From Jam To Muffins, Recipes For Making The Most Of Berry Season

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Whether it's strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, summer is berry season. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins Here & Now to share an easy berry jam, a berry galette and raspberry and ginger muffins.

Summer Berry Jam

I know what you're thinking: Make my own jam? Who has time? You do. It's simple, takes less than an hour, and tastes better than anything you can buy. Try it. You'll want to keep making more. If you're feeling really adventurous you can process the jam and it will keep for close to a year, and it makes a great gift.

Kathy's summer berry jam. (Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)
Kathy's summer berry jam. (Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)

Your jam will only be as good as the berries you use. Find the freshest, unsprayed organic berries. Rinse gently under cold water and thoroughly dry, especially if you're not sure if they are organic. This recipe is for a very small batch — only 2 cups of jam — but the recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.

The jam can be used in traditional ways like spread on toast or on top of pancakes. But try this interesting sweet-savory summer sandwich: Spread jam on two slices of buttered toast, add soft goat cheese and peppery sprigs of arugula or summer greens.


  • 5 cups berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., or a combination, about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a medium heavy saucepan mix the berries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and bring to simmer over moderate heat. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. To test to see if the jam is ready, place a small plate in the freezer. After 30 minutes of cooking the jam, place a teaspoon of the hot jam on the frozen plate. Let it freeze for one minute.
  3. Remove and streak your finger through it; it should hold its shape and not be runny. Continue to cook another five to 10 minutes and re-test.
  4. The jam will keep in a covered clean glass jar in the refrigerator for at least 10 days. If you process the jars for 12 minutes they will keep for about 10 months. Makes 2 cups jam.

Strawberry (Or Any Berry) Galette

A rustic, free-form tart filled with fresh berries, a touch of sugar and nothing more. Make the pastry at least an hour before rolling it out in order to give it time to chill. Serves 6 to 8.

Pastry Ingredients

  • 2 cups white unbleached flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • About 1/4 cup ice-cold water

Berries Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups berries (all one variety or several types)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour


  1. To make the pastry: In the container of a food processor, whirl the flour, salt and sugar until well blended. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of coarse cornmeal.
  2. With the motor running, add enough water for the dough to just begin to pull away from the sides of the container and come together.
  3. Remove the pastry to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. The pastry can also be frozen for several months.
  4. Place the berries in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Gently toss and let sit at room temperature — this is called "macerating" the berries and creates delicious sweet juices — for about 15 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and gently toss.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Remove the pastry and place on a well-floured surface. Roll the pastry out to a 12-inch circle.
  7. Pile the fruit and any juices from the bottom of the bowl into the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Gently fold the pastry over the fruit (you don't want to cover all the fruit; the berries in the middle should still be exposed) and press gently down on the pastry flaps.
  8. Bake on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the berries are bubbling hot. Remove and cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Kathy's raspberry-ginger muffins. (Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)
Kathy's raspberry-ginger muffins. (Kathy Gunst for Here & Now)

Raspberry-Ginger Muffins

This simple muffin recipe is my adaptation of a recipe in The New York Times from the Jordan Marsh department store. You could also use blueberries or blackberries. Makes 12 muffins, or 18 mini-muffins.


  • Canola oil spray or butter for greasing the pan
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin, or an 18 mini-muffins tin, with canola oil spray or grease with softened butter.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup sugar until light, about five minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and half the ginger, and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.
  6. Crush half the raspberries in a small bowl with a kitchen fork, and mix into the batter. Fold in the remaining whole berries.
  7. Fill the prepared muffin tins with the batter.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar with the remaining ginger. Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the muffins from the tin and let cool for about 20 minutes. Store, uncovered.

Blackberry-Raspberry Butter

You can serve this easy fruit butter with warm muffins, on toast, pancakes, French toast, crepes or on top of roasted chicken or duck. You can mix up any type of berries you like. Makes 1/3 cup.


  • 4 blackberries
  • 4 raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter


  1. Place the berries in a small bowl and mash with a fork, breaking the berries apart so there are no big pieces.
  2. Add the butter and stir with a soft spatula or clean hands until the berries are fully incorporated into the butter. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep for several days.

This segment aired on July 20, 2017.

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Kathy Gunst Resident Chef, Here & Now
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks.



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