One of the things I like most about spring is the chance to get fresh produce, especially fresh fruit and berries. Last year I was able to buy strawberries and apricots in bulk and make jam with them. This was really my first experience making jam and while some of the batches setup nicely, others end up being too runny.
I had the most success with batches where I used natural pectin such as apples or the seeds of the fruit in cheesecloth. Powered pectin also was fairly effective while liquid pectin didn’t work well at all. This year I plan to use natural pectin where possible and powdered pectin as a backup plan for things like berries.
Once I had my various jams I decided it would be fun to use some of them to make thumbprint cookies. I made some which had the standard sugar cookie base. These I filled with apricot jam. However, my favorite were the thumbprints which I made a peanut butter cookie base for and filled with strawberry jam. Several co-workers said that these reminded them of PB&J sandwiches.
With strawberries coming into season to pick soon here I’m getting excited to give both the jam making and the thumbprint experiments another go.