, jelly gets its glossy translucence and silken texture from fresh juice. We used the smallest amount of sugar that would still allow the mixtures to set (thanks to a reaction among the sugar, acid, and naturally occurring pectin in the fruit).
A combination of McIntosh and Granny Smith apples (including skins and cores!) gives this jelly its well-balanced flavor and a gorgeous slight blush color.
Pepper jelly is a spicy-sweet match for soft cheeses, such as goat or Camembert (or even cream cheese), and that's especially true when it's all served atop crackers or crostini. You can also use the jelly as a glaze for chicken or pork: Melt it, then brush it on the meat before roasting or after grilling.
Basic Jam Recipe
Unlike jelly, jam contains pieces of fruit—in fact, a jam is not much more than the fruit cooked down with sugar until it becomes thick and spreadable. Like jellies, jams freeze beautifully, so you can enjoy the taste of summer long after the season is gone.
Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
Pickled Chile Cauliflower
Pickled Onions and Peppers
Pickled Green Tomatoes
The peppery bite of radishes stands up nicely to the pucker of pickling brine. Serve these with grilled-cheese sandwiches for a grown-up take on comfort food.
Pickled Spicy Carrots
Layer these spicy, crunchy carrots on a baguette with grilled meat, cilantro, cucumber, and a smear of mayo for a shortcut version of a banh mi sandwich.
Pickled Tarragon Beans
Sweet-Pickled Shaved Golden Beets
Sweet-Pickled Cucumber Chips
Don't worry, we didn't forget the cucumber pickles. These sweet pickle chips are good enough to rival Grandma's recipe—and easier, too!