11 July 2012

homemade jam

On the way to work the other day, a genius DJ decided to blast a Will Smith classic, and for the rest of the day I was singing "summer-summer-summertiiiiiime" in my mind (and most likely unconsciously humming, whistling and mumbling it out loud as well). It got me thinking about -- you guessed it -- summer, and all the things I love about the season.

One of the tops on my list is delicious, mouthwatering fruit. Summer melons, peaches, plums, nectarines, berries! So I decided that I would make some fresh, homemade jam and spread said delicious fruit on toast and sandwiches, and maybe even mix it in with a little vanilla bean ice cream. First jam on my list to tackle: peach. But I decided to give it a summer spin and turned it into *grilled* peach jam with rosemary. And it is tasty. And fairly easy. And worth the effort.

It goes a little like this....

Actual recipe:
Makes just enough to fill two 7-oz. mason jars

3 yellow peaches, halved, pits removed
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp or slightly melted (but not hot)
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 large rosemary sprigs

Get your grill hot (you can obviously use an outside grill or, like me, you can use a stove-top griddle; I like this cast iron one by Lodge).

Brush the butter evenly over the flesh of your peaches (not on the skin--you'll be peeling that off in about 6 minutes), then place them flat-side-down on the grill. Cook about 5 minutes until you see some good grill lines. Let them cool just until you can handle them and then slice them into 1/2 inch wedges and peel or cut off the skin.

Put the peaches into a bowl, add the lemon juice, and toss. Add the sugar and toss well. Add the rosemary and toss gently so little rosemary needles don't break off. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for four hours, stirring mixture every hour. After the fourth hour, the sugar should be pretty much dissolved, which is what you want.

Put the peach mixture into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, continue cooking on med-high for about 13 minutes or until the liquid becomes syrupy. Remove from heat and discard the rosemary sprigs. Use a potato masher to crush the peaches a bit, then skim any white foam off the top of the mixture.

Pour immediately into whatever jar(s) you're using to store the jam. Let cool on a wire rack for 12 hours, then refrigerate and use within one month.

If you want to make a larger batch and preserve the jam using a traditional canning process, have at it! Since I haven't actually tried that yet (it's on my to-do list), click here for a link to Williams-Sonoma's canning instructions, which seem pretty clear.

Now, spread the jam on something and eat it. Savor the deliciousness. Repeat.

04 July 2012

happy 4th

Hope everyone has a sparkling holiday!

Image by Paul Octavious via 20x200.