End-of-Summer (5 Ingredient) Refrigerator Plum Jam with Calvados

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Plums have been plentiful this summer and when just ripe, but still firm, they make the best jam. Jam you will appreciate a few months from now when days are shorter, darker and summer flavors just a memory.

I love plums and have often shared recipes and plum stories with you here at Food on Fifth.  There have been Plum ClafoutisPlum Yum Almond Cake and Stone Fruit Skillet Cake with Maple Drizzle among others.

The plums you see in the photo below were ones left unused after a photo shoot. They had time to sit out on the studio counter ripening all week and went home with me at week’s end.

DSC_6245Three simple ingredients and two special ones, Calvados and Cardamom! Calvados is a good flavor-pairing with fruits when making cakes, pies or jams, due to it apple origins. It is a French apple brandy, starting out as apples, fermenting into a cider, aged in oak casks to become Calvados. Cardamom…I cannot say enough good things about this spice… with its strong spicy sweet taste adding seductive aromatics with just a pinch!

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Four pounds of plums with peels left on…making this recipe even easier!

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Sugar, ground cardamom…plums cooking down….Calvados & lemon zest added at the end of cooking time…

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Spooned into clean glass canning jars, topped off..ready to give away or refrigerate until ready to use. By the way…very yummy spooned over sponge cake or ice cream while still warm! And how about serving this with your roasted hen or turkey instead of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving? Nice!

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Beautifully messy.

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From my summer travels: “Plums in Budapest” # 1 and #2 iphone images

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Simple Summer (5 Ingredient) Refrigerator Plum Jam with Calvados

  • Servings: 8cups
  • Difficulty: easy-as-pie
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs plums, pitted, unpeeled and chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Calvados
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Put chopped plums & sugar in a large non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken and plums break down.
  2. Stir in cardamom and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Stir often and skim any foam from the surface of the mixture.
  3. Add Calvados & lemon zest. Simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place pan on a cooking rack so air can circulate around the pan to cool it down faster. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon plum jam into sterilized glass canning jars. Wipe rims of jars clean, top with lids and allow to cool completely.
  5. Jam will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 month.  If you do not give some of this fine jam away to your friends (they will be forever grateful I promise) then freeze for later.

Note on freezing: If you plan to freeze some of these jars of jam then fill jars leaving a 1″ head space to allow for jam to expand when frozen. I did not do this many years ago and upon opening my freezer I found jars of jam exploding out of the top of the glass jars! The lids had been pushed completely off! Now I allow for that!

 

Teresa Blackburn        www.foodonfifth        www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Resources:

Red and White hand towel – http://www.ikea.com/

Canning jars – http://www.jarstore.com/Jelly-Mason-Salsa-Jars_c_41.html

Vintage glass canning funnel, silver spoons, Vintage Kobe Turquoise saucepan – my prop collection but check out Etsy or ebay for similar items

Blue enamel colander – World Market  http://www.worldmarket.com/category/dining-kitchen.do?nType=1

Travel Budapest – http://www.afar.com/travel-guides/hungary/budapest/guide

“8 Days a Week / Kale Smoothies”

Day eight

Green Smoothies…green with kale, green with spinach, green with arugula, green for Spring,  green with goodness…8 days a week is not enough to show I care.

This all started with my good friend and co-worker Brad Hunter. I worked on a project with him that I call “all things Kale” for HGTV Home Plants website. Check out the “original Food on Fifth” kale smoothie at their site.

This project consisted of creating simple doable recipes using Kale & honey, Tru Bee Honey to be exact.  Kale salad dressing, uber healthy salads with chopped  kale…one thing led to another until lastly I made a simple kale smoothie.  That was a couple of months ago and every morning since we, over here at Food on Fifth,  have a “variation on Brad’s kale smoothie”. I toss in bananas or blueberries or plums, pineapple, mango, pears, protein powder and organic apple juice, honey, whatever we have on hand.

day one kale

day two kale

day three kale

day four kale

day five kale

day six kale

Day Seven Kale

Day eight

“Eight Days A Week” of Kale Smoothies, I love you, yes you know it’s true!

I am not sure if  it is true, but I feel lighter, definitely healthier and generally have an added sense of well-being. We have one for breakfast every day…sometimes this is what I have for lunch. Thanks Brad! No real recipe is needed but here in a little list to get you started.

Kale Smoothies, Eight Days a Week

Kale

Buy some kale…….

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Put a generous handful of any kale in a blender with some apple juice…..IMG_0015

Add any of your favorite fruits, some honey if you like and protein powder. I add a few cubes of ice and blend until smooth.

Fruits I have used this week: pineapple chunks, blueberries, bananas, pears, plums, apples and oranges. Endless summer possibilities await…Drink your Greens y’all.

“Rustic Ratatouille Tart for the January Dark” (Gluten Free)

rustic ratatouille tart

“The days are short, The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark. (Poem by John Updike, “January”)

January has been a month of extreme cold & many sunless days. It has been a month of long days for me on photo shoots..arising before dawn and returning home way after dark. It has been a month to test the hearty, tire out the tireless and make us all yearn for lighter times.

In January I crave homey foods such as rich hot soups, winter greens salads with crusty homemade croutons, roasted vegetables of any kind topped with crumbly cheeses.  Comfort foods that are easy to make but complex in flavor…dishes that I can whip up from whatever is in the pantry & refrigerator at any given time…dinners that require no grocery runs or long lists of ingredients.

Ratatouille Tart

This gluten-free “Rustic Ratatouille Tart”  is one such dish. It is quick and easy, full of roasted vegetables encased in a whole grain crust and topped with a good feta cheese…a pretty perfect meal for a dark winter evening.

Ingredients: Grape or Cherry tomatoes, Squash of any type, Onions, Bell Peppers, Garlic Cloves  (or use whatever you happen to have on hand such as potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, etc.) cut vegetables into bite size pieces except for tomatoes & garlic cloves

Olive oil, Herbs de Provence (recipe for making at home here)  or Italian Seasoning, Salt & Black Pepper

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère Cheese

1/2 cup good quality Feta Cheese

For whole grain pie crust: 1 1/4 c.  King Arthur gluten-free whole grain flour blend + 1/4 tsp salt +  7 tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces + 1 cold egg

1 egg + 1 tbsp water whisked together for brushing on crust before baking

whole wheat crust & vegetables to roast

Directions:

1. For pie crust mix flour & salt together in a food processor. Add cold butter cut into small pieces. Pulse until mixed somewhat. Add 1 egg to processor, pulsing as you add, until dough forms into a ball. Remove from processor, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic & chill until ready to roll out. (This only takes a few minutes to make. A store-bought crust works just fine too.)

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place vegetables on a sheet pan. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle Herbs de Provence, salt & black pepper over all. Roast for about 15 minutes just until tomatoes collapse & other vegetables are still firm. Remove pan from oven. Set aside to cool somewhat. Turn oven to 350 degrees.

3. On a flat surface dusted with additional whole grain flour roll dough out to a circle about 14 inches in diameter. Edges can be ragged and uneven. A gluten-free crust is not as “elastic” as a high gluten flour crust, more like a short-bread crust.

Pie crust

4. Sprinkle crust with shredded Gruyère Cheese. Pile roasted vegetables over cheese,  leaving a 2″ edge all around uncovered.

shredded Gruyere over crustroasted vegs on crust

5. Gently fold edges of crust up and over the vegetables leaving  center open. Brush crust with egg wash. Sprinkle feta crumbles over vegetables. Transfer tart to a baking sheet covered with parchment & bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crisp.

Pie crust filled with vegs

Ratatouille Tart

Stay Warm. Keep it simple. Eat well.

Baby it’s cold outside!

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