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Jun 6, 2011 09:15 AM

fun, interesting, seasonal jams for a bake sale

I'm making jam for a bake sale in a few weeks and I'd like to come up with some creative flavor combinations to entice more buyers. I'm a fairly experienced jammer so I'm up for whatever. I'm thinking jams with maybe some herbal notes or cool fruit combinations.

Here are some of the jams I've made in the past:
roasted tomato ginger jam
peach grapefruit thyme
raspberry honey lime
fig black pepper
strawberry balsamic
caramelized onion bacon jam!

What have you got? TIA!

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  1. Cherries and sour cherries will just be coming into season in a couple of weeks here in NY - if you can get sour cherries where you are they are a special treat (one of my favorite things in the whole world!). Regular cherries are delicious too, though - I love them with balsamic. Plums as well. My grandmother used to make amazing elderberry jelly, but elderberries can be very hard to find as well. What about using interesting herbs like lemon verbena or thai basil?

    1. lavendar/mint
      rhubarb (with or without strawberries)
      and wine jelly is fun (I use merlot)

      1. Rose petals have been mentioned for jam on some of these boards recently. Think what a display (and profit) an array of all the rose colors would make.

        5 Replies
        1. re: blue room

          I know, I really loved the idea of the white peach jam with rose petals that someone mentioned in another thread and early peaches are just appearing in the farmers markets here. Do I have to use a special kind of rose petal or clean them in a particular way? I've never cooked with rose petals before.

          also, loving the cherry balsamic idea. I forgot to mention that I've done rosemary rhubarb before with success.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            Oh, I've never done any preserving--just saw it posted. It was here:

            1. re: mollyomormon

              From what I've read, you want to snip off the white base of the petals, which can be bitter. And use unsprayed roses, of course.

              1. re: mollyomormon

                I am a rose jam freak. Rose goes great with rhubarb and raspberry, by the way. If you can get some fragrant rugosas or other heirloom type petals, all the better. You need the fragrance. They reallllly cook down AND they do mellow away into non-rose-ness after a while when mixed into things. Kevin West of Saving the Season told me that rose scented geranium makes a more rosey rose jam that most roses (when you're just trying to flavor something else - this doesn't apply to straight up rose petal jelly or jam).

                Rose also makes a lovely jelly. Don't do what I did and use too much pectin OR make it too strong. Yes, really. I have a couple batches that are almost grapelike in flavor. I've learned to do small batches of rose petal jam and jelly, so that I taste and go slow. It's really easy to get rose-d out and make it ever more potent.

                1. re: Vetter

                  I live not far from a region that produced rose jelly as a local specialty.

                  While I can't eat too much of it (it really smells like roses, so can get a little overpowering), a little is delicious -- light and floral -- and it's absolutely *gorgeous* in the jar -- a pale crystal-pink, with diaphanous petals suspended in the jelly. (the petals become translucent when cooked)

                  If you make this, make sure you display them so that the light can get to them -!

            2. A local farm makes garlic jelly. Rosemary is a nice flavor. Good for filling thumbprint cookies.

              6 Replies
              1. re: dfrostnh

                Garlic jelly sounds really interesting! How do you use it?

                  1. re: mollyomormon

                    Stonewall Farms sells their award-winning Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam in stores and online. I was going to suggest the OP try to duplicate it - probably similar to the onion/bacon one she already makes. Or add roasted garlic to THAT.

                    It is good over cream cheese on a bagel or English. Warmed over brie. Added to fond to create a pan sauce for plain sauteed meats. With sour cream for dip.

                    For a bake sale, I don't think I'd get all that "interesting". People with kids are not as likely to buy those as more standard fruit combinations. Rhubarb is combinable with just about any other fruit. Here's one I once bookmarked, for banana jam:
                    I once bought kiwi jam, which was delicious, but the color was an unpleasant olive. I have also purchased homemade mixed-citrus marmalade that was nice, and different. Fruit and mint combos should sell, too.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      My carmelized onion and bacon jam includes roasted garlic! Yum. This bake sale is in a sort of hipster neighborhood crowd and attracts a 20's and 30-something crowd so I think unusual flavors tend to sell well but I definitely appreciate what you're saying.

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        Would you be willing to share your caramelized onion and bacon jam recipe? It sounds so interesting i would love to give it a try!!

                    2. re: mollyomormon

                      what greygarious said. Red Pepper Jelly is still popular around here, too.

                  2. Might you be willing to share details about the roasted tomato ginger jam? That sounds fabulous.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Sure! I got the idea from whiteonronricecouple but I decided to roast the tomatoes first:

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        Thanks! I have fond memories of the tomato jam my mother canned when I was a child, and usually I've seen recipes that are savory, but hers was sweet and we used it just like other fruit jam. This totally fits that bill. I love the idea of roasting the tomatoes and adding ginger.

                        Tomato season will probably be delayed this year due to the unseasonably cold, wet weather we're having right now, but I'm going to keep this in mind for when it comes. I can get crazy sweet, flavorful dry-farmed tomatoes at the farmers' market starting in July, usually.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          Definitely let us know how it goes for you if you decide to try it!