Archive | Using jams and jellies

Pre-Season “BLT” with Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam BLT

Tomato Jam BLT

It’s summer, but the heirloom tomatoes are just not quite ready yet and I’m craving a BLT.  Using a good Heirloom Tomato Jam for a spread was the ticket today for an awesome out-of-season BLT.  Made with a soft, doughy egg bread, some arugula, and thick crispy bacon, I satisfied the BLT craving and more.

The Tomato Jam:

Here in Minnesota we don’t usually get large ripe heirloom tomatoes until August.  Because heirloom tomatoes are one of my main crops at the farm, we had plenty to freeze last year and have been making them into jam all winter.

I also grow a range of hot peppers, and smoked a lot of the jalapenos last year, giving me a large supply of chipotles.  Once the peppers are smoked and dried, they last forever, and I have found many culinary uses for them over the winter and spring.  We also pulverize the dried chipotles in a coffee grinder and use a little in HeathGlen’s Heirloom Tomato Jam, which gives it a delightful smoky kick.

I had a wonderful dinner last week at a restaurant in Minneapolis called Saffron and they used a bit of saffron (of course) in their tomato jam.  It was excellent, but I can’t grow saffron at the farm (unfortunately).  Home-smoked jalapenos, or chipotles, is something I  can grow and make however, and they add excellent flavor to a tomato jam.  Not better or worse than the saffron-infusion, but different.

Recipe for Pre-Season Tomato Jam “BLT”

Tomato Jam BLT - Deconstructed

Tomato Jam BLT – Deconstructed

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices egg bread or brioche, (or your favorite bread)
  • 2-3 slices thick bacon
  • 1-2 Tbsp tomato jam
  • 4 large leaves fresh arugula
  • 1 tsp Hellmans mayonaise

Directions:

  1. Get all your ingredients out so you can make the sandwich while the toast is still warm (mise en place).  Turn on your oven broiler.
  2. Generally you cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet over the stovetop, turning often, until it is as crispy as you like it.  I wanted to get the bacon to stay flat for the sandwich, so I cooked it in my Cuisinart Griddler, which has a top and bottom griddle plate similar to a panini-maker.  It worked like a charm, giving me flat but crispy bacon.  Drain the bacon on paper towels.
  3. Cut the crusts off of the bread and place the bread on a cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet under the broiler for a couple of minutes until it is light brown toast.  Turn and toast the other side.
  4. Assemble the sandwich.  Place a bit of mayonaise on one side of the toast and the tomato jam on the other piece of toast.  Top the mayonaise with arugula and then the bacon.  Place the other piece of toast (tomato spread side down) on the bacon toast and you have an awesome out-of-season BLT

I’ve used HeathGlen’s Heirloom Tomato Jam as the specialty spread, but you can use any good tomato jam that you can find.  Ours has a little bit of spice from our smoked jalapenos.  

Enjoy these till the real tomatoes come in!

Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Lime Marmalade Bread

Lime Marmalade Bread

I’m so weary of cold and snow these days and the taste and smell of warm citrus baked goods helps keep the hope alive that Spring and sunshine will indeed come to our farm.  Last week I made Lemon Bars with Limoncello Icing for the girl’s Easter care package and this week I decided to try something with one of our lime marmalades for the boy’s package.  The lime marmalade is very intense in flavor and held up well in the baking process.

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

My son is a junior in college and has recently developed a relationship with a girl that looks like it may have some staying power.  They both enjoy experimenting with food and drink and I have been using them  as “tasters” for the cocktails I’m developing which use our shrub syrups and simple syrups.  The “Mint Julep” that I made for him last summer was his favorite, and is now a standing request when he comes home at breaks.

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

I found these wonderful mint julep cups online, had them monogrammed with our last name initial, and sent it to him along with a recipe for the Mint Julep and two different syrups he can use in the recipe.  Now he can impress her with his “mixology” skills.  I certainly would have been impressed if my college boyfriend knew how to serve anything other than a cheap beer!

Recipe for the Lime Marmalade Cake

Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temp. (plus 1/2 Tbsp for glaze)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp grated orange or lemon zest
  • 3 eggs, at room temp
  • 2/3 cups lime marmalade, divided into two 1/3 cups
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (can use orange or lime also)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray
  2. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter sugar, and both zests for 3-5 minutes, or until it looks light and airy.. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1/3 cups of the lime marmalade, along with the citrus juice until everything is incorporated.
  3. In a clean bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, to include the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the marmalade mixture until just combined (do not overmix)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and light golden in the center. When cake has cooled for at least 10 minutes, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan by inserting a knife between the cake and the pan and running it along the edges. Turn cake out onto a plate.
  6. For the Glaze: Heat the other 1/3 cup of lime marmalade gently until it is melted and whisk in 1/2 Tbsp of butter and the powdered sugar. Whisk until no lumps of sugar remain. Spoon the glaze over the cake. Using a microplane, zest some lime and orange peel onto the top of the glaze. Cool completely before slicing.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/lime-marmalade-cake-easter-college-care-package/

Happy Easter!!!

 

Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart

Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart

Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart

We are rapidly coming upon “Entertaining Season” and cheese trays are one of the easiest, yet most elegant, ways to delight your guests with good food.  I developed a Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart for the MN Cheese Festival this year which highlights some of the most popular pairings of cheese and preserves.   The particular flavors of the jams listed on the chart are specific to HeathGlen’s Kitchen, but similar jams from elsewhere can easily be substituted.

It was really fun putting this photo together because I  got to try so many scrumptious combinations.  My husband walked in the kitchen towards the end of the photo session and, while the place was a huge mess, the array of textures and colors and smells was quite compelling to him.  He surprisingly said,  “that is some good looking food”, and proceeded to gobble up the leftovers.  The husband is a fairly taciturn type of guy, so hearing these words expressed so strongly was quite a surprise.  I think this will be our opening spread at the family Thanksgiving get-together this year.

Other great items to include on your cheese trays are nuts, honey and carmelized onions.  Wine and cheese pairings are a subject unto their own, and there are many resources to help you with that end of things.  Just google cheese and wine pairings and you will quickly be overwhelmed by information.

Another Version of a Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart:

Here is one other type of cheese and jam pairing chart that I put together a while ago.  It doesn’t have the actual photos of the pairings, but it defines the types of cheeses in a different way, which may be easier to work with.

Cheese & Jam Pairing: Chart B

Cheese and Jam Pairing: Chart B

Hopefully these Cheese and Jam Pairing Charts will be useful to you in putting together cheese trays for the holidays.  If you are interested in any of the specific jams I list, they can be found here at my online store.  

 

Cheers!

Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Icing

Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Icing

Coconut Cookies with Citrus Marmalade Icing

My son loves coconut cake and I used to make it for his birthday dinner as he was growing up.  Now that he is in college during his birthday, it’s a little tough to send a fluffy, iced, two-tier coconut cake through the mail.  So I defaulted to coconut cookies with marmalade icing in a care package, hoping it would satisfy the celebratory coconut cake yearning.

Always on the lookout for ways to use HeathGlen’s jams and marmalades, I decided to ice the coconut cookies with the citrus marmalades we make:  Meyer Lemon marmalade, Lime & Green Tea Marmalade, Grapefruit Campari Marmalade, and  Blood Orange Marmalade.  Thinking the delicate flavor of the coconut cookies might be overwhelmed by something like a buttercream frosting, I decided to use a thin citrus-based icing.  Lime is a classic pairing with coconut, but all of the citrus marmalade icings worked really well, adding a range of color and citrus backgrounds.

Recipe for Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Icing:

Ingredients for Cookies:

  • Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glaze

    Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glaze

    1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided into two 1/2 cups

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, (3/4 stick), softened to room temp.
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
  • 2 Tbsp oil, I use grapeseed but vegetable oil will work
  • 1 egg, large
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • extra coconut for topping

Directions for Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly oil the baking sheet), and sprinkle 1 cup of coconut evenly over the sheet (1/2 cup of coconut is for using later as topping).  Bake 5-8 minutes, turning a few times with a spatula, until lightly browned.  Watch carefully, as different ovens have different temperature variations.

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup of the browned coconut (only use 1/2 cup of the coconut here).

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, cream cheese, and oil until thoroughly combined.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Slowly add in the flour mixture, a half cup at a time so as not to fly all over the place.  Mix each time until flour is well-combined.

Form the dough into 1″ balls and place on the baking sheet.  Make sure the baking sheet has cooled down from toasting the coconut.  If it is still warm, turn the baking sheet over and run cold water on the underside so cookie dough will not spread on a warm sheet.  Slightly flatten the cookie balls with your hand

Bake about 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool before icing and topping with remaining coconut.

Citrus Marmalade Icing:

Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glaze

Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp citrus marmalade
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp citrus zest (optional)

Directions:

  1. While the cookies are cooling, mix together all of the ingredients for the marmalade glaze.
  2. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this, or alternatively, sift the powdered sugar and mix together with a spoon (just make sure to get all the clumps out).
  3. If the glaze is not thick enough, add extra powdered sugar, 1/8 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like.
  4. Spread glaze on the cooled cookies with a pastry brush or butter knife, and sprinkle with the extra toasted coconut.
  5. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

 

 

Plate of Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glazes

Plate of Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Glazes

My favorite glaze was the Blood Orange, but my son really liked the Meyer Lemon.  Wasn’t quite the showpiece as the two-tiered coconut birthday cake, but as the farmer said in the movie Babe…”that’ll do”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marmalade-Filled, Chocolate-Dipped Cookies: Using Jams in Desserts

Lemon Marmalade-Filled Ginger Thins Dipped in Chocolate

Lemon Marmalade-Filled Ginger Thins Dipped in Chocolate

A common question I get at the farmers’ markets is “What do I do with marmalades?”.  Well, other than slathering them on English Muffins, there is quite a range of uses, from sweet to savory.  Sandwiching a great marmalade between shortbread or ginger cookies and dipping them in chocolate ranks right up there in my world as one of the best (and easiest) uses in the sweet category.  More on savory uses later.

Marmalade-Filled, Chocolate-Dipped Cookies in a Hurry

I wanted to send an Easter care package to my college-aged kids and I didn’t really have time to bake and get to the post office in time, so I took some inspiration from an old newspaper clipping I had been carrying around for a while showing Orange Marmalade Ladyfingers Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate (recipe below).

Since we make jams and marmalades in our commercial farm kitchen, I had marmalades ready at hand.  All I needed was some thin cookies (so the marmalade taste would come through) and some dipping chocolate.  Not wanting to read about tempering chocolate and which kind of chocolate to use ( in a hurry), I picked up a Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping Bar at the store.  Voila!  These wonderful cookies came together in a snap and they were so good they almost didn’t make it to the kids.  My mom loved them and kept saying, “There’s something in these that is so good that I can’t distinguish…what is it?”  Hint: it’s the marmalade.  Use a good marmalade for the best cookies.

Orange Marmalade-Filled Cookies Dipped in Chocolate

Orange Marmalade-Filled Cookies Dipped in Chocolate

The Quick Version Recipe:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat the chocolate in a microwave or over a double burner until soft.  Let it cool slightly.
  2. Spread the marmalade on one side of a cookie and place another cookie on top of it to form sandwich cookie
  3. Dip in semi-cool chocolate and lay on wax paper to dry.

The Home-made Version with Ladyfingers:

This recipe is from Amy Jermain, a chef in Portland, Oregon.  I got the recipe out of the Oregonian newspaper years ago.

Orange Marmalade Ladyfingers Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate

Tray of Marmalade-Filled, Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

Tray of “Quick” Marmalade-Filled, Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6 Tbsp sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • about 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets.
  2. Beat egg yolks with 3 Tbsp of the sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Then add remaining 3 Tbsp of sugar until they again hold their peaks.
  3. Fold flour, salt and vanilla into the egg yolk mixture. Then careful fold in egg white mixture.
  4. Use a pastry bag with a large round tip to form the batter into “finger”-like cookies, about 3″ long, or use the back of a spoon to make 3-inch circles. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until edges begin to brown. Let cool completely. If making ahead, store with wax paper between layers.
  5. Spread your favorite marmalade on one cookie and top with another cookie. Repeat using remaining cookies.
  6. Place chocolate in a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Very careful melt the chocolate until smooth and let cool to a manageable temperature (the chocolate will begin to solidify a little). Dip half of each marmalade cookie into chocolate. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

I’ll be going out to Portland, my home town, next fall to visit friends.  I think I better look Amy Jermain up and see where she is today.  My quick version of marmalade-filled, chocolate-dipped cookies, inspired by her home-made version was excellent and I thank her for the inspiration!

Marmalade-Filled Cookies dipped in Chocolate

Marmalade-Filled Cookies dipped in Chocolate

Tip for Quality Cookies, even in a hurry:

Please use good marmalades.  Some of the grocery store brands are way too sweet without much citrus.

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