Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Recipe: Spicy Peachy Blueberry Jam

Another one of those "Quick, Write it down before you forget!" kinda recipes (which may, or may not, get modified later!)

QT's Low-Sugar Spicy Peachy Blueberry Jam
Yield: 8 x 1/2 pints of jam
  • 32 oz. basket of blueberries (nets ~6 cups before mashing) (4-5 cups after mashing)
  • 2 large and 6 small fresh peaches, blanched and peeled (nets ~2-3 cups)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or more, if you want to taste the cinnamon)
  • 2 TBS lemon juice (bottled is fine)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups granulated Splenda
  • 5 TBS Low/No-Sugar pectin (On second thought: Bump it back to 4 TBS total)
Okay, I am posting in real-time, so bear with me!

Rinse your blueberries and remove any stems and/or squishy ones.  Mash them, one layer at a time.  You'll end up w/appx 4-5 cups of mashed berries.

Blanch and peel your peaches.  Slice them into small chunks and add them to the blueberry mixture 'til you end up with 8 cups of fruit gloop.

Okay, here's where I split it into two batches (larger batches may not "set" properly - or so sayeth the pectin-package)

  1. Dump 4 cups of fruit gloop into a large pot.  
  2. Add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 TBS lemon juice to the pot.  
  3. Mix 2.5 2 TBS Pectin with 1/2 cup of sugar in a dry bowl.  Dump it in the pot and bring to a boil.  
  4. Add 1-1/2 cups Splenda to the pot.  Boil hard for 1 minute (or more).  
  5. Check for "set."  If it's set-up properly, ladle into hot, sterilized jars. If not set then cook for a few minutes longer...
  6. Let jars sit for 5-10 minutes while you prep the next batch 
  7. Give 'em a good stir (to mix up the fruit and minimize Floatie-Fruit Action)
  8. Process in canner for ~5-10 minutes
  9. Leave jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours
Make sure the lids "popped" and sealed properly.

Optional: You might want to hit the fruit with an immersion blender while it's still hot - then you'll end up with more of a fruit "spread" rather than a jam...

I'll update with pictures and final tally later!

Post-Script:  Okay, I promised pictures, so here ya go:

Definitely looks more like Blueberry Jam - than Peach!

And a "serving suggestion" which was deeelish (as you can see!):

Blueberry-Peach Jam on toast with low-fat cream cheese (neufchatel).

Okay, now for the "Unbiased (!) Review:"  

Okay, it definitely tastes more like Blueberry Jam (No surprise there - given that it was 6 cups blueberries and 2 cups of peaches as "filler").  The peach flavor is subtle, at best!  

As for the "spice factor?"  Cinnamon was so subtle as to be almost non-existent - but that's okay.  I almost wonder if - had I left-out the cinnamon - it might've tasted like something was "missing!"  Seriously, it is damn-near perfect "As-Is!"  Bump-up the cinnamon, if you choose......

Some of the "Blueberry-Peach-Spice Jam" recipes that came-up on Google listed allspice and cloves as suitable additions.  Now I've done cloves (or - more accurately - OVERDONE cloves) in one of my more recent recipes, so I'm kinda scared to use it anymore.  Allspice might have been a nice addition.  Another website (foodpairing.com) suggested that cardamom might work well with blueberries - but I was too scared to try it (since I subscribe to the "freebie" version and couldn't validate it's suitability with peaches - lol!).

Sweetness?: Perfectomundo!  I want to taste the FRUIT - not a tongue-buzzing degree of sweetener!  I wouldn't change it - but if you like Super-Sweet, taste it while you're cooking it and add more if you prefer...

One final note regarding texture:  I went a little overboard with the pectin on this particular recipe (especially since blueberries already have a fair amt of pectin in 'em).  Again, because some of my past "experiments" have ended up more like syrup than jam!  This jam is pretty "stiff!"  Not bad (actually, I like it that way!), and you can give it a good stir before serving it.  But I think you can probably cut-back on the qty of pectin in this recipe (maybe eliminate 1 TBS)...

Anyway, I am calling this recipe a "SUCCESS!"


Sense for Taste said...

Cardamom and peach do combine, but other herbs and spices do match better like basil, cinnamon, ginger

IMQTPI said...

Thank you for the feedback!

I might try cinnamon + (dried, candied) ginger next time. That actually sounds REALLY good! :-)


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