Jams, compotes, jellies, preserves: A bountiful harvest for the colder months
I promised you jam recipes, so I'm gonna give you jam recipes. Now that Fall is in full swing - or someone should tell Fall it is time to start being in full swing!! - it is nice to wake up in those chillier mornings and sit down to a piece of toast with some strawberry jam, or quince marmaled. It is also a delight to indulge in a small pot of quince and apple purée as an afternoon snack, or glaze a cake with some wild quince jelly. So let me stop the talking and start doing some sharing.
Wild Quince Marmalade:
- 1 kg of quinces
- 500 gr sugar(more or less, you can go for less sugar)
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tspoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons water
Start by peeling and coring the quinces, setting the cores asside (you're gonna use these later) and reserving them. Chop the quinces into mid sized cubes. Place them inside a pan, cover with the sugar, the cinnamon, the lemon juice and the water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and let cook until the quinces are soft and tender, and then blend the whole concotion. Bring back to the heat and let cook a while longer until it has reached the consistency when the jam covers the back of the spoon and if you run a finger through it it doesn't run back to fill the gap. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to pre sterilised jars.
Wild Quince Jelly
- all the cores and bottoms from the quinces you used on the marmalade
- 1 l water
- 200 gr sugar
Start by placing cores and bottoms on a large pan and covering them with water. Turn on the heat and let them simmer untill the water is jellified by the quince bits. Take off from the heat and let cool before sieving. Discard the cores and bottoms and keep the liquid. On a pan make a caramel with the sugar and once you have it, a light caramel, pour the syrup over it and stir until it's uniformely mixed. Let cool and transfer to pre sterilised jars.
Quince and Apple Purée
- five large quinces
- five medum sized apples
- water to cover
- 3 scant tablespoons muscovado sugar
- 675 gr strawberries
- 700 gr preserving sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Start by sticking a saucer in the deep freezer. Then put all the ingredients into a saucepan that is quite wide and stirr with a wooden spoon over a high heat, making sure you coat all the fruit with the sugar and the liquid. Turn the heat down to low, and keep stirring once and again, bringing it to a boil. Let it do so for 5 to 8 minutes (this will depend on the size of your pan, really) and start testing for setting point at about the 4 minute mark, taking the pan off the heat and dropping a scant teaspoon of the mixture into the frozen saucer. Leave this to cool and then poke it with a finger to check the consistency and see if it's ready. You'll know it's ready by the touch of it, keep in mind you do not want a runny jam, but neither do you want strawberry hard candy, right? When you reach the setting point, take it off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes, after which time you can safely decanter the jam into cleaned, pre sterilised jars.
And there you have it, a few jams and preserves that I hope will keep you occupied and happy in the kitchen, knowing these will be enjoyed once the mornings are darker and drearier and colder!