Small Batch Blueberry-Lemon Refrigerator Jam

Refrigerator jams are fast and simple to make. They will keep for a few weeks and is the best method for making small-batch jams. They don’t take a lot of time and can even be frozen to eat later in the year. I like this method as it is very rewarding and doesn’t take all day. I make a few jars at a time of different types of jams all summer. We eat some immediately and freeze a jar or two for later in the fall and winter.

 Tennessee blueberries are in season and they are abundant. Plump and juicy, full boxes looking so beautiful at the Downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market that I could not resist….. I over-bought as usual. We have been putting them on all our salads and eating just out of the box or in yogurt and on cereal every day.

Three ingredients….blueberries, lemon and sugar…and about an hour of your time is all it takes.

The color alone makes it worth it!

Spooned into my new Weck Clamped Bowls (jars) from Food 52 and ready for the refrigerator and freezer.

 The blueberries and the lemon peel combination resulted in one of my favorite ever small-batch homemade jams.

A taste of summer on toast. Enjoy.

Small-Batch Blueberry-Lemon Refrigerator Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of fresh ripe blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 juicy lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Carefully cut the peel from the lemon. Slice into thin strips.
  2. Juice the lemon.
  3. Place blueberries into a non-reactive pan. Add lemon peel strips, lemon juice, sugar and water.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn to low simmer, stir often, cooking for about 20  minutes until mixture is reduced and thickened. Jam will thicken more after it cools.
  5. Spoon jam into clean jars with tight-fitting lids. Refrigerate.
  6. If freezing remember to not fill jars all the way up. Leave a 1/2-1 inch space at the top to allow the jam to expand when frozen. This keeps the lid from popping off in the freezer. I learned this the hard way!

Teresa Blackburn   http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com   http://www.foodonfifth.com

 

 

“No Wall Y’all Hibiscus Flower Jam”

Tart, yet pleasantly sweet,  my “No Wall Y’all Hibiscus Jam” smeared on buttery toasted  baguette slices is something close to divine deliciousness. Have you ever had Hibiscus Flower Jam? It is quite common in Mexico and is just one of the many things I love about that country.

The culinary name in Mexico for this flower is Jamaica (pronounced ha-may-kah). Either picked and dried at home, or purchased dried in markets, these flowers have so many wonderful uses. Flavored waters, hot or cold tea, beautiful red syrups for drinks or desserts as well as thick jams are just some of the ways to enjoy.

One morning last week my friend Terry and I wandered into a restaurant, El Atrio Del Mayab, on the central plaza in the city of Valladolid in the Yucatan Peninsula, ordered cafe con leche and pan tostado with butter. The waiter brought us our order along with a small bowl of jamaica jam. I knew I would have to make a batch when I returned home.

Dried hibiscus flowers are found at most international or hispanic markets here in Nashville, or online shops.  I had some in  my pantry for making refreshing hibiscus ice tea, but made some jam instead.

Dried hibiscus flowers, freshly squeezed orange juice and zest and sugar are all you need. Mixed together and cooked down slowly to thicken into a deep carmine jam….

….put into jars and chilled…ready for pan tostado.

Make more jam, build less walls y’all.

Images from Quintana Roo & the Yucatan. Xpu Ha, Izamal & Valladolid, MX.

No Wall Y'all Hibiscus Flower Jam/Jamaica Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried hibiscus/jamaica flowers
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Turn to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Put mixture into a food processor and pulse about 10 times to break up larger flower pieces to make a spreadable jam.
  3. Spoon jam into clean jars and let cool completely. Add lid and refrigerate. Jam will keep for up to 2 months.

Extra; For Jamaica Tea steep dried flowers in hot water. Drink hot or chill for iced tea.

The Accidental Apple Butter Jam! E.A.T #7

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A few weeks ago I was working on a photo shoot with my friend Heather Skelton who is the cooking book editor at Thomas Nelson Publishing/Harper Collins. We were shooting a recipe that called for fresh apples. I quickly made up this “Apple Butter Jam” with the leftovers grabbing my iphone to take a few photos as I worked.  This recipe calls for  4 ingredients and can be completed from start to finish in about 1 hour without any fuss. This same recipe could be done with pears or plums as well. The fresh lemon makes it especially good.

Here are the ingredients:

5 Tart Apples, cored, peeled & sliced

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1 Meyer Lemon, sliced, seeds removed (any lemon will work)

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Add both ingredients to a cooking pot along with 1/2 cup Agave Nectar or Honey & 1/2 cup water.

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Bring mixture to a slow boil. Reduce heat to very low. Stir every now and then. You can do some other things, such as have a cup of tea, read a book or just meander around your house thinking lofty thoughts. In about 45 minutes to an hour this is what it all looks like. Thick, glossy and yummy. Not too sweet, not too tart.

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Spoon slightly cooled Apple Butter Jam into glass jars. Add a lid and store in the fridge. It really is as “easy as that”.

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Hot buttered toast with Apple Butter Jam.

Enjoy!

“My Three Peaches – Refrigerator Jam”

“My Three Peaches”

“My Three Peaches Refrigerator Jam”

 I started out with more than three peaches mind you. I started out with a whole bowl full of perfectly tree-ripened peaches as a matter of fact. Some of the peaches were for various photo shoots I have been styling….but in the end there were three peaches left over….for me.  They sat a round for a few days on my kitchen counter. I was much to busy so I just ignored them almost until the point-of-no-return.

Wanting to save these beautiful golden orbs tinged with reddish-pink for a bit later , I quickly made a (sorry reader!) no-real-recipe “Three Peach Refrigerator Jam”. But I will share what I did to prep the peaches & the ingredients I used, as well as the steps to cook and jar. Anyone can do it…you really can’t go wrong. Try it, you will see.

What I discovered is that it is lots of fun to make one jar of refrigerator jam that will keep for weeks chilled. There is no pressure to get out all the canning accoutrements, no fear of death from eating a badly processed jar of fruit, no lengthy time spent, just the simple pleasure of taking a few pieces of fruit to savor later in a new form.

Here is what you will need for approximately 1 pint of peach jam:

3 very ripe, sweet peaches

about 2/3  cup sugar

a long strip of lemon peel

1/4 cup water or juice

2 Cardamom pods

a pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

First things first:

1. Let me show you how I very easily peel peaches.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cut an “X” in non-stem end of peach. Add to boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon.
Plunge peaches into ice water & leave for a few minutes.
Use your fingers to peel back peach skin. Skin slips right off.

2. Cut peaches into slices or chunks. Place in a heavy saucepan. Add  sugar, lemon peel, water or juice &  cardamom pods.

3. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Stir often. Simmer until fruit is softened & mixture starts to thickened. About 20 minutes.

4. Stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes & balsamic vinegar.

4. Simmer peach mixture for another 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Mixture will darken to a deep amber color & thicken. Remove from heat.

5.  Spoon hot peach mixture into a glass jar & cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to cool at room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

That is all there is to it. Now, as luck would have it,  within a couple of days of making this jam I had a photo shoot where I needed to make some biscuits. Quick, fluffy, light, airy homemade biscuits! Ahhh, my freshly made peach jam & hot buttery biscuits were a match made in culinary heaven!

“Living Life One-Bite-At-A-Time”