Friday, July 08, 2011

I Be Jammin'

Aw, come on... I know. That was lame.

Last weekend it seemed like EVERYONE had amazing sales on produce. Maybe it was summer, and maybe it was the holiday weekend, maybe it was a combination of the two, but no way was I letting them pass me by! I bought a bunch of fruit and have been canning it. So far, this is what I've made:

Lemon Ginger Marmalade - oh my word this stuff is GOOD. I'll have to charge $7 for an 8oz jar, due to how much work was involved (it took almost three hours to remove, clean, and thinly slice the peel by hand) but trust me, it's worth every penny! My friend Suzy was over as I was finishing this up and even as a self-professed marmalade hater she loved it and bought a jar on the spot!

Chipotle Plum Jam - I know this sounds weird. I wasn't a hundred percent sure about it when I started, but figured at the very least, it would be great brushed over meats for roasting. My mouth is watering just thinking about doing a pork tenderloin with this! Turns out, this tastes a lot like certain Mexican candies that combine fruit and chile powder. It's sweet, but smoky with just a teensy (barely perceptible, really) kick. I only made the 4 oz jars of this, and they will be the usual $3.

Bourbon Blackberry Vanilla - You know, I never really liked jams, jellies, preserves, etc. until I started to make my own. Sure, you can run down to the Walmarts and pick up a jar of organic strawberry jam even these days, but what fun is that? Commercial processing has killed all the flavor! Once you try homemade jam, you won't really want store bought anymore.

Out of all the jams I've made so far, this one is my favorite. I was kind of worried when I started this one because man, bourbon stinks. I mean, my kitchen smelled like a wino had been in there! It was awful and I had one of those "OH CRAP I hope I didn't just waste three pounds of blackberries!!!" Those things aren't cheap!

The thing is, as the jam cooked down and the alcohol cooked out, that bourbon smell completely went away. When you taste the jam, all you taste is the blackberries - at first. After you're done you're left with this slight, almost perfume of flavor from the bourbon and vanilla. I guess it's almost a bouquet? Either way, it's completely subtle, it tones down the sweet/tartness from the berries, and it absolutely wonderful.

Unfortunately, since this was my first time making a jam without pectin, I accidentally overcooked it so even though the flavor is okay, the texture is WAAAAAY thick. Whoops! For that reason, this one is not for sale at this time. More for me. :)

Finally, I leave you with a picture of my pantry:

Isn't it lovely?

I still have lemons and strawberries in the fridge, so there are more plans for jam and marmalade coming this week. Hooray!

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Blogger Muffy said...

WOW! Stunning display of jams!!! All of them sound so good. You are a PRO!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Katy Cameron said...

Oh I want your pantry! One of the things i loved in France the past couple of weeks is the markets with so much fresh produce. Living in the frozen north of Europe doesn't leave us with many summery goodies lol Just north east of here is a big berry growing area, but alas, only for the supermarkets :o(

My mum loves to make her own marmalade, so I know all about how time consuming it is. Try adding a bit of whisky to it, she and my granny both swear by it :o)

3:07 PM  

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