Baking Treats With Jam

Tips For Baking With Jam.

Jam making has been making a comeback and my grandmother would be saying it’s about time.  Many of us may have fond memories of picking fruit when we were children and then spending some time, often very warm time, in the kitchen with our grandmothers making homemade jam.  Nothing tasted better than fresh homemade jam (strawberry was my favorite) on fresh baked bread.  Sadly, most of us have been eating supermarket jams for years and have been missing out on those wonderful fruit flavors.  Luckily there has been a huge increase in the interest in making jam at home.  Many areas now have either pick your own fruit farms or some wonderful fruit and produce stands that offer fresh fruit.

Using Homemade Jam In Baking

Too often the use of these great homemade jams has been limited to toast or sandwiches.  That’s a shame because jam can be a wonderful ingredient in many baked treats.  Baking has actually been minimized in a lot of ways.  Packaged biscuits replace home-made, the bread is baked either in factory or at the supermarket.  The jam, which I labored over this summer, stays on the shelf unless someone is making toast.  I still find half used jars hiding in the fridge, encouraging me on to get baking again so that these jars can be used in a recipe.

School starts after the long summer break and I am forced back to the kitchen to bake again, this time for my child’s class bake sale. Despite weather that is still hot, duty demands that I step up and bake, even though I would rather sit in the sun and read.  However in order to keep up with the other super moms I need to get my act together and think of some fun and creative ways to present some interesting desserts at the bake sale.

Homemade Jam Is The Best

This may be a great chance to clean out those hidden jars of jam, somewhat solidifying in the refrigerator.  No one can be troubled to dig into these jars when the pantry is still loaded with alluring, new unopened jam jars.  I’ll think I will make jam squares, even the slightly fossilized jam from the fridge works well with these and you can do different sections with different jams. These gooey treats are worthy of opening a new jar of my best jam, although they don’t last long in my household.   In fact I’m likely to be in trouble if I send them all off to the bake sale and don’t keep any for my family to devour.

Jam Squares

1 cup soft butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pot jam.  This is a vague amount because how much you use is up to you.

A recipe for Jam Squares

Cream the butter and sugar well. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, add to the butter and sugar and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the mixture one cup at a time until it forms a soft dough. You might have to knead with your hands at the end. Reserve one third of the dough and press the remaining dough into a greased baking sheet until spread evenly.  Top generously with jam. Use the coarse side of the grater to shred the remaining dough over the top.  Leave these shreds loose and spread them with a fork to cover any spaces. If you run the grater under cold water now and then it ought to stop the dough from sticking.   Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Do not over bake, the dessert will be too dry.  Cut into squares and leave to cool in the pan.  You can drizzle some vanilla icing over the top if you like, however I tend not to as it makes it too sweet for me.

This quick recipe led me to think of other easy, quick baking ideas that would take advantage of my delicious homemade jam.  The first treat that came to mind was scones.

Scones!

Despite what you may have heard, Scones are one of the quickest and easiest treats to bake. You will spend about  minutes of mixing the ingredients and ten minutes to bake.  Simple, right?   Plus, I can serve them right away with 2 types of homemade jam, giving everyone some fun options. Homemade scones are great for family or guests, they will think you have spent the entire day baking.  They are also a great way to show off really good home-made jam, scones are excellent delivery vehicles for your jam gems.

Scones And Jam

2 cups self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

Add the beaten egg and milk to make a light, damp dough (it can be very sticky, simply utilize plenty of flour for rolling and cutting). I differ the size of scone cutter, I find individuals choose to eat a couple of little scones rather than one substantial, frightening one. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Scones And Jam

Scones are especially fun during the winter season.   The kitchen will then seem warm and cozy and the baking odor soothing and appetizing.  Your delicious jam will bring forth memories of sunlight and warmer days.

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