Jam in our muesli at the Lake Placid Lodge. Photo credit: Julia Bainbridge
Now that we have entered the beginning of Produce Primetime, you’ll likely be preserving those strawberries and rhubarb and whatever the next month brings in sugar and vinegar and salt. Then you’ll spread it on toast, and use it in baked goods, and add it to cheese plates.
Don’t stop there! There more foods that love jam, foods you might not have considered. Here are the unexpected places you should add it.
In cocktails: Bartenders have been doing this for a while now, and it’s an easy enough trick to use for happy hour at home. Make a mock Whiskey Smash, for example, by shaking strawberry jam with whiskey and bitters. That way, you get fruit and sugar in one ingredient; no simple syrup or muddling required.
In tea: Stir some marmalade into your Earl Grey instead of honey for something different. You could be really intense about it and make Sbiten, a Russian jam tea, but we’re…not intense.
On oatmeal: On a recent trip to the Lake Placid Lodge in upstate New York, we were served breakfast muesli with a teaspoonful of raspberry preserves seated confidently atop its surface. Both swirled into the cold cereal or judiciously chipped at, bite by bite, the homemade jam added a sweet note to an otherwise abstemious start to the morning. The same approach would work with hot breakfast cereals such as oatmeal or quinoa porridge.
In yogurt: Speaking of breakfast, stir some jam into your morning yogurt. That way, you have control over the type of preserves used—you’re not stuck with whatever ultra-sugary “fruit-on-the-bottom” concoction in the pre-paired versions—and you can reduce your carbon footprint, purchasing one large tub of yogurt to be had over the course of a week as opposed to seven single-serving packs.
With meat: Duck and cherry sauce. Pork and poached apples. Meat is often served with a fruit component, so why not take down the work and use jam instead? Just a little dab next to your meat of choice will do. There’s a reason someone came up with bacon marmalade…
In sandwiches: You know that post-Thanksgiving sandwich you make with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce? Using jam as a condiment for an otherwise savory sandwich isn’t something that should be relegated to a once yearly treat. Make it an everyday ritual! Some good pairings: roast beef and apricot jam, ham and plum preserves, cheddar and marmalade, arugula and fig jam.