Happy Summer! Looks like it is here to stay for a month or two. While its scorching in London, the Bristol weather here is warm with nice, cool breezes. So, I thought it was a good time to utilize some jam I picked up in Newquay, Cornwall. These lovely preserves are made in small batches by Cornish Meadow. I chose Strawberry & Rhubarb, Blueberry & Lavender, and Damson. They also make a plethora of other flavors and mustards with online ordering options. You can find these products at many shops in Cornwall and also at local food shows and markets. I bought mine at The Cornish Fudge Shoppe located at 45 Fore Street in Newquay. They had lots of Cornish Meadow Preserves flavors available as well as marmalade and homemade treats.
I decided to use the Damson jam for today’s treats as I have never heard of the flavor before. Damson is a type of plum variety found in mainland Europe and Great Britain. The jam itself is sweet, but not sour, so it will work perfectly for what I have baking today.
I chose this recipe from Culinary Ginger as it was super easy and really doesn’t require many ingredients at all. The dough itself only has 3 ingredients, although I added a 4th; just a bit of vanilla as I always do. I also used powdered sugar instead of fine baking sugar, as that is what I had on hand. Anyway, here is the ingredients list according to how I made it:
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- about 1/2 cup jam
- Cookie cutters; I bought my nesting cutters from Crate & Barrel, but similar ones can be found at Poundland too
In my haste, I almost forgot to take photos of the mixing process. But you didn’t miss much. First I creamed the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. It helps to leave the butter out a bit to soften if you don’t have a mixer. Once creamed, add the flour bit by bit. I added a half a cup of flour at a time until it formed a dough, then continued mixing and kneading with my hands until it was nice and smooth. Because the butter softens easily, you’ll want to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for an hour before rolling out.
Once the dough is chilled, turn it out onto a floured surface. Because it has been warm in Bristol, it didn’t take very long for the dough to be malleable. Before you start, make sure to set the oven at 180 C, or 350 F and line a baking sheet with paper. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/3 of an inch. In actuality, you can make it as thick or thin as you like it, but too thin may make it difficult to transfer to the baking sheet. Make sure you put enough flour on the surface, as too little flour will cause the dough to stick to the surface when you roll it out. Also, a side note. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can also use the side of a wine bottle to roll out the dough. I tried this method when making my galette a few weeks ago and I had a great result.
Once rolled, cut out an even number of cookies with a large cutter. In half of them, cut an additional hole in the center and place on a lined baking sheet. If your kitchen is warm right now like mine was, place the rest of the dough or cut out cookies in the fridge until its time for the second round to be baked.
You will bake these for 10 – 15 minutes; you want them to be brown on the bottom, but still light in color overall, so keep an eye on them. I have a fan oven, so I left them in for 12 minutes which was sufficient.
Once out of the oven, transfer to a plate or rack to cool, but only a bit. I like to spread the jam on them while they are still a little warm. Simply spoon a dollop (about a teaspoon) of jam onto the center of the full cookie, spread it out a bit, and place the holed cookie on top, and that’s it!
And there you have it! A traditional English Jammie Dodger with Cornish Damson jam. This recipe is so easy to prepare with ingredients most people probably already have in their pantries. Its a perfect addition to garden parties, summer picnics, or your own biscuit tin. My cookies turned out tasty, but very sweet. I think if using powdered sugar in the future, I will try to reduce it to 1/3 or 1/4 cup. As powdered sugar is very fine, a little goes a long way.
I really enjoyed making these, especially since they are one of my husband’s favorite biscuits. Next summer, I hope to attempt to grow my own berries so I can make some jam for summer time treats. With such a simple recipe, there are tons of variations you can create by adding to either the dough or by creating a new type of filling.
It’s getting hot here in England, but where ever you are, stay cool. A cold cider usually does the trick! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!