Fruit glazes—easily prepared from preserves— add flavor, protect crisp crusts from getting soft in contact with moist fillings, and provide a slick undercoat that adds an extra sheen when another glaze is poured over the dessert. Apricot and red currant are the most versatile, as their acidity balances the sweetness of the dessert, but you can use another favorite flavor, if you wish. Just be sure to use preserves, and not jam or jelly, which have different fruit-sugar ratios. The preserves must be simmered for a few minutes to evaporate excess liquid and give a firm, slick finish to the glazed desserts. It’s best to turn the entire jar of preserves into glaze, storing the glaze in the empty preserves jar, so you have small amounts ready when needed.
Bring the preserves and rum to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Cook, stirring often, until the last drops that cling to the spoon are very sticky and reluctant to leave the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain through a wire sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Use warm.
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