The Only 2 Ingredients You Need To Fix Overly Sweet Store-Bought Jam

Jam jars in basker
Jam jars in basker - Alvarez/Getty Images

Everyone can agree that homemade jam is better than its store-bought counterpart, but we don't always have time to make our own from scratch, so we often have to settle for premade jam. This also means that we may encounter some problems with the store-bought jam such as it being too sweet. Luckily, there's an easy way to fix this with only two ingredients: Salt and a lemon.

The salt will enhance the flavors already in the jam, so the taste of strawberry will be more noticeable in a strawberry jam. Meanwhile, the acidity of the lemon juice will balance out the flavors, lessening the overpowering sweetness in the jam. As a bonus, the lemon juice can also help to thicken up jam that is too runny, fixing the consistency will also help to make the store-bought jam taste a little bit more homemade.

To try out this two-ingredient trick, add just a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, then taste the jam. If it's still too sweet, try adding another squeeze of lemon juice, but hold back on any more salt, since the salt can ultimately make it taste even sweeter, which we don't want. Sticking to just a pinch gives us that enhanced flavor, which we do want.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

How To Use The Salt And Lemon Juice-Infused Jam In Recipes

Stack of raspberry oat bars
Stack of raspberry oat bars - Dementieva Iryna/Shutterstock

Once you're happy with the sweetness level and overall taste of the store-bought jam, then go ahead and start spreading it on toast, muffins, or biscuits as you normally would. But, you can also use store-bought jam as an ingredient in a larger recipe, which will take the attention away from the jam itself (and any of its imperfections).

Tasting Table has recipes for a raspberry coconut cake and raspberry cinnamon rolls, both of which call for store-bought raspberry jam and can easily work with any flavor of jam you choose. Once integrated into the recipe, the jam, especially with its salt and lemon juice additions, will beautifully blend into the dish. Similarly, the recipe for raspberry oatmeal bars includes instructions on how to make jam from scratch, but you can use store-bought jam to save time. Feel free to use any flavor of jam for these bars — strawberry or blueberry are both delicious options.

One last idea is to give homemade brownies a bright element by adding jam — after all, chocolate and fruit are a match made in heaven. You can spread a layer of jam over the top or mix it directly into the batter for a more direct infusion, either way, it's a delicious use of store-bought jam.

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