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Recipes Sweets

How to Make Homemade Jam Out of Any Summer Fruit

Photo: So Delicious

Homemade jam definitely tastes like childhood memories. And what better fruit to make it with than the spoils of summer? Make your homemade jam with strawberries, apricots, plums and any other fruit you choose. And it shouldn’t taste like sugar! Learn how to make it properly.

It’s almost the end of the summer and in my mind, this translates into preserving foods like pickles, roasted red bell peppers, tomato sauce, and as many summer fruit as you can buy. These days, my mother cans dozens of jars of jam made with all kind of fruit: apricots, strawberries, plums, raspberries, cranberries, quinces, and sour cherries. She even made jam once using summer squash. That’s when I realized you can make homemade jam out of almost anything if you add sugar.

So, because my mother makes jam for the entire family – I think she still has jam jars from two years ago in her cellar – my sister-in-law and I don’t have to make any more. Still, I’ve made some apricot jam and strawberries jam (small quantities), just for fun and because I like to make it less sweet than my mom does.

First of all, I need to specify that jam isn’t jelly. While homemade jam means chopped fruit cooked with sugar, resulting in a chunky and relatively thick sweet spread, jelly means that the cooked mixture is passed through a jelly bag.

Homemade jam means chopped fruit cooked with sugar, resulting in a relatively thick sweet spread.

Many fruit jams are made with the addition of pectin for thickening. Pectin is a naturally occurring substance found in fruit which, when heated together with sugar, leads to a thickening that is characteristic of jams and jellies. You can buy it in powdered form, but you can also make homemade jam with just fresh fruit, lemon juice, and sugar, without extra pectin. Jam made without pectin is a little softer and looser than jam made with pectin, but I like it that way. I never use (neither my mom) pectin powder.

How to Make Homemade Jam

Prepare the fruit

Start by removing any leaves and twigs, wash the fruit, and remove their pits. Cut the fruit into even pieces. This step is available if you use bigger fruit like quinces, apricots, or plums. Raspberries and cranberries are too small to cut, but sometimes you can halve or quarter your strawberries.

Choose fruit that are at their tastiest but not overly ripe; older fruit has lower acid and less pectin.

How much sugar

The amount of sugar you need to make jam depends on the amount of pectin in your chosen fruit, but generally, the fruit-to-sugar ratio for traditional jams is 1:1. So, if you want a very sweet jam, follow this recipe: 1 lb (450 g) fruit, 1 lb (450 g) granulated sugar, and lemon juice and/or pectin (depending on the fruit you use). Adding a few squeezes of lemon juice to low-pectin fruits will help them set.

Strawberries have a low level of pectin, so you may want to follow the 1:1 fruit-to-sugar ratio.

You can reduce the sugar amount if you make homemade jam with fruit with a high level of pectin. Check the pectin content in fruit and then decide how much sugar to add.

High-Pectin Fruits

  • tart, underripe apples
  • unripe blackberries
  • lemons, limes
  • crab apples
  • cranberries
  • currants
  • gooseberries
  • plums
  • grapes
  • quinces

Moderate-Pectin Fruits

  • ripe apples
  • ripe blackberries
  • sour cherries
  • chokecherries
  • elderberries
  • grapefruits
  • grapes
  • oranges

Low-Pectin Fruits

  • apricots
  • blueberries
  • ripe cherries
  • Italian plums
  • peaches
  • pears
  • guavas
  • pineapple
  • raspberries
  • strawberries

Mash the fruit and sugar together

After you’ve washed the fruit and made your decision about how much sugar to use, add the fruit to a pan big enough to ensure the fruit does not reach more than halfway up the side. Then add the sugar. Use a potato masher to work the jam and sugar together. This releases moisture from the fruit and gets them cooking faster.

Time

Place your pan on low heat. As the fruit heats through, the warm and sweet smell will fill the air. Cook until you bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until tender, no more than that. Otherwise, the fruit will lose their shape.

The trick when making jam without pectin is time. The fruit and sugar need plenty of time to cook and thicken, on low heat. A long, slow boil drives the moisture out of the fruit, helping to preserve and thicken it at the same time.

Fruit varies in water content as well, and some fruits may take longer to jam up. Start checking the jam for thickness after at least 20 minutes of a steady boil. In the beginning, you’ll see juicy bubbles which transform, in time, into small, tighter bubbles as the jam gets closer to doneness. You might need to add a little water though if your fruit is very dry.

Test it

Spoon a bit of jam onto a chilled plate, refrigerate it for two minutes, then drag your finger through it.

You have to learn when the jam is done. And, for that, you should test it. Spoon a bit of jam onto a chilled plate, refrigerate it for two minutes, then drag your finger through it. The mixture should be homogenous, with no liquid seeping out. Your finger should make a clear path through the jam; this means your jam is set. A ‘hard set’ means a stiff jam, while a ‘soft set’ means it will be spreadable.

If you jam is still runny, simmer a few minutes longer and try again.

Too sweet? How to fix it

One of the reasons we like to make homemade jam is that way we can control the level of sweetness in it. Some fruits have a higher sugar content, depending on ripeness and variety. So, it may take some time for you to find out how sweet you like it and how much sugar to add. Still, there are solutions if you realize you’ve made it too sweet.

If your jam tastes way too sweet, adjust it with a touch of acid: add lemon juice or even a splash of fruit vinegar right before you remove it from the heat.

Add it to jars

When the jam is set, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the jam to clean jars. Cover and cool completely. From now on, you have two options. Storing the jam in the refrigerator – where it’ll last several weeks – or can the jars. But that’s another story. To be continued…

If you decide you don’t need a large quantity of jam, just some topping for your French toast, pancakes or waffles, you can make it this way:

 

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Article by Raluca Cristian from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Packaged Food

Man Finds ‘Condom’ Like Prize In His Jar Of Jam

There are only a few expectations one has when opening a fresh jar of jam for the very first time. A used condom, is probably one of the few things you’d expect to see once that lid pops open.

Troy Hawkins, Mashable reports, posted on his Facebook a photo of an opened jar of jam he had apparently purchased from a Co-op Food in the United Kingdom. Inside of the jar, he found something that suspiciously looked like an un-rolled condom.

Co-op replied to the image, claiming it was “production foam” that solidified during the bottling process. Upon his initial complaint, they even compensated him a bit for his grief, though not enough to silence his frustration.

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So what do you think? Is is a freak production occurrence made from the residual white foam? Or did some one have a little too much, albeit safe, ‘fun’ with the sweet jelly product?

The real tragedy is that single slice of un-jellied toast just sitting on Hawkins’ kitchen table.

Categories
Fast Food

Carl’s Jr. Is Offering ‘Three Ways’ With New Bacon Burger

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Today, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s announced the launch of their new Bacon 3-Way Burger. Hmmm, they have to know they’re opening themselves to some controversy with a name like that. Although the fast food chain has been known to push the boundaries of both sex and CGI.

The burger gets its name from serving bacon three different ways: Applewood-smoked bacon, crumpled bacon pieces and bacon jam. The burger also features cheese, lettuce, tomatoes.

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We picked up a couple of the burgers to try them, delicious by the way, but we still couldn’t get past that name. Here’s what some of the Foodbeast staff had to say about it:

Isai

I feel very aroused right now, and not just ’cause I’m watching porn.

Marc

It’s like they want three pigs to f*ck you.

Reach

Were they watching porn on McDonald’s WiFi when they thought of this name?

Sean

Throw some hot sauce on that bad boy and you can call it a “Devil’s three way.”

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You can get the Bacon 3-Way Burger as a single patty, double patty, or a 1/3 pound Angus patty.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Peanut Butter And Jelly Flavored Whiskey FTW!

The innovators of alcohol over at Aske Stephenson have come up with a brand new peanut butter and jelly whiskey that will undoubtedly lead to drunkenly reminiscing on the good times spent at the middle school cafeteria.

Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson, the two minds behind the global consultancy company and bar operator Fluid Movement, have created a new American culture-inspired whiskey beverage called Peanut Butter and Jam Old Fashioned that has sweet tooth drinkers everywhere drooling.

The bourbon whiskey is made by pressure distilling American whiskey with peanut butter and rich raspberry jam, then sweetened with a pinch of homemade raspberry syrup and a dash of pink Himalayan rock salt to balance out the flavors.

Each ready-to-serve bottle of Peanut Butter and Jam Old Fashioned is made from a different batch, creating a unique drinking experience for connoisseurs and collectors alike.

Just don’t start packing these into your children’s lunch boxes, lest you want to pick your inebriated child up from school.

 

 

Photo Credit: Drinksology, Huffpost Taste

Categories
Packaged Food

Bacon Spread Exists and It’s the New Jam

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There’s never enough bacon. The popular, salted-pork trend has time and time again proven that the tasty strips will never get old or unnecessary. Kind of like Tyler Perry movies.

The problem is, if you want to upgrade your meals with bacon, you’re going to either have to pay more than you need to for a few measly pieces or go cook it yourself.

If only there was a way to use the savory flavors of bacon without having to repeatedly make restaurant trips or spend an hour frying and doing dishes. Things would be so much easier if you could just keep bacon in a jar.

Oh, hey.

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While traversing the floors of the Fancy Food Show, we discovered Bacon Jams. They specialize in spreadable bacon jam, so you can have your pork and eat it too. At your earliest convenience. Made with a half pound of pure bacon in each jar, it’s definitely not bacon-flavored jam.

Don’t you dare call it that.

The ratio between bacon chunks to actual jam is so generous, it’s like they threw gourmet candied bacon into a blender. The spread is available in three flavors: Original, Red Chile & Garlic, and Pepper.

Sure, burgers and sandwiches are probably the most practical ideas. However, if you’ve read our Onion Crunch piece from a few years back, you know that creativity is highly encouraged. You can throw these on deviled eggs, scallops, or even go deeper on top of some pork belly. Spread it on your cupcakes, your apples, your loved ones.

There’s no monogamy when it comes to bacon love.

Categories
Features

What 24 Pizzas From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon Look Like IRL

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As a kid, I loved watching the ’90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Who didn’t? One of the things that stuck was all the ridiculous pizzas Michelangelo and his brothers would order throughout the series. As the years passed, I started to think some of those pizzas could actually be pretty delicious if done right. Though it did take a solid 22 years for anchovies to grow on me.

Like his Renaissance namesake, who would have thought Mikey was ahead of his time. Using some hunger-fueled imagination I recreated 24 of the most disgusting pizza orders from the TV show and turned them into something you could order at a restaurant. Cowabunga.

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Tuna fish, peanut butter and grape jelly

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Tuna ahi poke on top of a bed of seaweed salad and drizzled some hot, melted peanut butter and grape jelly on top. Went more for color than taste. Ending up tasting great so that worked itself out.

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Peanut butter and clams

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Drenched the pizza in a cajun peanut butter sauce with four fresh calms. The heat from the sauce really made the clams, no pun intended, pop. Crawfish for garnish.

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Peanut butter, avocado and extra pickles

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A bed of guacamole topped with avocado slices, melted peanut butter and some sweet dill pickle chips. This is actually a sandwich I make on many an occasion.

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Marshmallow and pepperoni

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Pepperoni and cheese pizza topped with roasted marshmallows. The marshmallows look like haunting little lifeboats on a sea of pepperoni.

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Marshmallow and asparagus

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Asparagus and cheese baked directly into the crust and topped with toasted mini marshmallows. Had to many different versions of this one before I settled on this. Couldn’t be happier.

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Guacamole and Marshmallow

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A generous heap of freshly made guacamole and topped with a single marshmallow lit on fire. Kids, don’t try this at home. Grownups, go nuts.

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Butterscotch, onions and anchovies

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Onion and anchovies caramelized in brown sugar and a butterscotch sauce. Tasted great but stunk up my kitchen like nobody’s business. Do turtles have nostrils?

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Tea and toast

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A buttered slice of toast on top of tomato sauce and sprinkled with tea leaves, parmesan cheese and more tomato sauce. The original concept for this had chunks of toast drenched in tea. NOT. APPETIZING.

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Chocolate sprinkles and clam sauce

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A cheese pizza made with a hearty clam sauce and chocolate sprinkles and garnished with green onions. Not easy to make clam sauce pop on a pizza. Had to tweak it into a chowder. Master Splinter would be proud.

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Chocolate-chip

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Chocolate chips baked into the pizza and drenched with a generous amount of hot fudge. It’s essentially a cookie.

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Chocolate fudge with extra garlic

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A generous amount of fried garlic on top of a pool of melted chocolate fudge. Definitely not something you’d order on a first date, but then again, are any of these pizzas?

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Chocolate fudge, sardine, chili pepper, whipped cream

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A cheese and whipped cream pizza topped with shaved chocolate fudge and red chili flakes. Served with a fried sardine filet in chocolate fudge sauce. Any nutrients that piece of sardine contains is neutralized by that mountain of whipped cream. I guarantee it.

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Anchovies and hot fudge

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Hot chocolate fudge drizzled over anchovy filets on a sauceless white pizza. Until the day anchovies turn into giant mutated fish that eat people, they’ll forever be my favorite fish.

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Pepperoni and hot fudge

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A classic pepperoni and cheese pizza drizzled with a little chocolate fudge. Just a little. We’re not animals.

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Pepperoni and pickles

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with sweet dill pickle chips. The pickles add a crunch that can be heard all through the New York sewer systems.

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Jelly bean and sausage

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A spicy pork chorizo and sour cream pizza topped with queso fresco and fresh cilantro and served with a jalapeño jellybean gastrique. The jelly beans had us stumped but luckily Reddit came to the rescue.

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Salami pizza with double yogurt

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Two servings of vanilla yogurt topped with fresh salami slices and drizzled with blackberry jelly. If you can get over the idea of salami and yogurt, it goes down pretty tastily.

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Shredded coconut and sweet pickles

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Pizza is topped with shredded coconut, drizzled with hot mustard and topped with sweet pickle chips. Shredder would be a crazy handy guy to have in this situation.

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Strawberry with anchovy sauce

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Caramelized strawberries served with an anchovy butter sauce and topped with whipped cream. This one was the most difficult to come up with. Thankfully, whipped cream saved the day.

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Hot oatmeal

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Hot, buttery oatmeal topped with brown sugar, honey and fresh strawberries. It’s another side to breakfast pizza.

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Popcorn

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Truffle oil popcorn with parsley flakes and parmesan cheese. There’s a pizza somewhere under that mountain of popcorn.

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Anchovies and banana

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Caramelized rum bananas and anchovy filets. The pizza that inspired this post. The bananas and anchovies were the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

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Goulash

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Hot goulash served with crumbles of queso fresco. After a quick Google search of what exactly goulash was, it was pretty easy to make.

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Granola and licorice 

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Vanilla yogurt topped with granola and shaved red licorice. It was a bitch to hand shred licorice, but doesn’t it look pretty?

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Video for verification

Categories
Sweets

Ben & Jerry’s New Ice Cream Has Two Flavors Per Pint and A Solid Core of Peanut Butter Fudge

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UK, you’ve been holding out on us. Earlier this week, Ben & Jerry’s announced a new line of “Core”-branded ice creams, each featuring a solid, well, core of fudge, caramel, or jam. Anyway, turns out these things have been available in the UK since 2012, which makes us wonder: why keep such a brilliant creation so hush-hush? We mean, it’s not like we’ve stolen any cool British stuff before . . . (*ahem, ahem*)

Each pint in the line features two halves of flavors separated by the topping core. The four new flavors are: Hazed & Confused, chocolate and hazelnut with fudge chips and a hazelnut fudge core; That’s My Jam: raspberry and chocolate with a raspberry core; Peanut Butter Fudge, chocolate and peanut butter with a peanut butter fudge core; and Salted Caramel, sweet cream with blonde brownies and a salted caramel core.

In other words, the perfect ice cream sundae in a pint, and now in your grocery’s frozen aisle.

Categories
Video

Ingenious ‘Twistable’ Peanut Butter Jar Prevents Sticky Hands [VIDEO]

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Who hasn’t gotten sticky peanut butter  stuck to their fingers after scrapping the bottom of the jar for all the pea-nutty deliciousness hiding at the bottom. I know I sure have. After a while, it just becomes an annoyance and you just want to open a fresh jar. But it looks like Jar-with-a-Twist has found a way to revolutionize peanut butter sandwich making with their patented “twistable” peanut butter jar.

Jar-with-a-Twist will, not only allow easy access to “hard-to-reach” peanut butter, but also keep contents fresher by minimizing exposure to air. They even kept production costs of their twist jar as close as possible to that of regular peanut butter jars. If all works out, these guys will also be developing similar containers for “Jelly, Salsa and Mayonnaise.”

Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait a year to see if this will really take off. Until then, I will begrudgingly continue to make my peanut butter sandwiches with a stupid butter knife and a really long spoon. But I’ll always know there’s something better out there for me and my sandwich. I just have to wait a little while longer.

H/T Reddit