A delicious variety of recipes for preserving fruits that will stock your pantry and freezer with foods you can eat all winter long. From whole frozen berries to use in recipes and smoothies, to jams for your toast, to canned sliced peaches to eat straight from the jar, there is something here for everyone.
Oh summer and fall fruits - aren't they the best?
Throughout the summer most of us in the northern hemisphere have harvested lots of berries, rhubarb, cherries, currants, and the first of the peaches and apples. By the time September and October rolls around, we get to enjoy plums, nectarines, more apple varieties, grapes, and pears.
Every year the high fruit season of late summer and fall seems fleeting - preserving some of that gorgeous summer fruit is the way to hold onto those flavors through the winter months.
With that in mind, I have rounded up some of the best recipes for preserving fruits that I've published and found on other sites to be a resource to help you freeze, can, and dry some of that summer fruit goodness.
No matter what you grow or find at a fruit stand or market, there's a recipe here for you.
And remember, many of the recipes can be used for other fruits - for example, jam recipes are easy to substitute other similar fruits and things like nectarines and peaches are interchangeable.
- Canning Fruits
- 1. Spicy Plum Sauce
- 2. Honey Lemon Rhubarb Butter
- 3. Spicy Rhubarb Chutney
- 4. Low Sugar Berry Syrup
- 5. Apple Chutney & Apple Lemon Marmalade
- 6. Slow Cooker Maple Sweetened Apple Butter
- 7. Black Currant Juice
- 8. Maple Sweetened Blueberry Syrup
- 9. Blueberry Chutney (Honey Sweetened)
- 10. Smokey Cherry BBQ Sauce
- 11. Spicy Honey Sweetened Cherry Chutney
- 12. Homemade Strawberry Jam Sweetened with Honey
- 13. Raspberry Jam (cooked, no pectin)
- 14. Canned Strawberry Syrup
- 15. Plum Jam (lower sugar, no pectin)
- 16. Canned No Sugar Peach Butter
- 17. Canned Peaches with Honey and Cinnamon
- 18. Canned Pears with Honey & Vanilla
- 19. Easy Grape Jam
- 20. No Sugar Grape Juice
- Freezing Fruits
- Drying Fruits
TIP: most of the following recipes for canning fruit can also be frozen in jars if you don't want to can them. Simply leave at least an inch of headspace for expansion and use within a year for best quality.
A wonderful way to use plums to eat with stir fries, grilled and baked meats and roasted veggies all year long. This adds a lovely sweet-tart umami flavor to anything you use it on and you can adjust the spiciness to your preference.
The combo of honey, lemon and rhubarb almost melts in your mouth, it's so good.
It makes any muffin or toast shine and also makes a lovely jam crumble bar like this, but use the butter in place of the cooked sauce for a quicker treat.
Another rhubarb spread to try is this small batch Honey Rhubarb Ginger Jam - it's lick-the-spoon-clean good.
This is the chutney that started it all for me - I had no idea how wonderful chutney made everything from pork chops to roasted vegetables taste.
I took a chance to use up a lot of rhubarb and was hooked. Now I make this, plus an amazing tomato chutney and more fruit chutneys.
Make this syrup with blackberries or raspberries and sweetened it with apple juice, honey, and just a little sugar. You can leave the seeds or strain them, it's up to you.
Perfect on pancakes, waffles, ice cream and cake.
These recipes are a great way to use up small, wild apples whether from fallen apples or apple thinnings.
Both are wonderful as condiments for meats and make lovely appetizers when paired with cream cheese on toast or crackers.
Oh, the deep, deep apple and cinnamon flavor of this butter! It's just so, so good. The maple syrup go so well with apples, you'll wonder why you ever used anything else.
Using the slow cooker eliminates stirring a spitting pot of hot, thick, butter over a stove and makes this e.a.s.y.
This juice concentrate is a little more involved to make since you need to strain the cooked fruit to extract the juice, but having jars of this to make refreshing Italian sodas with whenever you want? Worth it.
Another lightly sweetened syrup, this time made with sweet blueberries. This is super fast to make with no straining, so it's a chunkier sauce retaining all the berry goodness.
Use on pancakes (double the blueberry with berries in the cakes and the syrup!), ice cream and stirred into club soda or tonic water for a refreshing drink.
Another chutney that brings the lovely flavor of blueberries to the table to top everything from chicken to roasted green beans. This really goes nicely with both Indian and Asian dishes, too.
When you've got cherries, make a unique condiment like this smokey barbecue sauce to use on grilled pork, chicken, and more.
This also makes a great gift - you can pair it with a few grilling supplies and a yummy spice rub.
You may be getting the idea that I like chutneys? I love having different flavors on my shelf - this cherry-honey chutney is SO good with grilled or baked sausages as well as topping cream cheese on crackers.
Capture the flavor of summer strawberries with this simple recipe for a jam that is sweetened with just honey.
The simple process includes pureeing the berries in a blender or food processor and cooking the ingredients about 30 minutes before canning.
13. Raspberry Jam (cooked, no pectin)
A simple, 3-ingredient jam made with sweet raspberries that you can make in small batches and can to be shelf stable.
Quick and easy 4-ingredient strawberry syrup to use on waffles, pancakes, ice cream and more.
It takes about 30 minutes to cook and 15 to can - turn an afternoon into jars of homemade syrup on your pantry shelves!
15. Plum Jam (lower sugar, no pectin)
Small batch, low sugar plum jam that is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger giving it a wonderful flavor perfect for cozy winter mornings.
This recipe uses just a little lemon and cinnamon with the peaches and includes all the steps to make the peach butter and to can it.
Once you taste the butter, you can add any sweetener you'd like if you think it needs it, so it's really flexible.
Simple canning technique to make quarts or pints of peaches in a very lightly honey-sweetened syrup flavored with cinnamon (simply leave out the cinnamon if you'd prefer).
The author includes lots of tips, including using lemon juice or citric acid if you'd like to preserve the peach color more.
The nice thing about this basic recipe for canned pears is that you can choose the level of sweetness in the syrup you use, either a light or medium sugar syrup, a light or medium honey syrup, or using apple or grape juice instead of syrup.
19. Easy Grape Jam
This recipe adds lemon or lime juice to balance the sweetness of the grapes in this lower sugar recipe.
A food mill easily separates the skin and seeds. Your PB&J will never be the same.
Choose no or low sugar when you make and can your own grape juice with this recipe. Use concord grapes like shown or any other grape you have.
21. Freezing Blueberries (+ Drying and Canning)
Having bags of frozen blueberries on hand means you'll be able to make blueberry cobbler or healthy blueberry bars whenever you want. You can also add them frozen to pancakes and smoothies. Pies, crisps - so many things.
You'll also find a number of other ways to preserve blueberries, so if you've got them, definitely check this article out!
You can see how to freeze strawberries easily three different ways - whole, sliced with sugar, or as a freezer jam here.
OR go here to see how to freeze strawberries - or any berry - whole and the simple fruity smoothie that's my favorite to make with them (TIP: use frozen fruit in smoothies and you never have to add ice!).
23. How To Freeze Cherries (& How to Use Them)
Pitting and freezing cherries whole is one of the quickest ways to preserve this delicate fruit that can go bad quickly on your counter.
Once you have bags of these in the freezer it's then easy to use them in pies, cobblers, crisps and smoothies.
Our favorite jam is really no-cook freezer jam since it most often tastes the closest to the fruit. You can make it with the strawberry like pictured, or any other berry or fruit.
You can also learn more about pectin and the different kinds to help you decide what you'd like best.
25. Blackberry Chia Seed Freezer Jam (No Cook)
This is a great option if you don't have pectin - and it adds the omega-3s found in chia seeds to your jam!
This is quick and easy and since the berries already have tiny seeds, you don't notice the chia seeds. We found it doesn't keep as long in the fridge, so be sure to use it up quickly once you've defrosted it.
Looking for something savory to make with your rhubarb? Then you will love this BBQ sauce!
The main ingredient is rhubarb, but it's combined with tomato and all the ingredients of a good barbecue sauce and the finished product has such a nice tang from the rhubarb.
If you've got ripe bananas, freezing is a great way to keep them longer and this tutorial will show you three ways to freeze them to use in smoothies, baking, and more.
28. How to Dry Plums (Not Your Mother's Prunes!)
This is my favorite way to preserve plums - and Italian/European/Prune plums are the best dried, in my opinion.
They have a delicious sweet-tart flavor and chewy texture that is nothing like the squishy prunes you get from the stores. If you've got plums, give this a try!
It's fun to dry cherries, whether you choose half or whole. I prefer whole since it's easier and the finished product reminds me of a larger raisin and is easy to eat in a nut mix. Try both and see which you prefer!
Complete tutorial for preparing, cutting and drying pears, including how to store them. Pears are amazing dried, so if you can get your hands on some definitely go for it!
A yummy combination - the flavor of the blackberry shines and the apple adds sweetness and makes a really good fruit leather. Directions are included for both dehydrator or oven.
Need some ideas for preserving vegetables? Here's 36+ of the best recipes for freezing, canning, drying, and fermenting vegetables.
This article has been updated - it was originally published in August of 2015.