Habeas Brulee » Jams and More http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Tomato Jam http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/22/tomato-jam/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/22/tomato-jam/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2008 01:06:33 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/22/tomato-jam/

This tomato jam is adapted from a recipe for a Moroccan chicken tagine. Sweet and savory, this jam is best served with hearty entrees. It is not suitable for home canning, so please don’t use this recipe to preserve your gorgeous summer tomatoes unless you first make sure to adjust the recipe, for your own safety’s sake!

Speaking of safety concerns, is that salmonella outbreak scare still on? If so, this is a perfect way to cook and eat all those tomatoes that aren’t safe to eat raw.

(I know these photos are too similar, but I’m feeling indecisive and can’t figure out which one I like better. I should probably ask one of the Flickr photo critique groups for help, really.)

Tomato Jam
(adapted from Couscous by Paula Wolfert)
5 lbs. tomatoes
A pinch of pulverized saffron
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 C grated onion
1/4 C olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp dark honey (something like bamboo honey, maybe buckwheat, but nothing as bitter as chestnut)
2 C water (you can substitute vegetable or chicken stock for added complexity)

Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them into a pot of boiling water until the skins split. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl of cold water. This will make it easy to peel off the skins. Remove the seeds as well, then chop the tomatoes coarsely.

Place the tomatoes in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the onion, cilantro, garlic, saffron, black pepper, ginger, salt, olive oil, tomato paste, water, and 1 tsp cinnamon.

Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes cook down and the water is completely evaporated. Once this happens, the tomatoes will thicken drastically and begin to fry in the oil.

Stir in the honey and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon and cook for a few minutes more.

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Kumquat Marmalade http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/19/kumquat-marmalade/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/19/kumquat-marmalade/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2008 13:18:51 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/19/kumquat-marmalade/

These are my words of wisdom to you: Go make kumquat marmalade while you still can.

Get 1.5 lbs kumquats and slice them up thinly, reserving the seeds. Tie the seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Put the kumquat slices and the bag of seeds together in a non-reactive pot with 4 C water and cover it and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day, put the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture reduce down for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it has reduced down to about 4 C.

Once that’s done, 4 C sugar goes in with constant stirring, and everything cooks for another 15-20 minutes, or until it hits about 215-220 F and a teaspoon of mixture dropped onto a cold plate gels. Actually, you don’t even need a cold plate – just drip a bit onto a spoon and blow on it until it cools. It’s easy to see it gel that way, even.

Remove the bag of seeds at this point, and the marmalade is done. You can safely seal it in canning jars, freeze it, or keep it in the fridge.

This stuff is seriously simple and sublime. We made a batch using earl grey tea instead of water, too.

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Apricot Hazelnut Squares http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/06/apricot-hazelnut-squares/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/06/apricot-hazelnut-squares/#comments Wed, 06 Dec 2006 12:13:12 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/06/apricot-hazelnut-squares/

The worst thing about my latest cookbook acquisition, Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, is the terrible difficulty I had in trying to decide what to make first. In the end, though, I had to go with these cookies.

This turned out to be absolutely the right decision.

These cookies really push all my buttons – they are elegant and beautiful; they have several contrasting textures (slightly sandy cookie, crunchy crushed cocoa nibs, soft jam, firm, snappable tempered chocolate); they have nut flavor without nut texture; and they were a lot of fun to make. Each step is easy, but put together it’s an interesting project.

I will be making these again and again, I’m sure. They leave so much room for variation! Maybe with almonds instead of hazelnuts next time? Fig jam instead of apricot jam? I don’t know, but any which way, I’m confident that they will be delicious.

Apricot Hazelnut Squares
(from Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg)
3/4 C finely ground hazelnuts
1/4 C finely crushed (not ground) cocoa nibs
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 C confection’s sugar
6 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate
Approximately 10 oz. apricot jam

Place the hazelnuts, cocoa nibs, flour, cinnamon, and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.

Note: I ground the hazelnuts (skin on) in a spice grinder, and crushed the cocoa nibs by pouring a layer of them out between two sheets of parchment paper and going over them with a heavy rolling pin.

Mix the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice in your stand mixer until combined. Add the sugar and mix on low speed until it is mixed in, then raise the speed and beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (try not to over-mix).

Form the dough into a 7″ square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge for half an hour or so.

Microwave or melt the jam in a small saucepan until, well, it melts. Strain it and throw out the clumps of fruit (or set aside for some other use unrelated to these cookies).

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Cut the dough in half, and leave half in the fridge as you roll out the first half. Roll it out until it is about 3/16″ thick. Cut the cookies out into approximately 1 1/2″ x 2″ rectangles. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 1/2″ apart – the cookies will spread a little while cookies, though not much.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.

Slide the parchment paper onto cooling racks and let them cool to room temperature. Then place half of them upside down, drop on about 1 tsp of the strained jam, and top with a right-side-up cookie.

Set up some fresh parchment paper or Silpat sheets.

Temper the chocolate. (Probably best to go to someone else for advice on this, honestly.)

Dip the cookies partly into the chocolate, and place them on the fresh parchment paper or Silpat sheets to set.

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Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/11/blueberry-port-chutney-shortbread-bars/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/11/blueberry-port-chutney-shortbread-bars/#comments Fri, 11 Aug 2006 13:27:27 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/11/blueberry-port-chutney-shortbread-bars/

When I was flipping through Gale Gand’s Just a Bite, what really caught my eye was her suggestion that when making shortbread, you can simply grate the frozen dough into your baking pan instead of bothering to thaw it and roll it out. How simply wonderful! That means that you can keep a hunk of shortbread dough in your freezer at all times, and actually use it on a last-minute whim whenever you please.

I adapted the recipe for the blueberry port chutney from Chutneys & Relishes by Lou Seibert Papper. Using lime instead of orange, and the tawny port we had on hand rather than the ruby port his recipe calls for, it turns out to be a complex treat that works as well on meat dishes as it does on waffles or in cookies. I don’t think I shall ever again be able to bear not having at least a few jars of this chutney in my pantry.

The rich, mild shortbread mellowed out the spicy tartness of the chutney, so that they came together very nicely. If you substitute some other jam or preserve, I really do suggest using something very intensely flavorful to balance out the shortbread.

The blueberry port chutney really is a treat, and so I am also considering this my entry for Sugar High Friday #22: Can You Can?.

I’m not sure whether that front shortbread bar is waving hello or gesturing rudely at the camera which stands between the cookie and my mouth. Interpret it as you will.

Shortbread Bars
(from Just a Bite by Gale Gand)
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
1 C granulated sugar
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C blueberry port chutney (recipe below), or any other jam or preserves
Confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling)

Cream butter. Beat in egg yolks. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix in until the dough just starts to come together. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a pan. I actually used a loaf pan to get bars of the size I wanted. Grate the frozen dough in an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of chutney (or jam, or preserves), leaving a 1/4″ margin or so around the edges. Grate more frozen dough across the top. Allow it to remain loose and do not press it down.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until done.

Blueberry Port Chutney
(adapted from Chutneys & Relishes by Lou Seibert Papper)
Zest from 2 limes
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp whole allspice
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp tawny port
2 C fresh blueberries

Sterilize jars.

Tie the zest and spices in a ball of cheesecloth. Place the bundle, along with the vinegar and sugar, into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the port and blueberries and continue to cook (somewhere between a hard simmer and a gentle boil), uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer only the blueberries amongst your jars. Raise the heat and boil the remaining liquid and spices gently for about 10 minutes, then remove the bundle and pour the liquid over the berries. Seal.

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Circle Swap: Homemade Jams, Jellies, Curds, Chutneys, &c. http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/07/10/circle-swap-homemade-jams-jellies-curds-chutneys-c/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/07/10/circle-swap-homemade-jams-jellies-curds-chutneys-c/#comments Tue, 11 Jul 2006 01:08:26 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/07/10/circle-swap-homemade-jams-jellies-curds-chutneys-c/

Summer is here, and I have been in a frenzy of home canning. I have been making jams, curds, chutneys, and sealing them in jars to lay in for the colder months to come. I know I am not the only one who acts on this urge.

I propose that we add some variety to our stores of jars by holding a circle swap.

If you would like to be involved, please leave a comment on this post or email me. Let me know what country you are in, what you have available to swap, whether you are willing to ship internationally, and how many people you would like to swap with (ideally). Ah, and also your email address.

The deadline for contacting me in order to be involved in this swap is August 1, 2006. (Don’t worry if you miss the deadline; assuming all goes well, we will simply do it again.)

Once all the names are in, I will put together swap lists and let each person know to whom they should send a jar of homemade goodness (and from whom they shall receive one). Each person can then contact their swappee to figure out addresses and perhaps negotiate which jar to send over, if they would rather that than a surprise.

(Personally, I am up for shipping internationally, and swapping with as many different people as I can, until either the jam runs out or Dave gets mad at me for sending too much of it away.)

Pictured above: rosemary garlic jelly, sour cherry almond jam, sour cherry sage flower jam, strawberry balsamic black pepper jam, peach cardamom ginger jam, peach shallot nutmeg jam, blueberry port chutney, grapefruit almond curd… anyways!

Once you get your jar, I strongly encourage you to open it up, use it, and blog about it! But if you would rather squirrel it away for a while first, I would utterly understand.

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Grapefruit Almond Tart http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/28/grapefruit-almond-tart/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/28/grapefruit-almond-tart/#comments Wed, 28 Jun 2006 14:24:51 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/28/grapefruit-almond-tart/

Imagine, if you will: A rich, buttery, almond-based tart crust. A thick, granular layer of creamy grapefruit almond curd. Slices of fresh pink grapefruit, sweeter, pulp bursting with juice. The crunch of a thin layer of caramelized sugar.

The warmth of the crust, fresh from the oven. Curd and grapefruit, cool from the fridge. The warmth of the sugar just kissed by the blowtorch.

Grapefruit Almond Tart
For the dough
2 C flour
1/2 C almond meal
1/2 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C butter (slightly softened, but still cold)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the filling
Grapefruit almond curd (recipe below)
1 pink grapefruit, separated into peeled slices
Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

Mix together the dry ingredients for the crust. Add the butter and mix or squish together by hand until the dough reaches a texture like bread crumbs. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until the dough just starts to come together. If necessary, slam it against a hard surface to remove the air bubbles, as you would if working with clay. Form it into a squat, chubby cylinder, and cut the cylinder in half so that you have two disks. Wrap each disk separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for at least half an hour, and up to twenty-four hours. Alternatively, you can stick them in the freezer and they’ll keep for a few months. This makes enough dough for two large tarts (or six of the size pictured above), so that may end up being the way to go.

When your dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 425°.

Roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thick and line your buttered and floured tart pan with it. Line the dough carefully with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and lower the oven temperature to 375°. Remove the foil and weights from the tart, and bake the empty shell for another 10 minutes.

Allow the shell to cool, then remove it from the pan. Fill it with a layer of grapefruit almond curd, and place the peeled pink grapefruit slices over that. Sprinkle the pink grapefruit with a heavy layer of sugar. Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch.

Grapefruit Almond Curd
1 7/8 C ground almonds
3 organic grapefruit (scrubbed clean)
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
7 1/2 tbsp butter

Sterilize jars, an extra bowl, and a sieve. This will make about 2 pints of curd.

Toast the ground almonds in an ungreased pan until they brown very slightly and start to smell extra tasty.

Zest the grapefruit and set the zest aside. Juice the grapefruits, and keep 1 1/2 C juice for the recipe.

In the bowl of a double boiler (or a bowl set above a layer of water in a pot), beat the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, grapefruit juice, and zest. Turn on the heat and bring the water to a simmer. Add the butter and whisk gently as the butter melts. Keep stirring with the whisk (not whisking with it) as the mixture thickens and the eggs cook. The mixture should be thick enough for a spoon to leave a trail behind after about 10-15 minutes of this. Be wary of overcooking lest your eggs curdle.

Remove from heat, strain out the zest by pouring the curd through the sterilized sieve into the sterilized extra bowl. Whisk in the ground almonds. Pour into the sterile jars, leaving about 1/4″ space at the top, and close them up. Process in a boiling water bath for at least 15 minutes to seal. (Make sure the lids pop in as they cool, else the seal did not work out.)

This grapefruit almond curd is basically a variant of Clotilde‘s almond lemon curd, so credit where it is due, certainly.

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Sour Cherry Sage Flower Jam http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/17/sour-cherry-sage-flower-jam/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/17/sour-cherry-sage-flower-jam/#comments Sat, 17 Jun 2006 07:34:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/17/sour-cherry-sage-flower-jam/

As soon as I saw the flowering sage at the farmer’s market, I just knew I had to use it in my entry for The Spice is Right #3: The Perfumed Garden, which called for us to use edible flowers in our cooking. And as I was saying, I have this extreme overabundance of sour cherries right now.

It just amazes me when I see the flowering herbs at the farmer’s markets. I knew that at least some herbs blossom, sort of, because I’ve had sage honey and thyme honey. But since I always kill my plants long before they manage to bloom, it never really clicked for me until I saw those bundles for sale. And I certainly never expected the flowers to actually share the flavor of the leaves I’m used to using. Those little purple sage flowers do add a taste of sage as well as beauty, but I steeped the cherries with bundles of sage leaves as well for a stronger overall melding of flavors. I love the way the flowers look like dark shadows in the jam.

To give credit where it is due, I must admit that I was inspired by the memory of Tania using sage-poached cherries in her salad. That’s one of the best things about food blogging – the way recipes or even flavor pairings evolve as we bounce ideas off of each other in the community.

I’m on a serious home canning kick right now, actually. Our apartment is starting to get over-crowded with jars. Dave and my mother agree that once we’re even more stocked up, we may have to get a table at a farmer’s market and sell a few of these, if only to make space for more.

Sour Cherry Sage Flower Jam
1 quart pitted sour cherries and sour cherry juice
5 C granulated sugar
2 tsp calcium water
2 tsp powdered pectin
2 large handfuls sage leaves
2 1/2 C loosely packed sage flowers

Blend the cherries and juice with the sugar until you have a mush. Rinse off the sage leaves and tie them into one or two bundles in cheesecloth. Bring the cherry mush to a boil with the sage bundles in, then cover and leave to steep, stirring and tasting occasionally, until the sage flavor comes out strongly enough to suit you.

Remove the sage bundles and press to drain as much liquid from them as possible back into the pot. Discard them. Add the calcium water. Bring the mix to a boil, then add the pectin and boil hard for a minute or so, or until you have reached the appropriate gel stage. The easiest way to test this is to have a bowl in the freezer. Drip a few drops of your jam into the bowl and see what the texture is like as it cools. If it wrinkles and moves as a single unit when you nudge it with your finger, it is ready. At that point, remove from heat and stir in the sage flowers.

Pour into sterile canning jars and process in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. As the jars cool, you can hear the lids pop down as the vacuum seal is formed in each.

If you want to make sure the flowers are dispersed throughout the jam instead of just floating at the top, give each jar a shake after it has started to gain some structural integrity but before it has completely gelled.

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Gunpowder Carrot Chutney http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2006 12:22:00 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/

TeaChef has this ongoing project where each month they give away free samples of a different tea. The catch (and it is hardly a catch) is that if you get a tea sample from them, they want you to cook with it and send them a recipe including it.

I can handle being honor-bound to cook with free tea once a month.

Have I mentioned that I dearly love making anything that ends up sealed in a jar? Chutneys, preserves, jams, anything. Something about having sealed jars full of wonderful homemade stuff is very satisfying to me. Whenever I go apple picking, I end up with row after row of jars of apple butter and apple tomato chutney to give away. The joy is in making it, after all.

When I was a kid, my father and I would make jam every year from the grapes that grew on the vine that roofed our back porch. We had this big wooden hand-cranked machine we would use to crush the grapes after we’d spent hours trying to reach as many of them as we could without getting stung by the bees who were also attracted to the grapes. And then we’d simmer and simmer, and finally seal our jam into all those wonderful little jars. The grapes are still growing out back, but it has been years since we actually did anything with them. I miss that, but neither of us has had quite enough oomph to make it happen in a long time.

Gunpowder Carrot Chutney
2 lbs carrots
2 onions
1 clove garlic
2 big handfuls raisins
1/2 C cane sugar
1 1/2 C strong-brewed gunpowder tea
1 1/2 C cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8 Thai birdseye peppers (ground)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp clove
1 tbsp curry powder
olive oil
salt to taste

Peel the carrots and chop them to whatever size and shape suits your fancy. Chop the onion into small bits, and mince the garlic rather finely. Crush the peppers. Brew the tea – use about twice as much tea as you normally would, and your regular brewing time, in order to make it nice and strong.

Brown the onions first, then throw in the garlic and mustard seeds. Next go the rest of the spices, then the carrots. Finally, the raisins, sugar, tea, and vinegar. Let it all boil together, then lower the heat and let it cook down until the carrots are soft and the liquid has reached a thick, jammy consistency. You can boil it until it reduces if you are short on time, but I do think that simmering it down morely slowly gives you a richer flavor in the end.

That’s it. Jar and seal. This is a wonderfully complex chutney, sweet and sour and spicy and earthy, and makes a great condiment to go with most anything served with rice.

Note: A chutney is generally blended into a thick sauce, and you may want to puree your carrots in order to get that texture instead. Because I tend to prefer chunky chutneys, I chopped my carrots so as to end up with a chutney that was mostly chunk.

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