Using Jelly, Jams & Preserves in Desserts

Jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves are sweet spreads that often find their way between pieces of bread, toast, and crackers. Made from fruit or fruit juice, the cooking process of the spreads offers variations in clarity, firmness, and ingredients. They also play a role in delivering a fruity burst of flavor to an array of desserts and sweet treats.

What’s the Difference?

Before you explore the possibilities of fruity desserts, you should get familiar with the differences between available options. Jam is typically a thick spread made from crushed or ground fruit. Jelly does not have any visible pieces of fruit and is made from the juices. Whole or large pieces of fruit cooked in thick sugary syrup create preserves. Marmalade has a soft gel consistency comprised of pieces of fruit and citrus peel.

Desserts Ideas for Jelly, Jams & Preserves

Just some of the ways you can use jelly, jams, and preserves includes making flavored cream cheese frosting, cookie bars, ice cream sundae toppings, fruity tarts, muffins, fruit bars, sticky buns, and fruitcakes. Other ideas…

Jelly Desserts

Paula Deen garnishes her Old South Jelly Roll Cake with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, jelly or jam, and whipped cream. An extremely easy way to make Jelly Cookies is with a container of piecrust and jelly. You can also add peanut butter to the recipe for a PB & J treat. Try using frozen or refrigerated pie dough to create Cream Cheese and Jelly Turnovers. Unbaked or unrolled Pillsbury piecrust is a common choice. A recipe from Country Living calls for ½ cup softened cream cheese, 1 large egg, sugar, salt, and 8 tablespoons of jelly, such as guava.

Jam Desserts

From sweet, fruity cake to thumbprint cookies, the thickness of jam makes a delicious ingredient in many dessert recipes. For example, all over the world, you will find a variety of jam cookies, from Austrian Jam Cookies using chopped almonds and raspberry jam to Swedish Jam Cookies made with chopped walnuts and dark corn syrup. Perhaps you’d rather sink your teeth into a slice of Smucker’s Peanut Butter & Jam Cheesecake – a rich peanut butter cheesecake inside a graham cracker crust topped with strawberry jam glaze.

Preserves Desserts

Transform vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, pineapple chunks, chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries, banana, and strawberry preserves into Banana Split Dessert Crepes. Get tropical with Pineapple Rum Dream Cake, which uses crushed pineapple, French vanilla cake mix, and apricot preserves to create an island treat. For a low-calorie dessert for the summertime, Creamy Fruit Ambrosia combines chopped pecans, low-fat vanilla yogurt, pineapple, peaches, shredded coconut, and peach preserves.