Friday, October 14, 2011

Grape Jam

We have a few grape vines in our yard, and we were excited that they produced this year.  These seeded grapes are good for eating, and they taste 'grapey'.  I always thought grape candy was a made-up flavor, but these grapes actually have the real grape flavor that the candies try to taste like.  I wanted to try a jam without pectin, so I tried this Grape Jam from epicurious.
I started with trying to get the seeds out of each individual grape, but after about 40 grapes, I gave that up and just popped them out the skins, pureed the skins, and then simmered and strained the grape.  Look at all those seeds!  Much easier!

It took a while to boil down, but I ended up with 2 half pints of jam, which the kids have loved.  I'm looking forward to trying again next year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Marshmallows

I'm really excited about the idea of a marshmallow with a fruit swirl. My disclaimer is I have no idea of safety or shelf life issues.  So please keep that in mind with my enthusiasm :)

So I've been wanting to do a lemon marshmallow with a blackberry swirl for a couple years, and finally decided to try the swirl, even though I didn't have the blackberries. I used my favorite lemon marshmallow recipe - Emeril's lemon marshmallows, and then strawberry jam made with certo. After I'd poured the marshmallows in the pan to set, I just swirled the jam in.

I really liked the flavor - very much like the idea of the summer strawberry lemonades. Not much jam is needed. I didn't measure, but I think less than 1/4 c for an 8x8 pan. I made an effort to swirl into the marshmallow, so the jam wouldn't be exposed. The jam is a little sticky when cutting, but even after a week the jam didn't seem to make the marshmallow weep at all.  The idea of the fruit swirl is really exciting to me, and these turned out really well.

Since making these, I have seen Talanian's dulce de leche marshmallows, with dulce de leche swirled in a vanilla marshmallow.  I would think that these would similar shelf-life wise.  I've never tried pate de fruit, but I think I should try and see if there's any middle ground where I could do a swirl with it.  This seemed to work ok for a first attempt, and I'm looking forward to playing around some more with the idea.