Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble….
It’s not what you think….
It’s jam. It’s really yummy jam!
My Mom made jellies and jams every summer of my childhood, she’d always put the foam in a bowl for me after she skimmed it off the top of the jelly as it cooked. That warm foamy jam was my favorite part of her jelly making as well as my reward for helping wash and peel all the fruit!
I never made jam on my own until this summer, even though I had a copy of Mom’s beloved Peach and Pineapple jam. It skeered me a little….
It shouldn’t have, turns out jam/jelly making is super easy, albeit a little labor intensive.
It started with our trip to Washington state in July, I brought back 4 lbs each of gorgeous cherries and peaches. I was determined to teach myself the art of jelly making!
And I did….I SOOOOO DID!
My first try was the Bing Cherry (my new favorite). It turned out so good I made Strawberry Peach and Peach/Pineapple that same day!
I took a break for a few weeks, then found some lovely red plums and nectarines at the grocery store, I bought 2 pounds of each, came home and Googled a jam that would use them all. Ended up combining 2 different recipes as I couldn’t find one that suited my needs; the result was Stone Fruit Honey Jam (Hubs new favorite). It was also my first attempt at making a jam that used no powdered pectin. It’s a little less firmly set than some of the others (my Bing Cherry set up a little TOO firmly and needs to set out on the counter for a few minutes).
It’s all a learning experience. Chef Vivi has been jamming for years, she jumped right in her first Fall that she was out of the Navy and made Apple Butter for her Dad. She followed up with Pomegranate Jelly, a favorite of everyone! This year she made Spiced Golden Plum Jam (made from yellow plums picked right off a tree in her yard!) and also Roasted Golden Plum with Sage and Honey (she’s a show off!) and Blackberry from the kajillion of blackberry brambles growing on her property! They are all fabulous!
Aren’t they gorgeous??? I’m kinda obsessed with them…today I made the Caramel Apple Jam from the Macintosh and Sweet 16 variety apples I bought at the Farmers Market on Saturday. It’s yummy! AND…..I found an intriguing recipe for Apple Rosemary Jelly that proclaims to be quite fabulous and uses all the cores, seeds and peels from the apples I used for the Caramel Apple! It’s like a friggin’ bonus Jelly!!! Well…..except for the fact that I had to go to THREE DIFFERENT grocery stores to find fresh Rosemary (ahhh the joys of small town living!)
The apple garbage is simmering on my stove as we speak and I gotta say, it smells heavenly….
I’ve given away a lot of jam, even mailed some to special friends. I’m sure I’ll give away more with some homemade scones or a loaf of homemade bread for Christmas. I’ve made way more than Hubs and I need and I’m having so much fun making the stuff that I just gotta share!
I’m keeping a close watch at the Farmers Market for Pears. I’ve got my eye on a recipe for Vanilla Bean Pear Butter……
I will happily share any of my Jam/Jelly recipes mentioned, just leave me a comment requesting any (or all) and I’ll email them to ya!