Thursday, August 4, 2011
Pineapple Jam And The Grammer Squad
Recently I had a request for a simple pineapple jam recipe. I had made some early on in the summer, but had not taken pictures of the process. However, I did have one of the finished product.
I love pineapple jam. It's not something I would eat everyday so I can it in the cutie patootie 4oz jars that Ball makes. Smear it on toast or a bagel with cream cheese and it makes a fantastic snack. I would venture to guess that it would make a great appetizer mixed in with cream cheese or even possibly goat cheese, and some crushed red pepper flakes or, maybe just ground red pepper instead and slather that on a crostini. Nom nom nom. Oh, oh! I just made a batch of bacon jam this morning. I bet those two would play quite well together on the same snack table. Great. Now I'm super hungry and writing horrible run on sentences. Again. I best hurry and jot this recipe down so I can raid the pantry before the grammer squad hauls me off.
First, a note about pineapples. I firmly subscribe to the Alton Brown school of thought involving kitchen gadgets. You don't need them. Seriously, just a waste of perfectly good kitchen space that might be better suited for say, stashing all those home made canned goodies you've made. That being said, I do not own a pineapple corer and, my drawers- kitchen drawers, not to be confused with my undies thank you very much- are all the happier for it.
Simply take a super sharp knife and slice the bottom and the top portions off. Standing the pineapple up, run your super sharp knife from top to bottom, taking the tough peel off. Working all the way around the pineapple, try to get as many of the "eyes" off with the skin as possible. Go back around the fruit and cut off the individual eyes that were missed the first time.
With the fruit still standing, slice it in half from top to bottom. Take each half and half those from top to bottom. Now, the hard core is exposed in small sections running down the length of each quarter of pineapple. It's easily removed by running your knife just beneath the core, top to bottom once more.
I was more than a little uneasy when I set about doing this the first time. But, after you've got one under your belt you'll be a pro.
You'll need roughly four cups finely chopped, peeled, cored fresh pineapple. After all that knife work you could use your food processor to make quick work of the chopping. Go easy on that pulse button though. Remember, jam is known for having small chunks of fruit suspended in it. Try not to puree the pineapple.
In a large saucepan combine your pineapple, 2 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 small lemon seeded and thinly sliced, but not peeled, 1 cup of water. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. You'll continue stirring like mad till the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens, roughly 15 minutes. Have a saucer stashed in the freezer to check the gel test. If it passes remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Ladle your hot pineapple paradise into sterilized and hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Take a wet paper towel and wipe the rims clean. Center the lids and screw the bands on till resistance is met, then a scosh more.
Place in your boiling water bath canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove jars to a dish towel lined counter and leave undisturbed for 12 hours.
See? Nothing to it. The hardest part about making this jam is getting to the actual fruit itself. Just remember to make sure the knife you're using is super sharp and that will make your job much easier.
yields 6 4oz jars, or 3 8oz jars
4 cups finely chopped, peeled, and cored fresh pineapple
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 lemon seeded and thinly sliced with the skin still on
1 cup water
1. Prepare your canner, jars, and lids.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring nearly constantly till sugar dissolves and mixture is thickened. Once it's reached the gel stage remove from heat.
3. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean. Center lids and screw on bands till resistance is met. Then tighten a scosh more.
4. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Then remove and leave undisturbed for 12 hours.