Homemade preserves truly can make wonderful Christmas gifts our family and friends will totally appreciate.
And they can be a great way to give lovely but cheap DIY Christmas gifts when we’re on a strict budget.
But when time is tight and we’re feeling frazzled we need genuinely simple but delicious homemade preserve recipes we can make both in advance and last minute with minimal mental effort.
That’s exactly what I’ve got for you here.
It’s a carefully picked selection of simple homemade sweet and savoury preserves to make as Christmas gifts combining both old classics like Christmas chutney, pickled onions and marmalade with some more unusual but utterly amazing recipes like sloe jelly that can give cranberry sauce a run for its money on the Christmas table.
There are also some old Christmas favourites like candied peel you would never guess are so simple to make and some real quick bargain ideas like frozen berry freezer jam that will let you whip up a batch of little Christmas gifts very quickly and cheaply.
There really is a delicious preserve here for everyone on your Christmas gift list and you could even put together a number of them with some other simple Christmas food to create your very own homemade Christmas hamper.
For inspiration do have a browse through the whole selection or if you are looking for a recipe for a specific homemade Christmas preserve check out the index below …
Cranberry Sauce & Alternatives
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without cranberry sauce would it?
But it really does taste so much better homemade and not everybody has time to make it.
So for last minute homemade edible gifts make little jars of cranberry sauce for any of your friends & family who won’t be up to making their own. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never ever made your own before – it is super simple with this easy cranberry sauce recipe.
As long as it goes in jars promptly, it will be good for at least a fortnight in the fridge.
Original image source : rawpixel.com
Mulled Cranberry Sauce
Or for a twist on the traditional cranberry try this mulled cranberry sauce …
Sloe jelly is one of the best kept secrets ever : I honestly think it is even better with Turkey than cranberries. Heresy, I know but it honestly is that good and so makes a brilliant edible Christmas gift to make in advance and to pop in a DIY Christmas hamper.
Sloes – blackthorn berries – are very easy to pick in the wild from September into late autumn and the jelly is super easy to make. There’s a great video here on making it …
Crab Apple Jelly
Crab apple jelly – in case you’ve never tried it – is a pretty pink jelly delicious on everything from toast and crumpets to pork dishes and cold ham.
It makes a wonderfully cheap edible Christmas gift as crab apples can be picked for free in the wild all the way from August to the dark days of November. Your crab apple haul won’t look promising – they’re tiny and very, very sour but it is super easy to transform them into of the very best Christmas preserves with this easy crab apple jelly recipe …Original image: Rebecca Siegel
Corn Cob Jelly
For a totally different Christmas preserve that will barely cost you a thing – you can make it from the leftovers from dinner! – why not try this beautiful corn cob jelly …
Quince Jam & Jelly
Quince jam or jelly is another wonderful homemade Christmas preserve to give as a gift or put in a DIY Christmas hamper as it is not so easy to buy in the stores – and is pricey – but is totally delicious.
You may find ripe quinces in mid to late autumn in the farmers market or ask around on local community forums to see if anyone has a tree they won’t harvest otherwise.
Very Easy Christmas Jams & Jellies
Frozen Berry Freezer Jam
Frozen berry jam is the easiest quick, cheap & easy homemade preserve to make as a Christmas gift in late autumn when there’s no fruit left to pick. I have a freezer full of raspberries from my garden and foraged blackberries to use but literally any bag of frozen berries you can pick up or have skulking in your freezer will do.
If you have never made jelly or jam use this super simple frozen mixed berry jam recipe. It takes you step by step through everything you need to do …
Original image source : rawpixel.com
Easy Grape Jelly
A brilliant alternative for a super last minute cheap homemade preserve that makes a lovely – and unusual – Christmas gift is easy grape jelly made from bought grape juice …
Blueberry is another super easy homemade jam that makes a good edible Christmas gift. Again you can make this very simple blueberry jam with a bag of frozen fruit.
You will get 4 or 5 small jars of jam out of a kg bag of blueberries and need nothing else but sugar and a bit of lemon juice so you truly can make some lovely little homemade gifts without forking out for lots of ingredients …
Original image: rawpixel.com
Citrus Preserves For Christmas
Most of our autumn fruits are gone by Christmas but the citrus fruits are just coming into season so homemade citrus preserves can be a great, easy, cheap way to make homemade edible Christmas gifts.
And there are actually a whole load more easy citrus preserves you can make for Christmas than you would ever imagine. They are usually super pricey to buy but actually super cheap to make.
Marmalade – as any Paddington fans will know – is not quick to make but it is surprisingly simple, or at least it is with this easy marmalade recipe. You will need to set aside 3 or 4 hours for making but you’re not actually doing anything for most of that time, so it’s a great opportunity to make some simple Christmas decorations whilst your kitchen smells divine …
If you are after a scrumptious edible gift for Christmas that can be made well in advance you have to try preserved lemons. Fermented in salt Moroccan style they are delicious with all sorts of savoury food and so a good homemade preserve to make as a gift for those of your family & friends who don’t have a sweet tooth …
Original image: Jules
Lemon curd is one of those homemade preserves that for me harks back to lovely, long, slow days of childhood but which I never think to make as I am just “too busy” but with this easy lemon curd recipe it’s actually delectably simple.
It makes a great last minute Christmas gift for a hostess as it will keep in the fridge for a good week and make a lovely addition to a Christmas table when everyone is a bit tired of leftovers …
Original image: rawpixel.com
I have to confess I totally adore candied peel. It brings back all my most special memories of Christmas as a child. And again it is crazily easy to make your own for special little Christmas gifts. If you can wield a sharp knife, you can do it with this easy candied peel recipe …
Original image: Craig Dougas
For a completely different type of homemade preserve that still makes a great gift, try extracts.
They are surprisingly simple to make and need nothing much more than a bottle of vodka or a similar spirit!
Bourbon Vanilla Extract
This bourbon vanilla extract recipe can be made in less than 10 minutes. But you will need to get organised for Christmas as it needs 4 weeks to work it’s magic …
If like me you grow mint little bottles of mint extract make lovely gifts or party favors …
Homemade Christmas Pickles
Quick Pickled Gherkins Recipe
A jar of deliciously homemade pickled gherkins will always be a winner as a homemade gift at Christmas for us gherkin fans. Your only problem being one jar won’t be enough – they are sooo morish!!
Full scale pickling and canning can be complicated but with this super easy pickled gherkin recipe you’ll be able to whip up gifts fast even if you have never pickled before in your life.
Christmas Pickled Onions
Pickled onions are another great homemade Christmas preserve that can transform even the most tired Christmas leftovers into a scrumptious supper. They are also a good edible Christmas gift to make in advance so you are not trying to make them in those last crazy busy few weeks before Christmas.
There are loads of pickled onion recipes out there but this easy pickled onion recipe really is super simple if you are short on time or haven’t done pickling before …
Watermelon Rind Pickle
OK watermelon isn’t obviously Christmasy, but back in my eighties childhood watermelon starters for Christmas dinner were a big thing I promise you.
And sometimes when we are looking for a good edible gift to give for Christmas we want something a bit different that really will surprise and delight, and this watermelon rind pickle recipe – if you haven’t tried it before – will do just that.
It is another homemade preserves recipe you need to put aside some time for but again you are not doing much for most of that time so you can get on with making other easy DIY Christmas gifts whilst you’re waiting.
Original image: Rebecca Siegel
Homemade Christmas Chutneys
Easy Christmas Chutney
A great Christmas chutney comes into its own on Boxing Day with its magical effect on Christmas leftovers. This lovely Christmas chutney recipe full of cranberries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger tastes amazing and will make your kitchen smell deliciously Christmasy as you whip it up for homemade gifts but is actually unbelievably easy …
Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish
A sweet & spicy pepper relish is a great alternative to a classic Christmas chutney for livening up leftovers and as a food gift you can make well in advance of Christmas. This red pepper relish is genuinely very, very simple and can be made start to finish in barely 30 minutes …
Spicy Pumpkin & Apple Chutney
If you do want to be a bit organised and make food gifts a good month or so in advance of Christmas, this spicy pumpkin & apple chutney is a great choice.
Like all these homemade Christmas preserves, it is easy enough for total beginners to make confidently but it is also a good gift to make a big batch of cheaply in late autumn when there are loads of pumpkins, squash and apples easily available. You could even pick your own when going to pick up a Halloween pumpkin …
And there you go, 18 truly delicious and genuinely simple homemade preserves you can make easily as Christmas gifts your family and friends will love. Don’t forget to bookmark or save the recipes for later.