Saturday, February 24, 2018

Weekend Cooking: Jam Drops

We are big fans of Bake Off in this house, and it doesn't really matter if we are talking about the British version, the Australian version, the Celebrity Comic Relief version or even the professional baker version (Creme de la Creme)

There are many reasons to enjoy it. Unlike so many other reality TV shows there aren't any manufactured rivalries (I'm looking at you My Kitchen Rules) and there genuinely seems to be a great camaraderie between a whole group of people who have a common interest in baking.

Over the years, there have been countless occasions where I have watched an episode and thought I would like to try making that, but until this recipe, I have never actually had enough courage to actually give it a go.

I haven't made a lot of jam. I did make some a couple of years ago for this recipe, but other than that one exception, it isn't something I have done. this recipe also had a couple of other firsts for me. I have never ever purchased figs before, let alone cooked with them, and I don't think I have ever actually bought vanilla pods and scraped the beans out of them. Normally I would use vanilla extract instead.

The biscuits themselves were delicious, and I am totally going to use this recipe in future for other variations, and the fig jam was really good as well, although we did have a lot left over which never actually got eaten but never mind.

Jam Drops

Fig jam

300g fresh figs (about 7-8)
110g caster sugar
1 lemon, finely grated rind & 2 tbs juice


100g chilled unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 lemon, finely grated rind
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon baking powder
250g plain flour
Pinch Australian pink salt flakes


Pure icing sugar, for dusting

1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C fan-forced.

2. For the fig jam: Remove and discard stem from the figs. Roughly chop figs and place into a small chopper attachment and blend with stick blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and combine with sugar, lemon rind and juice. Cover with cling film and stand until ready to use (about 10 minutes).

3.For the biscuit dough: Combine butter, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla bean seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until white and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk, beating well and scrapping the bowl to make sure all is incorporated evenly.

4. Meanwhile, sift dry ingredients together twice. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the dry mixture and beat until dough just comes together. Scrape dough onto bench and bring together, place in a bowl and rest, covered, in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

5. To make the jam:  Place fig mixture into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cook, stirring continuously for 4-5 minutes on a medium-low heat until mixture thickens, being careful of mixture spitting (to at least 98°C). Remove from heat and push through a sieve placed over a bowl, let cool at room temperature, cover until needed.

6. To bake the jam drops:  Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Divide dough into 24, roll into balls and place among prepared trays. Make a little well in the centre of the ball to make a hole (pressing down slightly with your finger or end of wooden spoon and making a 2cm hole). Fill hole with ¼-½ teaspoon jam.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.

8. Transfer cooked biscuits to cooling rack to cool slightly, top up with ¼ teaspoon of jam, sprinkle with icing sugar and place on a rectangle serving plate.

I will confess that I used Himalayan Pink salt and didn't put on a rectangle serving plate! Shocking I know!!

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  1. My fandom is limited to the Mary Berry/Paul Hollywood GBBS. I'm with you on two points. First, the appeal of the camaraderie among the contestants: that's what makes it watchable. Second, I've never made a recipe from the show. Your effort looks great. Making your own jam is quite a big commitment.

    best... mae at

  2. My favourite is till the Great British Bake Off, and I was quite happy with the Paul and Prue combination this year.

  3. I've been watching the Mary and Paul's master classes and I'm sooooo tempted to try one of the amazing bakes. My mom always called these thumbprint cookies and they're great will store-bought jam too.

  4. Tempting but not good for me! Cheers

  5. Beth, I think that most of the time when I make these it will be with store bought jam, but it was nice to try the fig jam!

    Carole, not sure they are good for me either, but they are fun to make!!

  6. We call them jam thumbprints and I LOVE them, no matter what kind of jam, store bought or homemade. Raspberry is a favorite but your homemade fig jam looks yummy.

  7. I have tried 3 times to leave you a comment but my iPad evidently won't let. Now I am on a proper computer!
    I like Mary Berry's cookbooks but haven't seen the bakeoff show. Hoping our library gets the DVDs. Great cookies!! I could eat a few with afternoon coffee.