Turn Your Homemade Jam Into Easy Homemade Ice Cream

Perhaps, like me, you are rolling into preserving season 2013 with some, shall we say, overstock in certain areas. In 2012 around this time I still had apricot preserves hanging on from 2011. Then I happened into a giant windfall of free apricots. I turned that bounty into cases of delicious homemade apricot preserves and promptly learned that my kids will not eat apricot jam. They hold out for the berry jams.

Which means I am long on various apricot preserves. Like this jar of embarrassingly vintage Apricot Jam with Bourbon and Noyaux (Get the recipe here – it’s amazing.)


So I had this brainstorm that homemade jam might be a great way to churn out a very simple homemade ice cream.


Spoiler Alert: I was totally right. If you have jam, an ice cream maker and about 24 seconds, you can be on your way to delicious, super simple homemade ice cream!

Hubris Alert: Mr. Google tells me I didn’t actually invent this jam ice cream idea. Not even close. But hey, it was new to me when I tried it.

Homemade Jam Ice Cream


  • 1 half-pint (or 1 cup) fruit jam or preserves
  • 1 cup whole milk, chilled
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled

Note about the jam: I use homemade, low-ish sugar, commercial-pectin free jams with a fairly firm set for this ice cream formula, but I’m sure store bought jams would work just fine too. This isn’t the recipe I’d use a semi-liquid “jam-syrup” type preserve that never quite set up. That could negatively impact the final texture of the ice cream. For more about my technique for making pectin free jam, check out this post.



Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk all together. If your jam is recalcitrant to combine with the milk and cream, convince it with an immersion blender. (The immersion blender I use and can’t live without is no longer made, but it’s very similar to this one.)


Transfer mix, which should be very cold, to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.


The ice cream will come out of the ice cream maker with a texture like soft serve.


You can eat the ice cream soft, or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freezer for several hours until fully hard.


Enjoy your super simple homemade jam ice cream! My little ones declare this a kid-approved recipe! We’ll just ignore all the bourbon that went into the jam, shall we?


Do you make homemade ice cream? Have you ever used jam to make the process super simple?


  1. Rhapsody says

    Homemade ice cream is pretty much my specialty, so of course as an adult I developed lactose intolerance. My favorites was homemade mint, and my husband loved homemade pumpkin, but the quickest ans easiest is this one:

    1/2 gallon of chocolate milk (actual milk, not the “chocolate drink” crap)
    12 oz Cool Whip
    15 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk (which our family calls “Eagle Brand Cream” whether it is or not)

    It tastes EXACTLY like a Wendy’s Frosty.

    • g says

      What is this “cool whip” you refer to? Can I make it from scratch? Does some artisan sell it at the farmers market? BTW does any 1 have a recipe for making cheese wizz can’t seem to find a recipe with the Google machinee. ;)

    • IC says

      You might try coconut milk instead of the cool whip. It is incredibly good paired with chocolate, so much so that even us dairy eaters love it. (I wouldn’t eat cool whip either.)

    • Sara says

      Honestly, we all do the best we can to feed our families as well as possible. If you’ve never before fed your children Cool Whip or lowered your standards to allow them an occasional processed chicken nugget, then good for you. The rest of us here in the real world will continue to be the best mothers we can be, and let the occasional processed food make its way into the dinner menu. Personally I feel judgement is a lot worse for you.

      • IC says

        I am sure everyone feeds their family as they think best. And I’m sure everyone has used processed meals to help in busy times. If you’re going to go invest time and effort into making ice cream (instead of buying it made), though, then why not choose the very best ingredients?

        I don’t eat cool whip because I never knew what it was until I was an adult. We ate butter, cream (whipped our own), whole milk as kids. This is not any kind of judgment – my parents are immigrants and stuck with the foods they knew. They came from war torn Europe where the only processed food they could get was already milled and sifted flour. (Sometimes.) They ate foods without barcodes, what they were able to grow and raise, and we mostly did as well even when they came to the US, even though they had processed foods available to them.

        Honestly, I would call eating UNprocessed foods the real world, processed foods are only a recent invention. Many people still eat what they grow and raise, or what their neighbors grow, even today. It might be slightly egocentric to call the common modern Western diet the “real world.”

        • g says

          ok so i am sorry I started this mess, Erica clearly trys to not promote an exclusive or food snob approach to things. I honestly only was thinking the same thing that IC was, i make a lot of things from scratch from jam to pickles to my own vinegar but I dont often make ice cream when I do i would not want to use cool whip in it or make ice cream that tastes like a frosty, that just sounds silly like making spam carbonara, or making meatballs from scratch and then puting jared sauce on them. My 5 yr old loves frostys and we do allow him to have 1 from time to time, they cost all of 1$ and it takes a minute to get 1 through the drive through its just not an efficient use of my time to try to recreate that, and i also agree we need to get away from processed foods but i suppose if u make a frosty at home with real milk and real sugar i guess thats better than getting the corn syrup laden probably very little actual milk frosty from wendys.

    • Debra Voth says

      I have a family that loves frosty’s too and I don’t like to use cool whip (which is used because it it light and fluffy). I whip up 1 cup or a little less of whipping cream till stiff peaks form then slowly add the condensed milk (Eagle brand has a better final texture). When that is mixed well I add the chocolate milk. As I do not have an Ice cream maker I freeze it for a couple of hours and mix it up in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender put back in the frezer until frozen. Before I serve I blend again and it tastes very close to a Wendy’s frosty.

  2. says

    I found your blog yesterday while scanning for interesting-to-me homesteading pins on Pinterest. I am so following! … along with thousands of others, I see. I love your style, and the fact that you are a permie, and today’s fabulous idea for homemade ice-cream!

  3. says

    Another who’s lactose intolerant here but thankfully can manage small amounts of icecream now and then.

    Mine is simple and because I don’t have an ice cream maker, I am thankful for that!
    – condensed milk
    – cream
    – whatever you want to put in it (Fairtrade choc chips etc)
    – Malto biscuits.

    Line a lamington or equivalent stoneware/whiteware dish with baking paper. lay the biscuits on the bottom. Whip the cream and condensed milk and add your choc chips. Pour over base layer of biscuits. Add top layer of biscuits. The idea being when you cut it, it comes out like the ‘Icecream Sandwich’ wrapped ice creams you can buy. But smaller. unless you eat a lot of them lol. they turn out like this:
    OR you can do this fancy round version for a party, with whipped cream and chocolate chards on top:

    I think you’d have to be careful adding jam to this recipe though, as you say, unless it was a very firm jam… definitely going to try your recipe in summer. An oversupply of preserves sounds like never-happening-here to me lol but if it did happen (Bliss!) then I would definitely try your recipe :)

  4. says

    I have neither small children nor an ice cream maker. Our favourite icy treat is frozen berries and yoghurt, more or less equal parts, a tiny bit of white sugar, whizzed in the food processor or with the immersion blender. Both work. Delicious.

  5. says

    That sounds amazing. I haven’t used my ice cream maker since the embarrassing mint ice cream incident (I used the wrong kind of mint extract and it tasted like Listerine!). I think I’ll have to dig it out tonight and put the drum in the freezer so we can have ice cream this weekend!

  6. says

    Re: Bourbon: Meh. The alcohol cooks off. No worries. :-)

    Re: Using up excess jam: I use jam (and jelly, and fruit butter) in lieu of sugar in baked goods, since it’s got a high sugar-content anyway. You have to up the flour content a little (usually) but otherwise it works out pretty-much 1:1. :-)

  7. says

    This is a great idea. I’m embarrassed to say I never thought of it. I usually take that jam and make muffins or snack breads but in the summer it’s too hot for that. This is going to be a great way to use up the last of that rhubarb apricot jam, can’t wait.

  8. Yulia says

    I make ice cream from a frozen banana. Can’t be simpler: just freeze a couple of pealed bananas and then blend it with a bit of milk. great texture and taste. and I usually add some peanut butter or berries. simple and delicious!

  9. says

    Such a great idea! Apricot is by FAR my favorite jam, but we do have a hard time getting through a jar in any reasonable amount of time anyway. I might go for double apricot and eat some warmed jam on top of the ice cream too…

  10. Candace says

    Awesome. I was just thinking about trying this and a friend sent me the link to your site. P.S. I have been making the standard ice cream recipe and substituting buttermilk for the milk with DELICIOUS results and will do the same with this recipe. Thanks.

  11. Candace says

    P.S. Apricot is one of our family’s favourite jams. You could come up to a Vancouver craft fair and sell us a case :)

  12. GayLee says

    I’m not lactose intolerant, but my son most definitely is. I might try this with coconut cream. I was just at the Ranch 99 Market in Renton, where I just discovered you can buy QUARTS of cococut milk and cream. Sure, it isn’t local or organic, but for a frozen summertime treat every now and then, no problem. I’ll bet it would shine with pineapple or mango.

  13. Sanj says

    Yum! Great idea! (I don’t make jam, but I’m willing to try. I love ice cream, so there’s the incentive.)
    What I noticed the most is that you made a cute kid with my natural hair color – very very icy cream! Yay! Super cool – Let’s see the other readers copy that! :-)

  14. says

    We’ve done it with (pectin +sugar) jam that didn’t set, and we just used a “regular” ice cream recipe, didn’t add the sugar, and added the jam for fruit+sugar. Sorbets are also really easy with jam.

  15. esther says

    hi erica, awesome recipe, thank you! i went back to look at your pectin free jam too. ah! excellent!! i saw you leave the skins on in the jam. beautiful texture that brings to the ice cream. exciting. i will be giving this a bash, for sure.
    i was wondering if you did anything with the fruit stones? i saw that one of you wet zings was almond extract. i heaved our stones into some of our white wine vinegar about 3 months ago. the idea was to use the infuse/liquid for glace meat. its concentrated down so much now and the smell and flavour is like marzipan! not so much the pork/poultry thing anymore bit definitely for baking and cocktails! :) I did the same thing with balsamic vinegar and the kalamata pips… work in progress.

    • says

      Aren’t apricot seeds and all stone fruit seeds poisonous? They have cyanide in them and when canning I don’t give those scraps to the chickens because of this.

  16. says

    I’m glad you put this idea out there! I made some sour cherry jam this year for the first time. Because I’d never made it before, I thought it best to follow a recipe instead of just cooking down the fruit. The recipe I used called for liquid pectin, and the jam turned out horribly thick. I must have over-cooked it since it is basically solid. Turning it into an ice cream may work well. I’ll use coconut milk instead of the milk and cream because cow dairy makes my diverticulitis act up.

    • says

      I just wanted to report back a SUCCESS using my over-cooked jam in a coconut milk based ice cream! I used two cans of chilled coconut milk plus a little more than a half-pint of sour cherry jam. I mixed it up in the blender then poured it into the ice cream maker. The result was really delicious and not too sweet. I have another half-pint plus of this jam to use up, so I think I’ll follow this same technique and add some shaved chocolate to the mix before the final freeze. Oh, and perhaps some sliced almonds, too! Yum!

  17. Wynne says

    If you’re really desperate to use up the jam, you can add extra jam as a swirl. I used some strawberry-orange jam in regular strawberry ice cream earlier this summer.

  18. says

    I don’t have an over-supply of jam, but I still made your cracking ice cream last night. The ice cream is delicious and it’s such a simple recipe. I made mine with home made strawberry jam. Thanks for posting this,I’ll definitely be making it again.

  19. Davina Spafford Stuart says

    this sounds wonderful! I have loads of jams sitting in my pantry.. we just aren’t going through it as fast as we use to as I had to go gluten free a while back, so I don’t have toast and jam nearly as often as I use to (which is sad…) and means I just never get through my old stores of jam. I know I have stuff in there from a year or two (or even three) ago and I have been trying to decide what to do with it as the idea of tossing it just pains me horribly. Will have to dig out our ice cream maker and give this a try.


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