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Cooking with Jam

Jam is a must for a nut butter sandwich or a crunchy piece of buttered toast, but have you thought about cooking with it? It's so versatile. You can serve it in unique ways for breakfast, lunch, dessert or even in a savory dinner dish. And it's easy!

Quick Sweet Heat Tomato Jam

Quick Sweet Heat Tomato JamJam is an all-time favorite comfort food! My grandmother used to call her homemade jam “spreadable love” as she would slather it all over warm scones, muffins and biscuits. Of course, jam is a must for a hearty peanut butter (or any nut butter) sandwich or a crunchy piece of buttered toast, but have you thought about actually cooking with it? It’s so versatile. You can serve it in unique ways for breakfast or dessert, like these baked Jam-Filled Coconut Donuts, or for lunch or a light dinner like sweet and savory Ham and Rhubarb Jam Toasties.

Basting meats and seafood such as chicken, pork, duck or goose, scallops or shrimp, or game meats with jam is especially delicious. And it’s easy to do. You can mix jam with other favorite basting or marinating ingredients. Try blending raspberry, plumb or red currant jam, or peach or apricot jam with any of the following. Use for basting, marinating or to make a savory-sweet sauce:

  • Tamari soy sauce

  • Lemon or lime juice

  • Balsamic or other vinegar

  • Sea salt, black pepper and other spices

  • Savory herbs like thyme or rosemary, parsley or chives

  • Melted butter, olive oil or coconut oil

  • Vegetable or chicken broth

Love the combination of sweet and savory, sweet and sour, or sweet and spicy? That’s what cooking with jam can do. Think about sweet and sour pork or turkey with cranberry sauce. The idea is to use whatever jam you think sounds good with the rest of your ingredients. Remember, jam doesn’t have to be only sweet. It’s the combinations of flavors that make the jam great! Here are some ideas and recipes for making and cooking with jam:

  • Quick Sweet Heat Tomato Jam is a wonderful example of jam made from simmered tomatoes. Stir it into hot cooked whole grains or pasta, or add it to a favorite salad dressing.

  • Cherry Skillet Jam is simple to make and is absolutely delicious as a sauce for game meats, roast chicken or roast duck. 

  • Make Thumbprint Cookies with Easy Strawberry Jam, or make these Chocolate Linzer Tarts.

  • Roast a chicken and baste with jam. I often mix jam with lemon juice and butter for this sort of preparation. 

  • Make jam-filled muffins like these Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Muffins. You can substitute almond or other nut butter for peanut butter in the recipe. Experiment with jam-filled cupcakes, too, like our Chocolate Raspberry Dot Cupcakes.

  • Make Heirloom Onion Jam for sandwiches or as a condiment for a main meal. It’s really good with roast pork.

  • Baste chicken or turkey kabobs with peach jam while grilling or roasting.

  • Make a toasted smoked turkey or ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with jam and spicy mustard.

  • Add jam to a vinaigrette dressing for a fruity, refreshing salad.

  • Try Seared Scallops with Red Pepper Jam. The red pepper jam is sweet and spicy.

  • Baste grilled tofu or tempeh with jam for an unforgettable sandwich or to serve as a main dish.

  • Deglaze a pan of roasted meat with plumb jam, white or red wine, broth, butter or olive oil, and herbs and seasonings as desired. Try this Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Rye Stuffing.  

Do you cook with jam? If you have a recipe idea, I’d love to hear it. 

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