Friday, July 15, 2011

Overdone Jam Rescue

We are at the height of our short, strawberry season, here in Montana. Which means, lots of fresh strawberries to eat, and lots of new strawberry recipes to try. But first, of course, we want to work through our old favorites. Like A's Microwave, No Pectin, Strawberry Jam (click the link for the recipe).

Unfortunately, this year our berries are smaller, and seedier, and apparently need less cooking time for jam, than last year. After only 25 minutes in the microwave, A produced a jar of wonderful smelling, pretty tasty, strawberry rubber cement - not the best for spreading across toast.

I hated to see it go to waste, especially since I had shooed the children away from the bowl of fresh berries, so A could use them. They would have made a nice snack.

The younger girls helped me with a partial solution, by mixing up a batch of Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

  • 1 cup of crunchy, peanut butter

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 6 or 7 teaspoons of jelly, or jam (even really hard, overdone jam).

Mix the peanut butter, sugar, and egg together in a mixing bowl.

Roll the dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls (more or less), on a lightly greased cookie sheet. You should end up with about a baker's dozen.

Press thumbprint sized dents into each cookie.

Fill the dents with 1/2 teaspoon of jelly, or jam.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the sides are firm, and just beginning to brown.

Of course, that still left us with a fair amount of unspreadable jam. I Googled around for ideas, and found a few mentions of saving overdone jam by adding water, and heat. It sounded like a long shot, but we gave it a try.

First, we tried to scoop the jam out of the jar, into a bowl. It turned out to be spoon bendingly impossible. So, we added a tablespoon of water, right to the jar, and heated it in the microwave for 25 seconds.

After some stirring, we were able to remove the jam from the jar, into a bowl. We added 1/2 tablespoon of water, chopped up the large rubbery pieces with a spoon, and microwaved the bowl for 30 seconds more. A little more stirring produced a thick, but spreadable jam.

That was all last night. I covered the bowl, but left it on the counter overnight. This morning the jam was still as we'd left it - ready to enjoy on toast.

Hurray for rescued jam!

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Unknown said...

Thank you for teaching us all from your "goofs"!

Christy Killoran said...

It's great that you were able to rescue the overdone jam. The cookies look good!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Yum! Time for lunch :)

Unknown said...

I am so glad you were able to rescue it. You can find such wonderful help on the internet.

Ticia said...

Mmmmmm.... jam, it's a shame most of my kids don't like it.

But I think they'd love those cookies.