Posts tagged ‘jam’

Rhubarb Lavender Jam

Rhubarb Lavender Jam

This is it, folks.  This is the last recipe in the official Rhubarb Fest here on SFTF.  Won’t you miss that glaring shade of pink font?  There may be a few stragglers to come, but both my kitchen and my garden have moved on from the ephemeral spring beauty of rhubarb to the boisterous abundance of early summer.   Now that my harvest basket is brimming daily with sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, beets, lettuces, radishes, broccoli and more, it’s tough to stay focused on one exclusive ingredient.  Can you blame me? 

Rhubarb bunch in blue

But celebrating rhubarb has been fun, hasn’t it?  I discovered several new and delicious recipes, all of which astonishingly excluded strawberries, rhubarb’s bestest buddy ever!   Of course I saved the best for last.   This batch of Rhubarb Lavender Jam combines so many of my favorite flavors: sassy rhubarb, floral lavender, and wildflower honey, all of which came out of my garden in one way or another.    I also love that this jam does not require any pectin.  It’s not that I mind pectin in my jam.  I just mind the inevitable realization that I used up the last of my stash and never remembered to replace it (pectin’s tough to find in bulk here in the city so I buy mine at the little local store by my parents’ farm when I’m visiting). 

Honey and lavender

If you’re not a master jam maker – and I certainly don’t consider myself to be one like Tigress in a Jam, the creator of this recipe – this is an easy beginners batch.  The ingredients take minimal processing and you can’t really mess it up as you can keep cooking it if you aren’t sure that its ready to set up.  Rhubarb takes a licking and keeps on ticking like that.   And this jam does indeed set up beautifully.

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June 23, 2009 at 10:55 am 19 comments

Last One…for Now

Spiced Fig and Pear Preserves

I was looking at the top shelf of my cupboard just a minute ago and shaking my head in partial disbelief and partial smugness.   On that top shelf is the oddest assortment of small batch jams and jellies I’ve ever had to date.  This growing season kept affording me opportunities to make these preserves that were just too good to pass up, and yet, now, I’m a bit shocked at what I have.  Pity the fool that wishes to have something so commonplace as raspberry or grape jelly at my house. 

Figs on the tree

Still, all the recipes I tried and fiddled with this year for preserves proved very successful; thus my teeny bit of smugness.  I have Ground Cherry Chamomile Jam, Apple Rhubarb Jam…and now Spiced Fig and Pear Preserves (jam really, but “preserves” sounded fancier).   Originally, I really wanted to try the recipe my Portuguese pen pal sent me  (thank you, A!), but alas my fig supply was severely dwindling by the time I got around to this jam-making session.  I mulled it over and realized I had a lot of pears I’d plucked from the ancient pear tree at my childhood home. Thinking they would mingle well with the figs, I chopped them up and threw them in to bulk up my fruit pulp for this preserves project. 

Quartered figs

This is the part where I have to take a moment to sing the praises of Elise at Simply Recipes.  She always has just the thing to guide my culinary experiments.  If I’ve dreamed it up, chances are Elise did too and already tried it so I can learn from her experiences.  Not only did she have a recipe for a fig-comingled-with-another-fruit preserve, but she also used the microwave and made jam-making the simplest venture in the world so even newbie cooks can fearlessly tackle their abundance of fruit and force it into jellied submission.   Hurrah for microwave jams!*

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December 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm 7 comments

Apple Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb stalks

I’m feeling a bit out of touch with the seasons here this year.  Rather than dishing out recipes for winter squash and mustard greens and warm spiced desserts like I was this time last year, I keep coming up with these last few throw backs to warmer months.   First it was kiwis and then sweet peppers, and now it’s rhubarb.  Yes, rhubarb! 

Generally speaking, I’m sure most people would consider rhubarb to be a spring ephemeral, or at least not anything to be had past June.  But I’ve recently discovered that’s really not true at all.  In fact, it’s at its sweetest in autumn, just when it needs cutting back anyway.   There are the big woody stems that should be tossed, but keep any of the slender and pliable ones to throw into such scrumptious treats as Apple Rhubarb Jam.

Apples

Rhubarb has been a favorite of mine since I can remember, thanks to the long-lived perennial stand of it in my grandmother’s kitchen garden.  It often fell upon me to walk to her house and twist off a few tender stems for one of my mom’s delicious spring-time desserts.   I actually got the rhubarb for this recipe from her garden once again on a recent visit. 

Apple Rhubarb Jam

Gardeners usually put in one or two year-old crowns of rhubarb when getting their patch started.  I actually decided to put rhubarb in my own garden this year but wanted to try growing it from seed so I could observe the whole propagation process.  So far, my plants are looking young but healthy, having snuggled into their bed for winter.  I probably won’t be able to harvest anything from them yet next year but I look forward to plenty of rhubarb in 2010!

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November 10, 2008 at 1:26 pm 22 comments

Ground Cherry & Chamomile Jam

Spoonful of jam

Forgive me.  This post is about to be one of the shortest on SFTF.  I’m in the throes of a week of final exams and it’s not been pretty:  studying ‘til the wee hours of the night and cheese and crackers for dinner two nights running so far.  But I didn’t want to leave you for too long without some culinary inspiration and one last recipe for ground cherries that I have tucked away in my drafts. 

Ground cherries in husks

 
Ground cherry season is just about at a close.  I have some fruit left on my plants which I’ll harvest when I pull them out of the ground next week during the process of putting my garden to bed for the winter.  I knew right from the start I wanted to make jam with these lovely little fruits, but was wondering what I could to spice up the jam idea a bit.  I ran across another blogger’s account of making Ground Cherry and Chamomile Jam and I knew right away that’s what I wanted to make.  I used my own honey I’d harvested from my hive earlier this year.  I didn’t have my own chamomile to use for this batch, but I’ve just harvested a bunch of chamomile flowers to dry that I’ll be sure to use for the next batch. 

Ground cherries cooking

This jam is floral and fruity, with the ground cherry itself playing a rather secondary role to the honey and chamomile.  That is until you hold it for a moment on your tongue and realize the ground cherry’s pineapple-y zest is doing quite a lively dance itself in the very pleasant aftertaste of this jam. 

Jam with spoon in jar

This jam is quite beautiful too: glowing amber suspends little pearls that once were seeds.  Those seeds might put some folks off, in which case you could always just strain the hot jam before putting it in jars.  I personally like the subtle contrasting crunch of the seeds amid the silky sweetness of the jam. 

Upside down jam jars

recipe after the jump

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October 16, 2008 at 8:05 am 16 comments


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