One of the best parts of summer is the abundance of incredible fruit. If you're lucky enough to be inundated with enough berries, peaches, or melons that you just don't know what to do with them all, set some of your haul aside for later with these recipes for compotes, jams, pickles, and condiments. Some of these recipes will keep your fruit good for a few extra week, but others can be canned and stored to recall summer well into the cooler seasons.
Homemade jam is infinitely better than the too-sweet, preservative-packed stuff you find in stores. During summer harvest season, make big batches of jam and can them. They'll last until summer comes again—unless you eat them first. Rhubarb and strawberries are a great summery pairing. The tartness of the rhubarb and sweetness of the strawberries balance each other perfectly. Blueberries make great jam, too—kick up the acidity with lemon juice and add some depth with thyme.
Fruit ketchup is an excellent stand-in for barbecue sauce. Like jam, it can be canned and will last all year. Our blueberry-chipotle ketchup flavored with onion, ginger, and lime is great on chicken legs or portobello mushrooms. Our sweet cherry ketchup is flavored with cayenne, garlic, cloves, and cinnamon. If you run out before summer comes again, you can make it with frozen cherries.
Our cherry tomato-vanilla bean preserves are floral, musky, and sweet. The complex flavor is perfect for sweet-savory preparations— try serving it with a triple cream goat cheese or with firm white-fleshed fish.
Enjoy the flavor of summer fruit all year long with these compote, jam, and preserve recipes.
Cooking the rhubarb quickly is the secret to this compote from pastry chef Michael Laiskonis. By peeling the rhubarb before dicing and tossing it into a hot sugar syrup, he minimizes the cook time, preserving the rhubarb’s bright flavor. Get the recipe for Rhubarb Compote »
Like apple butter, melons can be cooked down to a jammy, spreadable condiment, as in this recipe from chef Silvia Baldini of Strawberry and Sage. Spread it on toast tomorrow morning or save it (via proper canning technique) for a pork chop in the dead of winter.
Preserve summery tomatoes and nectarines with this chunky, vinegary chutney from cookbook author Cathy Barrow. It’s the perfect preserve to serve with a sturdy cheese and crisp crackers.
Savory-sweet ketchup is a great way to use soft, less-than-perfect cherries—it makes a great stand-in for barbecue sauce in just about any application. If their season has already passed, frozen cherries work just as well.
Sweet and smoky blueberry chipotle ketchup makes a perfect addition to all manner of grilled foods; it’s great in place of barbecue sauce on chicken legs and meaty portobello mushrooms.
Rhubarb, a reddish pink vegetable that grows in celery-like stalks and is harvested through the late summer, has a pleasing tartness, so it pairs well with sweet strawberries in a jam.
The sweetness of berries plays off tart rhubarb in this lightly-spiced compote, which is great over Greek yogurt.
This jammy tomato compote is perfect paired with a triple cream goat cheese or with firm white-fleshed fish dishes. Floral vanilla bean brings out the musky qualities of cherry tomatoes. It is best made with ripe tomatoes at the height of summer.
Chef Tyler Kord of No. 7 Sub Shop in New York City created these sweet-tart pickled blueberries for his sandwich of brie, pistachios, and chervil. Pickled Blueberries »
This easy, versatile compote is thicker than a syrup but not quite a jam.
Crunchy, sweet watermelon pickles offer a bright contrast to smoked meats.