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Posts Tagged ‘Jam’

For the last few weeks, I’ve been obsessed with kumquats.  I’ve been blending them to make salad dressing, slicing them thin as a salad topper, and making this delicious marmalade.  For those of you who haven’t tasted a kumquat, they are quite tart.  I guess the best way to describe their flavor is like a cross between an orange and a lemon– with the emphasis on the orange-like qualities.  And they’re perfect for this citrus-obsessed girl.   I almost decided not to share this recipe, since it’s hardly a recipe at all.  I thought it might be ridiculous to write about something made from just three ingredients– one of them being water.  But I kept on making batch after batch of this amazing marmalade, and eventually figured I had to share it.

I’ve been enjoying this marmalade on sandwiches with brie and arugula.  Sometimes I even throw a piece of bacon on top, because bacon goes with everything (I know we’ve already established this).  It’s true though.  The salty bacon works so beautifully with the sweet, yet tart flavors of the marmalade.  Sometimes, for a little added punch, I like to sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top.  And aside from brie, this topping goes well with both ricotta and goat cheeses.  Fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, are also great additions.  Come to think of it, I may even throw a sprig or two into the next batch.  It would make a dramatic topping for a rich vanilla cheesecake…with a bit of rosemary for garnish!

The most time-consuming part is slicing all of the kumquats, but after that it’s smooth sailing.  The recipe here is for one jar, but I usually increase the ingredients to make four or five at a time.  Since I love to give homemade things away for little gifts, I’ve been using the larger batches for that purpose.  It’s like giving a little jar of sunshine.  Make some of this fabulous marmalade, give some away.  It’ll make you happy.  I promise.

The Recipe:  Kumquat Marmalade

(Makes enough for an 8 ounce jam jar)

15 Kumquats

3/4 cup granulated sugar OR 1/3 cup honey (both versions are equally delicious!)

1/2 cup water

To make the marmalade, wash the kumquats.  Slice them as thin as as you can — peelings and all.  Carefully remove the seeds, as you come across them.  In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat add the kumquats, sugar or honey,  and water.  Sir with a wooden spoon.  As you do this more tiny seeds may float to the top of the water — remove them with the spoon. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to an aggressive simmer.  Cover with the lid and stir frequently.  After about 30 minutes the kumquats should be tender, though it may happen sooner depending upon your heat level.   Remove the lid, raise the heat, and let cook a bit longer until the mixture becomes your desired consistency.  About another 15-20 minutes is where I like mine, though it will depend on how high your heat was.  Keep in mind that it won’t completely thicken until it is chilled in the refrigerator.   Remove from the heat and let cool a bit in the pan before you pour it into your sanitized jam jar.  Put into the refrigerator to chill.  It will keep for about a month — though it will be long gone before then.

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

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Tomato Jam

You are looking at my latest addiction– tomato jam.  You read correctly, it’s  jam made from tomatoes.  I’ve been eating this heavenly spread on everything lately.  Now you may not have heard of tomato jam, but in food circles it seems as though everyone is talking about it.  The recipe is simple and easily adaptable into both sweet and savory versions.  To me, it’s perfection in a jar.

So how simple is it?  Just chop up the tomatoes, add a few spices, and plop everything in a kettle.  Stir.  Wait an hour, or so for it to thicken. Done.  Depending on what you add, you can make it as sweet or savory as you like.  I’ve been using both versions… a lot.  The sweet jam pairs beautifully with crusty bread and a rich cheese, like a nice white cheddar or goat cheese.  Or how about serving it on top of a beautiful round of brie, with cocktails?  The savory jam is a perfect match for eggs, bacon, or braised meat sandwiches.  And that’s just the start.  Once you taste this topping– like me, you’ll spread it on everything.

Like any other jam, you’ll want to refrigerate this one (it should be used within 2 weeks).  You can also ‘can’ the jam for later by following basic canning instructions.  That way you’ll have it available throughout the winter.  It’s a good idea to double or triple (or more) the batch if you’re going to go through the work of canning it.  It’ll need 20 minutes in a hot water bath.  I’ll certainly be canning several jars, because for the past few weeks I’ve been starting my day off with an egg and tomato jam breakfast sandwich.  And I don’t want this new-found favorite to end anytime soon.  It’s so quick and easy.  Try it, you’ll be happy you did!

The Recipes: Tomato Jam: Two Ways

Somewhat  Sweet Version:

(Makes a bit more than 1 pint)

2 pounds tomatoes, chopped  (Roma are best,  though I used regular)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons lime juice  (may substitute lemon)

1 serrano pepper, minced (or any hot pepper of choice)

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

Combine all ingredients into a large, heavy- bottomed sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered.  Make sure to stir often.  Cook for roughly 1 hour, or until it reaches your desired consistency for jam.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Place in a jar and refrigerate.

Source:  Adapted from Mark Bittman via The New York Times

Smokey, Savory Version:

(Makes 1 pint)

1 pound tomatoes , chopped

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

pinch of kosher salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 serrano pepper, minced (or any hot pepper you prefer)

Combine ingredients into a medium, heavy -bottomed sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently.  Cook for roughly 45 minutes, or until the mixture has reached your desired jam consistency.   Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate.

Source:  Adapted from Molly Hermann from Tastebud Tart Catering via Fresh Tart @ Minnesota Monthly Magazine

I hope you enjoy both versions of tomato jam.  Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by.

Laurie

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