In my last post I talked about what went well in 2012 and what didn’t go so well, and also outlined some of my plans for preserving in 2013. My plan, in a nutshell, is to make more of the things we like and try out some new recipes as well.
All winter I’ve been thinking about novel new jam and jelly combinations. I’ve been inspired, in part, by my new book and things I’ve browsed on Etsy and Pinterest. Also, some ideas came into my head from who-knows-where. Here’s a quick list of 10 recipe ideas that I might like to try this year:
- Cherry and Blueberry Jam : I can’t believe I didn’t try this combination last year when we were swimming in both of these delicious fruits. This year, it’s happening for sure, and in future years it’s sure to be a staple (since I now have 2 cherry trees and am planning to buy some blueberries). A little Amaretto, some vanilla and/or some chocolate (if I can get up the nerve to use chocolate in a jam again) would really make this combo pop. Some Pomegranate juice might really push the whole thing over the edge.
- Blueberry and Lemon Jelly : I’ve heard of Blueberry-Lemon as a common flavor combination. These two things, in a smooth clear jelly, would be a match made in heaven. There are a few things I could add to this to make it even more complex: Pomegranate, Cherry, Basil, Mint, Lavender or a little bit of my orange extract.
- Peach and Cherry Jam : These two great stone fruits definitely belong in the same jam together. I had intended last year to make a white peach and cherry jam, but the white peaches didn’t cooperate and I had to do something else with the cherries before they went bad. A decadent, chunky yellow peach and cherry jam would be awesome with maybe just a touch of amaretto or bourbon.
- Peach, Orange and Blueberry Jam : Am I crazy? I think a combination like this, or one with just Peach and Orange, would make a great combination. A little bit of orange juice and zest would help bring the chunks of peach and the whole blueberries together. Consider also with a touch of vanilla or cinnamon. Valencias will be in season at just the right time for this.
- Pear and Lemon : This seems like a great combination to me. Sweeten it with a little bit of honey? Add a little cinnamon or vanilla? This one has real potential.
- Blueberry and Pear Jam: This might even go well with apples instead of pears. Maybe a little bit of lemon or honey will help it out too. The problem is getting the good blueberries and the ripe pears together in the same place at the same time. Freezerman, to the rescue!
- Cranberry Apple Jam: Not a cranberry sauce with apple, but a full-fledged apple mixture with some cranberry added for color and tartness. This would go well with any of the fall seasonings: cinnamon, clove or ginger especially. With only mild changes this recipe could become Cranberry Apple Butter, instead of a Jam. A splash of orange extract or lemon zest will really brighten this up either way.
- Orange, Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly: I think this recipe has great potential to be similarly festive, but more bright and less homey than the apple variety above. Imagine some of this spread on a fresh-baked gingerbread cookie, or with a little fresh cracked black pepper on a nice, sharp cheese tray. If we boil out the cranberries in a little bit of water or clear apple juice, they’d be a perfect accompaniment to fresh squeezed orange and pomegranate juices, and a little bit of zest.
- Mulled Apple Cider Jelly: I did Apple Cider Jelly this year and it was a big hit. Next year I want to try a similar recipe but with mulling spices and maybe a little bit of bourbon (or spiced rum!) thrown in for good measure.
- Pina Colada : Pineapple, Coconut and maybe a hint of dark rum. This combination really speaks for itself and would help to bring a little bit of tropical beach to the long winter months. It also gives me an excuse to buy fresh pineapples and fresh coconuts from the store. Another tropical drink favorite of mine, the Pain Killer, uses pineapple, coconut, orange and is seasoned with just a little bit of nutmeg. That would be a great alternative recipe to try as well.