So it’s getting on towards May. While I’ve done pretty decently in terms of eating all the pickles, salsas, and tomato sauce that I put up last summer (I’ve still got a couple of jars of rhubarb-based barbecue sauce to get through, but I’ve also got some chicken in the freezer, so I think I know what I’ll do with it), I’ve still got quite a bit of jam, jelly, and fruit butter standing by.
This is, I suspect, frequently the case. I’m still the kind of person who adores Putting Things Up, but doesn’t entirely know how to use them. This is particularly true of the sweeter items (see above). So I’m posting this in large part to remind me that I can use those preserves in lieu of some, or all, of the sweetener in a given baked dish.
The cake recipe, below, is an all-purpose example of this (so are the Chocolate-Cherry Brownies that I posted a while ago).
Use jams and jellies to add (extra) fruit to your cakes and muffins. Incorporate fruit butters directly into pancakes and waffles. I’m interested to see if how grape jelly or peach jam (both with some corn-starch carefully blended in) works when featured on the bottom of a crème caramel dish. Lots of things to experiment with. 🙂
All Purpose Fruit-Preserves Cake
1½ C Flour
½ C granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Spices of choice, to taste
½ C margarine
½ C fruit jam/jelly/butter of choice
¼ C plain (or vanilla, or fruit) yoghurt
1+ tbsp vanilla
• Grease a 9” square baking pan
• Preheat the oven to 350F
• Blend all the ingredients together using a hand-mixer, until very smooth (you could also use a fork, if you wanted to)
• Pour the batter into the greased pan
• Bake for half an hour, or until the cake smells done (like fruit and vanilla, mostly) and passes the fork test
• Allow to cool
• Serve topped with custard or vanilla yoghurt, and enjoy. 😀
So there you have it.
What do you do to creatively use up sweet preserves?
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 NOTE: Do not use sour fruit preserves (raspberries, choke cherries, sour cherries, rhubarb, crab apples, etc) for this, or you will wind up curdling the custard. Not the end of the world, granted, but it does make significant changes to the texture.
 If you’re using apple or pumpkin butter, for example, you might want to go with traditional pie spices (if they aren’t already in the spread). If you’re using strawberry-rhubarb jam, you could try a sprinkling of cardamom, or add some Irish Cream in lieu of the vanilla. Add almond extract and ground cloves to a cake made with cherry preserves. Add frozen raspberries to a cake using peach butter (or diced dried peaches/apricots to a cake featuring raspberry jam), and sub out the vanilla for a drop of hazelnut liqueur or maybe some tequila.
 Depending on how sweet the preserve is that you’re using – strawberry jam, grape jelly, peach-apple butter (as opposed to rhubarb jam or choke-cherry jelly) – you can potentially sub out all the solid sugar in lieu of fruit preserves. But you may need to up the flower content in your batter. Try it and see.
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