Summer Arrives in Poland: Jams, Jellies and Preserves

June 1, 2022

By Larry Kozlowski, PFA Cultural Commissioner

As summer arrives, the beautiful flowering buds of spring turn into fragrant fruits and delicious berries. From now until the end of summer, it is the best time to make delicious Polish-style fruit jams, jellies and preserves.

When the long, gloomy evenings of late autumn and cold winter return, we will be able to enjoy hot tea with rich cherry preserves or pancakes with plum jam! Take advantage of the rich variety of fruits this season, and prepare your own homemade jams, jellies and preserves. Share with family and friends as a tasty homemade gift full of love and heritage!

Quick and Easy Stove-Top Jam Recipe

Can be stored in the refrigerator (4 weeks) or freezer (4 months)


1 lb. fresh fruit or frozen fruit
1/4 cup water (add additional as needed)
1 cup white sugar
large pinch salt
1 TBSP lemon juice


  1. Prepare the fruit by washing and removing any stems, peels, seeds or pits, if needed.
  2. Roughly chop the fruit up into large chunks (note: raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries can all remain whole).
  3. In a non-aluminum saucepan (at least 2 quarts in size) combine all of the ingredients over medium heat. Mash the fruit and sugar with a potato masher or a fork (note: fruit does not need to be completely mashed, depending on how chunky you like your jam).
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the juice thickens. The mixture will become thicker as it cools (note: if this is your first time and you are a little unsure if your recipe is cooked enough to set, spoon a little bit of the mixture onto a saucer and place it in the freezer for about 2 minutes, or until it is cold. Touch the jam, and if it has a gelatinous consistency, it is ready. If not, continue cooking).

What’s the difference between jelly, jam and preserves?

Jelly (galaretka) is mainly made from fruit juice and pectin with some sugar. Typically, it does not have any solid fruit in it.

Jam (dżem) is thicker than jelly. Jam starts with whole fruit cooked down to a thick, sauce-like consistency.

Preserves (przetwory owocowe) are the thickest of all with a lovely rustic texture that’s perfect for cookies, cakes and pastries. Preserves also use less pectin than jellies and jams.

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