Monday, December 10, 2007

Late night inspiration

Ok. It sounds like the Nigella Christmas specials are happening all December! Wheee! I loved the last one (which I will be recapping) mainly because it has scenes set in Salzburg, land of Mozart and the Von Trapps. And if anyone doubts that I didn't hit the Sound of Music Tour while I was in Salzburg and I didn't force my friend to do the Sixteen Going on Seventeen Dance at the the gazebo, you obviously don't know me at all.

Anywhoo, I was in bed reading Feasts when I got to the chapter on cranberries where the easiest jam recipe ever appears. As most of who've made cranberry sauce know, cranberries have a LOT of pectin. That's why the cranberry sauce sets up so well. Therefore, the only ingredients you really need for cranberry jam are cranberries and sugar. So at 11:15pm, I raced out of bed, got the bags of cranberries that were lingering in our freezer form Thanksgiving and made the jam. It's 2 minutes of prep, 7 minutes of cooking, and 15 minutes of cooling. That's it.

Here's the recipe as I did it.

4 cups of fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cups of sugar
I added the zest and the juice of one orange and the juice of one lime (they were hanging around!)

Put a little dessert plate in the freezer. In a large saucepan, toss all the ingredients together and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, turn the heat up to a boil and let the jam heat vigorously for 7 minutes. Test the jam by putting a half a teaspoon of jam onto the frozen dessert plate. if you run your finger trough the drop of jam and the track your finger made is still there (because hopefully the liquid is thick enough not to ooze back), then the jam is ready. As you all know I can't be bothered sterilize jars so I put enough jam for a week in a jar that goes in the fridge and the rest of the jam goes in tupperware in the freezer.

I highly recommend this recipe. It is very forgiving and open to add-ins (ginger!). I just had some this morning on a brioche roll and it was heaven on a bun!

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