Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jam Sweet Jam

Every year, we pick various fruits and make jam. This weekend, we are visiting Levering Orchard to pick tart cherries.  I find that tart cherries make the best pies and jams.  Of course, we have picked sweet cherries and made some yummy jams, too.  I'm just partial to tart cherries! One of my favorite dishes to make with cherries is Cherry Clafoutis, if I make it this year, I will certainly share the details.  I'm all about food and probably unusual.  I make just about everything from scratch. My hubby says I am spoiling my boys because they will never find a wife who makes breads, pastries, food all from scratch all without the aid  of a microwave.  Yeah, I hate microwaves.  I think they make food taste funny.  I know many folks like them, and that is okay.  I'm just not a microwaving gal. So, about the jams.

We've already made strawberry jam from three flats of strawberries we picked this year.  Yesterday, however, we bough South Carolina peaches at a stand and I made peach jam.  I used to cook and can jam, but the last several years found that making freezer jam is easier and tastes the same!  One can purchase freezer pectin at many stores.  For my peach jam, I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to 3 1/3 cups of diced, fresh peaches.  Then I mixed 4 tablespoons of instant freezer pectin to 1 1/3 cups of sugar.  Stirred in the fruit for three minutes, then let it set in the jar for 30 minutes before freezing.   I followed the same recipe for strawberry jam with the exception of the lemon juice.  I also made strawberry-blackberry jam. YUM.  I can't wait until our blackberries are ripe and we have enough to make straight up blackberry jam. Of course, I have also made lemon curd this year, too.  Nothing quite as yummy as fresh, homemade lemon curd.

Finished Peach Jam
Strawberries that ended up as jam!
What wild tree products go with jam and lemon curd?  Well, it depends on your taste buds. Around here, we like to put jams, jellies and lemon curd on lots of breads, biscuits and muffins!  In fact, you can add a splash of Jam to the Create Your Own Muffin Mix or the Scrumptious Scone Mix, top the Banana Banana Bread with it, fill crepes with it (Gourmet Crepe Mix)  (I even have a special crepe pan! or top you pancakes and biscuits with it. Wildtree has a Butter Milk Pancake Mix and a Buttermilk Biscuit  Mix.   I love the Beer Bread Mixes (you can add any carbonated beverage if the taste of beer scares you!) and we have done more than just dip them in oils.  You can add butter and jams to the finished Beer Bread, too.  Of course, Scrumptious Scones and Pumpkin Quick Bread also like jam spred on top, too!   If you've never made your own jams before... do not be afraid!  Freezer jam is EASY to make and stores in the freezer for up to one year and 4 or so months in the fridge.  Enjoy!

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