A berry-sweet surprise: making jam in your Zo


So, what can you really get done in less than 90 minutes today? You could clean out your sock drawer.  You could call your best friend and  commiserate for 90  minutes about how her husband and kids never clean their sock drawers, or ditch the socks altogether and…

…make homemade jam  plus scones, pastry cream, and whipped cream to create amazing scone parfaits for dessert tonight.

A scone parfait with homemade jam? Sock it to me!

For making this jam, you’ll need a bread machine with a jam cycle. If you don’t have a bread machine, it’s fine to make a standard stovetop jam, then pick up at the scone part of this post.

You probably know by now how much we love our bread machines here in the test kitchen. We just received a shipment of four new Zojirushi machines: two for Sue Gray, one for Susan Reid, and one for Dr. Andrea. PJ already has hers and I borrow Sue’s extra when I need it. There’s something very comforting about the dub-dub-dub of the kneading cycle keeping a heartbeat in our busy kitchen.

Making jam in the machine really is as easy as dumping in the ingredients, setting the cycle, and walking away for just over an hour. Seriously, the clock’s a tickin’, so let’s jump right in.

Frozen fruits have come a long way, often being packed the same day as picking so they stay bright and sweet.

Place 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen, in a large bowl.

Using a pastry blender, potato masher or, in this case, a biscuit cutter, cut and mash the berries into small pieces. It’s really up to you how large you leave the pieces of berry. If you like a chunkier jam, leave them bigger.

Transfer the berries to the pan of your bread machine. Add 3/4 cup sugar.

Fresh lemon zest will bring bright flavor to your jam. You need just a little bit, so turn your zester upside down as you scrape the lemon. This way you can monitor how much zest you have.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the sugar and fruit.

Select the jam cycle and start ‘er up.

The jam cycle on my Zo is 1 hour, 20 minutes. About 30 minutes into the cycle, I took a peek. You can see that the level of the fruit and liquid has already gone down.

Here we are at the end of the cycle. The level of the jam is reduced even farther, the fruit is nicely softened, and the aroma is enough to drive a gal insane.

Beware though, the jam cycle runs very hot and this sugary sweet concoction will burn. Take care in removing the pan, and in spooning out the jam.

Isn’t that beautiful?

The jam will be on the thinner side when it’s hot, but thickens nicely in the fridge over a few hours.

Your homemade jam will be a delight on toast and in sandwiches, but I really wanted to jazz it up a bit, so we’re making scone parfaits.

Choose pretty dishes with higher sides to hold the parfaits. I wanted my scones to fit the bottom of the dish, so I sampled different round cutters. This one is too small.

Ah, much better. Now for the scones.

Scones truly are not difficult to make from scratch but every now and then you want a special treat without too much effort. For me, it’s our Cream Tea scone mix. It’s so soothing, each bite slightly sweet but not cloying, a perfect foil for all the different toppings you can think of… like homemade jam, perhaps?

Pour the mix into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix the two together thoroughly; no salty pockets, please.

Measure 1 cup of heavy cream and add 2 large eggs. This will give you the richest scones.

I’ve made these with half & half, 2% milk, even 1% milk. The scones will still come out fine; just keep in mind that the lower you go in fat content, the less tender and fine-textured the scones will be.

Add the liquid to the dry mix and gently blend until evenly moistened.

The scone dough should be slightly sticky to the touch at this point. If it seems a bit dry, go ahead and add a tablespoon of extra cream or milk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or a piece of parchment. Knead about 8 to 10 turns until all the dry bits of flour are incorporated.

Gently pat the dough into a rough oval, about 3/4” thick.  Use your biscuit cutter to stamp out several rounds.

Hey, while we’re talking biscuit cutters, why can’t you just use a juice glass or such, like Grandma did?

If you look at the edges of the biscuit cutter they’re thin and sharp, great for cutting right through layers of dough with little friction and little squashing of layers.

The measuring cup/juice glass has a much thicker, rounded rim. It’s pretty hard to push easily through the dough and definitely squashes the layers as you cut.

Let’s run a little test. Biscuit cutter on the left, glass on the right.

Whoa! That’s quite a difference. You can definitely see how the rounded glass has compressed the layers and sealed the edge of the scone. It’s going to have a hard time rising well in the oven without those nice open edges.

Oh, look! It’s the inside of Susan’s new oven! So big, bright, and clean. I swear the windows are straight out of the Boston Aquarium, they’re so large. We’ve been having a great time just standing and watching things bake.

Bake the scones at 400°F for about 14 to 18 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Here are our two test biscuits. The biscuit cutter scone on the left is a full 1/4” higher than the glass scone on the right. Score a point for using biscuit cutters.

While the scones are baking gather some whipped cream, vanilla pudding or pastry cream filling, and your homemade jam. It’s parfait time!

First, a good sized spoonful of jam in the bottom of the glass.

Next, split a scone in half and add the bottom portion to the glass.

Add some tasty pastry cream or vanilla pudding. If you make your pudding with heavy cream and extra vanilla, it really mimics pastry cream very well.

More jam, please. Each time I see this jam I’m so impressed by its deep, jewel-like color. When I remember it’s fresh and homemade, I’m even more impressed.

Top with the other half of the scone. We’re nearly done, but one final touch will put this parfait up into the clouds of great desserts.

There, a dollop of freshly whipped cream and some juicy berries.

Stand back and admire the goodness. Once you’ve taken in all the layers of sweet jam, warm scone, and two kinds of cream, you can pick up your spoon and salute a job well done.

Don’t forget to give your Zo an extra pat on the lid for jammin’ to a new beat and helping put amazing fresh jam on the table in under 90 minutes.

Quick recap of jam recipe: 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen berries; 3/4 cup sugar; 1 tablespoon lemon juice,and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest.

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. chinchillalover

    Ooh,these look really yummy.But do you really post some blogs as early as five in the morning!!!!!

    Aha! A Baker’s day starts so early – so we all can have fresh baked treats (edible or visual!) first thing in the morning! Irene @ KAF

    Tee hee, I don’t really get up that early to post the blogs. We can set the time weeks in advance, so I take whatever times I’m working on it, and change it to 5 am. That way I know the blog will be up and ready for early risers.
    ~ MaryJane

  2. jonie1988

    Can’t wait to try this! I have some frozen blueberries/raspberries from last summer’s harvest – Would 2 c of this fruit mix work? Thanks!

    Yes, Jonie, frozen blueberries and raspberries would be very tasty – go for it! PJH

  3. nlshugars

    My husband, being the good guy that he is, bought me a Zo for Christmas. I’ve not tried the jam cycle so ready or not hear I go. Plus I bought the little trifle dishes with my last order — sounds like a winner to me!
    And your hubby sounds like a keeper. Share a parfait and a snuggle with him! ~ MaryJane

  4. "sandra Alicante"

    Hmmmmm! Exactly how long did that parfait last before you gobbled it up for breakfast?:)
    I have heard that you can make jam in slow cookers (crock pots) too, I’ve not tried it but see no reason for it not to work! Obviously not a fast way of making it but perhaps easier than standing at the stove.
    HI Sandra,
    I was a very good girl and brought the parfait to the kitchen for someone to take for snack. Of course, I did have a scone with some fresh jam and pastry cream on it on it and it was superb! ~ MaryJane

  5. eleyana

    *sigh* I love homemade jam. I’m on my last half pint right now. Yet another reason I am in serious want of a Zo. And a fellow blogger just found a pristine one at a thrift shop for pennies! (Sob) Not fair.
    Oh, dear, I hope a ZO falls into your lap soon. Try leaving a bowl of milk on the back porch for the fairy folk, St. Pat’s is just around the corner! ~ MaryJane

  6. gaitedgirl

    OMG! How yummy does that look?? Y’all really have to stop making such good recipes… my waistline can’t take much more! Or I could just ride horses more to compensate. Hmmmm…. an excuse for more baking and more horses? In that case, keep the recipes coming! I can’t wait to try this one out! I got a bread machine for a wedding gift and I’ve been looking for additional uses for it! Thanks again!
    Oh, color me jealous! You get to bake and ride horses? Too cool! Maybe you can bake, and then hop on your pony to deliver the goodies all over town? What a great business that would be! :) ~ MaryJane

  7. gaitedgirl

    MJ – I’m a pet sitter (when I’m not working for a CPA during the day) and I have been known to leave behind yummy baked goodies for my clients when I finish a job ;) So you’re close ;)
    Aren’t you a sweetie! I’ll let you know next time I need to leave town. How do you feel about 3 dogs, 1 cat and 14 chickens? ~ MJ

  8. shorty06410

    Mary Jane,
    Your recipe sounds great….and, would love to try it….
    I have an old “Zo” purchased in 1995, and, it has a jam cycle.
    However, the recipe for berry jam also calls for 2 oz. of powdered pectin, which you omit in your recipe. It also increases the sugar amount to 1 cup.
    Could I use your recipe and come out with the same results?
    Thanks for the recipe.
    From one shorty to another ;). The new ZO doesn’t call for the pectin with their recipe, but mentions that the jam is thinner. If you like a good thick jam, try adding the pectin. As for the sugar, I think you would be fine with the smaller amount. I found it quite sweet enough as is. ~ MaryJane

  9. Margy

    14 chickens? Bet you have all the eggs you want for baking! I get mine from my co-worker who raises chicken, or from the local farmers market–those gorgeous orange yolks! I love my Zo for jam making. Its especially good for trying out new recipe combinations when you don’t want to commit a large amount of ingredients. When I make strawberry jam, I throw in a split vanilla bean, then leave the bean in the jar with the cooked jam. Sometimes add a little pectin for consistency too. Yum.
    Yes Margy, we’ve got eggs that’s for sure. My girls love to eat old stale bread from the test kitchen too. :)
    I love the idea of the vanilla bean in the jar of jam. I put one in my vanilla bottle, but strawberry vanilla jam would be simply amazing! Thanks for sharing that wonderful idea with all of us. ~ MaryJane

  10. gaitedgirl

    MJ – Curses! I live in NC! But I’ll give you a ring when I’m in VT… maybe we can work something out ;)
    I’ll tell Toby, Charlieman, Lillian, Ris (the cat formerly known as Iris), Cartman, Dove, Pinkie Toe and the rest!
    ~ MJ

  11. Carrie

    Assuming you had leftover jam or just wanted to make a whole bunch, would you just put it in jars in the freezer, or do I have to get my unused canning kit out? I’ve got some berries left in the freezer from last year and this would be perfect. I bought a canning kit last year, because I wanted to put up some relishes but never got around to it.
    Hi Carrie,
    I’d say go with the freezer storage. Quick, easy and reliable. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

  12. jonie1988

    I made this this a.m. using 2 c of frozen blueberry/raspberry combo – plenty sweet with the 3/4c sugar & very very flavorful! It yielded (3) 1/2 pt jars – one for us, one to share & one to freeze
    Sweet! I’m sure whoever gets the lucky jar will be so thrilled. Chalk up a karma point for you. ~ MaryJane

  13. susiebeeonmaui

    Not alot of sugar in this recipe I know, but could it be reduced more or even swapped out with agave or a sugar substitute?
    I did some checking online, and if you want to go the sugar substitute route, definitely add some packaged pectin. About one packet of pectin should be good for 3 cups of fruit. Let us know how it goes. ~ MaryJane

  14. "4importantmail@gmail.com"

    I love to make jam in my Zo. I run the fruit through the food processor to break it down quickly. I usually mix apples and my featured fruit for the natural pectin they contain. The result is not as thick as store bought jams, but cheaper than buying packaged pectin. We stir the result into our homemade yogurt, where the softer set is actually desirable. Would love to see more ideas for Zo jams, perhaps a chart of proportions of fruit to sugar, etc, to account for varying amounts of available fruits. Also, ideas for spices to add to different fruits. Sometimes I make apple “jam” with cinnamon, cloves and raisins, which is quite good. I’d love to try for apple butter, but I’m not quite up to the experimentation. I’m guessing a longer cooking time might actually make a nice apple butter, or maybe more processing in advance for a smoother product. Any ideas?
    Howdy! I think for apple butter you’d want to cook & puree the apples first, then add sugar and spices and cook on the jam cycle. This should give you a nice thick butter. I haven’t tried it though, so if you do, let us know how it goes.

  15. patsarts

    I’ve made raspberry and bluberry jam this way and it’s SO good. I added a little less sugar than it calls for, so it wasn’t thick, but thick enough to use on toast and super yummy on plain yogurt!

  16. bagermester

    in Sweden the raspberry-blueberry jam is known as queen jam. so what about naming the dessert “royal parfait”

    the jam cycle on the zoo is wonderful for all kinds of fruits

  17. musicmaa

    I made this today using 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup (liquid) of organic maple syrup. Absolutely delicious. It slightly thicker than the original recipe (which uses 3/4 cup of sugar) and tastes fabulous!

    This would be great on ice cream, pancakes or waffles.

    Next time I load up on berries for jam, I will try a little pectin.

    FYI, could not find this using recipe search, had to remember to search on blog.

    This recipe isn’t in the recipe section; it’s a blog-only recipe… Glad you liked the jam, and thanks for the maple syrup hint. PJH

  18. "jenni miller"

    I don’t have a bread machine. Can I make this on top of the stove, or in a slow cooker?
    Don’t let not having a bread machine keep you from making this- slow cook away! Use the high setting on your crock and yes, feel free to also make this on your stove top.

  19. Terry Bradley

    Thank you for the Jam recipe. I received the bread machine from
    my husband for Christmas and each weekend I’ve been baking bread. This past weekend was my first attempt at Jam. I have
    to say I love how easy this process is. Can the Strawberry Jam
    recipe be doubled?
    Thank you
    You should be able to double the recipe and still have it cook just fine on the same cycle. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

  20. Desiree

    So I do not need fruit pectin for this??

    That’s right, Desiree – it’s a refrigerator jam, and won’t “jell” as firmly as pectin-based jams, but will be firm enough to spread nicely. Enjoy – PJH

  21. Donna

    I pick a lot of blackberries and make jam on stove top. I boil berries with sugar for 10 min remove from stove and stir in 3 0z blackberry jello. Has anyone tried this refrig type of jam in the Zo.?


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *