Jams, marmalades, fruit curds and chutneys bring new texture and flavour experiences to cakes, pastries, biscuits and bread. A damson jam spread on the base of a pastry case then topped with a chocolate mousse filling, marmalade added to an almond cake batter, chutney mixed with cheese in savoury biscuits or added as a filling in a savoury bread, fruit curd oozing from a pavlova topping. Once you start to use these preserves, they cease to be used as accompaniments and become stars in bakery.

Chocolate and Damson Jam Tart Recipe

Serves 8-10
Pastry
:
175g plain flour
30g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
100g cold butter
1 egg yolk
15-30ml cold water
Filling
:
100g damson jam
100g butter
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
3 eggs
100g caster sugar
Round Flan tin, 24cm.
Oven temperature 200°C (Fan oven 180°C)/400°F, Gas 6

Method:
1. Place the flour, salt and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and continue to process until the ingredients look like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with the cold water and pour down the feed tube until it forms a ball. Alternatively, make the pastry by hand.

2. Roll out the pastry and line the flan tin. Chill for 30 minutes. Line the tin with baking parchment and dry pulses or rice and place in a pre-heated oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is set. Remove the paper and beans or rice and bake for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Spread the jam over the base of the pastry. Lower the oven to 180° (Fan oven 160°C)/375°F/Gas 4

3. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale, light and frothy(about 10 minutes). Gently fold in the chocolate mixture-it should have the texture of mousse. Pour into the pastry case.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has formed a light crust. Remove from the oven and cool. Dust with cocoa powder.

How to make Jam