I have a big jar of apricot jam that I made and must have overcooked because it has set up really hard. What can I do with it? Cake? Torte? Ideas please.
If you heat it up, I think it will soften. (Don't let it get to boiling, though.) I would do it in a Pyrex cup placed in a pot with a few inches of water or very carefully in Pyrex, using short cooking times, in the microwave. Then you can spread it thinly on a layer cake. (My favorite use for apricot jam is on a Sacher Torte made with the recipe in the older editions of The Joy of Cooking.) In its softened state, you could whip it up with some cream cheese for a spread on toast or use it to glaze a baked ham. Obviously, when it cools it will harden up again, so you'll have to work quickly.
Here's a link to Sunset Magazine that talks about pectin. This was a question about fixing jam that got too stiff and an answer..it's about half way down the page. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_n6_v196/ai_18425733/
There are 18 people in my immediate family, but only one August birthday. Because we just have to have cake more than once a month, I make a cake in tribute to Julia Child every August 15th. When she made it on her TV show, she made discs of meringue, but explained that if you made it into a rectangular loaf, you could slice off one end, then re-cover it with buttercream, and your guests would be none the wiser. What a hoot! Here is the original recipe.
Here's what I do differently: I make Julia's apricot puree but I leave out all the alcohol (boring) because of the grandkids. It's humid in August and humidity and meringue don't get along, I make a 2-layer white buttermilk cake (Dorie Greenspan's recipe) and I split the layers in half. I put the apricot puree between the layers and frost the cake with Julia's American buttercream, omitting the egg yolks and substituting orange juice for the alcohol. (When I make the cake at Christmas, it's for an adults-only gathering and I follow her recipe to the letter.)
Here's how you can adapt your jam: Reheat it, gently, with a dash of cinnamon or a piece of cinnamon stick, a tablespoon of orange juice and a teaspoon of orange zest. Use it to fill a white or yellow cake, and frost with American or Swiss buttercream.
If you have any jam left after filling the cake, mix it with a tiny bit of soy sauce or an equal part of barbecue sauce and slather it over cooked chicken parts, especially wings and thighs, or pork.
Or (don't hate on me for this) buy some canned biscuits (yes, those biscuits in the shiny blue cardboard tubes) and fry them in a skillet filled with an inch of oil. If you don't have pastry bags and decorating tips, fill a turkey baster with gently heated jam and squirt a small blob into the center of the doughnuts, then roll them in sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.
Leave the jam stiff. Place "slices" of it between two pieces of bread for stuffed French toast.
Mix a few drops of cider vinegar and some smashed garlic into it for a dipping sauce for egg rolls or pot stickers, or use it to dress Chinese cabbage for slaw.
As usual, I am left in awe of betteirene. Canned biscuit doughnuts? My doctor would hate you, but that's what Lipitor is for, right?
betteirene, can we all come over to your house please?
Wow Betteirene - you really need to have a "feed all the Food52-ers" party! :-) I would also suggest a savory application - melt the jam into some butter / herbs / stock / bourbon and use as a glaze on a roasted chicked or some grilled pork ...
Thanks so much! Great ideas, all. Betteirene, you are amazing. And thanks so much for the sunset article, very useful info.
I think I'll make a linzer-style torte and then move on to some of the other suggestions. I have plenty! So glad it won't go to waste.
I use jam all the time when I'm reheating leftovers. It goes really well with pork or chicken and can be served over rice. The jam should soften right up in a skillet with the meat. This is how I keep my family from getting too bored of leftovers!
And speaking of jam, Russ Parsons of the LA Times has a really "sweet" method of making small-batch jams that I have used with great results. Here's a link to the article and you can go to the recipes from there: http://www.latimes.com...