Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jammin' and Jellin'

Last week I jammed.
Being no musician, that merely means I took some fruit and made jam of it.

It all started a couple of weeks ago, with blackcurrant, then last week I put other four jam/gels under my belt (metaphorically and physically).

First came peaches; Fiumicello is a large municipality/territory yards away from the Italian Northeastern lagoon and is famous for its huge, succulent, peaches, with an intense yellow pulp that turns to red when fully mature.
I jammed them with blueberries.

Then came lemons: peel away just the rind (no white) of a lemon, boil it for 10 minutes, wash it, then cut it in teeny tiny strips and boil them again for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the lemons (I used three lemons, and the peel of just one) well and jam them with sugar.
I usually calculate the dose of sugar as 70% of fruit weight, more or less (less for the peaches, a little more for lemons).
Cook for about 30 minutes, then add the lemon peel and 2 tablespoons of almond flour.
Even if I used the rind of just one lemon, the jam was really strong and tangy; try more peel at your own risk!

The last jam was Pear Williams' (just one pear, I was running out of jars!) with fresh grated ginger (about 1.5 tbsp) and some poppy seeds.

Then I made a gel of the same Fiumicello peaches about which I already told and some mango pulp, with a hint of Dijon mustard.
The gel was hard enough to be cut in cubes (sorry, no individual pic available).

Now, what did I do with all these wondrous wonders??
I set a platter with cheese pairings:

Clockwise, starting from top, are blackcurrant/green tea/lime, pear/ginger/poppyseed, peach/blueberries, lemon/almond, and the cubes at the immediate left of lemon are the cubes of peach and mango.

The cheese paired to each is the one at the left of the tip of each bowl(considering the tip pointing up, of course).

Lemon jam and blackcurrant jam were paired with the same cheese, only at a different stage of aging. Here they call it "Latteria" (which literally means "Milk store") and it's a cheddar-like cheese.
Now, most of the Italians would shiver about a comparison with cheddar, but I'm positive that's because they've never tasted good artisan cheddar, some like the ones those guys at Beehive Cheese in Northern Utah make.
At least, that's what happened to me: I rolled my eyes the first time I walked into their shop and they offered me *cheddar*, but after trusting them that first time, I became a regular customer (until I could, at least!).

Blackcurrant was paired with a 6 months aged Latteria, while the 2 months was smooth enough to balance the almost aggressive lemon jam.

Pear jam was paired with a Parmigiano of 24 months of age and peaches/blueberries went with Formadi Frant, a cheese with a strong, spicy taste (there's pepper in it and you'll find more info about that here)

As for the last pair, I played with textures and to the solid fruit taste I gave a spreadable goat cheese, with a little of oil and pepper.

I was already in the mood, so I planned a jelly dessert, too. I took the recipe in a Costco book, which will be my next TIMOC instalment.

Dissolve 5tsp of gelatin powder in one cup of hot water, then 1.5 cups of sugar-

When the mix is at room temperature, add 2 cups of cold dry champagne, then pour over pitted cherries and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

The kids and I couldn't pick a picture between the two we liked most, so I'm putting on both of them, and that's it, cherries on top!


  1. You have so many great jams and jellies! I knew some countries had issues shipping food, I didn't realize Italy was one of them, too bad! I'm sure yours would have been delicious! I'm following you now too :)

  2. Anna you are so talented! I love all the flavors you created--everything looks delicious! I loved both pictures at the end--I couldn't have decided between them either! :)