Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which is a lovely time for us. An unofficial kick off to summer and a chance to spend a few days together, as well as the very important duty of remembering those who have gone before us. One of the nice things about the long weekend is the chance to do some special cooking. My Bunneh has been as busy as can be making ham and chicken stock, steaks and rotisserie chicken. My job was to come up with the sides and the dessert.

The dessert I settled on was a brownie ice cream pie with raspberry topping. Raspberry prices are dropping but I wanted something even easier. Going to my freezer I spied my containers of jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and decided that would make easy and yummy topping. When it all came together I was happy with the results. I think we could have added a little whipping cream for the lightness and pretty factor, but without it it was pretty darn good too.

So there you have it…jam in a jiffy freezer jam, not just for sandwiches!

raspberry brownie pie

Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie

1 large brownie mix

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup raspberry jam in a jiffy freezer jam

Make brownie mix according to the box directions, adding 2 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the mix for extra moisture and tenderness. Pour into two 9 inch pie plates and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Layer softened ice cream on brownie pie and remove to freezer for a minimum of four hours.

Cut and top with freezer jam, serve immediately.  Add whipping cream as desired.

Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Mango!

You can tell it’s spring when markets start featuring berries in their produce departments.  I can’t resist indulging in some of these early berries, though in another month when the Farmer’s Markets open I love it even more! Naturally one of my favorites is raspberries, which I can happily eat whole, put into baked goods, pies, salads, or make jam with. However, one of the concerns folks have with raspberries, is that sometimes the price per pound is such that it seems like a lot of work for not very much product. This is another situation where Jam in a Jiffy rides to the rescue!

Because Jam in a Jiffy has a combination of pectin and starch thickeners there is a lot of flexibility with being able to mix fruits and still get a wonderful product. In my case I had about a pound of raspberries and about the same amount of beautiful ripe mangoes. So I diced up and chopped my mangoes, added the berries and my Jam in a Jiffy for a bright sweet raspberry mango jam! Now if you don’t care for mangoes, you can go with strawberries, peaches, other berries and even applesauce…the combinations are limitless. Any two pounds (about 4 cups) of mashed soft fruit and one package of Jam in a Jiffy and you have freezer jam.

Now…what if, like me, you taste your jam and it’s a little too tart, or sweet, or potent for spreading on jam? Never fear! Jam in a Jiffy jam makes a great base for smoothies with the fruit and sugar already mixed in. I just freeze up my mix in ice cube trays until it’s solid. Then I move the chunks into freezer bags and freeze it that way. A couple of chunks with a little yogurt and a splash of orange juice makes for a bright citrus smoothie, and it even holds up well to being tossed into a green smoothie for even more nutritional punch. So when it comes to your freezer jam, think outside of the bread loaf! You’ll be surprised what you can do!

Jam in a Jiffy Raspberry Mango Freezer Jam

2 cup pureed ripe mango

2 cups mashed raspberries

1 pouch Jam in a Jiffy

1 tsp vanilla (opt)

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let sit for upto five minutes to obtain maximum thickness. Divide and freeze or serve immediately!

This makes a medium set jam. If you want a thinner topping add upto 1/2 cups fruit juice. If you want a thicker jam omit 1/2 cup of the mango.


White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

May is a fun time of year, not only because it’s Mother’s Day (Hi Mom!), but it’s the time when we start seeing more fresh fruit making its way into our local markets. In particular we see a lot of berries and as raspberry growers that makes us ever so happy. Down on the farm our own plants are soaking up the spring rain and you can almost watch them growing, with most of the bushes upto about 24 inches this far.

So, in the spirit of raspberries to come tonight I made some White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies. This is a fun and easy recipe that starts with a cake mix as a base, but then gets interesting by adding extra butter, cream cheese, Ultra Gel and fresh berries. The final cookie is rich and a bit cakey, kinda half way between a cookie and a cup cake and that’s just fine by me. So here you go, something to do with those berries that don’t get eaten on the way home from the store and a recipe for your files when the farmer’s markets start filling up with raspberry goodness!

White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

1 cake mix (white, lemon or yellow work best)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 8 ounce bar low fat cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (If there is a lot of juice with the berries drain the juice first)

1 cup white chocolate chips

Combine butter, cream cheese, egg, vanilla and ultra gel in a stand mixer and mix until well combined. Add cake mix and incorporate. Fold in berries and chocolate chips. Move batter to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop batter by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

Peach Crumble

Traditional cobblers were an English invention which come in both sweet and savory formats. Generally a cobbler is defined as a filling topped with a bread or cake topping.  At one point one of the most popular cobblers was a suet pudding with a puff type pastry lid.  Many places in England still serve these puddings often in individual servings.  I had them a million years ago at a place called the Ale House in Scotland and they were one of the best things I ate.  The cobbler took on a different form when the English colonists settled in the Americas and didn’t have access to all the ingredients usually in an English pudding, so they would take fruit and cover it with biscuits or other breads.  Light cakes became popular over the years, particularly once boxed cake mixes gained popularity. The term cobbler has come to encompass these covered fruit sauces, buckles, grumps, crisps, crumbles and several other fruit desserts.  In Utah these cobblers were a staple of early settlers as they could be easily cooked off in large pots and were a great place for scrap dough and fruit which might be a little bruised or over cooked.

A crumble is a sub-type of cobbler where the topping is a crumbly and, when well cooked, crunchy combination of flours, sugar and butter, sometimes with oats or nuts. This is broken up over the filling and remains as the name would have you believe, crumbled.

I love crumbles, particularly when the filling is apple or peach. I like cakey cobblers better with berry fillings, but each to their own.  In the following recipe you can slice peaches fresh, or drain preserved peach slices and use those instead. Either is fantastic!

Utah Peach Crumble

Utah Peach Crumble

2-3 pounds sliced peaches

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (this is easy to make by putting scraped out vanilla beans in a container of sugar and just letting it sit, regular granulated sugar will work as well)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine fruit, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to pull the juices.  Add Ultra Gel and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Form the crumble by combining flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and Ultra Gel.  Add the beaten egg, stirring lightly with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and moist.  Set aside.

Place fruit mixture in a 9×13 inch pan.  Cover with crumble.  Top everything with the melted butter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Serve warm. (Or eat the next morning for breakfast.  It’s pretty darn good cold too.)

Alternatively divide the fruit mixture into individual ramekins, cover with crumble and drizzle with butter.  Cook at 375 until tops just begin to brown.

Pear Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

I’ve mentioned before that we’re big fans of out local Bountiful Baskets. For those who haven’t heard of this it’s a produce share program where you get a basket of various seasonal fruits and vegetables each week for a donation. One of our goals this year was to make sure we were using everything in our basket and making sure to get to it before it went bad. This week we had some late winter apples and pears and decided to make a wonderfully fresh salad with it.

One of the best parts of this salad is the vinaigrette that goes with it. It’s a lemon poppy seed dressing which is sweetened with honey, and uses Ultra Gel in order to help hold the emulsification. I use 1-3 tsp of Ultra Gel in all of my vinaigrette because it helps to keep the oil and the vinegar, or lemon juice in this case, together and holds the dressing longer in the fridge, provided it doesn’t get eaten!

Give it a try and let us know what you think. This is a great meal in itself, or as a side to round a meal out.


Pear Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1 pear, cored and diced

1 asian pear, peeled cored and diced

1 pear, peeled cored and diced

1 head romaine lettuce, torn (spinach is really good too)

1/3 cup craisins

1/2 cup chopped almonds (opt)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (opt)

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. The almonds and mozzarella can be held until service so the cheese doesn’t go soft and for aesthetic appeal.


1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Dijon mustard (homemade is the bomb!)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

In the carafe of a blender or a food processor combine honey, lemon juice, onion powder, mustard, salt and Ultra Gel until well mixed.  With motor running, slowly add olive oil until thick and well mixed.  Add poppy seeds and pulse to combine. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes for all flavors to combine. Serve over Pear Salad, refrigerate remaining dressing.

Ultra Gel Lo Cal Dill Dressing

I admit that I have a thing for ranch dressing on my salads. I think it’s a Utah thing, something in the water makes us love our creamy dressings. Unfortunately these dressings aren’t always the most healthy dressings, but with a little bit of Ultra Gel magic we can do something about that.

In most creamy dressings a lot of the bulk of the dressing is made from mayonnaise, which, as is typical for fats, has 100 calories per tablespoon. So a full cup, 16 tablespoons, can add 1600 calories to your batch. We work around this in two ways.  First I really like the flavor and mouth feel of light mayonnaise.  Not that’s the light, not the fat free.  The fat free works in this application, but I really don’t love the flavor or the mouthfeel, it creates a dressing that lacks some of the richness that makes salad dressing so yummy. Second we replace the rest of the mayo and the milk with buttermilk, which has a wonderful flavor and about 5 calories per Tablespoon. Add Ultra Gel for thickness and spices to your taste and you end up with a dressing which is better for you, tastes fantastic and sticks to the greens so you end up using LESS! It’s a win all the way around!

Just one note on our spices. This recipe calls for onion and garlic powder, not salt. If you use onion salt and garlic salt as well as the pure salt you’re going to have a very salty recipe and the onion and garlic flavor will not be nearly strong enough. It’s totally worth it to have good powders in your cupboard and control how much salt goes into your recipes by only adding salt as salt.

This particular recipe is a Dilly cream salad dressing. It’s really nice with vegetables as a dip if you make it a little thicker, or a great salad topper thinner.  I like a little drizzle across potato salad or deviled eggs too!

ultra gel dilly dressing

Ultra Gel Lo-Cal Dill Dressing

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 Tbl Ultra Gel (2-3 Tbl for dip)

2 tsp dried dill weed or 3 tsp fresh dill weed, snipped

1 tsp dried parsley or 2 tsp fresh parsley, snipped

Measure mayonnaise into medium bowl. Gradually whisk in buttermilk. In a separate container combine all dry ingredients. Whisk into liquid mixture until smooth. Refrigerate to blend flavors.

Key Lime Cream Pie

I love the spring time. It’s getting warmer and the garden is starting to grow. Down on the farm the raspberries are soaking up the sun and the rain and we’re hoping for a marvelous crop come this summer. However, spring also gets me thinking about wonderful springy desserts. Fortunately my husband and two other friends all have birthdays this time of year which give me plenty of excuses to pull out the dessert recipe book.

This year when I asked what flavor of cake folks wanted one friend replied that pie was superior to cake and key lime the most superior. As I’ve never met a key lime pie I didn’t like I was happy to oblige.

Traditionally a key lime pie is made by combining egg yolk, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk and baking…or some folks just let it sit in the fridge and set. If you are working with pasteurized eggs this is fairly safe, but it does squick some folks out, so if in doubt bake it. Or come eat with us where we use Ultra Gel to replace our egg yolks and add some whipping cream right to to filling to add lightness and a beautiful balance of tart and sweet. In fact it’s good enough I may just have to have another slice for lunch.

Key Lime Cream Pie

1 can (10 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup lime juice (can be lime, key lime, lemon or a combination there of)

1 batch Ultra Gel Whipping Cream (recipe to follow)

zest of two limes (1-2 tsp)

1 Tbl Ultra Gel

In a small bowl wisk together Ultra Gel, sweetened condensed milk, zest and lime juice until smooth. Let sit for three to four minutes. Fold in whipping cream and scoop into a graham cracker pie crust. Top with additional cream if desired.  Refrigerate until read to serve.

Key Lime Cream Pie

Ultra Gel Whipping Cream

1 pint whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp Ultra Gel

1 tsp vanilla

Put whipping cream into a medium sized bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and mix until it just starts to thicken. Add all other ingredients and whip until thick. Use immediately or refrigerate for upto 5 days.