Goodie Godmother Note: This post with unique and creative ways to use jam was written by Amy Guilbeau of Henderson’s Hearth. She sells Celtic-inspired soup mixes, baking mixes, and jams at farmer’s markets and Renaissance festivals in Louisiana. You can also order some of her products shipped directly to your home. I had the pleasure of trying some of her jams and they are absolutely delicious! I’m so glad a mutual friend introduced us, and I’m thrilled to share her creative recipes for using jam here. <3
I have a confession: It’s only recently that I started playing with my food.
My mother always fussed, “Don’t play with your food!” Well, I didn’t realize until just a few years ago, that she didn’t mean I couldn’t play with my food while I was cooking it!
When I founded Henderson’s Hearth and began selling my products seven years ago, one of my first experiences was at a local Strawberry Festival. I knew there would be about 30 other businesses selling strawberry jellies and jams so I worried how I could stand out. After some trial and error, I came up with my Strawberry Vanilla Jam and it was a hit! People were intrigued enough that they were coming back for more! Playing with my food has certainly led me to create some interesting and fun new products for my customers to enjoy over the years.
Sometimes I run into the occasional customer at a faire or festival that proclaims they don’t eat jam. This immediately makes me want to break into a Forrest Gump-like litany of all the unique ways you can enjoy jam. All you need to do is play with your food! Here are a few of my favorite ways:
1. Jam as a glaze for savory dishes
I love the combination of salty/sweet or sweet/sour. One of my favorite examples is Orange Marmalade Glazed Carrots. I use two parts marmalade to one part butter along with my secret ingredient: a tablespoon of fresh, finely diced ginger. Steam the carrots until they are mostly cooked; combine everything in a saucepan, cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes a gooey glaze, about 10 minutes. A simple and tasty side dish.
For a fantastic main dish on the grill, I’ll salt and pepper a roast and then coat it with a raspberry or blackberry jam while on the grill (my family prefers tart flavors for this but feel free to play with it). The jam becomes this caramelized counterpoint to the seasonings and helps seal in the juices.
2. Jam in dressing
One of my customers created a summer salad dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 Tablespoons of strawberry jam
I’ve also tried this with a raspberry jam and you can easily play around with your favorite flavors.
For a fruit dip: I use 5 oz vanilla yogurt, 2 Tablespoons orange marmalade and 1 teaspoon poppy seeds. It’s a perfect treat!
3. Jam as a Topping
Everybody’s done the classic jelly or jam on toast, but have you tried it on toast with goat cheese? Perhaps on pancakes? With a dollop of whipped cream, it becomes a little more decadent. How about when making hors d’oeuvers? Try adding a touch to your favorite recipe, aiming for that sweet/ spicy combo. If you want a little bite, blend in a touch of red pepper to the jam and serve with crackers.
4. Jam as a Filling
You’ve probably used jam as a coating on cake layers when baking, or perhaps as the filling. My favorite is to inject a bit of raspberry or blueberry jam into already baked lemon cupcakes and then top them off with lemon frosting and a fresh berry. It is just as yummy with vanilla or chocolate cupcakes also! Stuffed french toast just begs for a jam full of fruit chunks. Try leaving off the syrup and using a dusting of powdered sugar instead as I do. It’s divine!
Godmother note: If you’d like some tips on using jam as a cake filling, check out my Facebook live video HERE featuring one of Amy’s fabulous jams!
5. Jam in Cocktails
I’ve been saving my best tips for last. It’s not exactly cooking, but for your next get together with friends, it’s fun to mix up something new.
Better than a mimosa and super easy to make is a drink I like to call the “Jam Session”.
- Add a room temperature spoonful of your favorite jam (I personally prefer marmalade but any tart flavor will work) into a cocktail shaker or glass.
- Add some gin, mix well, and serve.
Another drink I’ve created is the Lemon Berry Bloom:
- Mix together…
- 2 shots of vodka
- 1 shot of elderflower liqueur
- 1 shot of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of raspberry or blueberry jam
- Once mixed, you may want to use a fine strainer, depending on the consistency you prefer in the finished drink.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can use jam. I hope these ideas will inspire you to go out there and play with your food! I’d love to hear about how these ideas worked for you! You can visit Henderson’s Hearth on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HendersonsHearth.