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Thinking Beyond Toast: The Best Uses for Jam

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Jam is for so much more than just toast.

Pickled Strawberry Jam from Food52

Maybe all of this fresh summer fruit has led to a canning frenzy, or maybe we simply overstocked at the grocery store. Whatever the case may be, there comes a time each year when we find ourselves staring at extra jars of jam, eager to use the sticky, sweet stuff, yet unable to imagine eating yet another piece of toast. What's one to do with all of those preserves?

Luckily, our community has some great ideas for using jam that don't involve slathering it on bread. Here are some of the best tips from the Hotline so far: 

  • Bake, bake, bake! Jam is the ideal filling for thumbprint cookies and linzer tarts. It also makes a great addition to coffee or crumb cakes
  • For an easy treat, whip up some raspberry squares following RespectThePastry's tried-and-true instructions: make an easy shortbread dough, top with a layer of preserves, sprinkle some more dough over top, and then bake until golden brown. 
  • Use jam between the layers of a cake.
  • Mix 1 cup of jam with 1 1/2 cups of butter to make a spread, as JanetFL suggests.

What's your favorite way to use jam? Add your two cents to the question on the Hotline here or continue the conversation in the comments below!

Tags: hotline question of the week, hotline, question, best question, your burning questions, jam, toast, canning, preserving, how-to & diy

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Comments (37)


about 2 years ago landseergirl

Use Raspberry or apricot jam, add balsamic vinegar or soy, chopped garlic, ginger and use as a sauce over chicken. Use lots of different things depending on whether you use the soy or balsamic


about 2 years ago Jennifer

In a marinade (poultry, meat, fish).


about 2 years ago kkimberly

Bakewell tart and Eton mess (homemade jam only of course), porridge, doughnuts and also good in cocktails


about 2 years ago The Hillbilly Housewife

I love using homemade jam in oatmeal and stir it into plain homemade yogurt.


about 2 years ago ZombieCupcake

Pb and j oatmeal or pancakes are one of my favorite ways to start the day


about 2 years ago Marian Bull

I love PB&J oatmeal!


about 2 years ago walkie74

Man, my mom used to make jelly cakes years ago when I was a kid...I never thought to try jam, though. What a great idea!


about 2 years ago Socalgal52

Do you have the recipe for jelly cakes that you could share?


almost 2 years ago walkie74

Now that you've inspired me to write it down, here you go!


almost 2 years ago Socalgal52

Ooh, thank you. This is much easier and lighter than I thought. My mom used to make a chiffon with fruit custard. What a treat this will be


about 2 years ago PazzoNico

Certain preserves (cherry, peach, orange) can be used as a base for mostarda or chutney.
For mostarda, simmer it with some wine, some kind of dried fruit, mustard seeds, herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.) and hit of mustard at the end. Served with duck or pork.


about 2 years ago rainey

I am partial to fig preserves and conserved onions with mustard.


about 2 years ago Lee Ann Vandergriff

In the UK they add it to rice, semolina and tapioca milk puddings. Also jam tarts. Yum..fond memories.


about 2 years ago Swaki

Mix up some cream cheese with chevre, minced rosemary and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Top with fig jam. Serve with crackers. It is delicious.


about 2 years ago Gen

I like to just throw a little scoop in plain yogurt for breakfast :)


about 2 years ago savorthis

Graham crackers, cream cheese and raspberry jam are a great, quick faux cheesecake treat and I use apricot jam all the time to add sweetness to sauces, glazes and dips.


about 2 years ago KathyTS

I always have some of those Athens phyllo cups (freezer section of supermarket) in my freezer. Put a small cube of brie in each one and top with jam--bake at 350 until cheese melts. WOW.


about 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

oooh oooh!


about 2 years ago GammaCheryl

Don't throw out those last drops of jam in the jar - Add equal parts oil and vinegar to the jar, give it a good shake, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Instant Fruity Vinaigrette Dressing.


about 2 years ago krisanderic

Oh, hello!


about 2 years ago savorthis

I make dressing from fig jam, Dijon, various vinegars and nut oils all the time!


about 2 years ago Pat Anderson

If you make your own ice cream, add it at the last moment for a swirl of flavour.


about 2 years ago spacekase

grilled cheese: raspberry jam, grilled jalapeños, sharp cheddar on thick sourdough or a wheat-berry wheat. also love apricot jam, chevre, and a thin slice of emmentaler.


about 2 years ago Baketress

Bakewell tart,
with whipped cream in a jelly roll,
in Gâteau Basque.


about 2 years ago patti

i use apricot preserves with minced ginger for bbq pork,boston butts or even whole fresh picnics .you can even add some bourbon for more flavor .i put a paprika spice rub on raw meat ,then baste with my sauce after .is to die for


about 2 years ago Stephanie

Yum! Please add the recipe, I'd love to try it.


about 2 years ago Mrs Currie

Dilute your choice of jam/jelly with a good slosh of Port wine, heat in a pot and glaze your roast ham (studded with cloves or not) or roasted roots (beets, parsnips, etc.). Use clear jellies (warmed - undiluted in a pot) to brush over fruit & custard tarts or pour over a creamy fruit terrine mould as an jewel-like 'aspic' layer.


about 2 years ago Bevi

Jam and cheddar or jarlsburg cheese on bread or crackers.


about 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Top ice cream with it for am impromptu sundae. Trifles. Crostatas. Stir in some caramelized onions to peach, fig or apricot preserves for a great condiment to go with pork.


about 2 years ago skb

straight out of the jar, standing at the open refrigerator. anyone with me here?


about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Crostatas. Victoria sponge cakes. As fruit layer topped with yogurt and flaked almonds- for dessert: ginger jam and Turkish/ Greek yogurt are on point here. Glazes. With fresh bread and cold butter.


about 2 years ago rainey

Jam is an easy way to add flavor to homemade yogurt.

I also use it to add complexity and to take the edge off firey homemade mustard.


about 2 years ago amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

Childhood favorite (still good!) was toast spread with cream cheese and a layer of jam. Also jam is a good quick filling for impromptu crepes - for dessert or breakfast (I often make extra crepes - and freeze them between layers of wax paper - to have on hand.)


about 2 years ago vivian wood

Spread it on pancakes or waffles. Also try spreading it on an english muffin then adding breakfast meat and a cooked-to-order egg for an amazing sandwich.


about 2 years ago Winifred Ryan

For other baking jam tart/mini hand pies made with your homemade jam works wonderfully. I've done them with blueberry and peach (one flavor for each tray of tarts) for family lunches or snacks. Make a double batch of pie dough or if you want classy ones use puff pastry, fill with about a tablespoon of jam for a 3 inch square of pastry, seal into a triangle poking a steam hole. Peach, apricot, and plum jams also great bases for barbecue sauces not unlike a duck or hoisin style with some ginger, soy, vinegar maybe brown sugar added and cooked down a bit or just orange/lemon juice and zest for chicken.


about 2 years ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's contributors editor.

I love your barbecue sauce tip. I never would have thought of that!


about 2 years ago Lynn Chen

Use it Kaya Toast style for a sweet/savory treat!