The Jam Diaries – an after thought.

Due to a somewhat over zealous use of apples for my jam, I ended up with a yield rather to big for my small collection of jars. My big pan was left sitting on the stove with rather too much jam sitting in the bottom of it to happily throw away.

As an emergency measure I popped the left over jam into a glass bowl, covered it in cling and left it in the fridge. Obviously this is less than ideal, and not the way for the jam to really show of its powers of preservation.

Happily the excess jam gave me the perfect excuse to indulge in a little more baking.

Mini Apple Pies

The left over spiced apple jam has become mini apple pies.

For me this was an exciting time to try out a new type of pastry – an enriched short crust. I’ve had success with short crust in the past, and have made it for mince pies, apple pies, meat pies… almost any type of pie to come out of my oven has a crusty, golden basic short crust case. The time has come to branch out with my pastry making. In this particular instance I have to admit I haven’t branched very far. For my mini apple pies I still used a basic short crust recipe, but I enriched it with more butter, an egg yolk and a little bit of caster sugar. The difference was really worth it. I was so thrilled with the outcome. When rolling my pastry out the mix was so much softer and wetter than I’m used to using. I found it hard to work with, something which you can see in the shape of the pies. Lets just say they aren’t exactly uniform. The taste however more than makes up for their slightly cock-eyed, ‘rustic’ appearance.  For the first time my pastry truly melted in the mouth. It was sweet and buttery.  When they went into the oven I was convinced they would come out committing the ultimate pie sin – a soggy bottom. Thankfully this wasn’t the case and the pastry was evenly cooked. The apple jam melted inside its casing to form a moist, juicy, spicy filling. I’m slightly ashamed to say on the first bite I actually went ‘oooo’.

Perhaps following this success I’ll try some other pastry – perhaps if I’m feeling really brave I’ll give filo or puff a go next time!

Ps – If you don’t want to commit the same jam error as me, its easy to reduce the quantities of the ingredients. The rule to remember is to keep the weight of fruit equal to the weight of sugar. happy jaming!

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  1. I also collect jars. Great for storing your fresh herbs in and other food items. Better than plastic, glass breathes so the food doesn’t spoil as fast. As for the spiced apple jam, yummy never had that before. Though I have made Apple butter. Nice idea as well to use short crust recipe for the crust.

    Thanks for sharing your dessert creation with Us!!

    Chef Randall

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