Pump up the Jam…

So one of the best things about going home, other than of course seeing my darling parents(loving you family) ;) , is raiding my mom’s cupboard for all her homemade jam. My mother’s yard is filled with a myriad of fruit from blackberry bushes to cherry trees she does have quite the variety…she even has a pear tree.
My mother and I share a love for so very few things. When my mother shops for me she always tells me that if it physically repulses her she knows it must be something I like. :) This is how she has shopped for me for years, it is in her defense, a system that seems to work quite well. ;) But when it comes to food we do share a quite a few loves…nutmeg being one of them. Nutmeg is both my mother and I’s favorite spice. I use it in so many things, both savory and sweet. I feel it is highly underused.
So in my mother’s experimenting in jam making she decided to add nutmeg to her pear jam one year, and oh my, was that a good choice. So whenever I am home I either steal(yes, stealing is wrong kids, don’t do it…leave it to Peabody only to steal jam) or beg to get the pear nutmeg jam and the currant jam. Both of which my mother tries to weasel out of not giving me. She plays the guilt card and I play the guilt card right back…resulting in me getting my jam. :P I left this time with not one, but two jars of pear nutmeg but just one red currant(so that must be savored).
Fall has been on my mind a lot as of late. I did a Fall Foods shoot and every since then I have been wanting all Fall foods. I even went so far to burn my pumpkin candle. Oh Fall, please hurry up.
With Fall on my mind, my mother’s pear-nutmeg jam came out of the cupboard. I saw a blackberry jam cake(which I have already made a version of that) but this one had a caramel sauce, and I thought that sounded perfect for pears. And it was perfect.
I made my caramel on the light side since I added some jam to the glaze as well and wanted those flavors to not be overpowered by the caramel. You can make your caramel darker, especially if you are not adding jam to the glaze.

Pear-Nutmeg Jam Cake with Pear-Nutmeg Caramel Glaze

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 cup superfine sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup pear-nutmeg jam
½ tsp vanilla extract

Pear-Nutmeg Caramel Glaze(recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9-inch Bundt pan(I used mini ones). Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, and salt. Set aside.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda and let stand for 7-8 minutes.
Cut butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth and lightened in color. Add the superfine sugar, 1 to 2 TBSP at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes, then add the brown sugar, taking 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then blend in the preserves and vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, dividing the flour into three parts and the buttermilk into two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth top with the back of a spatula and bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. The mini ones took about 40-45 minutes. The cake will be done when the top is firm and the sides begin to release, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
While cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. When ready to glaze cake, invert it onto the rack, gently lift off the pan, and place the rack on a rimmed cookie sheet.
Immediately pour the glaze over the warm cake. Work quickly as glaze begins to harden as soon as it is  poured on the cake.

Pear-Nutmeg Caramel Glaze

¼ cup superfine sugar
¼ tsp lemon juice
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup strained powdered sugar
1/3 cup pear-nutmeg jam

Have ready a pastry brush and glass of cold water. Combine the superfine sugar and the lemon juice in an 8-inch skillet set over low heat. (Wet the brush and gently brush the sides of the pan occasionally to remove any stray sugar crystals)
Continue to cook the sugar on low heat until it is melted and turns a caramel color(I went for a less darker color). As the edges begin to deepen in color, do not stir the syrup. Instead, carefully tilt the skillet and slowly swirl the syrup around the pan until it is evenly browned. Remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the powdered sugar and jam. Keep warm until ready to use int a skillet filled with 1-inch of hot water.

Adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More by Carole Walter 2007


  1. Mmm, nothing beats homemade jam – especially when it’s used in an impeccable baked good, crafted by you!! :-)

    I always love your descriptions of your family – they sound so lovely!

  2. Your cakes are so pretty! Your mom sounds really great — I bet her jam is so delicious because it has the mom-love in it :)

    I so hear you about wanting fall foods! At the magazine where I work, we’re always 3 – 4 months ahead, so I’m completely craving cold-weather stews, turkey, anything with pumpkin…

  3. Sounds good! Any chance Peabody’s Mom will give her jam recipe???

  4. HeartofGlass21 says:

    I’m intrigued about your mother’s tastes–she’s not one of those weird people who hates chocolate, is she?

  5. Do anybody know where I can purchase the pear-nutmeg jam?

  6. Sounds amazing. I can imagine it being sweet and nutty and having a slightly dark, rich flavor. Nice!

  7. That sounds like an absolutely fantastic cake and jam variation. I haven’t tried making a pear jam yet, most likely that is going to change soon.

  8. Oh, man! Now I’ll have to make my way there to steal one of your mom’s jams! (Well, I’ve never made my own before! Frankly sterilization frightens me, hahaha) I love the petite size! :)

  9. I think it is possibly illegal to tempt us with jam and jam cakes we cannot have!

  10. the cake looks delectable. any chance your mom would share the jam recipe? i might be putting up some peach jam tomorrow and i’m wonder about peach nutmeg… hummmmmm. what do you think?

  11. looks delish! its funny, I do the same thing at my parents house! only I tend to go home with a little more than jam. :rolling eyes:

  12. looks so good—lovely jam photo–i want to eat that right now!

  13. Being a nutmeg fan, I sure would like to have that recipe for jam your mom made! Nothing like a cake and a glaze.

  14. this looks delicious as always. This year i tried for the first time to make jam. It was great. Once you taste homemade jam you never turn back to the ready made ones. Nice idea to add nutmeg i ll try it next time.

  15. Ohh the cake is just so cute! How nice of your mom to share some of her homemade goodies. I hope she helps herself to some of your yummy creations in return! :)

  16. I raid my mom’s pantry for her homemade preserves and pickles…

    Pear and nutmeg…will suggest that to her :)

  17. This looks perfect for fall! Homemade jam is the best- pear and nutmeg sounds like a delicious combination.

  18. Pear-nutmeg jam sounds really awesome, great cake too.

  19. Have the 90 degree days had anything to do with your wanting fall to hurry up?

    I have no pear nutmeg jam (lower lip quivers), so I’ll just have to drool over your pictures.

  20. Is there anything better that homemade jam? I cringe at the thought of the stuff they sell at the grocery store and try to pass off as jam.
    My mom and I made her zucchini relish today, it is above and beyond grocery store stuff too and is the sole reason I will eat hotdogs.

  21. This jam sounds incredible. It is wonderful that your mother makes home made jam. That is such a comforting thing to come home to. But by the way, I hope fall doesn’t come too soon, while I do love the food. The bounty of summer is still here, and the weather while sometimes too hot is better than what follows fall, WINTER!!!

  22. I, too, love nutmeg. And, if I was able to metabolize buttered toast with jam quickly, I’d eat it at least once a day everyday.

    I rarely make jam myself but I do buy Sara Beth’s jam often. It’s usually as good as homemade.

  23. I wish I had a mother who made jam!

  24. That pear jam alone sounds amazing! You’re so lucky that you’re mom makes such incredible jam… It’s definitely a dying art.

  25. although i’m a cinnamon devotee, i can appreciate the marvelousness of nutmeg, too. the jam sounds heavenly, and that cake is a sensational use for it!
    meanwhile, i’m gonna have “pump up the jam” stuck in my head all day now… :)

  26. yum. love nutmeg and homemade jam. i am going to try that combo. i agree that fall should hurry up as well!

  27. my family makes a cake similar to this during the holidays…we never really have much luck with the recipe though and we usually end up referring to it as “that damn jam cake” ;) might have to take a stab at your recipe!

  28. YUM!

    I am SO ready for fall after the heat we were just put through. Western Washington should not get that hot. I saw pears at the market yesterday and felt that twinge of excitement!

  29. I’m not ready to let go of summer yet, but this cake looks absolutely darling. I have fig jam that I’m savoring.. hm…. Love your post!

  30. yum yum yum love pear jam/preserves. That cake looks suberb. my mom makes a pear pineapple and apricot jam…I wonder how it would work in this cake…may have to give it a try!!

  31. As usual I am SO with you on the hurry up fall train.

  32. I haven’t been to your site in a while and I have missed it dearly. And it looks like I missed a lot. What a beautiful picture. Never heard of pear jam, but you made wonderful use of it.

  33. Pea, I wish I could steal some of those jars, too. I love jam but I’m too afraid to make them at home!
    Pear and nutmeg together sound amazing. And so is this cake.

  34. I added some vanilla bean to my peach jam last year, and it was amazing. I never thought to add nutmeg – I’ll have to try that out! And what a delicious little cake!

  35. Oh that jam sounds wonderful! And then in a cake? Yummy.

  36. Yum.. Love all the pear recipes coming up. It’s about time for pear season.

  37. This sounds marvelous!!!

  38. yum! pear and nutmeg sound great together and that drizzle on your cake is mouthwatering good :)

  39. So not fair! Can we have the recipe for the jam??? Please, please, please with nutmeg on top? ;)

    I’m about to start processing pears (just about done with peaches). It would be nice to have a new recipe. I might even send a jar of pear relish – my grandmother’s recipe handed down (so good on turkey sandwiches or in beans and cornbread). :)

  40. These cakes look awesome!

  41. This cake looks delicious and the pear jam sounds interesting too – never tried that before.

  42. would love to have the pear-nutmeg jam recipe, if applicable. Thanks sooo much.

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