Anarchy in a Jar

The revolution starts in your mouth // Small-batch condiments made in Brooklyn

Winter Jammin': We

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Winter is the season for dreaming. We dream of warm winds that will suddenly appear in March. We dream of skin bare to the sun and sweat pooling on our backs as we linger in gardens and cafes in the woozy days of August. We dream of sun-warmed fruit plucked from the tree to our mouths and vegetables from roofs and gardens, so fresh they crunch and zing with life.

Winter is the season for citrus. Grapefruits taste like sunshine and their bitter, sweet, pungent flavor enlivens the senses and invigorates the stupefied mind as it begins to sink into wintry, cold-induced laziness.

This is a great time to rock out with our Grapefruit and Smoked Salt Marmalade. Consequently, we've been making a lot of it.

I've been very lucky to have Emma, the marvelous jam apprentice, back in the kitchen with me this month before she heads off to Amsterdam for school.  She's been so helpful, and with her mad jammin' skills, she's closer to advancing to "journeyman" jammer everyday.  You can see her above, zesting the skin with our super-duper shmancy microplane zester.

In case you want to try this at home, the recipe is below. Because it's way more fun to at least imagine that you're original, and get the creative juice's flowing, I encourage everyone to be inventive! Try adding some chamomile flowers (make a syrup with the flowers + water + sugar, strain and add to the jam), or ginger, or star anise, or tequila (take an ounce or two from an old bottle of Cuervo that's hung out in your cupboard for years)! And please email us at Anarchy in a Jar and share what you come up with! We love hearing jam stories.

GRAPEFRUIT & SMOKED SALT MARMALADE makes about three 8oz jars

4C juice (about 12 grapefruits, depends on size & juiciness) 3C sugar 1/3 cup zest 1/4 tsp smoked salt 2tsp calcium water 2tsp pectin

Zest and juice the grapefruits. Make sure to strain the juice so there are no seeds, then mix in the zest.

Before you start jamming make calcium water 1. Put 1/2t white calcium powder and 1/2C water in a small, clear jar with lid. 2. Store in refrigerator between uses. Lasts a number of months—discard if settled white powder discolors. 3. Shake well before using.

Wash and rinse jars; cover with hot water an inch above the tops, cover pot and bring to a boil; boil ten minutes; turn off and let stand in hot water.  Meanwhile, bring lids and rings to boil; turn down heat; let stand in hot water.

Put juice and zest into a stainless steel pot (or Le Crusseut, or copper if you are so lucky). Do NOT use aluminum.

Add proper amount of calcium water from jar into pan; stir well.

Measure sugar into separate bowl and thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into sugar. Bring fruit to boil. Add salt. Skim any foam off the top and discard (careful not to skim off all the zest!). Add your mixed pectin sugar and stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat. Skim off all foam that has formed at the top.

Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Make sure they are upright and do not fall over. Boil 10 min. (add 1 min. more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let  jars cool and preferably do not move them for 12 hours. Check seals–-lids should be sucked down. Re-process or refrigerate if they are not sealed. Lasts at least a year on the shelf unopened. Refrigerate after opening, lasts roughly one to three months once opened.

Notes: Pectin completes its jell when thoroughly cool. Color changes over time do not affect flavor or quality. Lemon juice will make your jam brighter, and is essential for color duration in strawberry jam. If mixture foams excessively while cooking, add 1/2t butter or margarine per batch.