Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jam Plan & the Chutney Challenge

Yeah, so I can't let anything go to waste.  I am officially my mother.

You know when you optimistically buy a pound of fruit, thinking "I'll eat all this today"?  And the next day you forget about them, and the third day it doesn't look as appetizing... and after that it's a lost cause.

So about half a pound of red, green and purple grapes were sitting there getting mushier by the day.  Enter the Jam Plan.

Since I didn't find any recipes to my liking, of course I made it up.  One noteworthy piece of info I came across: the difference between jelly & jam.

To start:
First, discard any yucky brown ones.  Remove all the stems and give them a good wash.  Most of the recipes I saw called for you to peel the grapes, but I'm not wasting a lot of time peeling grapes for week-old fruit I'm just trying to give another shot at life.  So I threw everything whole into a small pot with a little water and a squeeze of lemon juice, turned it on high and hoped for the best.

After a few minutes the grapes will get to cooking, but they don't really pop and burst the way cranberries do.  Add some sugar (I only used maybe a 1/2 cup).  You could throw the grapes in the food processor, or keep cooking until they break down, but I got impatient and decided to use my trusty immersion blender.  Warning: put your apron on first (screamin hot grape goop splattered on arms and neck = NAGL).

Let it cook for a while longer until it thickens.  When you drop a bit onto a cold plate, it should gel up immediately.  But you can eyeball it like I did.

I was curious what color jam I'd get since I used tri-color grapes, but as you can see, purple dominates!

I like toast and jam.

I've done this with strawberries as well.  If you've got apples or mangoes, you can make chutney by adding some onion, vinegar and spices.  Use it to top baked brie or pork!  If you don't wanna wing it, find some recipes here and here that I've used in the past.


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