I love pumpkin and it is a kind of pity that they are no longer available after Halloween. Fortunately I bought a lot, so we could enjoy it as soup, side dish and cake. I also saved some in the freezer. But I still had a nice piece left, so I have made pumpkin jam. It is fast and easy:
- Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut it in small pieces.
- Put them in a pot with a little bit of freshly pressed orange juice.
- Add some cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, vanilla, honey, brown sugar, and finely grated orange peel.
- Cook until becomes soft.
- Mix with a hand blender.
So the wonderful pumpkin is preserved and can be enjoyed even longer! If you use less sugar/honey, the jam goes well with meat, for example duck.
It was a cold but sunny November day. We have been out for a walk in the nearby park and I took a couple of pics of my beloved rose hips.
The season is about over now, but I have made around 6 kg jam of them. Maybe it is still worth trying to make some, anyway: the longer we wait with the picking, the sweeter the rose hips become. Here is the way I make the jam (very similar to my crab apple jam making method):
- Wash the berries well.
- Remove the stems and cut them half (make sure it is fine also inside).
- Put the fruits in a pot, add some water and boil until they become soft.
- Mix it well with a hand blender.
- Press it through a metal sieve with a spoon (this might feel long and boring, but think about the final result!).
- Add some citric acid and sugar to it - hard to say how much, it depends on your taste and how sweet the fruit is. I added 1 teaspoon citric acid and 250 g sugar to 1 kg dollop.
- Warm it up and boil for a couple of minutes while stirring properly, especially the bottom of the pot.
It became a lovely jam, thick and wholesome, with a beautiful orange colour.
This story started when Fumiko, a dear friend of mine gave me a bottle of crab apple jelly (paradisæble gelé in Danish), home made, of course. I had not tried it before. It looked beautiful: deep red, semi transparent and tasted bittersweet. I felt like making it myself.
Fumiko came by the other day with a sack of crab apples, she had just picked. I was so happy! I washed them well immediately and started to look for recipes on the internet. All of them were the same: remove the stems, cut them half, cook them in water. Pour the fruits into a cheesecloth and let it drain for a couple of hours without urging it. Boil the juice with an extremely big amount of sugar (1 l juice + 750-1000 g sugar) until it becomes jelly.
It sounds like a looong, boring process, and I do not like the idea of sugar overdosing, either. I rather wanted something fruity. I tasted a piece of raw crab apple: it was so sour, almost bitter, I wanted to preserve this aroma somehow.
I did not remove the stems, nor cut the fruits half. Just added some water and boiled it until the apples became soft. I came with a hand blender and mixed it well. Then I pressed the whole stuff through a metal sieve. Practically, I saved the all the fruits, it was just the stems and the core with the seeds I got rid of. It became 4000 g dollop. I added 1500 g sugar, warmed it up and boiled it for about 10 minutes, while stirred a couple of times. It became thick but was still liquid - I probably should have used less water in the beginning. Anyway, I added 2 spoons of pectin and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Then it started to become runny. The smell was wonderful and very strong: sour and bittersweet, a bit almond-like. Just before ladling it into jars, I suddenly got the idea of adding 1 dl rum to it - it turned to be very good idea.
It did not become a jelly, but a very nice, bit jelly-like jam. Intense, fruity, sweet enough, but not too sweet. I love it!