Use it or Lose it: Jam: A Secret Recipe Revealed

This is an odd one isn’t it.  Jam is a preserve and (if made at home) will keep for a very long time.  I’ve eaten Jam 2 or 3 (or *cough* more) years old and it is just fine with no mould or deterioration.  So why would we need to use up jam and just what is the secret recipe?

This is a Bakewell Pudding (NOT A TART!)

This is a Bakewell Pudding (NOT A TART!)

The answer to the first question is…I over boiled it.  The answer to the second question… Bakewell Pudding (not Tart!)

I’ve submitted this as part of this week’s Good Things with Margot and Barbara because the resulting pudding is very good indeed!

Last September I made a vat of Damson Jam.  Josh’s family all adore Damson Jam; it is the finest of all jams.  But I couldn’t get the set quite right, I boiled and boiled and boiled it and got distracted by the baby and eventually when the set seemed good I potted it up and within a few hours realised I had made a tasty, sugary, fruity sort of rubber. I mentally labelled it Cooking Jam and physically labelled it Damson Cheese in an effort to reclaim it.  It sort of worked. This is the Use it or Lose it of rescuing dead jam (although I stress the jam was overboiled not burnt – I can’t help you if you burn jam… no-one can).

Jam that is overcooked is no good for spreading on toast.  However it does well in a number of recipes and after diligently working at it I finally used up the last of 6 jars of overcooked jam this weekend.

I made a Derbyshire speciality: Bakewell Pudding.  You may have heard of Bakewell Tart; Bakewell Pudding is completely different.  In fact having made one I have no idea what the almond topping would even be called (it isn’t a sponge or a custard more like a thick almondy paste but not marzipan). According to the various tourist shops in Bakewell this is secret recipe territory!  I’ve looked online and there are very few recipes.  The Hairy Bikers have one (which looks completely wrong to me – and let’s say I’ve eaten my fair share of Bakewell Puddings) and then I found it in a recipe book written by Derbyshire author Alison Utterly.  Much rejoicing.

This is a very rich and festive dish and shows what an abundance of eggs people had when they lived on a farm in the late 1800s.

Here is the secret recipe:


1 packet of puff pastry (I’m sorry I don’t have time to make puff pastry)

227g butter (melted)

227g ground almonds

227g caster sugar

8 egg yolks (beaten)

2 egg whites

1 jar of jam (preferably a sharp jam like Damson, Raspberry or Blackcurrant)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ Gas Mark 4

Grease the bottom of your pudding dish, tin with butter. Roll out the pastry and use it to line the dish cutting off the excess with a knife (with short crust pasty I’d cut it off after I’ve baked it but with short crust I prefer to do it beforehand).

Spread a thick layer of jam in the bottom of the pastry case (I ended up having to slice my jam it was so rubbery).

Whisk the two egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage.  Then in a separate bowl mix together the cooled melted butter, sugar, almonds and egg yolks. You want to keep as much air in the egg whites as possible so I take a tablespoon of the egg white mixture and fold it into the butter and almond mixture to slacken it.  Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently, keeping as much air as possible in the mix.

When the egg whites are fully incorporated pour the mixture on top of the jam.

Put a piece of foil over the top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake for another 15 mins or until the topping is golden brown.

Then leave to cool completely and then put it in the fridge.  This step is really important, the large amount of butter in the topping means that it will be runny if you don’t cool it back to setting point.  It is perfectly edible and very tasty but it is nice and easier to cut if it is cooled down.

Serve with cream.

The Good Things

12 thoughts on “Use it or Lose it: Jam: A Secret Recipe Revealed

  1. MargotBarbara

    That sounds gorgeous – I love damson jam too. You’re right, thats masses of eggs, isn’t it? I’d really love to have a few chickens of my own scratching about outside and providing us with eggs. One day…

  2. Becky A Post author

    Thank you – the recipe itself isn’t a remedy for rubbery jam. That has a long and complicated history for the tourist. But the idea of using up the last of the rubbery jam in it was mine, I used the other jars in Linzertorte, thumbprint biscuits and jam tarts. So much you can do when you are cooking with it!

    1. Becky A Post author

      It is a delicious recipe – do you make your own jam? It is the only way I have found to get quantities big enough to cook with.

  3. Anil G

    Excellent recipe! Must try it when I can. Richard is going to show me how to make jam at some point soon.

    The “almondy paste” is similar to a frangipane, although that is definitely more egg (yolks) than normal and you don’t usually whip the egg whites before incorporation.

    1. Becky A Post author

      I’ve made frangipane before but the texture of this is quite different partly the eggs but also the butter. You basically want to fridge the pudding and eat it cold as the butter sets the paste. I don’t think frangipane works like that.

      Either way you should definitely make it and I’m so pleased you are (finally) being inducted into Jam making. I find one of the best things about making Jams is that is means you have lots of jam to cook with.

      Love to you and R.

  4. Jen

    Oooh, I have 4 egg yolks awaiting inspiration in my fridge! Maybe I will tinker with the amounts, and see what happens! Thanks so much for sharing, and for linking up on Making, Making Do and Mending 🙂


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