MAKES: Enough for any cake

TIME: 15 minutes

There is no glaze easier than this one, which is jam thinned with water; add the cardamom and it instantly becomes exotic. This glaze can be whipped up in minutes and kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Since it’s pretty sticky, it must be drizzled or brushed onto cakes; use it to smear on cookies as a glaze or filling for cookie sandwiches or on sweet quick breads or muffins (see Banana Bread), including Scones, Doughnut Puffs, and Fruit Fritters.

This glaze is great on Coriander Snaps, Olive Oil Cake, or Yogurt Pound Cake.

1 cup apricot jam or preserves

1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Put the jam and cardamom with 1 cup water in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a low bubble and cook to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool; use immediately or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Variations

Berry Jam Glaze. Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry are all delicious; use it on Ginger Pound Cake: Substitute any berry jam for the apricot and add 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger if you like.

Cassis-Orange Marmalade Glaze. A great combination of flavors; use it on Almond Cake: Substitute orange marmalade for the apricot jam and add 1/4 cup cassis liqueur.

Port-Cherry Jam Glaze. More serious, deeper flavors; use it on Chocolate Vanilla Layer Cake: Substitute cherry jam or preserves for the apricot and add 1/2 cup port wine.