Ways to Use Jams and Jellies

Jars of homemade jam in a row
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Jam on your morning toast and jelly in your PB & J sandwich are delicious staples, but what else can you do with your homemade preserves?

Whether you just want a way to use up that jar of jam in the fridge, or are looking for creative ways to use your homemade preserves, here are some tasty and easy use-ups that you may not have thought of. There are savory suggestions here as well as sweet.

Glaze for Meat, Poultry, Root Vegetables, or Winter Squash

Put equal parts jelly and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk until the jelly is dissolved. Brush onto meat or poultry, or toss with root vegetables or winter squash before roasting.

Quick Frosting

Combine 1 cup cream cheese or yogurt cheese with 1/2 cup marmalade or jam in a food processor. Add a little milk if it seems too thick. Mash in some shredded coconut if you like. Spread on banana, carrot, zucchini, or other quick breads or muffins soon after they come out of the oven.

Asian-Style Dipping Sauce

Whisk together equal parts jelly or jam, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Use as a dipping or drizzling sauce for wontons, spring rolls, scallion pancakes or tempura.

Thumbprint Cookies

Start with any basic sugar or drop cookie recipe. Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie and fill with a dollop of jam before baking.

Sandwich Cookies

Bake thin sugar or gingersnap cookies. Spread a layer of jam or jelly on one cookie and place another on top of it. Press gently to get the two cookies to stick together. If you want to make them fancier, cut a round hole or star shape out of the center of half of the cookies. Use these as the top halves of the sandwich cookies so that the color of the jam or jelly shows through.

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups

Put 2 tablespoons of jam or preserves in the bottom of a small bowl or container. Top with 1 cup of yogurt. Dig in with your spoon, scooping up a little of the sweet stuff with each bite of yogurt. This is a homemade version of commercial fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts and makes a great quick breakfast or portable snack.

On Hot Cereal

Swirl a spoonful of homemade preserves into your bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal and leave out any other sweetener.

In Salad Dressings

Whisk 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of jam, marmalade, or jelly into 1 tablespoon of vinegar until it dissolves. Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or other vegetable oil, a pinch of salt, and an optional 1/2 teaspoon of mustard. You can come up with great combinations using herbal vinegars as well as plain. Orange marmalade with basil vinegar is an especially tasty combination.