Apples to apples. Us fruit reliant cooks are so bored with apples <sigh>. And it's all we can muster from the pantry, as the winter drags on to its final finish and the days begin to warm. We set forth with wing-like energy, wizzing down the bike filled lanes of Brooklyn like spring chickens, hatched anew. But fruit takes awhile to come, so I must find new ways to play with my faithful hearty apples.
My friend Eric, D'Artagnan meat and mushroom master extraordinaire of NYC, suggested I play with juniper berries and he even conjured a satchel for me. He and other menfolk of his kind often encourage me to fill my jams with crazy spices, but I'm a minimalist and I like my jam complex but simply adorned. I want the fruit to play center stage, and the accompaniments to highlight the central fruit's flavor.
Juniper berries are a weird and exciting little berry. They're often used with meat and in hearty Northern European dishes. They are not unfriendly towards apples.
I cooked them with the cut up apples and then strained the juice to prepare for jelly. It's macerating overnight and we'll see tomorrow what magic happens in the pot. I might throw in some lightly crushed pistachios too and call it a conserve--how daring! The men should be proud of my accessorizing. Maybe I'll leave a little juice unjammed and make a killer cocktail.