As sad as it seems, summer has officially come to an end and while I know I’ll sure miss the warm and lazy days in the backyard, autumn does have its own appeal as well. And the hearty, comforting foods of the season are definitely a big part of autumn to me!
I love showing off the season’s delicious foods by inviting friends and family for a meal but, while I enjoy entertaining, I don’t want to spend all my time cooking either! Quick and easy recipes are a stand-by for me and so I recently set out to create some tasty fall recipes using jam that cook in less than 15 minutes and contain five ingredients or fewer.
Blueberry Brie Tarts
These simple appetizers have a gourmet taste and a rich flavour that guests will love. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place one package of 18 frozen tart shells on a cookie sheet. Fill each tart shell with three ½-inch cubes of Brie cheese. Bake for ten minutes, until cheese is melted. Top each tart with ½ teaspoon of Blueberry Jam and bake 2-3 minutes more, until jam is bubbly. Serve immediately.
Orange Raspberry Chicken Wraps with Kale
This wrap makes a great simple lunch when you still want to impress your guests. Sauté one package of fully cooked chicken breast strips with ¼ cup of Orange Marmalade over medium heat until chicken is hot. Spoon chicken evenly into four whole-grain wraps and top with torn kale and fresh raspberries. Roll up wraps, cut in half and serve.
Apricot Curried Carrots
A perfect warming side dish for chilly fall weather! Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add 1 cup of chopped fresh carrots. Boil for about five to ten minutes, until carrots are tender. Drain water and add 1 tsp. butter, 1 tsp. curry powder and 1 tbsp. Apricot Jam. Mix well until butter melts and carrots are glazed.
Easy Spicy Peach Compote
Peel and chop four fresh peaches. Place in heavy saucepan with ½ cup Peach Jam, 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. nutmeg. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until compote is thick, about ten minutes. Let cool slightly and serve over ice cream or pancakes. Refrigerate leftovers.
These pairings were all popular ones but the Blueberry Brie Tarts were my personal favourite. The rich creamy Brie cheese pairs so perfectly with the sweet blueberry jam. The Easy Spicy Peach Compote was a huge hit as well, though. The blend of sweet fruit and spice was the perfect addition to a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
But the best part was that while all four dishes looked and tasted like gourmet creations, they were all so easy to prepare! Creating recipes using jam added both sweetness and complexity to each dish, so that even a minimal amount of ingredients resulted in pairings that had a fabulous flavour. When I can spend less time cooking and more time socializing—while still leaving my guests impressed by the meal—that’s fall entertaining at its finest for me!