One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave by Sonia Allison – review

cookbook review One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave Foulsham & Co. might not be the largest cookbook publisher around but they present some of the best small one-topic books. I have reviewed several other of their Quick and Easy series and they have all been clearly written and informative. One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave is another to join the ranks of worthwhile cookbooks.

A few years ago your average microwave cookbook was something to be shunned. They were full of recipes that gave inferior results and used strange and nasty plastic articles that would cook bacon or make crisps (that never did work). My microwave has been used little apart from heating drinks, thawing frozen goods and warming up leftovers. Whilst I am grateful for the facility it has seemed a rather under-utilised kitchen gadget.

One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave is quite a revelation. You can make preserves in the aforementioned coffee-heater! Note that I say preserves rather than jam because this volume contains recipes for a raft of chutneys, pickles, butters and the like. The selection of bottled delights is far wider-ranging than the predictable strawberry jam. OK, so the cooking method involves the microwave but the recipes are inspiring. This stands up well in comparison to any other book on preserves.

Regular supermarket jam isn’t expensive but if you can put your hands on some free fruit then even the common blackberry jam is worth making yourself. I promise you will taste the difference. Check out the price of the more exotic shop-bought confections and you are looking at remortgaging the house or selling the kids. We are all periodically tempted by those beautiful jars, as a thank-you gift or to look smart on the breakfast table when the in-laws are staying. One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave offers some suggestions for preserves that will make you look like you have won the lottery, and how proud you’ll be to proclaim that it’s really ‘fait maison’.

There are quite a few preserves here that deserve a mention. Bird of Paradise Pineapple Jam in reality contains no wildlife and is safe for vegetarians. It’s a tropical mix of pineapple, apple and persimmon. Mango Jam with Orange is another option if you love flavours of the Orient. My tip would be to buy your mangoes from an Asian grocer. Much better value.

My favourite recipe for gift-giving is Dried Apricots in Amaretto. This has all the hallmarks of a holiday season success. It’s simple to make and good enough to keep. Dried Figs with Vanilla in Calvados also falls into that category.

One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave – Quick and Easy is a book for anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at making jam, pickle, chutney and flavoured vinegars. I am impressed by the recipes, that are some of the most imaginative around. Good value for money.

Cookbook review: One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave – Quick and Easy
Author: Sonia Allison
Published by: Foulsham
Price: £8.99
ISBN 978-0-572-03490-0


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018