Jams, jellies, preserves, spreads and more from the Amish kitchen

Amish Jam RecipesCanned jams and preserves capture the sweet goodness of summer’s fruits to be enjoyed any time of year, on toast, bread, pancakes or just about anything.  Amish are profuse canners, and create a wide range of jellies and spreads, including apple butter and fruit preserves.  Try some of the jam and jelly recipes below and lay up some jars for winter-or anytime.

PA Dutch and Amish Jams and Jelly Recipes

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  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups large firm berries

Wash and hull the strawberries, then measure. Place a layer of berries in a kettle, then a layer of sugar, alternating until all ingredients are used. Let stand overnight or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and allow to stand until the next day.  Fill jelly glasses and seal. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • Grapes
  • Sugar

Cook together an equal amount of grapes and sugar for 20-40 minutes. Put through a sieve and into jars, and can. (adapted from R&E Sales, Monroe, Indiana)



  • 10 c. rhubarb
  • 6 c. sugar
  • 6 oz. strawberry jello.

Cook rhubarb and sugar until slightly thickened. Add jello and mix. Put into jars and can. (adapted from R&E Sales, Monroe, Indiana)



  • 3 lbs. rhubarb
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 oranges, juice and rind
  • 2 cups raspberries

Skin and cut rhubarb into pieces ½ inch in size. Add water and sugar, grated peel, and orange juice. Cook all together for half an hour (or until clear), stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Pour into sterile jelly glasses and seal.



This Amish jelly recipe lets you use the peach skins left over from canning peaches.

  • 3 quarts peach skins
  • 2 peach pits
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin
  • Sugar

Cook 3 quarts of peach skins in 2 quarts of water. Drop in 2 pits; boil until peach skins are soft. Pour through cheese cloth and save 3 cups of juice.  Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 pkg. of powdered fruit pectin to the juice in a 6 quart, or larger, kettle. Bring to a boil.  Add sugar according to the amount specified in the recipe on the pectin box.  Bring to a full rollong boil, and let boil for 1 full minute.  Skim and pour into hot sterilized jars. This recipe yields 4 1/2 cups. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)



  • 3 cups sour cherries
  • 3 cups fresh apricots
  • 2 cups red raspberries
  • 7 cups sugar

Wash and remove seeds from cherries. Drop the apricots into boiling water for a few seconds, remove skins and seeds. Cut into quarters. Wash the berries. Mix the fruit and sugar together and cook quickly (until fruits become clear and tender). Seal preserves in hot jars.



  • 4 qts. apples
  • 2 qts. apple cider
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups dark corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Boil the cider until reduced to 1 quart. Pare the apples and slice into thin pieces. Put the apples into the cider.  Cook very slowly, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add sugar, syrup and cinnamon and continue to cook until thick enough to spread when cool. Seal in sterilized jars. This recipe yields 5-6 pints.



The conserve is a whole-fruit jam which can be somewhat more difficult to make.

  • 3 pounds plums
  • 3 pounds sugar
  • 1 pound seedless raisins
  • 1/2 pound chopped walnuts
  • 2 oranges

Wash and grind the oranges. Pit the plums and cut into quarters. Combine the oranges and plums.  Then add the sugar and raisins. Simmer for about 90 minutes. Add the walnuts and cook about 45 minutes longer. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



This cranberry conserve uses chopped nuts and raisins to achieve a unique flavor.

  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (chopped walnuts or blanched almonds)

Cut oranges into quarters and remove seeds. Grind cranberries and oranges, fruit and rind using a food chopper. Add the hot water and bring to a boil. Cook quickly until fruit is soft. Add sugar and raisins. Cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until thickened. Finally, add chopped walnuts or blanched almonds.



  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 2 cups chopped peaches
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 cups sugar

Use tart unpeeled apples and firm ripe peaches cut into small pieces. Combine chopped peaches and apples with lemon juice and sugar. Cook slowly for about 20 min, until the apple becomes transparent. Pour into sterilized glasses and seal. This recipe makes seven 6-ounce portions.



  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1½ lbs. sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Clean and scrape carrots.  Cook carrots until soft, then mash. Add sugar, the juice of 2 lemons and the grated rind of 1 lemon. Cook for 20 minutes while stirring frequently. Add the chopped nuts.  Finally pour into hot, sterile jars and seal.

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Strawberry jam photo: Abigail Batchelder/flickr
Unless otherwise noted, recipes adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.

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