The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Please visit John's blog for a wealth of information (which he refers to as "long-winded and geeky explanations") for everything you wanted to know about food preservation, but were afraid to ask.
John suggested recipes for Apple Butter, Roasted Tomatoes, and Bruschetta in a Jar, but we were free to use other recipes. You can visit The Daring Kitchen Recipe Archive for these recipes. I chose to try recipes from two of my newest cookbooks: Plum Zinfandel Jam from Ad Hoc at Home, and Tomato Jam from The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast
After eyeing the speckled Pluots at the market, I decided to make Dinosaur Egg Jam. Dinosaur Egg is a registered trademark for the Dapple Dandy variety of pluots. The pluot is a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot, exhibiting more plum-like traits. Pluots are noted for their sweetness, intense flavor, and very juicy pulp.
Pluot Zinfandel Jam
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Plum Zinfandel Jam, Ad Hoc at Home
2 lbs. Pluots (or plums)
1 cup Zinfandel
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cut the flesh of the pluots away from the pits and cut into ¾ inch pieces.
Combine the pluots, wine, sugar and cinnamon in a large saucepan and attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue simmering until the jam reaches 215-220 degrees F (about 40 minutes). Remove from heat.
Spoon jam into a canning jar or other storage container, cover, and let cool to room temperature. Can be refrigerated for up to one month.
This jam isn't too sweet, has a nice tartness, is a breeze to make, and doesn't require pectin. If you like experimenting with flavor combinations, the following pair especially well with plums: Allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, orange zest, lemon, brandy, nectarines, raspberries, and walnuts, according to The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
Up next...Tomato Jam!