But this is a chance, like most things, a fleeting opportunity that if I don't make the most of it will be a year before I see this again! Just now I don't need to buy fruit at all or I might spend a little to get such a lot. So it's a saving and I can spend that money on my pantry instead. And in winter we will enjoy peach crumble, plum cobbler, stewed peaches, vanilla poached plums and all sorts of things that are such a treat then as they are all neatly stacked in the freezer.
Also we have fig paste to enjoy with cheese and crackers throughout the year.
When the freezer is full, we are eating as much fresh fruit as we can, and I have kept the girls in fruit also, I make jam. It is easy to make and keeps for years. I make mine higher in fruit and a bit lower in sugar. It is bright and vibrant and chunky with fruit. Not much like shop bought jam really at all.
My jam making instructions are here. This stores away fruit and is so handy for so many things!
You might think really jam is jam! But there are so many uses for jam all year round.
Firstly, I make lots and different varieties. I will ask for fruit that is clearly being wasted in exchange for returning with jam or a fruit pie. This tactic gets me so much free fruit!
Next I will use it as little gifts. Or for a larger gift I will make up a basket with four or five different jams. This is a really nice gift. Many times I get asked for more. So I guess you would say in several ways I use jam as a sort of currency!
Then you have so many ways to use it. Many are big money savers.
One is to make pancakes for breakfast or desert. This is inexpensive and cheaper than breakfast cereals or fancy deserts. Warm jam as a pouring sauce to top your pancakes. Add several flavours to the table. This is a lovely brunch too. At home extra pancakes were cooked up in small sizes and then went in my lunch box to school and I did this for the girls and they loved them. When the girls had friends to stay over I would often cook them all pancakes for breakfast. This was always such a big hit.
When I am having visitors I will often make scones. A couple of different jams go onto the table in my little glass bowls plus cream. People go crazy over warm scones! (in the US biscuits) They take minutes to make and again very cheap plus left overs have many uses! I basically love anything that provides lunch box variations!
Fill a sponge and decorate with flowers and cream. So easy! This was Chloe's Birthday cake last year...
It was a bought sponge filled with jam I had made and cream. I sugared some roses for over the top. Total cost was under $5.
This cake was another for a friends birthday. In this case I had used lemon butter I had made but jam would be an alternative.
Jam fills little cup cakes making them into butterfly cakes.
Jam can top or go into the middle of muffins.
Jam can be the centre decoration on biscuits (Jam drops)
Nan used to make a steamed pudding that used jam.
You can make Jam Roly Poly or a Jam roll.
(My other Nan made sponge jam rolls. Oh my goodness that was amazing).
Jam can be warmed into a sauce used to top a nut sundae or fancy ice cream desert.
Berry jam and cream can fill a chocolate cake to give a Black Forest Cake effect.
Mum always used left over pastry to make jam tarts. It was decorated with little pastry rosettes and baked and looked like a stained glass window. It is just a matter of spreading jam over a pastry base and baking. Served with custard this was wonderful. Or made as little individual sized sweet tarts in a muffin tray. I still love these. Never waste a bit of left over pastry! Surprisingly I saw this on a fancy cooking show last year! It was always the girls job to make little pastry flowers for the centres.
Jamie Oliver uses jam in pies. Ie instead of sugar added to apricots in an apricot pie add some apricot jam. It acts as the sweetener but adds body as well. This works with crumbles. You might have fresh apples. Add some berry jam instead of sugar then your crumble topping. Then you have apple and berry crumble.
Make bread and butter pudding. Jam is wonderful in this. My recipe that turns out like a cake is so beautiful. I copied the idea from a restaurant I went to. This uses up left over bread, buns or pretty much anything and is the loveliest desert. The recipe is here.
This is spectacular and so inexpensive. If you make this once you will never stop making it. Once sliced this is how it looks... add berries, cream....
Jam also makes a great glaze. Melted apricot jam over chicken pieces and baked gives a deep colour great flavour. Plum jam as a marinade or glaze with pork or spare ribs...
Use jam in scrolls or in homemade pastries.
If you have jam that just won't set call it "Strawberry syrup" or "whatever syrup"and keep it in the fridge. Use this as sauce over pancakes and pretend you meant it to be this way. :)
If you have other uses for jam please tell me as I am always looking for more. I never mentioned jam on toast! I have ambitions of making Jam Doughnuts and Bakewell Tarts.
If you have jam in the pantry it is just very handy. It is such a basic that can become a whole range of things and really a little luxury. Of all the fancy things in the world I think scones, jam and cream would be one of my favourite. With a cup of tea...
Once I was in Kuala Lumpur in the most luxurious motel I had ever been in. There was a string quartet playing and a waiter came out with the most beautiful silver tray and silver tea set. And you guessed it... he placed tea, scones, jam and cream down on the table. Just all so beautiful and one of the easiest things in the world I can make at home! Every time I make scones I think of that moment. Sometimes the simple things are the most beautiful. There I was having one of the fanciest moments of my life and there was my trusty friend Jam.
(This could be why I also love silver trays and lovely teapots, creamers and pretty plates! And we can re create this quite easily at home with our own pretty little things).
Have a lovely week. I will be back on Wednesday with a pantry update. It has been a busy fortnight! xxx