Tag Archives: jam

Sugar Plum Jam

Fairy; fruit or lolly?

A few weeks ago I came across sugar plums at the markets. You must understand that until two years ago I didn’t eat fruit or vegetables. I did not frequent green grocers. Consequently, I didn’t know that sugar plums (different from regular plums) were a real thing outside of the nutcracker. Though after some google’ing, I believe the fairy related more to the lolly, which is a delicacy of the same name.

As they are in season, and I was curious about this myth come to life, I picked up 12 of these little fruits, which look like large grapes. Because these aren’t the best eating fruit, I made them into jam. 12 made one Doritos salsa sized jar.

Going on the principle of the fig and Rosella jam, I chopped them up, added about half the volume of water, and boiled them. I kept the seeds in the water to extract the pectin, then fished them out just prior to blending. I added about half the weight after blending in castor sugar and boiled to setting point.

jars-a-plenty

It turned out to be a traditionally sweet-tasting jam, though easier on the tooth than strawberry. I used it in baking jam pastries, and with Devonshire tea (on scones with cream).

Side note: my sister’s new house mate eats a jar of Doritos every week, so I now have a steady stream of jars. However they do have to be boiled extra long to remove the strong taste of salsa, and I find the seal on the lid retains the smell for quite a while.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Baking

Rosellas – not just birds

Rosellas

I have mentioned before a rare treat one finds occasionally at markets and church fetes in Australia: Rosella jam. I was determined to make a batch for myself once Rosellas were in season.

Well, they must be in season now because as lady was selling them at the markets at Brisbane Square this week. They are much cheaper than figs, I have to say.

Rosella seed pod

Now, I had seen pictures on the internet of what a Rosella looked like, however, being  a city-raised gen Y, hadn’t ever seen one in person. They were much smaller than I had expected – about the size of a cloaked strawberry. I also expected a few large seed inside, not a single pod filled with hundreds of tiny seeds.

As an aside, my mother is always shocked at the things I don’t know. Why is it those of older generations who criticize the young, never take responsibility for raising them wrong? Anyway…

Inversion

Recipe: Soak 500g rosellas in water. Separate skin from pod and boil both in 1 cup of water until pods clear and skin soft (around 10 minutes). Remove pods, blend skins with water. Return to pot with 200g castor sugar and boil (will froth) until ready to set. Remember to invert jars to seal.

The recipe I followed said “half a bucket of rosellas”. Needless to say, measurements are liberal.

6 Comments

Filed under Baking

Ficus

Figs are present in the stories and iconography of every major religion, but I adore them for their sweet sweet jam.

Figs are in season here in Australia, so I picked up a few to experiment with. I quickly realised that this jam tasted so good and was so simple that it would be a definite repeat this season, and my first batch may not make it to the jars.

Adam&Eve&Figs(Wikimedia)

Fig Jam

1. Combine 6 coarsely chopped ripe figs and ½ cup water in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes until tender. Cool slightly.

Chopped Figs

2. Blend in food processor until smooth.

3. Combine purée and sugar in heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. (same weight sugar as purée). Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours until mixture is thick.

4. Cool off heat for 30 minutes before refrigerating.

Fresh Fig Jam

Leave a comment

Filed under Baking

3 bowls of sugar

Channelling my inner CWA, I decided to make marmalade. What most suprised me about this project what just how much sugar marmalade contains, even when home made. At least I know it contains no preservatives or colours.

Three Fruits Marmalade

Ingredients: 1 grapefruit, 2 oranges, 1 lemon, 2.5L (10 cups) cold water, 2.5kg caster sugar

Method

1. Slice off ends or fruits, cut in half lengthways, then thinly slice crossways. . Place with water in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool place for 8 hours or overnight to infuse.

The recipe advises to keep the seeds, but unfortunately, even though I had purchased my fruit from a small locally owed grocer, they were still genetically modified enough not to have seeds to preserve.

Fruit Infusion

2. Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes until rind is tender.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 120°C. Place sugar in shallow dish in the oven, stirring once, for 10-15 minutes until warmed.

Sugar for Marmalade

4. Reduce stove heat. Add warm sugar and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Gently boil, stirring occasionally and remove any scum on the surface, for 50 minutes until mixture thickens to setting point. (Spoon a little marmalade onto saucer in the freezer for 2 minutes so see if it turns gel-like)

5. Ladle into jars, seal and turn upside down for 2 minutes. Turn upright and set aside until cooled.

Unfortunately most of my reusable jars were occupied by various nuts and fruits, so I did have to purchase some to use for this recipe.

 

Finished Product

While marmalade can be a bit zesty for my tastes, I know my mum will enjoy a jar. The colours of this project alone made it worth it, and reminded me of my 60s vase collection:

Some encased glass 60s vases

3 Comments

Filed under Baking