Apricot Cherry Jamsicle || Hitchhiking to Heaven

Jam on a Stick

For the past few days, I’ve been experimenting with recipes for jams that don’t contain refined sugar — just crushed fruit, sweetened with concentrated fruit juice and jelled with Pomona’s Pectin. On Saturday, I made a successful “sugar-free” cherry-blueberry jam, and I’ll share that here soon. Today, I want to quickly show you what happened to my sugar-free apricot-cherry jam that didn’t set.

This summer, I’ve been seeing some nice frozen treats on my favorite blogs, like Local Kitchen’s cranberry orange rhubarb pops — with tequila, of course. I thought, “Hey, why not use my runny jam for something like that?” I emptied a couple jars of soft jam into a big measuring cup, diluted the mixture with water until it was a consistency I liked, added a few teaspoons of sugar (I couldn’t resist), and poured the finished blend into my popsicle maker. (I use [amazon_link id=”B0002IBJOG” target=”_blank” ]this one[/amazon_link] from Norpro.)

I’m glad to have another way to use jam that doesn’t set, and I’m already thinking of other popsicles I’d like to try this summer. Margarita marmalade pops. Strawberry orange. Blackberry lime. The possible experiments — including occasional boozy add-ins — are endless.

I had been feeling kind of bad about how many loose jams I have in my pantry, but now I’m looking forward to a summer of jamsicles.

Photo by Norpro

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  • Reply kaela July 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Oh, this is a brilliant idea for ‘failed’ jams! I may have to invest in a popsicle mold this summer.

    FWIW, I’ve had good luck with low-sugar or no-sugar blueberry jams (even though they are supposed to be lower in pectin). Maybe because the texture is so meaty. Cherries & strawberries, however, I find particularly hard to do without sugar.

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:18 am

      Thanks for being part of the inspiration, Kaela. I think you would enjoy a popsicle mold. That’s true about blueberries, isn’t it? Maybe one of the reasons the cherry-blueberry did so well is because of those blues . . .

  • Reply meg July 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Great idea for runny jams or jellies! Now I need a popsicle maker =)

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:17 am

      Go n’ get yrself one, Girl! You’ll enjoy it and so will the Babylady. :-)

  • Reply tigress July 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    genius! in so many ways! and perfect timing because I just opened my first sealed jar of this year’s smokin’ strawberry preserves and the flavor is amazing, but the set? not so much. ugh! apparently my gooseberry pectin was much stronger than my apple pectin. :( jamsiclez to the rescue!

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

      Hot strawberry jamsiclez sound like a pretty decent consolation prize, plus you gave these treats an excellent new spelling. I hope you can make another batch for yourself, though. I know that preserve is one of your very favorites. I have lingered many times over your post about it. Someday I’d like to try it myself.

  • Reply Rosemary Rideout July 5, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Brilliant Shae !!

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:11 am

      Thanks, Rosemary!

  • Reply SB Canning July 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

    This is a fantastic idea. I need a “Popsicle maker” as well. Great use for those hot days. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

      Thanks, SB! I haven’t regretted making a small investment in a good popsicle mold!

  • Reply Melody D. July 5, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I’ve never felt bad about non-setting jams, they make great pancake syrups, icecream and yogurt toppings and mix ins for flavored muffins. I love this idea to add to the ways we use non-set jams :)

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

      Thanks, Melody. And I admire your attitude about non-setting jams!

  • Reply Victoria July 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    it seems the only time I have a failed jam setting is when I use Sure Gel. SO I remember that by calling it Sure, it wont gel! :) My mother in law said the same thing. Not sure why. Does anyone have a preferred product to use? I would love this recipe in full for the Margarita marmalade pops. Since alcohol does not freeze how do you get the Tequila ones to set up?

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:09 am

      Hi Victoria: I, too, have had some trouble with regular Sure Jell pectin, thought their low/no sugar pectin usually works beautifully for me when I follow directions. The same is usually true with Pomona’s Pectin (linked in the post above). Here, I don’t fault the pectin. I am trying to invent new recipes, and that can often take time and multiple attempts. The post at Local Kitchen (linked above) and Kathie (below) explain how the alcohol works; it just makes the set a little less hard — which many people prefer. I like the texture of these, but I look forward to making the grown-ups version, too. :-)

  • Reply Kathie July 6, 2011 at 4:29 am

    A little bit of alcohol makes the popsicle freeze “softer” – not too icy. I use it in sorbet for that reason. Just don’t add too much, a few tablespoons is all it takes.

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Thanks, Kathie. The post at Local Kitchen (linked above) discusses that, too. I don’t find these too icy, but I look forward to experimenting with some add-ins, also. :-)

  • Reply Michelle July 6, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I have a cheap’ish Popsicle form but would love recommendations on a good set. I like the idea of the wood sticks so I don’t have to wait to wash the base w/stick before making my next batch. Another idea is reusable plastic sticks (like the old Elsie Sticks).

    Any suggestions?

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:03 am

      Hi Michelle: I really like the Norpro set that I link to in the post above.

  • Reply The Turnbulls July 6, 2011 at 4:59 am

    This is an awesome idea!! And, just in time…summer has finally arrived to us ~ your Northern neighbours!

    • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 5:12 am

      Andrea, aughh! I so owe you a note. Soon! And thanks for the nice comment here. :-)

  • Reply Denise | Chez Danisse July 6, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Margarita marmalade, yes yes.

  • Reply Shae July 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Y’all and your margarita marmalade! I think I’ve got two jars left, and I may use one of those for jam pops. I haven’t published the recipe yet, but I will. It won a first place ribbon at the fair, in the “lime marmalade” class. Yay.

  • Reply Daedre July 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I just made a batch of unusually runny apricot jam over the holiday weekend AND I also just happened to buy a popsicle mold (I’ve been loving my strawberry yogurt and mango nectar pops lately). I’m going to have to try this!

  • Reply Eleanor@PlannnedResilience July 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    What an excellent idea. We haven’t had popsicles in years, since they are so unhealthy and ridiculously expensive. Now I can made some and they will be a health tasty treat in the hot weather.

  • Reply deb r July 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    when I made my oregon strawberry/oregon pinot jam ( in a way too small pot) i needed to skim tons of foam from the pot- that foam ,and some stray berries from the faom, combined with plain yogurt (about half each- a little heavier on the foam side) made THE BEST popsicles of the season! Second best were the strawberry rhubarb with yogurt made with the strained pulp left from making syrup cum compote? (simple syrup with fruit mashed in to make viscous sauce with pulp strained out for margaritas).

    Still waiting for cherries to ripen about a week left for chemical free then it will be cherry time with leftovers for popsicles yay!

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