Monday, April 11, 2011

Mmm. Jam.

I love peanut butter. LOVE. Eat-it-every-day-loooooove. But sometimes, the peanut butter - it needs a little help. I tend not to buy jam (in part, because I don't like all the added sugar, and in part, because I don't like all the additives.) But last week, I tried making Ashley's buckwheat bakes for breakfast (which, BTW are super yummy!) and it was calling out for some peanut butter and jelly.

I accidentally stumbled on this jam making 'method' (if it is even formal enough to be called that...?) back around Thanksgiving time, when I had a few too many bags of fresh quickly fading cranberries on hand.

Here is my favorite way to make jam that I can feel good about:

Stovetop Jam:
1 lb fruit of choice (I used a frozen berry-blend, but you could also use fresh.)
1/2 cup fruit juice (I used no sugar added cran-pomegranite, but you could do fresh squeezed orange, depending on your fruit, or even water.)

Combine fruit and liquid in a small saucepan. Cover and let simmer on medium heat ~15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove cover and continue to reduce, until what's in your pan resembles jam, ~10 more minutes.

That's it. If you don't like lumps, you can blend with an immersion blender, or mash with a fork.

A word of caution - it splatters. And if you use berries? Then it stains. So wear an apron, or stand back! Also, it burns quickly once the lid is removed, so stir frequently, and/or keep an eye on it. Do NOT, go check blogs and 'forget' that you're cooking. (I'm just saying, you might be adding more water and muttering under your breath if you do.)

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