Just a couple of things to preserve some more of the summer fruit. I recently made Cherry Plum Jam and Raspberry Lime Syrup.
Cherry Plum Jam
I’d share the recipe, except that I didn’t really follow one, and I didn’t really measure; but, here’s a pretty close estimation of what I did… I used 5 black plums and a whole mess of cherries. I chopped 3 of the plums into small cubes to give the jam texture and color. The cherries, I pitted (and, let me say that if I ever make anything with a lot of cherries again, I will buy myself a cherry pitter. My hands were stained with cherry juice for days!)
I pureed the cherries and the peeled plums in the blender. I cooked the fruit with 3 cups of sugar and one packet of pectin until they reached 220° on the candy thermometer.
That’s it. Pretty easy, and really tasty. Though, the jam is a little soft. But, that’s ok- I’ve been eating it over Greek yogurt and vanilla ice cream, so it works as a sauce.
I also took the last of the raspberries and turned them into raspberry lime syrup. These flavored syrups are so easy to make, and so versatile. I’ve used them in club soda to make a homemade soda. Pour them over ice cream or pound cake to flavor a dessert. Add them to a glass of vodka rocks for a special beverage.
Use what you have in your ‘fridge- fruit, herbs, veggies, spices. And, you can make them savory or sweet.
Here’s a list of the syrups I’ve experimented with…
Thyme black pepper syrup
Some ideas that I might try in the future…
Almond & cocoa nib
How to make the Raspberry Lime Syrup….
Take equal parts sugar and water (I usually use 1 cup of each) and add in the hardier flavorings like citrus rind, rosemary, black pepper, cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, let the sugar dissolve, and boil for one minute. Take off of the heat, and add in the softer fruits, like raspberries, peaches, cherries. I usually add about ½ cup of fruit, though more or less will not be that big of a deal. Let steep for 20 minutes and strain out the solids. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a few weeks (if it lasts that long).
As an added bonus, the cherries were delicious after steeping in the lime syrup, and I got to have a little snack out of them.
The biggest thing I’ve learned from my adventures in the kitchen lately. Have fun with it & be experimental. This is stuff that’s been around for years and years, and, I cook, preserve, jam, can, make because it’s fun and because it’s yummy. It doesn’t take long, and it doesn’t take special equipment. It’s so much healthier and tastier too. And, like I’ve said before, I don’t seal my jars to preserve the fruit for years and years, I usually eat it too soon. So, don’t even worry about that- just have fun with it. Here’s a great article on canning if you’re interested in knowing more.
My next experiment will be zucchini pepper marmalade… something to be served over cream cheese with wheat crackers. Wish me luck!
I found this great recipe for Homemade Sugar-Free Grenadine Syrup from The Foodie Affair. It would be another great syrup to try making at home.