Having acquired a stunning loaf of bread that had toast written all over it, I simmered up a small pot of jam using the handfuls of berries I foraged from my sisters’ back yards (strawberries in Anne’s, raspberries in Ali’s) and the Nanking cherries I shook into my empty coffee cup between the car and our house, and a few Juliette cherries plucked at my parents’ house. I want everyone to know that making jam is not scary, and does not have to be an all day, dozens of jars process. Small Nanking cherries and even bigger but softer, juicier sour cherries can be tricky to handle, not quite firm enough to be pitted for pie. Typically impatient with random cherries, I usually cover them with water, bring them to a simmer and press them through a colander back into the pot to get rid of any pits. As easy as draining spaghetti, really. From here you can make syrup for waffles or cocktails, orContinue reading

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The peaches are in! I know I’ve taken you down the skillet jam road before… with a larger surface area, a skillet makes a great tool for cooking down fruit and sugar to make just enough for a single pot (or jar) of jam to tuck in the fridge. It’s a great way to take care of surplus stone fruit starting to soften and/or become a hub for fruit flies. Bonus: you can see your jam thicken, so there’s no need for hard boiling and thermometers. To peel your peaches – something I rarely do, but did here – just plunge them into a pot of boiling water for a minute or two. Once they cool (you could put them in a bowl of cold water to speed this up) you can peel the skins away with your fingers. Ripe peaches you’ll be able to squish with your hands, right into the pan. Otherwise, use a knife and chop it in. At first it willContinue reading

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