Pump Up the Jam… and a Jammin’ Giveaway!!

It all started with a feeling of impending doom. Then the phone rang. It was the doorman announcing a delivery. “I’m not expecting any deliveries” i replied… “It’s from the Hamptons” he said. “Oh shit!” I answered, realizing it was this time of the year again. “Send it up..err.. i guess” i said, and waited anxiously by the elevator.

The elevator door opened to a mountain of fresh fruits and vegetables from Big Bossman’s gardens. I must have lost consciousness at that point because the next thing i remember is the floor of my kitchen covered with bags and coolers full of fresh produce. I don’t know if i should have laughed or cried…

Over the next few days i did my best to quickly use everything and made ratatouille with the vegetables, and tarts, pies, cobblers, chutneys, syrups, ice creams and sorbets with the fruit (that doesn’t leave me much time for blogging, does it?). A lot of fruit was eaten ‘as is’ of course and some more was given away to readers of this blog, some went to big bossman’s clients, and more went to charity. Next year, give me a stand at Union Square Market for chrissake!!

After doing all i could to use it all up more surprise deliveries kept creeping up on me, and I was returned to square one again and again… The enemy was advancing. I had to take the matter into my own hands and either shoot the gardeners or make jam. I choose the latter so last week, i made jam. And lots of it. Take THAT garden boy!! Ha!

The good news for you my friends is that one lucky winner will receive a jar of each of my experiments (i made three different kinds of jams). All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post and you’re entered to this jammin’ giveaway. A winner will be picked at random. Scroll down for more details.

For now, let’s pump it up my friends and let’s go over the making of peach-cardamon jam, sour cherry jam and an apricot jam that gets a kick from apricot pits and Beaumes-de-Venise. Take a deep breath, it won’t be easy but together we can do it, let’s pump up the jam!

Peach-Cardamon Jam

Ingredients:

4 pounds peaches, peeled and stoned
5 cups sugar
1 cup strained fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon cardamon pods, crushed

Instructions:

Cut peaches into wedges about 1/2 inch thick, then cut each wedge in half crosswise. Transfer to a large bowl, add sugar and lemon juice and stir well. Let stand several hours (or overnight), stirring two or three times until sugar dissolves. Wrap the cardamon tightly in cheesecloth.

Transfer to a large pot, add the cardamon bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and simmer, skimming any white foam that collects on the surface, until peaches are tender and syrup thickens slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let rest several hours to “plump” the fruit. In other words, pump it up!

Cook for a couple minutes more over moderately high heat until it reaches 220°F. Or test for jamlike consistency by spooning a little onto a chilled saucer, then returning the saucer to the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool the syrup quickly. It should firm to a soft jelly consistency.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, then spoon into clean, hot jars to within 1/2 inch from the top (the jars, the lids, the spoon and the tongs should be boiled for 10 minutes prior to using). Wipe rim clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Place lids and rings on jars and seal tightly (your fingers should never come in contact with the inside of the jar). Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Or, for longer storage, sterilise them by placing just-filled jars in boiling water to cover by 1 inch and boil 15 minutes for half-pint jars, 20 minutes for pint jars. Transfer with tongs to a rack to cool; lids should form a seal. Sealed jars may be stored in a pantry for up to a year.

This one may be my favorite of the three, chunky peach jam perfumed with cardamon. They have great affinity for each other these two. Delicious on a slice of toasted brioche next to a cup of good coffee. Did you enter the giveaway, yet? Let’s move on to our next target… sour cherries!!

Sour Cherry Jam

Ingredients:

5 cups fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
4 cups sugar
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup kirsch

Instructions:

Chop about half the cherries and combine them all (whole and chopped) in a large stockpot. Add the sugar, the lemon juice and zest and turn the heat on to medium. Stir once in a while with a spatula. The cherries will release a lot of juice. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook while skimming the white foam.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes over moderatly high heat until it reaches 220′F (don’t taste it at this point, you would burn yourself). Or test for jam-like consistency by spooning a little onto a chilled saucer then returning the saucer to the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool the syrup quickly. It should firm to a soft jelly consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool for several minutes. Stir in the kirsch. Follow same instructions as for the peach-cardamon jam for canning and sterilizing.


This one captures summer at its best. The season is so short for sour cherries that you will enjoy to have some jam on hand for those cold winter days. I love it on a toasted and buttered english muffin for breakfast… with another cup of coffee. Yum! Let’s move on to the last one. Apricot jam with hints of almonds and Beaumes-de-Venise…

Apricot Jam-Zen

4 pounds apricots, rinsed, halved, and pitted, pits reserved
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup Beaumes-de-Venise

Instructions:

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, then spoon into clean, hot jars to within 1/2 inch from the top (the jars, the lids, the spoon and the tongs should be boiled for 10 minutes prior to using). Wipe rim clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Place lids and rings on jars and seal tightly (your fingers should never come in contact with the inside of the jar). Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Or, for longer storage, sterilise them by placing just-filled jars in boiling water to cover by 1 inch and boil 15 minutes for half-pint jars, 20 minutes for pint jars. Transfer with tongs to a rack to cool; lids should form a seal. Sealed jars may be stored in a pantry for up to a year.

Thick-and-bright-orange apricot jam that gets extra perfume from the pits and sweet wine. Delicious just as it is and not too sweet. I could eat it with a spoon right out of the jar. It’s hard to go back to supermarket jams after trying this. Do you want a taste?…

The giveaway! Yes, you heard me right. I will ship a trio of jams to ONE lucky winner. I think they are safe to travel since i sterilized them, i’ll make sure to pack them safely. If you want a taste just say Hi in the comment room and cross your fingers. The winner will be picked randomly and announced on this blog next monday or tuesday. No double entries or anonymous comments please. You have until Friday August 1st at midnight (Eastern Time) to enter this contest. Good luck to all!

 

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  • http://www.moldremoval.org Mold Removal Cape Coral

    i love all these three jams specially they are your concoctions!!

  • http://blinklist.com/users/nicholasdunn62 Christine Witherspoon

    Thanks you for giving me such great information.

  • http://www.activateplay.com/forum/member.php?u=18743 Rose Hardy

    It’s look so yummy.  Thanks for posting such a great post.

  • http://www.delicious.com/causeydarre Kathleen Seagraves

    Generally I don’t post on sites, but I would like to claim that this web site really forced me to do so, Terrific website!