Monday, 25 March 2013


Amongst the things my thrifty nature wouldn't allow me to throw away, while I was clearing and tidying Mum's house prior to selling it, were several pots of home-made jam. I don't know why I couldn't have been more ruthless, as we don't really eat jam, but here I am with a medley of miscellaneous flavours of fruity preserves to be used. I can forsee a use for redcurrant jelly, and I just had to open the blackberry and rhubarb jam to try on a rare treat of toast - such an unlikely combination of flavours, you might think, although unforced rhubarb and early blackberries can be harvested at the same time (see this cake). It was a strangely addictive flavour, so that will be kept for more toasty treats, on the days I'm allowed to eat more than 500 calories (aren't we all doing IF?)

I was a bit more flummoxed by strawberry and gooseberry jam as I'm not keen on the flavour of cooked strawberries, although I expected the gooseberries to alter the flavour a little. Clearly a dessert using a lot of jam was called for, although something as stodgy as a jam roly poly was out of the question. A Linzertorte seemed ideal - a high ratio of jam to pastry, and capable of being eaten in small portions. I've tried Delia Smith's recipe before, and really like the extra flavours of hazelnuts, spices and lemon in the sweet rich pastry.

The nutty, crumbly pastry was not the easiest dough to work with, but a bit of careful patchwork got me out of difficulties with the base. Not being able to roll the pastry really thinly meant I didn't get many strips for the lattice work, but there were enough to give the basic appearance of a lattice.

After baking, I couldn't decide whether I liked the heavy dusting of icing sugar, which hid the jam, but after a while the sugar which was in contact with the jam had dissolved, and resolved the problem by itself!

Delia's recipe suggests cranberry or redcurrant jelly as a filling, and I do prefer this dessert when made with tarter preserves, but in this case the combination of strawberries and gooseberries in the jam worked reasonably well (although my mother's jam is incredibly sweet!), and helped reduce the jam slick a little!  Any suggestions for plum jam, anyone?


Foodycat said...

Plum jam, yum! Give it to me! Or just eat it with plain yoghurt. Or use as a layer under a chocolate glaze on a cake.

Hungryhinny said...

I always end up in the same situation of having lots of half used jars of jam, I tend to buy them for a recipe that uses a spoonful or two and then just leave them at the back of the fridge!

How about using the plum jam in a bakewell tart? I can imagine it going well with almonds...

Katharine said...

This looks lovely, and if you hadn't mentioned it, I would have said your lattice work was perfect! Anyway, the nutty, crumbly pastry sounds really delicious and I can imagine the gooseberries in the jam would counteract some of the sweetness of the strawberries. I've often read that recipe of Delia's but have never tried it but after seeing yours, I think I will!
Re plum jam, I agree with HungryHinny - try it in a Bakewell tart - it's fantastic.

Choclette said...

We don't use much jam either. I keep meaning to have lots of proper teas and invite people over for cream teas, but somehow that doesn't materialise very often. I do find jam works really well in a cake though. Half a jar nixed into a plain sponge with a reduction in the sugar works well, or just put the odd spoonful into a cake mix for a bit of added interest.

Suelle said...

That's a useful tip, Choclette, thanks!