Jam Bake by Camilla Wynne (252 pages)
Jam Bake, A Recipe Cookbook That Goes Beyond Jam on Toast
Whether it’s spreading a dollop of fresh strawberry jam on top of a warm buttery scone or enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a mid-afternoon snack, there is nothing like homemade jam. They are my go-to’s; my comfort food, if you will. In fact, one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received was a jar of homemade strawberry jam from a friend last year as we endured the first of many lockdowns. The Mason jar with its silver lid and label reading “strawberry, 2020” was as smile inducing as it was simple.
Master Preserver and pastry chef Camilla Wynne has taken it one (if not more) step further with her second book, Jam Bake: Inspired Recipes for Creating and Baking with Preserves, by asking “What can I do with this jam besides put it on toast?”. This one-of-a-kind cookbook is filled with her jam, marmalade, fruit butter, and jelly concoctions, along with recipes for what to do with them besides spreading them on toast.
After an endearing introduction by the author, Jam Bake explains how to use the book (difficulty levels are indicated by whisk symbols), which is divided into three distinctive categories:
- Standalones: preserves with single note flavors starring a specific fruit, such as Black Raspberry Jam
- Duets: pairings that shine together, like Prune & Meyer Lemon Butter
- Containing Multitudes: preserves full of all sort of fruits and more,
including Mulled Wine Marmalade
She also delves into the art and science of preserving, the equipment and ingredients any successful preserver needs, the streamlined preserving and canning process (with pictures), and, most important, how to tell if your jam is ready.
Filled with more than 80 incredible recipes for baking with the jams you make – from Empire Cookies to Rye and Coffee Hand Pies, or Angel Biscuit Donuts to Black Forest Torte – Camilla’s jam recipes are also lower in sugar and don’t use commercial pectin. If you don’t feel like making the jam that pairs with the baking recipes, Camilla recommends store-bought substitutes for each sweet treat in addition to providing a helpful guide to buying quality preserves.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
Whether you’re new to preserving or a seasoned professional, this book has something for everyone. Filled with beautiful photography and easy-to-follow recipes, you’ll find creative duets, base recipes, and delectable desserts that will enhance your baking repertoire and have you saying, “this is my jam”, in no time.
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Andrea Querido is a 40-ish book-loving, introverted word nerd who’s passionate about connection, self-care, personal growth, creating community and, of course, books!
Favourite book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favourite brunch spot: Anywhere I don’t have to cook.