Pineapple during the Holidays? It’s not just for ham anymore!
I’ve been making all sorts of pepper jellies in the run-up to Christmas. Late-year fruit usually are the firmer ones: Pears, apples, quince and the like. I’ve used some red pears in a pear-prickly pear-red chiles jelly that was a bit on the milder side; I guess I didn’t get enough serranos in there. I found some nice candied ginger, and used that in a pineapple-ginger-prickly pear-habanero blend. Very nice!
Maybe you’re noticing a pattern here: Lots of prickly pear. Yes, I still have many quarts of tasty prickly pear juice to sweeten and add flavor to my jellies. As I have mentioned elsewhere, it was a great summer for prickly pear fruit. I’ll not use it all soon, even in my frenzied campaign to make lots of gifts.
I found some cherries on at a reasonable price this week. Unusual, and they can’t be U.S. product. Not sure where they’re from; I guess Chile. Tasty little beggars in any case. I’ll use them with pineapple in one prep, and with no other fruit. Both will feature (you guessed it) prickly pear juice and habaneros.
Strawberries are nice at the moment too. Surely hothouse cultivated, but nicely priced in any case. With some raspberries in there, and enough habaneros to
burn off the roof of your mouth add a nice, tingly after-bite, these strawberries will make a wonderful jam.
I saw some pretty persimmons in a specialty grocery, but I’ve never used these before. If I see them again I’ll snag a couple and taste them and learn how to peel them. I know my grandmother used to make persimmon jam, but my mom doesn’t have her recipe. Pity.
In a related note, I made some prickly pear syrup. Cooked down some juice, added brown and white sugars, and it came out awesome. Slow process, though. I didn’t need any artificial flavors as the prickly pear was all I needed.
Time to get back into the kitchen and make some more Holiday hot-stuff. So many jellies, so little time…
The (Gift of Hot Cuisine) Heat is ON!
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