Last summer was a banner year for fruits around my house and I made jar after jar of fabulous jams and apple /pear butters.  Although I have done my best to chow through them I still have plenty of jars left and fruit season is fast approaching.  I’d rather not start more jams while I still have some left, and my friends are about past the point where they’re willing to accept any more “gifts” from me so I’ve been searching for recipes that use jellies and don’t require toast. 

Strawberry JamCredit: wiki commons

There are some simple and quick uses such as putting a dollop of jelly in the middle of your peanut butter cookie, or mixing jam into your yogurt, but I’ve found some really fun things too.

Applesauce on ice cream

This is fabulous when the applesauce is really cinnamon-y, kind of like apple pie alamode without all that pesky crust.

A big spoonful of blackberry jam isn’t too bad either.

Swirled into cheesecake

This is as easy as it sounds.  Swirl ¼ to ½ cup of your favorite jam into your cheesecake batter before baking.  Cook as your recipe directs and check it.  You may need to add an extra few minutes if you used a lot of jam.

Another option is to thin your jam with something fun, like brandy or rum, and make a sauce to drizzle over the slices of cheesecake when you serve them.

Jam tarts


These are basically just individual little pies.

Jam TartsCredit: flikr

You’ll need something round to cut your pie crust with.  Maybe a glass, and choose one that’s just a bit bigger around than your pastry cups.  If you’re cheating and using a muffin tin, plan on your pastry dough only coming up about half way.

  • Press your dough into your cups and even up the edges.
  • Fill with a spoonful of jam of whatever flavor you like and be careful not to over fill
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until the edges of the pastry are golden.
  • Let cool before you eat them – that jelly is really hot.

Grilled chicken with yellow plum glaze

  • ½ cup yellow plum jam (yellow plums have a very light taste. Could use apricot too)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (malt vinegarwould probably work but I haven’t tried it)
  • salt and pepper

Mix this together to form the glaze.  Add a little more wine if it seems thick.

1 chicken cut into parts.

Grill the chicken pieces.  Start with the larger breasts and add the smaller pieces after the breasts have cooked for a minute or two.  Cook until nearly done (temp around 150 F) then start brushing with some of the glaze.  Finish cooking the chicken.  Serve with the rest of the glaze as a sauce, if desired.

*Don’t brush with the glaze right away as the sugar in it will cause it to start burning long before the chicken is cooked.

Plum sauce for pork

I love fruit and pork.  If I’m lazy I’ll just heat up some applesauce (the less cinnamon-y kind) and spread it on my chops, but this plum sauce goes well with pork if you are up for mixing things.  For this I use the jam from Italian prune plums.

  • 2 tablespoons plum jam
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger, fresh
  • dash of balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Sauté the garlic in a bit of olive oil for a minute, then add the ginger.  Keep stirring until you smell the ginger and garlic, then add in the jam and vinegar.  I mix these together first to make it easier to mix with the garlic, but then my jam is a bit thick.  Thin with white wine if you need to.

Stir until mixed and warm.  Serve warm over pork or duck.

Jam turnovers

This is so easy and you’ll impress anyone you serve them to.  This work great to make the day before and leave in the frig overnight after you’ve assembled them.  They can also be frozen before you bake them.

  • 1 package of puff pastry dough
  • ½ cup or so of jam (can be any flavor or a variety of flavors.  If some of your jam is runny don’t use it in this recipe)
  • flour for rolling out the dough
  • sugar for sprinkling if desired.

Roll half of your dough into a 12 inch square and cut into four equal pieces.  A pizza cutter works well for this.

Chill the dough while you do the same thing with the other half.

When the dough is firm, put the squares on a baking sheet.

Put about a teaspoon full of jam in the center of one square leaving a bit of edge.  You can check if you have enough jam by doing a quick fold-over, folding one corner across the dough and seeing if your triangle is a little poofy in the middle or if it’s flat.  A little poofy is great but if you have to stretch your dough you have too much filling.

When you’re happy with the volume of filling, do them all.  To seal, dampen the edge of your triangle using a pastry brush or your finger dipped in water.  Fold the other corner over and press the edges together lightly with a fork.  You want a nice impression but don’t squish out the dough.  Chill again when you’ve finished. 

Brush the top with water, sprinkle with sugar, cut a couple steam vents in the top in a cute little design and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  The pastry should be golden and puffy.  Don’t worry of some of the jam leaks out, nobody’s perfect.  You can always put a few slices of fresh fruit on the plate when you serve them to hide the leaked parts.

These are delicious when warm and served with a scoop of ice cream.

There are so many more uses for leftover jams that I am confident I’ll be able to finish last year’s batch off before I start on this year’s preserves.