Category Archives: Jams & Pastes

bread & jam

the bread making bug is back!  after buying copious loaves of bread from my local bakery, and then watching half the loaf go moldy before i got to it, i decided to start baking my own bread again . . . for some weird reason which i haven’t quite sorted out yet, bread baked at home seems last 1 to 1.5 wks before going molding.  whereas the stuff i get from my local bakery, starts to catch that fuzzy green stuff within 3 days. hmmmmm . . .

i decided to launch the fall 2011 breadmaking season with KAF’s classic 100% whole wheat bread, except of course, i only had half the amount of whole wheat flour at hand and ended up having to substitute with bread flour.  their recipe (with my substitutions) turns out a fantastically rustic loaf with the slightest bit of nuttiness.  hubs and i have been eating the bread for over a week now…and it has yet to go moldy! yipee!

here’s the recipe. i used 200g of whole wheat flour and 200g of bread flour instead.  i also opted for the maple syrup rather than the molasses (since i didn’t have any of the latter on hand).

now, what i’m really excited about is how well my white nectarine jam turned out. it’s fruity, peachy and has just the right consistency for thickly spreading on a slice of homemade wheat bread.

i purchased a flat of white nectarines from costco, which turned out to be rather dry and tasteless.  and in my book, when life gives you tasteless white nectarines, you turn it into jam.

White Nectarine Jam
(makes about 1.5 quarts of jam)

White nectarines or peaches 1.5 kg (washed, peeled and cut into chunks; about 8-10 nectarines)
Seedless Grapes 0.5 lb (washed and de-stemmed)
Sugar 800g
Lemon Juice From 3 large lemons
Pectin (low methoxyl) 3 tsp (and a 2 tbsp of calcium water for activation), or follow manufacturer’s recommendations for usage of pectin.
  1. Combine all ingredients, except calcium water, in a large clean flat bottomed pot (i used a dutch oven).
  2. Mix together with a wooden spatula and let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Bring the mixture up to a light boil and then turn off heat.  Allow the mixture to cool and then store in refrigerator overnight.  Place a clean white plate in the freezer overnight as well.
  4. The next day, pour calcium water into the mixture and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to ensure that the jam is evenly heated. Boil for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Then, take the pot off heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the fruit until smooth.
  6. Return the pot to the stove, and continue to boil / stir until the jam passes the frozen plate test.  (take the plate out of the freezer.  put a dab of jelly on the plate.  push the jelly slight with your finger. if wrinkles form as you push the jam, it is ready).
  7. Pour jam into prepared jam jars immediately.

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from plum crumble . . .

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grape jam rugelach with pecans and chocolate chips

i never realised how good rugelach can be until i bought an individual one for 90¢ at sarabeth’s bakery inside of chelsea market one weekend.  Continue reading

homemade grape jam

a few weeks back, hubs and i bought a big box of what we thought were sweet and juicy red seedless grapes.  they turned out to be juicy but not so sweet.  we picked at a few of them, but ultimately ended up letting the lot languish in the fridge uneaten for quite a few days.  being loathe to toss out an otherwise perfectly fine bunch of grapes, i decided to experiment with making grape jam. Continue reading

clementine marmalade

after a successful venture with nigella’s clementine cake recipe, i got to thinking about stewing up homemade clementine marmalade.  the thinking led to doing and lo and behold, i found myself hovered over the stove slowly stirring a pot of clementines with the marvellous recipe book (mes confitures) of christine ferber as my guide. Continue reading

earl grey mixed berry jam gelato

i started off intending to test out ciao bella’s recipe for strawberry gelato.  as i read the recipe, i realized that their technique for prepping the strawberries was in fact quite similar to jam making.   the strawberries are cooked with sugar and lemon but for a shorter amount of time compared to the jam making process.  rather than run out and buy a vat of strawberries, i spied the pot of earl grey mixed berry jam that i had made earlier and opted for a short cut. i took a cup of the jam, blended it with a quart of plain gelato base, and poured it into my gelato machine.  an hour later, i ended up with some seriously yummy stuff.  it’s got the light fruitiness one would expect of strawberry gelato but the addition of earl grey and jam making techniques, gives it what i’d describe as a sophisticated, caramelized fruit flavour after taste.  the kind of thing that is like a wisp of steam rising from a hot glass of fauchon’s pomme tea at the end of a meal.

Earl Grey Mixed Berry Jam Gelato
(makes 1 quart)

Earl Grey Mixed Berry Jam 1 cup
Ciao Bella’s Plain Base 1 quart  (leave out the green tea powder)
Fresh Strawberries (optional) 1 cup, sliced
  1. Combine jam and plain base in blender.  Mix until evenly combined.
  2. Pour into ice cream maker and add in fresh strawberries.
  3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.