Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jam Sundaes for the Cutest Holiday Gift

Jam Sundaes for a Holiday GiftMy mom used to make these gifts for family friends at Christmas time when I was young--no, they're not real sundaes they're strawberry-rhubarb jam sealed with wax made to look like whipped cream. Cute huh?

I remembered them this year and decided it was appropriate to bring out the instructions for all of you who might be looking for something fun and homemade for friends.

You'll need:
ingredients for your favorite jam
(or see my recipe and instructions at How to Make Jam)
5 sundae glasses
5 maraschino cherries
paper towels
plastic straws
1 pound of paraffin (household wax that can be found in the canning section of the supermarket)
large number ten aluminum can
mixer

Jam Sundaes for Holiday GiftsTake a number ten aluminum can--or even a coffee can--and melt the paraffin (wax) in it by placing the wax inside the tin can then sitting the can in a pan of nearly boiling water as a makeshift double boiler. It shouldn't take too long too melt.

While it's melting make up the jam according to the directions and pour it into the clean and dry sundae glasses (you'll have about 2 pints left over). Leave 1/2 an inch of distance between the jam and the edge of the glass for room to seal. Allow the jam to cool and set up a bit.

Once the wax is melted allow it to cool enough that a thin skin begins to form on the top then take a hand mixer and gently, slowly at first, begin to whip up the melted wax. As it thickens and cools you can whip it on a higher speed but be careful because the wax is hot.

Jam Sundaes for Holiday GiftsOnce it is sufficiently whipped to look rather like whipping cream you'll need to work rather quickly before it completely cools (though if it does you can always melt it back down again very easily). Gently spoon the whipped wax onto the surface of the jam with a disposable spoon, making sure that it reaches completely to the edge of the glass or else the jam won't seal properly and will spoil.

When you have enough wax (one pound melted and whipped will make five sundaes) cut a straw in half and stick it gently into the paraffin, making sure that you don't push it down too far into the wax so that it breaks through into the jam underneath.

After thoroughly draining the cherries on paper towels and trying to get as much moisture as possible off of them (it's best to do this before hand so they're ready to go while the wax is still warm) place a cherry on top of your "sundae" and you're ready to deliver your beautiful treat.

Once you're done with the wax you can throw the whole can out and then de-wax your beaters by soaking them briefly in the hot water used to melt the wax. Happy holidays!

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Technorati tags: holidays, jam, gifts

23 comments:

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments said...

Those are so cute! If I could actually get my jam to set I'd be doing great - that's why I moved to freezer jam (surely I can do that).

I tried the Suave freeze you mentioned. Holy cow. That stuff does what it says!

Laura said...

Michelle, is the jam edible after this "treatment"? How do you take the wax off in order to eat it?

Laura Moffitt said...

This is so cute!! I love that idea.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Now that is darling! Hope you got your jam made yesterday!

mum2twelve said...

How adorable! This is an idea to store away - for future reference. These would make great anytime gifts! Easter, birthdays and Christmas.

How long can you store them - months as with normal sealed jam? I suppose the biggest challenge is keeping the white cream looking white and
dust free!

Thanks for sharing
Blessings
Christi

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Now I know why you're so clever and crafty! You learned from your mom. :) Those 'sundaes' are adorable!

One question, though...once the recipient breaks through the wax, do they then need to put the jam in a regular jar without the cuteness? (I'm not crafty, so I won't be doing this, but still, my mind wonders...)

Candid Carrie said...

I would never tackle this but I now have bragging rights, like I "know" someone that did this cute thing and then I can explain it like it was so easy I might do it myself some day.

Scribbit said...

Laura--oh sure it's edible, actually paraffin is used to seal jams and jellies all the time instead of a water bath or regular sealing process so this goes right along with that.

Jellyjules--there isn't a ton of jam in the jar, so you don't have to worry about it keeping for a long time but I'd just put some plastic wrap over the top to keep it fresh in the fridge once you took the wax off.

And taking the wax off is easy, once it hardens it's like a stiff little cap that is sealed on the edge, just pop it off and it's open.

It should keep a bit sealed this way, the biggest thing is the cherry on top might shrivel and look less appealing, not that you'd eat it or anything. You wouldn't eat it would you?? :)

The Bertone's said...

That is so cool! Wicked cute idea. Thanks for sharing! :)

Kathryn said...

This looks so yummy! What a cute idea!

fruitfulwords said...

Thanks for sharing this awesome idea. I'm hoping to make this using a cranberry "jam." Now I'll actually be giving a cool gift. :-)

Stephanie said...

What an adorable idea. Now you've got me thinking about re doing the jam I already have slated for gifts... Oh how could you add to my to do list?! LOL!

Amy said...

That is so creative- you are so darn crafty, Michelle. Love it!

Mirien said...

I keep forgetting to thank you for your jam-making video. I hadn't made jam in a few years and needed a refresher course. But my favorite thing was watching you turn the jars upside-down to seal them. That's what I'd always done but I couldn't find anything about doing that in the directions and I wondered if that was no longer considered okay. I was about to process the jars until I watched you and decided that if it worked for you, that's good enough for me. I made several batches of blackberry and plum jams and that's what I'm giving for Christmas (just in the jars, although those sundaes are cute!) along with homemade bread. Thank you!

Organizing Mommy said...

I watched that jam making video--you were awesome. This is soooooo cute. Kind of retro also.

Magi said...

That is the cutest thing ever. I always give food gifts. If I have time, this will be added for this year.

SarahHub said...

Okay I know I won't even attempt these - BUT they are the cutest thing ever!

Fawn said...

In grade 6, we made candles using a similar technique.

Take two blocks of paraffin and cut a groove lengthwise down the face of one. Insert a string for a wick. Use an iron to slightly melt the face of the block and fit another paraffin block on top. (The iron my teacher used was a cast-off, but I imagine you could use foil or something similar to protect your good one!)

Now whip up some melted paraffin and use it to coat the plain blocks of paraffin. You can even press plastic Christmas decorations into the whipped wax for extra decoration, or add glitter.

I kept mine for years!

cndymkr / jean said...

When we were kids we would make these. Except we would make them of total wax. It was fun. I had never thought to make them with real jam.

Alexis said...

OMG you kill me those look amazing and I just know I would end up with wax everywhere and burn marks up and down my arm. I would love one as a gift for me, maybe I should send your link out in a email as a hint ... LOL.

Anonymous said...

here's a shameful question from a kitchen-impaired Mom.....can you use good quality already-made jam?

Scribbit said...

Actually, Anonymous, that's a GREAT question (why didn't I think of that?)

Sure, all you'd have to do is heat up your store bought jam until it's runny, pour it into the jars and seal it up. Easy peasy. Well kind of- :)

The whole wax thing is much easier than I thought it would be, not having done it before I worried it would be a nasty mess but if you do it in the can like that it's not hard at all and the clean up is quick.

perilloparodies said...

This is so cute and unique, but, I would have to do this to BOUGHT jam and pretend it is mine, and ask to borrow YOUR parafin and pot so I could do it. I do not have one, though now you have made me want one. Who ever thought there would be SO Many uses for parafin!
And I would TOTALLY eat the cherry off the top! :-)Why, is that gross? (giggle-giggle..)