Food Notes: Apple & Fig Jam with Cinnamon and Drambuie
By Nancy L. Frey, 15 October 2015
Last weekend we picked the last of the figs at Jose’s sister’s house about 10 minutes from where we live. She has an abundance of very productive fruit trees which she doesn’t use any chemicals on. It seems like something is always in season – apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, lemons, mandarin oranges. We didn’t want these juicy, ripe figs to go to waste so we decided to make more jam as we did previously with the pears and plums. We followed the same pectin-free recipe we found at Northwest Edible Life (www.nwedible.com) with more great results.
We’ve included before, during and after shots of the jam. We used 1kg (2 lbs) of apples and 800g of figs. We macerated the fruit with sugar (4oz or ½ c per 1kg) for 18 hours and then slowly simmered until soft (about 40 minutes). At this point we added 2Tbs of lemon juice and then we were ready for the final touches. For extra “zing,” this time we added cinnamon (a tasty, safe bet with the apples) and, right at the end, the sweet, golden liqueur Drambuie (a few Tbs). Made from whisky, honey and herbs, the name apparently comes from a Scottish Gaelic phrase that means “the drink that satisfies”. It certainly added just the right touch to this jam which tastes as good as it looks and sounds. Buen provecho!
Food Notes: Pear & Plum Jam with Port and Mint
By Nancy L. Frey, 15 Sept 2015
In August Jose and I picked crates of fruit at his mother’s ancestral home in Melón, Ourense, Galicia. We decided to make jam. I looked on-line for a pectin-free recipe and came across a great site called Northwest Edible Life (www.nwedible.com) where we found exactly what we were looking for. We made a delicious jam following her basic jam recipe that we’d like to share with you.
We’ve included before, during and after shots of the jam. We used 1kg each of Stanley prune plums and Dr Jules Guyot or Limonera pears. The Stanley plums are an European variety with a much funnier and descriptive name in Spanish - cojones de obispo (bishop’s balls) due to their shape and color (Roman Catholic bishops wear purple robes). Who Stanley was or what his nether parts looked like, I don’t know! The sweet and juicy Limonera is ideal when ripe.
We macerated the fruit with sugar for 18 hours and then slowly simmered until soft. For extra flavor and a bit of “zing,” as the recipe author suggests, we added Tawny Port wine we picked up in Porto, Portugal on our Camino in Portugal tour last July. For our dry zing we used peppermint from my herb garden where I grow both medicinal and culinary herbs. The zings are subtle yet add noticeable and delicious undertones that allow the plum and pear to shine and resonate. Enjoy this idea!