NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF 2021 BY FOOD 52
A one-of-a-kind preserving and baking book packed full of delicious jams and the delectable dessert that best showcase them, from pastry chef and Master Preserver Camilla Wynne.
"What can I do with this jam besides put it on toast?" Master Preserver and pastry chef Camilla Wynne is constantly asked this question when teaching her popular preserving classes. Enter Jam Bake: a one-of-a-kind cookbook full of her jam, marmalade, fruit butter, and jelly concoctions, along with recipes for what to do with them beyond toast.
In Jam Bake, Camilla shares 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. The jams themselves are lower sugar, without commercial pectin, and split 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
Don’t feel like making the jam that pairs with the baking recipes? No problem! Camilla has recommended store-bought substitutes for each sweet treat in addition to providing a helpful guide to buying quality preserves.
Seasoned preservers will delight in Jam Bake's streamlined canning process and newcomers will be undaunted by Camilla’s simple steps. Home bakers too will enjoy these modern recipes that range from quick and easy to flexing those creative muscles. And, of course, Jam Bake will be welcomed by those who love to simply spread flavorful jams on toast.
“Jam Bake is an indispensable cookbook for preservers and bakers alike. Camilla’s love of teaching and charming personality jump out from the pages and her streamlined canning process changed the way I make preserves. She'll show you how to be your own jam and baking wizard!”
—GISELLE COURTEAU, author of The Duchess Bake Shop
“Let’s be honest here. I mean, really I am kind of a compote guy. Get some fruit, throw it in the oven, dehydrate it until it’s sticky, and use it up immediately. However! If I was to ever properly preserve some seasonal fruit, then 100 percent I would use this book. Because I would need a boatload of help and Camilla’s book has a boatload of knowledge for a preservation clown like myself.”
—BROOKS HEADLEY, owner/operator, Superiority Burger, and author of Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts and Superiority Burger Cookbook
“When I first met Camilla Wynne in person, I knew her reputation as a brilliant teacher and maker of remarkable jams. What I didn't know, as she is not the sort to brag, was that she had been the hands making some of my favorite pastries for years in Montreal. It is with this combination—an artistry for preserves, marmalades and the like—alongside real-world experience that Jam Bake has turned out to be such a treasure. The recipes are bold, creative, and truly modern.”
—TARA O’BRADY, food writer and author of Seven Spoons
“From Black Forest Puffs (Mallomars with cherry jam) to Millionaire Shortbread Bars with Marmalade to Chocolate Ice Cream with Damson Plum to Angel Biscuit Donuts with Strawberry Passionfruit – there is something for everyone – 30 preserving recipes in all and each with its own two bakes utilizing the preserves. Mix and match or follow Wynne’s lead – you cannot go wrong.”
—JESSIE SHEEHAN, cookbook author
“When I make jam, a spoonful will go on toast, but after that, I always rack my brain trying to think of ways to use it in baking. Thankfully Camilla has done all the hard work for me. Jam Bake inspires with original combinations of jam — coffee with dates and pears, figs with plums and purple grapes — and brilliant baked goods to make with them. It’s an indispensable resource for anyone who loves making jam and baking in equal measure.”
—BEN MIMS, cooking columnist for The Los Angeles Times
“Everyone needs jam in their lives, and cake for that matter – Camilla Wynne’s passion for both has come together here in a book that is as much fun as it is informative and instructive. I mean who wouldn’t want to make and eat apricot and cocoa nib jam followed by jam swirled brownies? This is the stuff that dreams are made of.”
—ANJA DUNK, co-author of Do Preserve and author of Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings
“My wonderful friend Camilla Wynne, the indefatigable chef, writer, and teacher, has blown my mind with this funny, sensual, and lively book. The recipes are clear and forthright; the treats are scrumptious and heavenly. As I am writing this, the nutty, irresistible scent of brown butter is flooding my senses — because as soon as I finished reading Jam Bake, I stood up, turned my oven on, and started making her pistachio blondies. Few books compel me like Jam Bake has. Thank you Camilla!”
—NATASHA PICKOWICZ, pastry chef and activist
“Confession: whenever I have the great fortune to enjoy Camilla's incredible preserves, I begin with the noblest intentions, slathering them on freshly-baked breads and fluffy biscuits, and rapidly devolve into late night tiptoes to the fridge, spoon in hand, until every last trace of seasonal perfection has been shoveled into my impatient mouth. Thank goodness, then, for this new triumph of a book, which provides not only recipes (and clearly-explained science and technique) for wildly creative jams, jellies, and more, but pairs them with a beautiful spectrum of cakes, pastries, cookies, and even ice cream! While jam-on-toast will forever be a classic for good reason, Camilla has given us all a much wider world in which to capture and celebrate the most beautiful bounty of each season.”
—ALLISON KAVE, author of First Prize Pies and Butter & Scotch
Camilla Wynne is a writer, recipe developer, and cooking teacher based in Toronto. She is the author of Jam Bake and Preservation Society Home Preserves. A culinary professional for twenty years, she is a trained pastry chef and one of Canada's only Master Preservers.
From the Introduction
I’m somehow embarrassed to admit that I have a passion (not sure if that’s due to my British heritage or being a teenage punk), but I’m going to be brave here and confess that I have three in fact. The first is cooking, under which fall preserving and baking. The second is teaching—something that I never thought I’d do but has become one of my favorite occupations. The third is reading and writing—the former I could do ceaselessly and the latter I have a more complicated relationship with, but both feed off one another and are nearly as important to me as food. Oh and wait, maybe a fourth: I could not live without fruit. It brings me boundless joy and inspires awe season to season. Fruit is primarily what this book is about—you won’t find a recipe without it.
When I told someone I was writing this book, they said, “How niche.” But to me, it makes perfect sense. I’ve been asked countless times, “What can I do with jam besides put it on toast?” It’s a good question! But when you think about it, jam is literally at the heart of so many pastry classics—Linzertorte, rugelach, Pop-Tarts . . . the list goes on. What a pleasure, after all, in the depths of winter, to taste white peaches or sweet summer cherries. This is the delight that preserving affords us, and it goes hand in hand with baking. My career is proof of that.
I moved to Montreal thinking I would become a scholar, but eventually had to admit that nothing consumed my attention in the same way that baking did. Daydreaming in Latin and Russian Lit about cakes I might make, filling up notebooks with ideas. I eventually decided to apply to pastry school.
Fast-forward to when I was required to intern at a pastry shop or restaurant. In spite of being warned against it (I was told “vegetable-forward restaurants are just a fad,” which seems hilarious now), I went to work at a beautiful restaurant called Les Chèvres with Patrice Demers, a pastry chef who was just a year or two older than me but already extremely accomplished (and who would only become more so). I would go on to work there on and off in their sun-filled pastry kitchen. It’s where I first made marmalade . . .
. . . In 2011, I launched Preservation Society, which sounded much bigger than it was, since in the beginning it was me alone. I made jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys, pickles, and fruits in syrup in unique flavor combinations using as much local produce as possible. I had no idea how to run a business, but I learned as I went, producing preserves with a cult following, hiring employees, and running workshops. Then the person I love decided to pursue a career that required us to move, and I learned how little fun it is to move a business. But fortunately I also remembered how much I missed pastry, and so I returned to my original calling. While I stopped selling preserves, though, I didn’t stop making them or teaching others how.
I never set out to become a preserving teacher, but once I began I had total satisfaction sharing something I love with inquisitive students. As a self-taught preserver I had read every book on the subject I could get my hands on, but I found much of the information to be contradictory and that few of the reasons for why we followed the procedures we did were explained. This led me to Liberty, NY, for a Master Preservers course. I had a great time, but we were literally made to chant, “Canning is not creative cooking.” As I was writing my first preserving cookbook at the time, this saddened me. I know the USDA guidelines for home-canning are made to reduce to the absolute minimum the risk of foodborne illness and contamination, but it seemed to me that folks could be given a little credit and allowed to make safe substitutions and additions to recipes.
To dive deeper into the science, I took two-week long classes on artisanal preserving at the Institute of Agriculture and Technology in Quebec, where I learned from experts more than I’ll ever need to know—but most importantly I learned the streamlined method I still use for jarring jams, jellies, and marmalades. Now when I teach classes, my philosophy is that if you know why you follow the prescribed procedures, you won’t make any terrible mistakes. So we start by talking about microbiology, just as we do in this book.
Once you really understand what you’re doing, you can start getting creative. To me, creativity is one of the main delights of being alive, so I hope I’ve set you up here to make jam and bake with jam in a way that expresses something about you or your favorite fruits. Or you can just follow the preserving and baking recipes. I did, after all, write them for you. —CW