Red Onion Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 lbs purple onions (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (can add more for taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (can add more for taste)

To Do

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and cook until softened and translucent (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  2. Add wine, sugar, thyme, vinegar, and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Allow to simmer until liquid thickens and becomes syrupy (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer onion jam to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Transfer portions of jam to sterilized jam jars and seal in a canning pot for approximately 7 minutes.

**I filled four 5.5 4 oz. jam jars.**

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Flirting with the Devil

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This jam adventure took a turn for the hawt n’ spicy!  OK, not so spicy, but it came out delicious regardless and may be my favorite jam so far.  Who would have thought that strawberries and habanero peppers could taste so good together?

Originally, I was going to call this jam ‘Hotter than Hades’, but it felt like such a lie when the actual jam came out not that spicy.  Don’t get me wrong, the habaneros give a nice kick to the jam and the heat kind of creeps up on you after a few spoonfuls.  This recipe probably could have been a lot spicier (which wouldn’t have been such a bad thing), had I kept some of the seeds and veins of the peppers in the mix.  So, if you would like to kick this recipe up a notch, I suggest doing just that.  Or you could lessen the amount of sugar.  Your call.

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Don't the colors look great together!?

Don’t the colors look great together!?

A small word of warning: wear gloves or something protective as you chop the habanero peppers.  This jam session was shared with two wonderful friends of mine and one took the fall for us, by chopping the habaneros.  Our pride got to us.  We thought we could take it.  Not so — a mere half hour after having chopped the peppers with her bare hands, she started to feel a slight tingling sensation.  We thought, “Oh, not so bad.”  Ten minutes later, it had become a stinging, burning feeling.  The feeling would remain for the next 24 hours.

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In the end, it’s a delicious mix of sweet n’ spicy.  We made a nice batch of cheesy biscuits to go with it and it tasted great.  Also, goes great on top of slices of gruyere cheese.  Eat well!

My version of the recipe can be found here

Flirting with the Devil Jam

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Habaneros (seeded and deveined if you so desire)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter (optional — used as an anti-foaming agent)
  • 7 cups white, granulated sugar
  • 1 pack liquid pectin

To Do

  1. Put your testing spoon in the freezer.  You’ll use this for testing the jam later.
  2. Place all but the sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and bring to a strong, rolling boil (about 10 minutes).  Be sure to stir occasionally, to avoid burning or sticking to the bottom of your pot.
  3. Add the sugar and return to a boil.  Allow to boil down until it comes to your desire gelatinous consistency.  Remember that spoon I had you put in the freezer?  Go get it.  Test your jam by taking a dollop onto the frozen spoon and allow it to come to room temperature.  Check to see if the jam is the right kind of ‘gooey-ness’ that you desire.  If it’s still too runny for your taste, let it boil further and add a little more pectin (I ended up using about a pack and a half).
  4. Once it is at the right kind of jammy texture for you, you can start to ladle into your freshly sterilized jars.  Seal them in your canning pot for about 7 minutes.  Invert the jars for about 2 minutes.  If you don’t do this, you run the risk of having all of the strawberry pieces pile at the bottom before it can cool.

YIELD: 9 quarter pint jars
Original recipe found here

All Puckered Up

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Strawberries and Gewürztraminer

Strawberries and Gewürztraminer

Newest batch of jams!  Originally, this was supposed to be a strawberry and champagne mixture.  Safeway at Diamond Heights, SF is a little incompetent about organizing their wine selections and I ended up not being able to find the champagne.  However, in the Merlot section I did find a bottle of Gewürztraminer.  I love Gewürztraminer.  So, I thought, “How bad could it be?”  Well — not bad at all!  Granted the mixture came out a bit more tart than expected, but if that floats your boat, I think this jam could be quite tasty for you.

Gluten-free waffles and maple syrup with jam on top does a stomach good!

Gluten-free waffles and maple syrup with jam on top does a stomach good!

The original concept for this recipe is found at this site.  I made some generous changes to it, aside from the wine change and I think it works out for the better.  My version of the recipe is here.

All Puckered Up Jam

Ingredients

  • 6 cups strawberries (remove leaves and cut in half or quarters if exceptionally large strawberry)
  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 750 ml bottle of Gewürztraminer wine
  • 1 pack powder pectin (Sure-Jell Pectin powder pack; 1.75 oz.)

To Do

  1. In a large bowl, stir together strawberries, sugar, zest and lemon juice.  Let mixture sit for 1 hour, at room temperature, covered with a kitchen towel.
  2. Keep a large spoon in the freezer.  You will use this later when you test the jell-like consistency of the jam.
  3. Transfer contents to a large, heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot and pour over the wine and stir well.
  4. Turn on the heat to just above medium and allow to come to a low boil.  Stir jam often with a spatula so it doesn’t burn.  Reduce heat and stir more frequently if you start to feel anything sticking at the bottom or it could burn.  Allow mixture to boil (with stirring) for about 45 minutes.
  5. Start by adding in about a third of the pack of pectin.   Pectin reduces the boiling time considerably, so be sure to stir in the powder immediately and you will have to just feel the consistency of the jam.  Stir in the pectin immediately and allow the jam to boil for 1 minute.
  6. Use the chilled spoon from earlier to test out a dollop of the jam.  With a sample of the jam on the spoon, allow it to come to room temperature.  If it is too runny, add more pectin to your mixture and allow the jam to come to a low boil again.  Let it boil for 1 minute and retest.  Repeat until the consistency is to your liking.
  7. Ladle the hot jam into sterilized half pint jars.  Canning process time for this jam is about 6 minutes.

  

YIELD: 3 half pint jars
Original recipe found here

Apple Pie in a Jar

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For the 2013 holiday season, I decided to try my hand at jam making and dress up the jars real pretty for those closest to me.    They turned out quite lovely, I think!

From the recipe I used (found here), I thought the spices were a bit overpowering considering how much of the apple mixture you actually have — I would try playing around with the suggested amounts given.  I had a lot of fun making my first batch of jams, though, and I hope to make more!   I made some buttermilk biscuits to go with it and it tasted really good!  Another thing you could try is smearing the jam into home-made Palaschinken (Austrian crepe) and then pour semi-melted Nutella on top.  I had this for breakfast and it tasted like some kind of Apple Strudel/Nutella heaven!

I’m excited to try new jam recipes!  What should come next?  Strawberries and champagne?!  Coming soon!

Apple Pie in a Jar

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (to limit foam)
  • 3 oz. liquid fruit pectin (this is usually one pouch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace

To Do:

  1. In a Dutch oven, combine apples and water.  Cover and cook slowly until tender.  Measure out about 4 (to 4.5) cups of the apple mixture and return to the pan.  You can save the remaining apple mixture (if any) for another use or discard).
  2. Add sugar and butter to the pan; bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Quickly stir in pectin.  Return to a full, rolling boil and allow to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat; skim off foam (the butter should have limited the amount of foam created, but if you prefer to skip the butter — that’s fine!  You’ll just have more foam to skim off at this point).  Stir in spices.  Carefully ladle the hot mixture into hot/sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

YIELD: about 7 half-pints.
Original recipe found here.