Who doesn’t love a bit of jam on toast? It’s the perfect snack with a cup of coffee when it’s miserable outside. Something even better than toast is the use of jam in baked goods. To celebrate the launch of Mackays new Hand Stirred Conserves range, available exclusively within Asda stores across the UK, I went on a baking frenzy. With Strawberry, Raspberry and Cherry jam at the ready, I created Pear & Cherry Tarts and Pistachio & Raspberry Jam Cookies. Not wanting to miss out, my mom decided to make a Swiss Roll and Bakewell Tart Slices. It’s safe to say that we’re now full of sweet jammy goodness!
Founded in 1938, Mackays is a Scottish based company specialising in preserves (that’s jam to you & me!), curds and marmalade. They source all their strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants from the berry fields in eastern Scotland. Other than the fact, the berries are local, the temperate climate in Scotland allows for the fruit to be grown for longer, resulting in stronger flavours. In each batch of jam, whole berries are used which are mixed along with sugar and slowly boiled in traditional copper pans allowing the flavours to be released before gradually setting.
Before we could bake with the three different varieties of jam, we had to taste them. The Strawberry jam had a lovely sweet flavour to it and when spreading, it had a silky consistency. In each spoonful, whole strawberry pulp was found which is a rarity in a lot of jams you purchase in supermarkets, especially from reasonable priced ones. The Raspberry jam had a slightly thicker consistency and wasn’t as sweet as the strawberry, but that’s due to the natural tartness from the fruit. Once again, lovely whole raspberries were in the jam which I loved. The thickest of the jams was the cherry. Although I love eating cherries, I dislike cherry flavourings but the cherry jam, for me, was surprisingly nice. You didn’t get a fake cherry taste like you do in a lot of cherry products and for me, this was my favourite.
Once we tasted the jam, the fun was about to start!
I made a similar Jam Cookie (click for the recipe) before back in 2009 but instead of using walnuts and strawberry jam, I used pistachios and raspberry jam. The cookies turn out similar to shortbread but with the added crunch of the nuts. They are very quick to make and taste delicious, if I do say so myself. Grab a glass of milk and enjoy them!
I wish I could say that the Bakewell Tart was our own recipe, but no one can do it better than good ‘ol Mary Berry. We missed out the almond extract due to forgetting to buy it and we didn’t bother with the icing on top, instead we added more almonds. It turned out really good. The tart was soft, flavourful and decadent. Once you have one slice, you want another!
To make the Swiss Roll, we used a recipe from The Glasgow Cookery Book that my mom has had since she was in the Dough School in Glasgow. A similar recipe is on the Delicious Magazine website. We used Strawberry jam in the recipe. The trick is to roll it as soon as it’s out the oven so that it doesn’t crack. If at first you don’t succeed, well…. just pick up a fork and eat it anyway!
The Pear & Cherry Tarts are the simplest thing to make and can be whipped up in under 10 minutes, well…. add another 10 minutes of fidgeting around, trying to find your knife and trying to not slice your fingers off. With only 5 ingredients, you can get a wonderful warm tart that is perfect with a scoop of ice cream for added wonderfulness.
This was a rather bumper post but I had to showcase the different varieties of jam in all of their glory. Now who is for a tart? Have you tried baking with jam before? How did it work out for you? What’s your favourite thing to make with jam?
Disclaimer: The Hand Stirred Conserves range was given to me by Mackays for review. Whilst the jam was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience tasting and baking with the jam.