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Preserves/jams from dried fruit


jgm
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When looking over some dried cherries and blueberries yesterday, I wondered if they could be reconstituted and made into preserves or jams. I've made a few things like this, and can't, off the top of my head, think of any reason it wouldn't work. But "few" is a key word.

I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of more experienced preserve, jam, and jelly makers.

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Dried Apricot jam, for example, is well known.

I'll agree on the dried apricot jam - it is especially good if you add some blanched whole almonds at the end. I dont see why it wouldn't work with dried peaches or pears either.

And dried fig jam is definitely good.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I've just remembered a great date-ginger-walnut jam that used to be sold at the Qld ginger-growers co-operative in Buderim. I loved it, but they dont seem to make it anymore.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Recipe of my grandmother or great-grandmother's:

Plum Melange

3lb red plums

1/2 pint water

3 lbs sugar

Juice and grated rind of one large lemon and one large orange

3/4lb walnuts

1 lb raisins

Boil and sieve plums, add sugar, return to boil, add juices and rinds, Add nuts and raisins when ready.

In my experience less sugar will do, as the raisins add considerable sweetness.

About the date/walnut combination in Queensland - wonder if this fruit/nut mix in jam is a British tradition or an Oz and Enz thing? We used to have a peach or apricot jam with almonds in it too.

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Adapted from HMSO Bulletin 21

Apricot Jam from dried fruit

2lb pitted dried apricots

6lb sugar

6pt water

6 oz almonds

Juice of 2 lemons

Soak the apricots in the water for 24 hours

Put in a preserving pan and simmer for 30 mins

Add lemon juice, sugar and blanched almonds if liked.

Boil rapidly until setting point (221F)

Yield 10 lb

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Recipe of my grandmother or great-grandmother's:

Plum Melange

3lb red plums

1/2 pint water

3 lbs sugar

Juice and grated rind of one large lemon and one large orange

3/4lb walnuts

1 lb raisins

Boil and sieve plums, add sugar, return to boil, add juices and rinds, Add nuts and raisins when ready.

In my experience less sugar will do, as the raisins add considerable sweetness.

About the date/walnut combination in Queensland - wonder if this fruit/nut mix in jam is a British tradition or an Oz and Enz thing? We used to have a peach or apricot jam with almonds in it too.

Gosh, that sounds good.

Oz I know, but what's Enz?... :huh:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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About the date/walnut combination in Queensland - wonder if this fruit/nut mix in jam is a British tradition or an Oz and Enz thing? We used to have a peach or apricot jam with almonds in it too.

The particular combination of date-walnut-ginger at the Buderim Ginger Factory was to feature the ginger (Queensland has a large ginger industry), so was intended to be specifically local, but the tradition of dried fruit "Jams" is probably English. I will check out some of the seventeenth and eighteenth century cookbooks on preserving and see what I can find.

I think we are also looking at the definition of "Jam" here too. From memory, the Buderim product was called "spread", and it was a soft spreading paste rather than a jelly/jam consistency - a bit closer to quince paste that you have with cheese.

Which makes me think of a fig and pine-nut "paste" - very thick and sliceable - that I made a couple of times to have with cheese. Now if I substituted dates and walnuts for the figs and pine-nuts, added some ginger, made it softer - perhaps I'd have the lovely date-walnut-ginger "jam".

I will definitely try the Plum Melange too.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Enz is NZ=New Zealand=enz of the earth, etc.

I found some southern US recipes just like the Plum Melange as "Plum Conserve".

Funnily enough, we used to make this to add a little variation to the endless sea of red plum jam that came out of my grandparents' farm orchard, but in Japan, I make it to eke out the expensive (close to $1 each) red plums I can buy!

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In Mary Anne Dragan's "Well Preserved" there is a recipe for Winter Marmalade that calls for dried apricots, dried cranberries, canned crushed pineapple and one fresh orange. It sounds interesting.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Dried pears make a wonderful preserve. The trick is to reconstitute them in pear nectar (canned) which really intensifies the flavor.

Also dried tomatoes (unflavored of course) also makes a lovely jam. Tomato jam can be made a bit spicy, with the addition of just a little dried chile and is an amazing accompaniment to meats such as roast pork, etc.

The Shakers were famous for their dried fruit preserves, apples, wild berries, plums, peaches and gooseberries. Two of my aunts spent a lot of time in the late 40s and 50s gathering shaker recipes from people in Kentucky, southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio who remembered the Shaker communities that were still active in the early 1900s. Many of these recipes depended on dried and preserved foods. The Shakers were inventors, innovators and experimented with new ways of perserving foods.

Dried (unsweetened) pineapple is also a great addition to preserves - especially combined with apricots or apples.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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. . .

Also dried tomatoes (unflavored of course) also makes a lovely jam.  Tomato jam can be made a bit spicy, with the addition of just a little dried chile and is an amazing accompaniment to meats such as roast pork, etc.

. . .

I recently discovered tomato jam (the recipe I used called for fresh tomatoes) and served it with a grilled pork tenderloin and it was delicious. A guest, however, was simply not willing to try "tomato jam" so I wish I had re-named it "tomato relish" and I am certain he would have tried it and loved it. :rolleyes:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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A guest, however, was simply not willing to try "tomato jam" so I wish I had re-named it "tomato relish" and I am certain he would have tried it and loved it. :rolleyes:

What is it that makes some people unwilling to try something they have never had before, when it is put in front of them in a situation like this? It is not the same as taking a risk ordering something unfamiliar in a restaurant (although a lot of us do do that as a matter of principle) and "wasting" money on a dish they then dont like. I could sort of understand that.

My sister-in-law does this regularly, and I would love to understand it better. One example of many: I once served quail, and she didn't even taste it because she had never eaten it before. No other reason. I dont take it personally (I figure it is her loss, and someone else always eats her share of whatever it is), but it puzzles me all the same.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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helenjp, what are red plums look like? Are they dried? Is it possible to use ordinary dried plums?

jackal10, your reciepe sounds great, I'll try to make it!

Thank you guys for shareing reciepies!

Edited by lenabo (log)

I love to decorate cakes and you may see my cakes here: http://foto.mail.ru/mail/bonya_l/1

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ordinary plums sold in Japan are what I meant, nothing special, but not a very popular fruit in Japan. I think this recipe needs fresh plums to combine with the dried fruit, or it will be too sweet.

Many jam and jelly recipes include a little lemon juice to temper the sweetness and to aid in jelling.

One can experiment by making very small batches of jams and preserves in the microwave in a Pyrex custard cup, to determine what ratio gives the desired flavor.

I have a recipe for prune whip that requires lemon juice even though it is not for preserves or jam.

The prunes are plumped and simmered in water to which lemon juice is added, 1 tablespoon for each 6 oz of prunes. Omitting the lemon juice produces a cloyingly sweet result.

This recipe uses less lemon juice but is very similar to mine.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A guest, however, was simply not willing to try "tomato jam" so I wish I had re-named it "tomato relish" and I am certain he would have tried it and loved it. :rolleyes:

What is it that makes some people unwilling to try something they have never had before, when it is put in front of them in a situation like this? It is not the same as taking a risk ordering something unfamiliar in a restaurant (although a lot of us do do that as a matter of principle) and "wasting" money on a dish they then dont like. I could sort of understand that.

My sister-in-law does this regularly, and I would love to understand it better. One example of many: I once served quail, and she didn't even taste it because she had never eaten it before. No other reason. I dont take it personally (I figure it is her loss, and someone else always eats her share of whatever it is), but it puzzles me all the same.

I too am baffled by this. I was very excited, the first time I found lemon curd sold in a jar here in the U.S. I bought a jar and cherished it all the way to the camp where my dear friends spend their summers, happy to share the wonderful find. They looked at me and said, in their kindest but most baffled voices, "You've always been an adventuresome eater." As far as I know, that jar was never opened. It hadn't occurred to me that the American association of "curd" with "curdle" might be enough to put someone off trying a delicious lemony spread, no matter how many assurances they had that it was wonderful.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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. . .

I too am baffled by this.  I was very excited, the first time I found lemon curd sold in a jar here in the U.S.  I bought a jar and cherished it all the way to the camp where my dear friends spend their summers, happy to share the wonderful find.  They looked at me and said, in their kindest but most baffled voices, "You've always been an adventuresome eater."  As far as I know, that jar was never opened.  It hadn't occurred to me that the American association of "curd" with "curdle" might be enough to put someone off trying a delicious lemony spread, no matter how many assurances they had that it was wonderful.

Well you've managed to expose the "real" me. :shock: I recall, a very long time ago, that I refused to even try sour cream or cheesecake. Why anyone would eat cream that had soured or cake made of cheese completely escaped me. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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You are not alone. Over the years I have met hundreds of people who refuse to try anything new or different, exotic, foreign or ???

I was raised in a family who were all food adventurers and would try anything once.

My great-grandmother travelled extensively in the late 1800s when travel could be extremely ardurous. She would tell the most wonderful stories about trying strange and exotic foods while on her travels in Europe, around the Mediterranean, Egypt, India and Africa.

One of my uncles brought a box of "alligator pears" home from a visit to Florida when I was about 9 and we all fell in love with avocados. I still love them.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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