So I've been holding back on ya! Not intentionally of course, but I just haven't gotten around to sharing this information with you -
Paddy's Market at Flemington rocks!!!
I've only been there a couple of times now, but I love the place. Fresh, seasonal produce combined with an opportunity to meet the growers and very reasonable pricing, makes this one of my favorite places to shop for fruit and veggies.
On my first trip there, I picked up a whole box of tomatoes, which transformed into homemade tomato puree. I will share that post with you soon. And some amazing veggies that churned out some super yummy food for us.
Our last trip there was equally fantastic. My husband picked up this huge box of yellow nectarines at a bargain. Now there's only so much nectarine that the two of us can eat before it starts getting bad. I didn't want any of it to go to waste, so before I lost any of them, I decided to try my hand at making some jam. Now I have to admit that I was a tiny bit nervous. You see, I'd never made jam before. But I decided to take the plunge. I found a recipe that looked simple enough to make.
The process was not as tedious as I expected it to be. After washing, de-stoning and chopping up the fruit, all it took was about 45-50 minutes on the stove top. It would have been a shorter process but I had the heat on so low in the beginning, that the vessel was barely warm when the mix should have started simmering. So I turned up the heat and everything else pretty much fell into place. I did make one change to the original recipe, I added some cinnamon sticks to the fruit in the pan. This took the jam to a whole different level of yummmm.
If you haven't tried making jam before, don't let it intimidate you. Now that I know first hand how simple this process is, I can't wait to try my hand at making jam of some other fruits as they come in season. The resulting jam was not just beyond delicious, but I also knew what was in it. I knew for a fact that there were no funky ingredients in there like you find in the store bought version.
How good was this jam? Here's something to consider - My husband doesn't care about jam too much. I mean he'll have a little, if there's no other option, but that's it. The color and the aroma of the homemade jam was so alluring, he had to try a little, without me having to ask him to. After the first spoonful or two or maybe even more, he was converted. He loves this jam. That says a lot. I see a lot more homemade jam in my future :)
Homemade Nectarine Jam
Adapted from: Down to Earth
Lemon / (s)
1) Prepare your fruit - We used a carton of nectarines. Wash, de-seed and chop the fruit up. I left the skin on.
2) Weigh the fruit. Add half the weight in sugar. eg. My fruit weighed about 1900g give or take a few gms. I added about 950g sugar.
3) Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon onto the fruit and put the peel in with the fruit. Throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks.
4) Cook over a medium heat till it reaches the desired consistency. Make sure you stir frequently else the fruit could stick to the pan and burn. Also, the stirring helps with breaking down the pieces of fruit. It helps to use a wide pan, so that more liquids can evaporate. It took me about 45-50 minutes.
Take out the lemon skins and the cinnamon sticks. Use a potato masher to break down the fruit to achieve the consistency you like. I left some pieces of fruit in, I like a chunky jam with pieces of fruit in.
When it has cooled, store in prepared jars. (They should be washed and completely dry).
Since I don't sterilize the jars or follow other canning steps, I keep my jam in the refrigerator. Lets see how long it lasts.
And look at that color, all from the fruit, without anything artificial.
I sure hope you give jam-making a go. I found it immensely satisfying and a whole lot of fun. :)