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In a Jam

March 29, 2015

Caution: remove pits before eating this jam!

Confessions of a preserver…I have too much jam.  And being a frugal preserver, I loathe letting all that hard work go to waste.  I could turn some of it into bacon since I have piglets coming soon, but frankly I would rather eat it.  So the jars of apricot and kiwi jam sit in the cabinet, I look at them, and close the door.  It’s been a couple of years.  I need to move that jam one way or another.  I doubt I will go back to baking much bread, so the next worst thing?  I’ll make dessert out of the jam.  I’m not offering a healthy alternative, just a way to use things up with a solemn promise to myself to quash my jam making tendencies.  Or at least not go overboard.  I had some tasty Greenwillow oatmeal too so I pulled my trusty Apricot Bar recipe out of my go-to recipe folder.  I could eat these everyday and they taste great with any kind of jam.  But as much as I wish I could eat these everyday…we don’t.  So if you have any unused jam of any kind sitting around, these bars taste equally good with any kind of jam.  And you know, it’s almost jam making season… .

Apricot Bars

1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups oatmeal
¾ cup butter
1 cup apricot jam
¾ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Mix flour, baking powder, brown sugar and oatmeal together; cut in butter until crumbly.  Put two-thirds of the crumb mixture into 13 x 9 ½ x 2 inch pan.  Pat down evenly.  Spread jam and cover with remaining crumb mixture.  Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top.  Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.  Cool completely and cut into squares.


46 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2015 1:20 pm

    What about making ice cream with some of it? Or spreading it on dehydrator trays and making fruit roll ups with it? Neither require you to bake bread… 😉

    • March 29, 2015 2:27 pm

      Good ideas! Actually most of it ends up on pancakes…except I bought DH some bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, yeah okay skip the jam I’m going for that syrup!

  2. Lisa G. permalink
    March 29, 2015 1:50 pm

    That sounds quite good – I pinned it. Thank you!

  3. March 29, 2015 1:57 pm

    Mmmmmm, Apricot bars are my favorite way to use up leftover jam too! But they are too easy to eat way too much of!

  4. onedogrunning permalink
    March 29, 2015 2:00 pm

    How does one turn jam into bacon? Just no pickles.

  5. March 29, 2015 2:22 pm

    Looks good. 🙂

    I would suggest another way to use up the jam, and practice your bread making skills, is to turn the dough into a scroll or peasant loaf. Roll out the dough into a 30cm (longest side) rectangle, then spread with jam and dried fruit of your choosing. Roll up and bake whole and slice when cooled, or slice before baking and make scroll buns.

    These are great for the freezer and those times you just don’t have time to bake for guests, or you’ve been in the garden most of the day. You can also grab them from the freezer if you’re going on a road trip.

    You can also make a raspberry slice if you can easily buy coconut, only I reckon it would taste wicked with kiwi jam!

    • March 29, 2015 2:28 pm

      It’s not that I need practice making bread, it’s just that it doesn’t agree with us digestive-wise, bread has become a treat these days instead of a staple. Good ideas though! Thanks 🙂

      • March 30, 2015 2:18 pm

        Oh nuts! I have the same problem, so avoid gluten products. But I still make sourdough for the kids and my husband.

  6. CassieOz permalink
    March 29, 2015 2:31 pm

    How did you KNOW? I’ve been standing in the pantry looking at the oversupply of jam on the shelves. I only made gooseberry this year and froze blackcurrants for putting up in gin or vodka. I still have grape, raspberry, mixed currant and plum from two years ago. I don’t eat much bread any more so it looks like I’m gonna be ‘forced’ to make your bars and see if I can clear a shelf or two.

  7. March 29, 2015 2:57 pm

    How can you ever have too much jam. 🙂 Never enough for us.

  8. Bee permalink
    March 29, 2015 3:27 pm

    Nita, like you, I’ve always tried to preserve it as jam and then wound up with WAY too much. We don’t eat a lot of bread either, since gluten doesn’t like me any more, so I don’t use it up for dolloping on things like toast. But I hate to waste it, and even made what I call slumgullion jam, which is a mix of all the odds and ends left over; makes for some interesting taste sensations and it’s never the same. I finally got smart and started freezing the excess fruit instead of automatically making jam with it. Now I can use it for smoothies — big hit with the small fry — ice cream, fruit leather and assorted other stuff such as the recipes noted above. If I should ever actually run out of jam (hasn’t happened in my lifetime, but I suppose there is the remote possibility), I can always make it with frozen fruit. Once it’s pureed, fruit doesn’t really take that much space in the freezer.

  9. girlgonegranola permalink
    March 29, 2015 7:15 pm

    I missed the jam-a-rama last Summer, so I’m incredibly envious of your jam stash! BTW -We love Greenwillow’s grains too! 🙂

  10. March 29, 2015 10:07 pm

    Jam gets used up in our house too, but I have stacks of frozen berries and a husband that is as bad as a teenager for needing food to keep him going. Those apricot bars look a good option and worth making more jam out of the berries before the next lot arrives

  11. quinn permalink
    March 30, 2015 2:36 am

    I sometimes use apricot jam as a sort of cooking sauce for chicken or pork, either in the oven or crockpot. Recently tried it with orange preserves and pork shops (cleaning out pantry AND freezer!) and the result was very tasty.

  12. March 30, 2015 4:42 am

    My son brought me 25 pounds of peaches last year – hubby wanted jam. Nevermind we had raspberry, apricot, zuchini marmalade, rhubarb marmalade, mixed berry jam……
    Note to self – no more jam until I NEED more jam! Any ideas for ten bags of frozen grated zuchinni I have in the freezer? We don’t like zuchinni loaf 😊

    • March 30, 2015 4:46 am

      Chicken food? I only can my extra summer squash, we don’t like zucchini bread either 😦 I can the extra for adding to vegetable soups and lasagna type dishes. Although a gal that used to read my blog would fry the shredded frozen squash up like hash browns. It’s pretty good too if you get drained good before the frying.

      • March 30, 2015 4:55 am

        Good idea on the chicken food! And yeah – I bet it would mix in well when I make potato latkes 🙂 Thanks.

        • Bee permalink
          March 30, 2015 5:35 am

          Val, the hash brown idea works great, as do zucchini fritters. I dump it, still frozen, in vegetable soup about five minutes before serving. You can also cook up a little onion, garlic and celery, whiz them in the blender with some milk, then add the squash and some cream for cream of zucchini soup.

    • April 1, 2015 10:57 am

      Bee’s ideas sound great. Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book also suggests making savory zucchini muffins, with sauteed onions and Swiss cheese, that might appeal more than the sweet version.

    • April 23, 2015 6:55 am

      You can mix grated zucchini into ground meat. You won’t notice it in a meatloaf–and it you *will* notice it in a turkey burger in that the turkey burger will be moist instead of like unto a hockey puck.

  13. cathylee permalink
    March 30, 2015 5:07 am

    We make a lot of our fruit into concentrates for homemade sodas. Gooseberry ginger being a favorite. I add jam to plain yogurt and of course smoothies.

  14. Mich permalink
    March 30, 2015 5:25 am

    I hear you with the over jamming….I hate wasting fruit & I grow so much of it! Lol. So it’s jammed, juiced, frozen & eaten fresh, I am hoping to invest in a dehydrator this year so then I can have a go at making fruit leather.
    The apricot bars looks yummy.

  15. March 30, 2015 5:27 am

    I have a confession to make too. I made so much Jam Last year and its still on the shelves even after I gave so much away. I was just learning canning and I had no idea what the mathematics of ” will be eaten” ratio was. I also was experimenting to see what each fruit coming into season could be made into, three things for each was my rule. Alas there it sits on my storage shelves. All delicious but way more than we can eat. I’m so glad |I found your recipe because I have a lot of peach jam that this can convert into and be eaten. Thank you for all your posts. I wait for them everyday. Bless you.

  16. March 30, 2015 6:31 pm

    I hear your pain of jam overload. When I started making yogurt from my goats milk, I would mix homemade jam with the yogurt and drink over a quart a day…. Super yummy. But the reality is, 100s of jars of put up jam later, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth! Nor do I really like making yogurt! I second the fruit leather idea, I had like 30 quarts of applesauce to use up (again, why do I make it? Because I can’t waste the bounty!) and have been doing fruit leather with it in a 170 oven, keep in there for several hours till it gets shiny and just past sticky. All you have to do is spread it on parchment lined baking sheet. Bet it would work just as great with your jams!

    • March 31, 2015 4:57 am

      That would work great, I haven’t quite got to the fruit leather making stage yet, dried fruit is so much easier. But last year I decided I would not can anymore applesauce so I dehydrated the excess apples, much less fussing than making anything, slice, dry and store. Fruit leather sounds yummy though 🙂

      • April 1, 2015 7:10 pm

        Ha, how funny, I have found canning sauce so much less fuss than I imagine drying is. Do you have one of those spiral slicers? Or a mandoline? I could definitely use tips on apple preservation. Do you have to dip them in lemon juice to keep the slices from browning, and have you ever tried a solar oven dealio for dehydrating? There’s a farm near here who makes the most crispy apple chips, I wonder how they do that, probably extremely thin slice.

        • April 2, 2015 9:18 am

          Khaiti, actually the easiest thing is to just store the apples and use them through the winter, we just ate the last of our Northern Spies last week. That being said, we do like some applesauce, mostly as a vehicle for roast pork 😉 But the dehydrating isn’t too bad, we have a huge old Mormon made dehydrator so we have to do a big batch or its not worth running it. We have used the the wood stove too, since solar here in fruit drying season is a pipe dream. I did break down and buy a clamp-on spiral slicer for about $20. We left the peels on, and put the slices in salt water which worked out well, I always have salt on hand, lemon juice not so much. 3 1/2 gallons of sliced apples did not last long at all, we could have easily used more. The spiral slicer really makes thin slices if you left them to dry a little longer you would definitely have chips. Dried apples? Meh. Dried Italian Prunes? Now that is an entirely different story, I could eat those every day, oh wait I do, better than candy. So tart, yummy beyond belief.

  17. Wendy Roller permalink
    March 31, 2015 12:54 pm

    I too am an over-jammer. Do you think your recipe would work for plum jelly instead of apricot?

    • March 31, 2015 4:49 pm

      It works with anything, and I’ve even made a stove-top jam out of frozen berries just so I would have something to take to a potluck. It’s all good 🙂

  18. April 1, 2015 11:18 am

    It took me some years to stop making a wild oversupply of jam (for awhile, I had someone giving me boxes of overripe fruit I felt compelled to use up… Thank goodness that stopped; it was exhausting!) Having to throw out jars of 7 or 8 year old jam helped get the message across, but I’m Still working on using up remaining excesses and finding the exact preserving balance (not just with jam! … one year things get eaten in a trice, and the next they don’t.) And these days, I eat very little sugar, so using up excess jam is a challenge: no fruit leather, no ice cream (also lactose intolerant) …
    We do like jam or fruit syrups (aka jam that didn’t gel) on pancakes, but I don’t make pancakes all that often.
    Some other things that I’ve done at various times: cookies with jam filling, muffins with jam filling, turnovers.
    One idea, borrowed from my Italian baking book, is to make a short crust, fill with a thick layer of jam, and bake, for a simple tart — if there are gluten-free short crusts out there, for the gluten avoiders.
    The apricot bars sound delicious; maybe I’ll try them with less sugar.

    • April 1, 2015 11:47 am

      Interesting, it sounds like you’re in the same boat. I tend to grow the same things every year too, and some years we just don’t eat certain things, other years it’s a famine. I wasted a lot of time growing spaghetti squash last year to give it another try…didn’t eat more than two of them. And we ate way more pickles this year than we usually do, I doubt I will make it to cuke time with the pickles I have on hand 😦 That tart sounds delicious – I only have 7 more pints of jam to use up with none on the horizon except maybe kiwi, it’s pretty good. I think the bars would work fine with less sugar.

      • April 1, 2015 9:41 pm

        You ate only two spaghetti squash? We have quite got into them, especially since they grow so well. I like that you can cut the top off and pile a load of ingredients into them to make a bolognese type sauce and have the “spaghetti” cooking with it. Less mess 😀

        • April 1, 2015 10:10 pm

          No sale here, I might try again in a year or two, I saved lots of seeds. I remember they were all the rage in the “other” back to the land movement in the 70’s. I have a ton of them sprouting in the greenhouse as volunteers…tough cookies.

        • April 1, 2015 10:57 pm

          Tough cookies indeed. We really struggled with our squash this last year due to a late spring cold snap, the best producers were all volunteers

  19. Racquel permalink
    April 2, 2015 8:29 pm

    I agree that one good way to use that jam is by making a glaze for chicken or pork. apricot and ginger is amazing. Spaghetti squash perks up by NOT trying to make a classic Italian pasta dish of it. once it is cooked sautee it with plenty of butter and some leeks and a good dose of curry powder. Toss in some chicken chunks and it’s a meal.

  20. Lisa G. permalink
    April 13, 2015 11:44 am

    I just made these – very delicious; thanks for sharing! I like the presence of oats in it. (I left out the nuts today because of time, but next time…)

  21. April 23, 2015 6:58 am

    Thank you for the recipe. I love making jam but like everyone else, I go overboard. And then I’ll *buy* jam at a farmstand or something because I’ll see a type I hadn’t made. Those bars sound like a great way to use up the peach-pecan that wasn’t quite as awesome as it sounded…

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