Jelly, Marmalade & Jam

Jelly, Marmalade & JamEach of these recipes gives a different spin on delicious spreadable treats. Lavender and Lemon Jelly is a classic recipe with a flavorful twist, Red Onion Marmalade goes with savories, and finally, Fresh Strawberry Chia Jam can be prepared in minutes and left to set while you are making breakfast.

Lavender and Lemon Jelly
Adapted from A Country Cooks Kitchen by Allison Walker

3 1/2 pounds of crab apples or other tart apples, roughly chopped
pared zest and juice of 2 large lemons
3 tablespoons of lavender flowers
7 cups of water
warmed sugar (see below)

Put the apples (including peels and core), lemon zest, juice and 2 tablespoon of the lavender flowers into a large pan with water. Cover and let simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender.

Transfer the mixture to a jelly bag and let drip into a bowl for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Allow the bag to drip slowly without squeezing.

Warm the sugar by putting it in a heatproof bowl in the oven on the lowest setting for 20 minutes. This will allow the sugar to dissolve more easily.

Measure the juice, allowing 2 cups of sugar for every 2 1/2 cups of juice. Bring the juice to a boil in a preserving pan. Add the sugar to dissolve over low heat.

Boil rapidly for 10 minutes—or two minutes after you reach the setting point. Don’t over boil or jelly will become rubbery. Turn down the heat to a bubbling boil, and skim away any scum that forms on top.

Allow to stand for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the jelly has thickened slightly. stir in the remaining lavender when partially set (so flowers do not float to the top.

Slowly pour the jelly into the sterilized jars to minimize air bubbles. Seal the jars, and let stand until cooled.

Red Onion Marmalade
Adapted from A Country Cooks Kitchen by Allison Walker

Onion marmalade is great with blue cheeses and cold cooked meats, poultry, pates and terrines.

3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 pound 7 ounces red onions, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons full-bodied, red wine
2 tablespoons fresh, raw beet juice (or grenadine)

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized, heavy pan, add the onions, sale, pepper and sugar, and stir to coat. Cover and cook the onion mixture over low heat until the onions have released some liquid. Cook uncovered over gentle heat, and stir from time to time for about 30 minutes. Do now allow the onions to brown.

Add the vinegar, wine, and beet juice and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Remove from the heat and pour all at once into warm, sterilized jars. Cool completely before sealing.

Fresh Strawberry Chia Jam
Adapted from My New Roots by Sara Britton

This recipe makes a fresh, spreadable, strawberry substance that could be just as well eaten with a spoon. It is great on breakfast toast, over ice cream, stirred into and yogurt. Once you have the basics down, try it with different fruits and berries, and play with the flavors.

1 pound ripe strawberries
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved (or vanilla extract)
1 pinch of fine sea salt
3 tablespoons chia seeds

Wash and cut the tops of strawberries. Put the berries in a blender, add the sweetener, lemon juice, vanilla and sea salt. Process until smooth. Slowly add the chia seeds and process to combine.

Transfer the jam to a container. Seal and refrigerate for at 15-20 minutes, or until chia seeds have thickened puree to the consistency of jam.

Jam will last for up to one week if kept sealed the refrigerator, but it is unlikely to stick around that long.

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