I am an equal opportunity jam eater. I am just as happy with the loose, sloshy batches as I am the ones that have a firmer consistency. I love to use the runny varieties to flavor plain yogurt or as a sweetener for green smoothies. The slightly overset batches are perfect for serving with cheese plates or as the filling in a thumbprint cookie.
However, if your jams never quite hit the set mark and you’re getting frustrated, here are a few tips and tricks for getting a better final consistency.
The tomatoes right now are so ripe and delicious that they practically melt in your mouth. I should know — I've been eating enough of them! They're also so ripe that they can get easily bruised or mangled as I try to slice them up for salads and sandwiches. Do you know the best tool for cutting up a tomato?
To me, August is all about tomatoes and stone fruit. While I don't usually can very often, I make an exception for peach jam and love incorporating delicate apricots, sweet nectarines, and juicy peaches into morning breakfasts and evening desserts. And what better way to showcase a nice batch of peaches than a no-bake summer fruit tart?
Over the last five years, I have taught lots of people to can. I’ve written many thousands of words about canning online, I’ve taught hundreds of hours of live classes, and I have answered countless questions about food preservation in both person and in writing. All that interaction has led me to the following opinion: People start canning with the wrong recipes.
I have a confession: until recently, I found the idea of grilling meat slightly terrifying. Maybe it's because I've never owned a grill of my own. Or because I usually skip over the articles about grilling in magazines. Or maybe it was due to some ingrained sexism on my part, pushing "grilling" into the "things men cook" category. Whatever the reason, this summer I've set out to change this sad state of affairs and I'm happy to report a series of successes — including these sticky, savory chicken thighs. Glazed with an addictive mixture of apricot jam and miso paste, they are a foolproof win for first-time grillers or a tasty addition to the repertoire of veteran grill-masters.
When I first got really curious about cooking, some dozen years ago, jams and preserves were one of the first things I tackled. Jam just seemed so We're Officially Cooking Now. Making something you can buy in the store? What a thrill. I felt like a grown-up, with my little pots of overcooked strawberry jam.
But these days, I can't remember the last time I made jam or pickles. I just really can't be bothered — except for very specific instances. Can you relate to this? Or is preserving always a part of your summer routine? Here's a little more on what pushes me to actually make jam.
Making jam and canning fruit aren't the only ways to preserve summer fruits while they're in season: There's also the freezer! Cobblers, pies, and "fresh" fruit smoothies in the dead of winter? Game on. Here's the best way to freeze those fruits so they stay in perfect condition for months to come.
We have reached the tipping point of summer when we stop longing for our favorite fruits and vegetables to finally arrive and start wondering what the heck we're going to do with it all. Those of you with CSAs definitely know what I'm talking about! If you're new to the canning and preserving party, never fear: We have ten fantastic recipes that teach you the ropes — and help you take care of all that fresh produce.
BLT sandwiches have been a common occurrence around here lately. As have tomato salads and crostini — I can't seem to get enough. Local tomatoes are still a touch early in Seattle, but if you get to the farmers markets first thing, you can nab some. So I've been doing just that —stockpiling and hoarding and making big plans for tomatoes this season. First up, besides the common and obvious choice of eating them raw on just about everything: poaching them.