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It's Time to Get Jammin'! 3 Uniquely Flavorful Jam Recipes to Fill Your Pantry

Photo by Pixel Stories / Stocksy United / 664154
Photo by Pixel Stories / Stocksy United

There’s nothing better than a layer of jam on a crisp piece of toast in the morning, or on waffles, sandwiches, yogurt, oatmeal…really, on anything. (Well, almost anything.) The store-bought variety is okay, but freshly jarred jam tends to have a unique, full flavor that mass-produced versions just can’t beat. 

Why not try your hand at making your own jam? It’s almost impossible to go wrong with this easy, fun project—plus, you have control over how much sugar is going into your jam for a healthier result (and you can eliminate the corn syrup entirely). With the summer months in full swing, now’s the perfect time to get jamming as there’s numerous delectable fruits ripe for the canning: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, figs, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and even tomatoes. 

We’ve got three flavorful recipes to get you started—but feel free to get adventurous and experiment with different combinations. Jam on!

1. Fig-Orange Fridge Jam

*Adapted from the lovely Simply Recipes blog

Makes: 2 half pints


  • 1 1/2 cups figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange, chopped, peeled, and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of: ground ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon (optional)


  1. Put all the ingredients in a large ceramic or glass dish and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes—the sugar draws out the liquid from the fruit for a syrupy consistency.
  2. Put the dish in the microwave and cook on high until the mixture starts to boil, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stop cooking and stir. Continue cooking, stopping every few minutes to stir the mixture. At about 13 minutes, the jam should start to get viscous. Test if it’s ready by seeing how it drips off of a spoon: If it seems to firm up a bit as it falls, you’re all set.
  3. Pour the jam into two clean, dry, half-pint jars, leaving at least a 1/4-inch of headspace at the top. Refrigerate and eat within a couple weeks. Pair with your favorite grains, cheese, chicken, or pork and enjoy.

2. Spiced Blackberry Jam

*Recipe from canning author/teacher Marisa McClellan of the blog Food in Jars. You’ll need a canning pot or a big pot + a canning rack for a hot water bath (for sterilization and sealing) and standard canning jars. (New to this process? Check out McClellan’s rundown on water baths here and jars here.)

Makes: 2 half pints


  • 1 quart blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested


  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 2 half-pint jars. Place the lids into a small pan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the blackberries and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the fruit, mashing the fruit up a bit as you go. Once the blackberries begin to release some juice and the sugar is starting to dissolve, scrape the fruit and sugar mixture into a 12-inch skillet. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice and zest.
  3. Bring the jam to a boil over high heat, stirring regularly, until the berries break down and the syrup thickens. It’s done when you pull a spatula through the jam and the fruit doesn’t immediately rush in to fill the space you’ve cleared.
  4. Remove jam from heat. Funnel into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces © 2014 by Marisa McClellan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.

3. Chia Seed Jam

* Recipe from Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet and the nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs. 

Makes: 1 cup 


  • 2 cups fresh fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries, or peaches
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (Note: Chia seeds should always be eaten ground or after they’ve been expanded in liquid.) 


  1. In a small pot over medium heat, mash and cook the fruit until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Gently stir in the chia seeds and then store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Let sit for at least two hours to achieve a good gel. (Note: Indulge without guilt!
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