The thing I love most about cooking is the story behind each recipe. Take jam drops for example. I have very happy memories helping Mim make endless batches of these for Pa in the school holidays.
Boy did my Pa have a sweet tooth! The biscuit containers at the farm were always full of jam drops and cornflake biccies and Mim kept the lolly cupboard well stocked with his favourites too; being liquorice all sorts, Tim tams, jubes and don’t forget the Cadbury dairy milk. Pa would always offer the lolly jar to anyone that came to sit next to him in his red recliner chair at Jamea. I never had the heart to tell Pa that I actually didn’t like liquorice or jubes, but I’d take one anyway, enjoying the shared experience that the lolly would bring with it.
I could talk about jam drops all day long. I used to love rolling the mixture in to little balls, filling them up with jam and waiting impatiently for them to come out of the oven. I often make these biscuits with my girls, who like me, love sampling the mixture as we go and always thinking of my Pa throughout the process.
It seems I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for the old school jam drop either. A very good family friend of ours, Therese Crowe, is the jam drop queen; having many memories making her ‘Nanny’s’ recipe (using honey as a secret ingredient) with her three girls. Not having met her, Therese’s grandma Mary was a fabulous baker and known for her sweet treats. A mum to 7 children I can only imagine how popular she must of been when her jam drops came out of the oven.
The recipe below is the one that my Mim uses and is really so easy to make using ingredients that are found in the cupboard. One of these biccies goes down so well with a hot cuppa for an afternoon treat or whip up a batch and invite some friends around for a play date.
Now anyone can jump online and hit up Google for a jam drop recipe. Not every recipe holds such a special place in the authors heart however. In our family, we often talk about the ‘Broughton sweet tooth’. Passed on to my Mum by Pa, I like to tell our Annabubby how she has it too. And I’m fairly certain that Alyssa, Juliette and Mariah Crowe will enjoy making their Great Grandmother Mary’s jam drops with their kids one day.
I find that the most comforting and satisfying recipes are the tried and tested ones, the ones passed down from generation to generation. And this is definetely one of those. An oldie but a goodie.
We’ll be making these for many years to come.
jam drops (makes 30 biscuits)
3/4 cup of castor sugar
125 grams of butter, softened
1 x teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 x eggs
2 cups of self raising flour, sifted
1 x pinch of salt
- Line two baking trays with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mix master.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the sifted flour and salt and mix through. (Be careful not to over mix here, you just want the mixture to come together).
- Roll the mixture in to teaspoon size balls and place out evenly on the trays, leaving plenty of room between each ball as they will rapidly rise when cooked.
- Use the back of a spoon or any round cooking utensil (I use the end of my wooden spoon or even my finger) to make an indent in the dough that will house the jam. (A tip here is to dip the spoon or utensil in to some plain flour first so that it doesn’t stick to the dough).
- Using two teaspoons (one for scooping a little jam out of the jar and the other to scrape the jam off) – fill the biscuits with the jam.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. (I swap the trays around half way through the cooking process as the top tray will cook quicker than the bottom usually).
- Let the biscuits cool on a wire rack.
- Be careful not to burn your tongue on eating the biscuits straight out of the oven as the jam will be scorching.
- The biscuits can be kept for a couple of days in an airtight container (that’s if they last that long!)
- The key to a jam drop is getting the indent right. If you don’t make the mark deep enough – the jam will just run off the sides of the biscuit during the cooking process.
- Use any type of jam you like. I prefer strawberry but raspberry or apricot also works well.
Charlotte and I making a batch of jam drops at Nee and Pop’s house.
If you make these jam drops please leave your comments below. xx