Strawberry jam is one of those must-make recipes that every home cook should know. What better way to preserve Summer's most coveted berry than by making a jam? Perhaps a classic pairing suits your fancy. Spread the jam over toast, pour it over brie cheese, or make a mean PB and J. Fruit jams also taste great in a turkey sandwich or in grilled cheese sandwiches. Alternatively, try it in a jam cocktail or whip a few tablespoons in cream cheese or a batch of fresh buttercream frosting. Maybe you enjoy it solo, sneaking a secretive spoonful each time you pass the fridge. I won't tell! Either way, take a look at my favorite strawberry jam recipe.
Last Fall when living in Manhattan, I experienced fresh concord grapes for the first time and was dazed by the naturally jelly consistency and supersweet interior. I probably went through five pounds a week, so you can imagine my excitement when grapes started popping up at the farmers market here in San Francisco. Preserve the season's bounty by making homemade jam. A few serving suggestions: offer it for breakfast with English muffins and butter, or use it as a filling for cakes or mix it into vanilla frosting. Slip some in a peanut butter sandwich, and you'll find that PB&Js never tasted so good.
Fall back in love with this sandwich staple when you get the recipe.
There's no better way to celebrate Spring than with fresh fruit cocktails. But if your farmers market still isn't turning up Spring berries, or you don't have ripe stone fruits on hand, there's another way to incorporate nature's candy into your cocktails: try stirring in your favorite homemade or artisanal jam.
I can't take credit for this ingenious idea — it comes from Madam Geneva, a Manhattan gin bar — but it's a brilliant concept that can be taken to many levels. Start with your favorite clear spirit, add some citrus for acid, and shake it with a pectin-based fruit preserve.
This time, I went for a gin, lemon, and raspberry combo with a garnish of aromatic thyme, served in a small jelly jar for extra effect. When Summer arrives, I'm thinking vodka with blackberry, lime, and basil. After that, who knows? The possibilities are endless. For basic inspiration, read on.
Taking time to enjoy some tea and toast is one of my favorite morning rituals. Some days I just put butter on my toast, and other days I want to mix it up with honey or jam. As evidenced by the plethora of options inside my fridge door, I seem to never have enough toppings! The problem is, when we slather on one of our favorite spreads, we're also adding additional calories, fat, and sugar to our breakfast routine.
Since I'm serving some savory treats at my preserving party, I also plan to offer one sweet treat. Not just any dessert, but a crumbly, fruity pastry that makes the most of last year's blueberry preserves: blueberry cookie bars. They are simple to put together and if any remain when the party ends, I'll pack them up and offer them as favors to my guest. We'll also be making one sweet jam together: mixed berry jam.
To take a look at these recipes, keep reading.
In the Winter, I always love to invite my friends over for a cookie swap or edible gift-making party. However, I've never done something like this during the warmer months — until now. Inspired by a new Williams-Sonoma book, The Art of Preserving, I'm hosting a canning party and I suggest you do the same. First select a date — preferably a relaxed time, like Sunday afternoon — then decide what you want to make at the event. Throw in some homemade snacks and you've got yourself a fabulous little party. At mine, I'll offer guests two nibbles in the form of a white bean dip with parsley oil and an oven-dried tomato tart with goat cheese and black olives.
What will we be making? Peach-rosemary jam and classic dill pickles! If this sounds like fun to you, check out these recipes, after the break.
Our very own FabSugarUK attended some nuptials and brought back an edible gift idea that's brilliant. She had this to share in the Wedding Talk group in the YumSugar Community. I attended a wedding a few weeks ago and couldn't resist sharing these gorgeous place settings. The bride had made a pot of jam for all the guests and had names printed on them. They were then used as place settings! They had a fabric covering on the lid that was made from the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses. So cute! It was a really nice personal touch.
All the Pepper Jelly talk in Kitchen Goddess gave me a hankering for some of Nigella's Chilli Jam. So I made a batch over the weekend. I've never made anything like this before because, well, I'm lazy and I assumed it would take all day. But it was dead easy and so delicious. Here's how you do it.
Sweet edible gifts not your thing? Then how about something savory? Even better, how about something bacony? Inspired by Top Chef's Kevin, I decided to try making bacon jam. I'm glad I did, this bacon jam is to die for. Seriously, it's amazing.
It's so good that I could only give one jar away. The other jar I gifted to myself. It's smoky, sweet, porky, and spicy. A long, slow cook ensures that the onions caramelize and the bacon melts. It has the chunky texture of tapenade and is easy to spread.
I've enjoyed it on toast, crackers, pasta, and simply, devilishly, by the spoonful. If you want someone to fall in love with you, I highly recommend giving them bacon jam. The words themselves are magical: say it with me, bacon jam. Bacon jam. You get the idea, now get the recipe!
Last weekend, I attended a collective canning event. Sponsored by Fallen Fruit, an activist group that promotes the planting of public fruit trees, the public fruit jam was a free, communal jam-making session where participants shared fruit and jam-making tips.
I arrived with empty jars and lots of plums, and left with new friends, half a dozen jars of different kinds of jam, and the know-how to make fruit preserves. To see how it went down, read on.