Tag Archives: jam

Summer Peach, Fall Apple, Hybrid Plum Jam

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It’s a beautiful last day of summer with the projected forecast to hit a high of 79.  Seems fitting to end summer on a warmer note.  And although Autumn is my beloved of seasons (no doubt I pine for it’s arrival not long after it ends), the refreshment & excitement which summer sows is like that of a peach.

The other day while in the kitchen Ben said, “Wouldn’t you say that a nectarine or peach are the ultimate fruit?”

Me: “Yeah I would!”

Ben: (almost in a daze about it), “I mean, apples & bananas are good, but I could live without ’em.”

Me: “Yeah!”

Ben: “But a nectarine or a peach, I could eat those all the time.  They’re juicy, sweet, and rarely disappoint.”

Me: “yeah I completely agree.”

Summer is peaches.  It’s true, they rarely disappoint.  They can quench both a thirst and a hunger inside.  And there are so many things about Autumn that beat out summer in mind, but the fall apple doesn’t have anything on the summer peach.  And as I was drinking a glass of water, clear, clean water, I paused and said, “Thank you God for this clean water that I take for granted!  People in places like Haiti are without this simplest of gifts that I rarely rejoice in.”

And as I was thanking God for this simplest of gifts, it got me thinking about the ending of Summer and how I can steamroll ahead into Autumn, without a glimpse of a grateful heart for the summer.  How I can tend to focus so much on the big picture, or my agenda, or who I want to become, or my goals, that I forget to delight in the little details of God’s goodness.  Like my youngest clapping her hands for the first time, for oldest staying calm in the midst of struggling to put on her underwear, or the smell of fresh plum jam cooking on the stove top.  It’s as my oldest says, “Gummies today the Lord has made?”  Living in today, because the Lord has made it and delighting in it fully.

So as I breathe in the last of summer, so it only seems fitting to make a batch of plum jam.  Thanks to my friend Megan who had an exploding Italian plum tree in their yard.

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Plum Jam

It’s a hybrid not because it comes from a hybrid plum tree, but it’s a hybrid of two seasons colliding.  This recipe is from the magazine Food & Wine, which can be found here.  Note that when it says to squeeze the lemon over the plums, you are then suppose to add the squeezed lemon in with the mixture (as seen in my pics).

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Plums sitting in sugar for an hour.

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Cooking jam with half of lemon on top.


IMG_3689Wonderful afternoon snack, only thing missing is a cup of tea.

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Strawberry Jam without Pectin

I think a great gift to people is giving them canned goods. Granted I have only canned jams, but people love the specialness (my own word copyright) of it. There is also something so rewarding about making your own jam instead of buying it at the store. It’s a bit of a novelty because this was common stuff back in the day when a homecook couldn’t imagine going to the store to buy their canned goods–they would make it right at home. And I guess that’s what I like about it, being a part of something that were common occurrences around the home.
Now, I know it’s not all romantic and such, because that whole boiling water, sterilizing the jars, wiping off the jam, etc., isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend your time while your two girls nap. However, once you hear the popping of the lids, the jam setting, the first jar being opened to taste the results and a qualified, “MMMM” from your 2 1/2 year old, it makes it all worth it.

Strawberry Jam


Strawberry Jam (printable recipe)

This is a recipe from Barefoot Contessa. I have added my notes below in italics.

What you need:

3 pints strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar
2 Tablespoons Orange liquor (Grand Marnier)
1/2 cup peeled, cored & chopped Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup rinsed blueberries

Wash & rinse your strawberries. Hull them, cutting the large ones in
quarters, medium ones in half & small ones leave them alone.

In a heavy bottom pot mix strawberries with sugar & liquor. Set over
medium heat, stirring constantly. When it starts to boil, add apples
& blueberries. Maintain a rolling boil and stir occassionally,
skimming the foam off the top. Put in a candy thermometer in and wait
till it reached 220 degrees (25-35 minutes).

Once temperature is reached, cool to room temperature and put in jars
to put in fridge. Will keep for two weeks. If you want to have jam
keep longer than follow canning guidelines (you can look online or if
you have The Joy of Cooking). It produced about 3 3/4 half pint jars
of jam for me.

My notes:
1. You can pulse regular sugar in a food processor to make superfine
sugar, if you can’t find it at the store. I put the sugar in and
pressed on for about 45-60 seconds.
2. Grand Marnier is expensive, so you could do one of three things in
my opinion. Buy the little container (the ones they sell on planes),
omit it altogether as it adds a depth to the jam but not necessary, or
put in orange zest or orange extract.
3. I seemed to have stirred & waited for it to reach 220, but it
didn’t. I gauged it more on what it looked like. You could put a cold
plate in the freezer and drop a bit on the plate, then run a spoon or
knife through the mixture. If it parts (think Red Sea) than take it
off the heat. Remember that you’re basically working in the candy
arena & it could go from soft ball stage to hard ball stage pretty
quickly.