This is already the third batch of this orange marmalade I cooked in the last month. Partly because the marmalade is so delicious and partly because I tweaked every batch a bit more until I reached a state of perfection (at least for me). The idea of cooking and then pureeing whole oranges I took form Christine Ferbers “Jam bible”. And already the first batch made after her recipe was great. But the bitterness was a bit to strong for me and so I started to tweak. I changed the time for cooking and the ratio of juice and whole fruits.
And I tested different kinds of oranges. My favourite is the Canoneta, but every juice orange is a good choose as the mesocarp (the white thing between rind and fruit) is thinner and so the marmalade is less bitter. But if you can get tangrin I can only highly recommend to add some to the mixture, too. They add a deepness of flavour that is incomparable.
And so the third batch is now a big candidate for the title “Favourite Jam of 2017” and in combination with freshly baked brioche it can replace every cake for me.
Whenever I snack tiny spoonful of the delicious rosehip jam, I close my eyes and remember sunlit wild rosebushes on beautiful morning in October. While around our home there are only few bushes with small fruits, in Swabia you can find a lot beautiful fruits. And so we used our saturday morning stroll to pick some fruits. With four people more then a kilogram is fast picked.
The fruits then traveled home with us and the next day I started making jam. Before I checked different methodes and decided to first cook them, puree them and then pass them through different sieves to remove the seeds and seed hairs. Cooking Rosehip Jam is a time consuming task but nevertheless rewarding. I find that adding enough water while passing the fruit pulp through the food mill is crucial to get all of the fruit puree through the
That’s why I ended with 1 kg of Fruit pulp and about 500h of seeds. The pulp I mixed then with half of the amount of sugar and cooked for 2 minutes. Then the jam was nicely thick then and very delicious. To make sure that the jam keeps well (with this low amount of sugar) I decided to sterilize the jam as do I do it for my Zwetschgenmus. And now I enjoy the jam every morning 🙂
Since last year I’m totally in love with cooking jams without gelling sugar. I love the old fashioned flavour and that I have all ingredients I need (which are sugar and lemon juice) always at hand. No need for extra shopping… And so I change slowly all of our favourite jam recipes.
The four favourite jams here are Blueberry, Red Currant and raspberry, Blackberry und plum butter. Apricot jam is raking not so high but having some glasses around is essential for baking cakes. And so I did not hesitate when there where beautiful apricots on sale last week. As apricots – like blackberries – contain a middle amount of pectin, I choose carefully some not so ripe fruits, to go along with the ripe ones. The reason behind is that unripe fruits have a higher content of pectin. Adding some lemon juice helps with the gelling process as well.
After half an hour of simmering, the jam has a deep apricot flavour which is one million times better then everything you can buy. Even my love was nodding his head approvingly when I was urging him to test. So this jam has the potential to rise high in our favourite list!
The sunny and hot days of the last week turns the first blackberries into dark and delicious treats. And so we went to pick berries early on Saturday morning . Natures plenty was very overwhelming and in little more then an hour we picked three kilogram. And because I read Christine Ferbers “Marmeladenbibel” we picked some red, unripe blackberries as well. The reason for this the fact that blackberries contain less pectin then red currants or blueberries. Adding some unripe fruits increase the pectin content because they contain much more pectin then ripe fruits. They add some acidity as well which support the gelling process as well.
The rest of the recipe is 100% me, as I does not like to macerate blackberries with sugar (as Madame Ferber suggest), because this turns the blackberries into hard, small pieces. And so I cook the jam similar to the red currant and raspberry jam. And after 20 min of simmering even the unripe fruits softens completely and I’m very happy with the delicious jam I got in the end.
It’s early in the morning, the air is nicely warm and the wind carries the fungous smell of moist forest ground. All around us are blueberry bushes in the light shadow of birches and pine trees. This means summer for me! Slowly we pick berry and berry. After two hours I feel completely relaxed and our basket contains one kilogram of Blueberries.
Back home we washed the fruits, picked out the leaves and started to cook blue berry jam. Again we decided to go for the purist version using just blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. The lemon juice adds some tartness and is important for the gelling process. Together with sugar the acid is needed to bring the pectin molecules closer together to form pectin chains which is the reason why the jam is gelling.
And as I had the feeling that recipes for jams made without jelly sugar is interesting for some people, is here my recipe for blueberry jam:
The 1:1 gelling sugar was sold out this weekend in our supermarket. Buying 2:1 or 3:1 was not an option for me as I like to avoid having preservatives like potassium sorbate in my homemade jams. All 2:1 and 3:1 gelling sugars contain some preservatives to cope with the reduced amount sugar. And so I stand in the sugar aisle, mused about jam making and decided to cook it in the “good old way” without gelling sugar.
Since some years I cook already my quince jelly only with quince juice, sugar and citron juice if needed, and always get an red-orange jelly with an intense flavour. Red currants contains a lot of pectin as well and so cooking them without gelling sugar sounded like a good idea. To reduce the risk of burning the jam, I let the berries simmer for 20 minutes without sugar, before I pass the softened fruits through a sieve and mixed it with the sugar. Starting with 1750g berries I ended with 1000g berry pulp and about 350g leftover seeds, meaning that a lot of water was evaporated. This leads to a dark red, aromatic jam and I’m sure that I will do my red currant jams in this way now all the time!
I’m always relieved when the time of carnival lays behind us, as I told before. Sarah of Life ain’t no ponyfarm draws comics that perfectly shows how I feel during the “Fifth season”.
So only good thing in carnival for my opinion are the sweet pastry which is baked during the “jecken Tage”. And baking some kind of fried pastry is the only thing related to carnival I do each year. This year I did Berliner and something which my family calls “Geknotetes”.
This year I used a new recipe which I developed using Water Roux and Poolish for a extra soft crumb and for a aromatic taste. I made the Berliner small and proofed them shorter then last, which created a strong ovenspring which results in Berliner with the typical white “Collar” I am try to get for years. The other important thing is that the frying temperature should not be higher then 160°C.
For filling the Berliner I used the same construction as two years ago: a syringe which I combined with a 10 cm long cut of a drinking straw. That works like a charm and I don’t have to buy an extra filling tip.
I am a little bit proud of my Berliner this time, I never get this beautiful collars before and they tasted good, too.
This year is a good year for elderflowers and due to the warm weather of the last weeks they are flowering very early.
Because I like their taste very much I already picked a lot to bake elderflower pancakes, make elderflower vinegar and elderflower jelly.
For the elderflower jelly I changed the recipe I used last year a little bit. Last year I soak elderflowers and lemon slices for 24 hours in water and used this extract to cook a jelly. It tasted good bad had a slightly bitter aftertaste. So this year I decided to use lemon juice instead of lemon slices.
The taste of the jelly is much better now. The taste is milder and the flavour of the elderflowers is more dominant in the jelly.
We call them Liebesgrübchen (I don`t know how to translate this. Maybe love pit?) for other people they are Engelsaugen (angle eyes) or Gulatschen.
And after some resarch I find the english name Thumbprint cookies for them. But how ever you call them, they are delicious!
Liebesgrübchen are a traditional cookie for christmas in my familiy and there is no christmas without them. Normaly I bake a recipe from “Handbuch für die Weihnachtsbäckerei” from Pfeifer & Langen, but this year I brake the tradition somehow when testing Bäcker Süpkes Recipe for Gulatschen.
His recipe contains less sugar and egg but much more butter. He recommends to rest the dough one night in fridge to get a nice sandy cookie. My dough stayed in fridge even for 36 hours because on friday, when I planned to bake I had to stay in lab untill night because my experiments worked not the way they should. So I postpone baking to Saturdaymorning. Continue reading