10 Ways to Use Up Leftover Jam

CC BY 2.0. Marco Verch

You can only eat so many pieces of toast...

My refrigerator contains many partially-eaten jars of strawberry, mixed berry, apricot, and ginger-peach jam. This is because my dear family has an annoying tendency to open new jars of jam if they're unable to locate an already-open one instantly. The result is more jam than they'll ever manage to eat on toast before it goes moldy, so I've had to come up with some ways to use it creatively.

1. Salad dressing: Keep it in the jar and add some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, herbs, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until blended, check flavor balance, and pour over salad greens.

2. Asian salad dressing: Use orange marmalade or peach/apricot jam, and blend with vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, and salt. Recipe here.

3. Glaze for food: Any kind of jam blended with mustard makes a fabulous glaze for meat, tempeh, and tofu. You can marinate in advance, or if you don't want to miss out on crispiness, brush on during cooking. Try stirring into barbecue sauce. Recipe here.

3. Brownies: Brownie batter is hard to mess up. You can stir it almost anything and it will taste amazing, so take this opportunity to finish off a leftover half-jar of jam.

4. Cookie or cake filling: Put a thin layer of jam between two oatmeal cookies, or make thimble cookies with a dollop of jam in the center, or put a jam filling in a white cake. You can also thin jam with a bit of lemon juice and drizzle over cake to glaze.

5. Sandwiches: Make your kids peanut butter and jam sandwiches, or (my personal favorite) cream cheese and jam bagels. Make a fancy grilled cheese with aged cheddar layered with preserves.

6. Baked brie: Place a round of brie cheese on puff pastry, slather in jam, and wrap. Bake until golden and melted.

7. Flavored yogurt: Stir jam into plain yogurt for a sweet treat. You can do the same with ice cream.

8. Make jam syrup: Instead of topping pancakes with maple syrup, thin some jam with boiling water and drizzle that over top, instead.

9. Jazz up oatmeal: Stir it into porridge for a tastier, sweeter start to the day. You won't need brown sugar.

10. Make a cocktail: Lots of good cocktails can be made using jam as the sweet component. Learn the basic combinations: Strawberry, peach, and rhubarb jams with whiskey, vodka with mixed berry or raspberry, and gin with apricot jam or marmalades.

How do you like to use old jam?