Jam, The Deluge

Blackberry season has a side effect beyond sucking up our evenings with picking. All those blackberries take up a lot of freezer space (not until the pick is complete do they get processed into wine), which means that any other excess fruit I acquire has to be processed immediately rather than saved for winter. I prefer doing fruit processing after the harvest season has simmered down and the temperature has dropped, so that standing over the stove is more enjoyable. But that hasn’t been an option lately.

Mostly I make jam. And since I can’t resist making a thousand and one different jam recipes, I end up with nearly that many jars in my fridge, each one containing the tail end of a recipe — whatever couldn’t fit into full canning jars. Eventually it gets a little silly. We like jam as much as the next family, but how much toast can four people eat?

On the other hand, I’ve started to really enjoy cooking challenges of the form “how can I use this up?”

It turns out that jam tarts are simple, tasty, and use up a heck of a lot of jam. Too lazy to actually roll out pastry dough for the tarts, I just pressed it into muffin cups, filled with jam, and baked until it looked right. Voila! Four jars were out of the fridge. There are twice as many still waiting, so I may have to make these again soon.


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