Posts Tagged ‘cherry-berry-nut’
Fall is replacing summer, and the pantry slowly fills with preserves. The jams of the last two posts from this series give a wide variety of tastes. None of them are conventional — they range from the simple addition of spices to preserving produce most people don’t connect with jam, like bananas or even herbs. This time, only two recipes, but both are adventurous. Not because they are an acquired taste — it was love at first spoonful — but because they are very far from the usual expectation of jam. Don’t let that stop you, though. They are easy to make and delicious.
Summer reigns in full glory, and there is juicy, sweet fruit everywhere. Right now, I enjoy it in countless preparations—fruit salads, smoothies, hot pies and cool sorbets—but I know that in the winter, I will still long for this great variety of taste and flavor. Thus, I am making some preserves to last me through the cold season. But I don’t limit myself to old staples such as strawberry jam and apple butter. There is a rainbow of recipes available for fresh, unusual, quirky jams.
When you visit a supermarket, you are always greeted with a marvelous display. No matter the season, the produce section is filled with fruit and vegetables in all colors of the rainbow. But when you take the alluring fruit home and bite into it, more often than not you notice that it was bred for looks and not for taste. The fact that it is often grown in greenhouses, where the heat is sufficient but the light is not, and picked unripe, to better withstand long transportation routes, doesn’t help either. Ultimately, if you want taste, you have to head to the farmer’s market, where you can get abundant fruit, in season and grown locally; and if you want good fruit in the winter, you have to preserve it.
While even the simplest strawberry jam can brighten a winter day, it is easy to tire of the same old few sorts all winter long, and start longing for Ray Bradbury’s “summer on the tongue.” Jams, jellies, preserves and syrups—they are the true “summer caught and stoppered”. They make great bread spreads, cake fillings, or also presents with a personal touch. In this series of posts, I will share the unusual, exotic, and varied ones I know of, ones you won’t find in your local supermarket, giving one recipe for each taste-improving idea, and mentioning some other jamsof the same kind for inspiration. While none of them are radically new, I am including some rare recipes, so even if you have been making jams for years, you are likely to come across new ideas. Even if you’re a novice, don’t worry. I don’t explain the basics of jam cooking and canning in this post, but they are easy, and the notes at the end will help you get started.