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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jammin' with Jams (two of them!) and Citrus Curd


Cherry lime, Three Citrus Curd, Strawberry Freezer Jam


Curd isn't a very appetizing word, is it? Sounds nothing like what it tastes like. Whether it's lemon, lime, orange, or all three, like in this case--curd is delicious, but curd is not a fun word to say. It sounds like the promise of grossness to be arriving shortly. :P


What if we called it "Velvety Lemon Cream?" "Lime Dollops of Goodness?" "Make Anything Bland Taste Like Sunshine?" hehe! You get the idea. Even if it IS called curd, it still tastes delicious!


Pixie at You Say Tomahto, I Say Tomayto , and Rosie from Rosie Bakes a 'Peace' of Cake are having a Putting Up event. I've never done canning or preserving before, and well...it's kind of a scary thing, isn't it? Will it work? Will I have jars of green fuzz in two months? Will these green fuzzy foods take over my pantry, and then THE WORLD?!?! And a slew of other questions. That's right, a slew!
It seems like tricky business, that canning stuff....

So I decided to start with something easy, to test the waters. I figured a curd would be good and easy, and since I've always wanted to make some, it was a great choice. And a freezer strawberry jam! Yeah, that'll be good, because all I have to do is mix it up and chill it, and then it'll be good in the freezer for up to one year. And it didn't hurt that Trader Joe's had big packs of strawberries calling my name. And lastly, a couldn't-be-simpler recipe from Everyday food for Cherry Lime Jam, that takes about ten minutes to make. Ridiculously easy!

First up is the curd, or Citrusy Dollops of Goodness. ;) I had stopped by the farmer's market the other day and picked up some minneolas, lemons and limes. I didn't want to get overwhelmed making three types of curd, so I looked for a recipe that had all three fruits in it. I found this one at NY Times online. It's easy and so good--I've been putting it on all kinds of things. Food things! Don't get any freaky ideas! ;)

I also read on Fine Cooking that you can freeze it for a few months. It doesn't freeze solid, so you can spoon out what you need. This way, you can make more at once and save some for later. Yeah...later, like two days from now, after you've inhaled the first jar. And blamed it on the kids. Or the dogs. Do dogs like Dollops of Citrusy Goodness? Hmmm...doesn't matter...they can't speak up and defend themselves, can they? Poor little suckers!


Three Citrus Curd from NY Times





2 blood oranges (I used Minneola's because blood oranges don't seem to have ever made an appearance in NH. phooey.)
1 lemon
1 lime

3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes.

1. Grate zest from one orange, the lemon and the lime. Set aside. Squeeze juice from all citrus into a sieve set over a bowl. Press on solids to extract all juice. Try to get all the juice you can out of them--I got about 1 1/4 cups from these, using the juicer attachment on my food processor.


2. In a bowl, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs with sugar and salt. Whisk in strained juice.


3. Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan and set over very low heat. Add butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir curd constantly, making sure to reach edges around side of pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened enough to mound when dropped from spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. If mixture starts to curdle, immediately take pot off heat and stir vigorously. If mixture does not thicken, raise heat very slightly and stir vigilantly.

**I did the wooden spoon test. After 15 minutes, run your finger along the back of the spoon, and it should leave a trail through the curd. Also, it says "very low heat" in the recipe. I didn't think that was doing a whole lot, so I upped it to between low and medium, or about 3 on the dial. And it didn't seem like it was going to thicken, but in the last 30 seconds or so, it was magically transformed into Citrusy Dollops of Goodness. Whew!

4. Strain curd through a fine sieve into a bowl (or you may have small lumps! Fine Cooking says you can whiz it all in a food processor first to avoid having lumps--same link as above)). Stir in zest.

5. Cover top of curd directly with plastic wrap so a skin will not form. Chill until quite cold and thick, at least 4 hours. (I did not cover the surface with plastic wrap. I poured directly into a 16.9 oz mason jar, covered it and put in the fridge to cool.) (Well, after my 13 year old and I sampled some. A lot.)

Yield: 1 1/4 cups.


They also include a Ginger Curd variation (how good does that sound?):

Ginger Curd Variation: Grate a 4-inch piece of ginger root as finely as possible and, using your fingers, press pulp down into a sieve set over a bowl to obtain juice. You should have 3 tablespoons; yield will vary depending upon how fresh ginger is.

Cook eggs, sugar, salt and butter into a curd as directed in the recipe above. After straining, stir in as much of the ginger juice as you like. Cover and chill as above. This yields a scant cup.

________________________________________________________________________


Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam


Original recipe found here. I don't like overly sweet strawberry jam, so this one was perfect! I could put the amount I wanted in it. For this recipe, which I doubled, I used 3/4 cup of sugar, but it's to taste, so you can add more, or less if you like.

It's so easy! And like I said, I doubled it, and got the one 16.9 oz mason jar, plus two 16 oz freezer jam containers. That should last us at least a little while.

Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe

2 cups crushed strawberries (approximately 1 quart fresh berries)
2 cups water
1 – 1.75 oz. box of No or Low Sugar pectin
Sugar or non-sugar sweetener (to taste)


Rinse and hull strawberries. Crush them, leaving some nice chucks in there. Though looking back, mine could have used more torture, I mean crushing.
Combine 2 cups strawberries and 1 cup of water.


Add up to 3 cups of sugar or a non-sugar sweetener to taste. ( 3 cups! Holy sugar high!)
Mix thoroughly and let stand 10 minutes.
Stir 1 package of No or Low Sugar pectin into 1 cup water in a small saucepan.
Boil 1 minute over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.


Transfer cooked pectin mixture to a large bowl.
Slowly stir fruit into pectin, stirring for 3 minutes.
Ladle jam into jars or containers, leaving ½ inch of headspace.
Screw or place lids on tightly. (Okaaaay...but can I do the first part later? Because these have to get in the fridge, and time's a wastin'!)


Let jam stand in refrigerator until set, but no longer than 24 hours.
Store in freezer for up to 1 year or keep in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

_________________________________________________________________________

Low Sugar Cherry Lime Jam



This one is from Everyday Food Magazine. I saw it a while ago,and really wanted to make it, but was putting it off. Why? No idea, because it's so easy! I love anything cherry, and I love lime, so i was sure I'd love this one. And I do! It calls for a 12 oz bag of frozen cherries, but mine was 16 oz, so I used the whole thing and just increased the other ingredients a little bit. EXCEPT the cornstarch, which I forgot to increase, so it's a little runny, but still so good. And I also added 1/4 tsp of almond extract to enhance the cherries.

Low-Sugar Cherry-Lime Jam

Makes 3/4 cup

* 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cherries
* 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

* 1/4 cup sugar

* 1/4 cup water

* 1 teaspoon cornstarch

* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

1. Combine cherries, zest, sugar, water, and extract in a medium saucepan.

2. Cook over medium-high until thickened and bubbles start to form--6 to 8 minutes.

3. Stir cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of cold water together.

4. Stir into cherry mixture. Boil and keep stirring for 1 minute; cool.

5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


So in the end, this was really fun! It's fun to look in the fridge (or freezer) and see jars of things that you've made! It must be even more satisfying to look on your pantry shelves and see things that you've preserved and can enjoy much later. So hopefully, this will get me started on that path. It would be nice to preserve some of the things we grow in our garden this summer.

Please check out Pixie's blog, and keep an eye out for the round up on May 21st!

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48 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Haha yes, even though "curd" is a rather ugly term, it's still a great condiment!! :0)

I'm totally awestruck by those jams - such delicious varieties!! Yum!!

Deborah said...

I really want some of the cherry lime one - what a great combination!!

Elle said...

Veggiegirl--It is a great condiment--it tastes good on so many things!

Deborah--the cherry lime one is fabulous! And sadly, it's the one that yielded the least amount, hehe. Next time I know better!

noble pig said...

Yeah, just beautiful...cherry lime I would to try. How wonderful!

April in CT said...

These are gorgeous, Elle! They look so tasty and those pictures would look great framed & hanging in a kitchen.

toontz said...

Elle-
I was just at the store yesterday looking at the jams and jellies. All of the jams that were affordable had high fructose corn syrup in them! I refused to buy them, telling my daughter that I would just —the dreaded words—MAKE IT MYSELF! So I am very thankful for your post. I am bookmarking it for later. I might have to email you with questions!

Vicarious Foodie said...

I saw that recipe in Everyday Food! Good to know it worked out well. Looks delish!

Erika said...

I love citrus and the combination of the three looks amazing. My mother is big into making homemade jams, jellies, relish, etc. It is on my list of things to learn so I might have to start with this curd recipe!

Ginny said...

Looks great! I agree with deborah, cherry lime is a great combination! :)

farida said...

wow, so many combinations! You are brave:) Canning is not my strongest point so I applaud anybody who is good at it:) Your jams look yummy!

Kevin said...

I tried making a lemon curd a while ago and it was so good! Nice photo of the citrus zest! I will have to try a freezer jam. They sound nice and easy. The cherry and lime combo sounds good!

Grace said...

lovely variety, elle!

i always cringe when i hear "curd" and i've always thought of it negatively just because it sounds like a waste product. oddly enough, i have no problem eating soup or drinking tea. :)

Dharm said...

Anyone who makes their own jam is just fantastic in my books!

Hallie Fae said...

Those look so yummy. I've never made jam before, but my mother loves it. Maybe an activity for us together.

taste memory said...

You're way ahead of mean~been dreamin' about making fresh fruit jams, just gotta get hyper self to do it. THese look delicious and beautiful. What a great way to intro to spring!

rainbowbrown said...

That all looks so fantastic. I'm a big fan of curd and jam.

canarygirl said...

hehehe...you said, "curd." ;) You knew I was 12, didn't you? lol The jams and curd look amazingly good, Elle...You are so valiant to try canning! The pics are beautiful, too.

Jen said...

Hey Elle, they look fabulous!

I can spaghetti sauce all the time, there is nothing to it and come this summer when the tomatoes start coming out the wazoo I will be canning them.

I think it is fun. I will give the low sugar strawberry jam a try. I am not sure I would use the "curd".

Katy said...

those look so good! i want to do little jars of jam as favors for my wedding next year -- i'm going to print these recipes! i'm a little frightened of home-canning too, but people seem to do it without too many disasters!

Psychgrad said...

It looks like you're a seasoned expert with canning. I'm impressed! Also - congratulations on the win in the Joust! Well deserved.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Your preserves look so good. I love lemon curd. There is a very quick one done in the micro if you like it. I have the recipe on my blog
xxx

Brilynn said...

Those look awesome! (And yes, the word curd is not very appetizing...)

Shaye said...

Curd. Curd. Curd. Curd. Curd. (hee!)

You are the WOMAN! (Ok, you and Pixie.) I'm totally going to try this now. You'll be hearing from me if I screw it up. ;)

Katie's blog said...

I can't wait to make jam! Your pictures are wonderful.

Renaedujour said...

I drove by a church today and its reader board read "forbidden fruit gets you into jams." All I could think was YUM! I need some of that forbidden fruit. This post was perfect.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hahaha the name scared me too! but look at those colors...i am not a big fan of citrus but you successfully tempted me :)

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I really want to test them all out on my morning toast today :) Those flavour combinations are just out of this world.

Lori said...

They all look so great! Especially that strawberry one...mmmmm! :)

Rose said...

These are just so gorgeous, Elle! All those beautiful colours and I adore citrus flavours.

Many thanks for taking part in this event :)

Rosie x

Cate said...

I've never made jam before, but plan to this Spring. Yours look delicious, especially the strawberry one.

giz said...

You did a great job - it all looks fantastic and I love the fact that they're not a full day of boiling baths 300 lb of sugar.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

You're right, curd is just not a great word to describe that kind of deliciousness! I could eat lemon curd by the spoonful out of the jar.... That jam looks absolutely beautiful! :)

Neen said...

They're absolutely gorgeous, especially all the different colors. Gee, for someone who had never done canning before, you really took this project on head-first. I'm impressed! Talk about enthusiasm!

Elle said...

Noble--the cherry lime one seems to be a favorite in the house. It's really good on ice cream! I bought more cherries and limes yesterday so I can make more.

April--thanks so much!

Toontz--we were just talking about HFCS here. You can find jams without it, but still, it's fun to make your own.

Vicarious--it worked really well! I can't wait to make more.

Erika--the curd is very easy, and I can't say enough how delicious it is!

Ginny--thanks so much!

Farida--I'm not that brave, they were very easy, and chosen for that reason. hahaha!

Kevin--thanks!

Grace--you crack me up!

Dharm--thank you!

Hallie--it would be great to do it together.

Taste Memory--thank you!

Rainbow--thank you!

cg--if you're 12, that must make me 10. hahaha!!!

Jen--YOU are brave. I'm still afraid to can.

Katie--what a great idea! Try the cherry lime one, it's so easy! But then again, they all were.

Psychgrad--thanks you, and thank you!

Granny--I'll look for that one!

Brilynn--thanks!

Shaye--you won't screw it up, it's too easy!

Katie--thank you so much for your great comments!

Renae--I think it's fate!

Rita-I think I may try the ginger one next.

George--I am tempted to try them on lots of things, too.

Lori--thank you!

Rose--thank you for inspiring me!

Cate--I'll be making them again for sure.

Giz--yes, WAY less sugar, right? That makes me happy.

Laura--I have been eating it by the spoonful.

neen--they really were easy. It was only a couple hours work. Not too bad for such nice goodies!

Thanks so much, all of you!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks super yummy, even if curd is a funny name. lol

AMY VIG said...

Oh my gosh, Elle. These sound incredible and look amazing! I wish I could taste some off the page. Thank you for sharing - I too have been wanting to make some jam but was afraid that I wouldn't be meticulous enough in the canning process. Maybe next this is somewhere that you could use some of the agave nectar in your cabinet? I wonder...

Elle said...

Thank you, Jessy! These would great on the crumpets you just made!

Amy! I was just thinking of looking into making these with agave! I wonder if it would work? Definitely worth finding out. And thank so much!

April in CT said...

Elle, if you do use the agave will you let us know? I bought some the other day and don't have a clue what to do with it! LOL

Rose said...

Wow Elle! Girl you rock! I'm so impressed with this entry and your 'courage' to can ;) Great entry for newbies to read too- thank you so much for taking part of the event!

RecipeGirl said...

Wow!!! You've been busy :)

Cherry lime sounds amazing.

Curd... though it has a poopy name, I could eat spoonfuls of it out of the jar!

Elle said...

April--I'll definitely look into using agave. If you feel like it in the meantime, there's the raw brownies from 28 cooks (which is also on my blog) that have agave in them. You really wouldn't believe how chocolatey and rich they are!

Rose--it's all because of you! You totally inspired me to try, I'd been putting it off forever.

Recipegirl--I have been eating with a spoon. hehe. And on lots of other things, too. A raspberry lime yogurt poundcake, especially. it tastes like a raspberry lemon lime bar all together!

Drew said...

Even the zest looks awesome. How can I get my zest to look that good?

cakewardrobe said...

this totally goes hand in hand with my post! I'll be using these curds for future cheesecakes!

Elle said...

Drew--two words. Microplane zester. And thanks very much!

Cakewardrobe--I can't wait to try it on cheesecake now!

Pixie said...

Hiya Elle, Just wanted to thank you again for your event and let you know the entries are now up and posted on my blog.

Drew said...

No, Elle, thank you! I went out to Bed, Bath and Beyond and snooped around and finally found a microplane zester. It was by the checkout. O, the possibilities. Thanks again.

Elle said...

Drew--I'm so glad you found one! It'll be like a whole new zesty world for you, hehe.

zlamushka said...

that is a great collection of jams over there. That must have taken hours to make. My favorite is the curd one.

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