By Leslie Kelly

It's tempting to gorge on the fresh fruits of summer, but you're gonna want to make those juicy flavors last throughout the year by preserving berries, plums, rhubarb and more. Yes, that process of "putting up" can seem daunting if you've never tackled it before. But it's not as complicated as all that. If you don't want to deal with sterilizing and sealing jars in a water bath, it's perfectly acceptable to store jam in the fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for up to a year. Here are some of our top-rated quick and easy jams that make summer fruit taste extra special in the middle of January.

Berry, Berry Good

Strawberry might rise to the number one spot on everyone's favorite fruit list, but don't neglect blueberries, blackberries and, if you're lucky enough to find a source for them, tayberries. These juicy gems have plenty of natural pectin, which aids in the thickening, especially the latter three. Pro tip: If the recipe calls for cooking, keep a close eye — and ears — on your batch. It'll go from a rapid bubbling boil to a slower rolling boil when it's ready to be pulled off the heat. Don't freak if it's on the thinner side. It thickens up as it cools.

Photo by Meredith

Stone Fruit Time

These arrive a little later in the season, and the anticipation makes the enjoyment even greater. The debate over whether to peel or not goes both ways: Blanch and peel peaches and plums while apricots really don't need to be peeled, the thin skin adding extra thickening power.

Photo by Sharon

Bonus: Watch this short video and learn how to make Chef John's Fresh Strawberry Jam.