Quick Jams

All the best fruit has either came and gone, or is in high concentration right now. The lovely thing about most fruit is that you can freeze it and it generally doesn’t lose much of its integrity and it rarely loses any flavour. Freezing some of your berries from July is convenient because you open up the availability of being able to use them whenever you like. Currently, I have frozen Strawberries from picking at Watson’s Farm in Bowmanville. These make for wonderful preserves, baked goods, and plenty more.

And then there is the fruit still producing into fall. Such as Apples, Figs, Pears, Peaches, and Grapes. I have been able to locate some beautiful Niagara Concord Grapes from Willowtree Farms in Port Perry – if you haven’t been and live in the Durham Region, you are missing out. This little market has all in season fruits and vegetables either grown on their property or in the local vicinity. Everything is fresh, and there selection is immaculate. They have a beautiful patio for guests to sit and enjoy fresh food from their deli, and in the back a small petting zoo which makes this place particularly family friendly. It really is just a great excuse for a late afternoon excursion.

If you have been enjoying local fruit you’ll know that grocery stores often don’t carry the quality you get from these farmers markets. I’ve been fortunate enough to harvest my own fruits and vegetables, and able to outsource to other local places for all my other favourites this year. This has brought me a lot closer to my food. After going to Culinary School and basing my studies on Field-to-Fork and continuing this passion for local products – I have discovered a love for food in a new way. Breaking down each individual food for all it’s characteristics; taste, nutrients, quality, texture etc. All of which make creating the food I construct more sentimental, and making me more connected to it.

Now I know there are many people who are connected to food in ways that are different, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But I hope to encourage people to find new purposes, places, harmonies with food. If you enjoy eating good food, teaching yourself how to cook will pay off. Reading cookbooks, researching, going to farmers markets and educating your palate and continuing this for fun will become a love for food. It’s genuine, it’s real, and sometimes it cooperates and loves you back.IMG_3625


Strawberry Jam

2 Cups of Strawberries

1 Cup of Sugar

1 Tbsp of Cornstarch

1 Tbsp of Water

Put your strawberries on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently and being careful not to scorch the bottom. Once they come up to a simmer, they should start breaking apart and being more squishy. There should be plenty of juice in the pan at this point.

Add your sugar to the pot, continue over medium heat until you can no longer see the sugar grains.

In a dish, whisk your cornstarch in with your water to make a slurry. Add this slowly to your jam pot. Stir frequently until your jam is back to a simmer. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Yields approx. 500mLIMG_3627


Quick Grape Jam

2 Cups of Concord Grapes

1 Cup of Sugar

1 Tbsp of Cornstarch

1 Tbsp of Water

IMG_3633Put your grapes on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently and being careful not to scorch the bottom. Once they come up to a simmer, they should start breaking apart and being more squishy. There should be plenty of juice in the pan at this point.

Add your sugar to the pot, continue over medium heat until you can no longer see the sugar grains.

In a dish, whisk your cornstarch in with your water to make a slurry. Add this slowly to your jam pot. Stir frequently until your jam is back to a simmer. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Yields approx. 500mLIMG_3640


Fig and Honey Jam

2 Cups of Figs

1 Cup of Sugar

1 Tbsp of Honey

1 Tbsp of Cornstarch

1 Tbsp of Water

Put your figs on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently and being careful not to scorch the bottom. Once they come up to a simmer, they should start breaking apart and being more squishy. There should be plenty of juice in the pan at this point.

Add your sugar and honey to the pot, continue over medium heat until you can no longer see the sugar grains.

In a dish, whisk your cornstarch in with your water to make a slurry. Add this slowly to your jam pot. Stir frequently until your jam is back to a simmer. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Yields approx. 500mL

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