April / May 2014
Spring is near, which means an abundance of fresh produce will soon be available at the farmer’s market. This is the perfect time to make homemade jam. However, jam doesn’t always have to be used a spread for your morning toast. Here are a few savory sauces that will make a welcome addition to your dinner table.
Dark Cherry and Bacon Chutney
Try this smoky sweet chutney on hamburgers or as a glaze for meatloaf.
Makes 2 cups
- 3 slices of uncooked bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons bourbon
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 (12 oz) bag of frozen cherries, thawed (or 1 ½ cups fresh cherries, pitted)
- 1 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the bacon in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until mostly crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined saucer. Reserve the remaining bacon grease.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Return the bacon to the pan along with the remaining ingredients.
Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium heat. Cover the pot, then cook for 10 minutes or until the cherries have softened.
Remove the lid and let the sauce simmer until much of the liquid has cooked off, approximately 10-15 minutes more.
Add an additional sugar, salt, or pepper as needed to taste. Remove pan from burner and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Transfer chutney to a blender or food processor. Pulse mixture a few times until it is chunky.
Store any remaining chutney in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar
Cracked black pepper lends a little kick to this sweet sauce. Pairs well with a soft, mild cheese or poultry.
Makes 2 cups
- 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries (about 1 pint), trimmed and quartered (if using frozen, make sure they are thawed)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons pectin, optional, for thickness
Combine all ingredients except the pectin in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, stirring frequently, skimming an foam that develops on the surface, for 15 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and is translucent.
For a more jam-like consistency, add pectin one tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly before adding additional pectin. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
Remove pan from heat and cool preserves completely. Store any remaining preserves in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Note: Ground black pepper can be substituted for cracked black pepper, but you may want to reduce the amount to ¼ – ½ teaspoon. The pepper could be too overpowering otherwise.
Peach Jalapeño Jam
Sweet and tangy with a warm kick at the end, this jam works well as a glaze over pork chops or pork tenderloin.
- 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
- 3-6 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 tablespoons powdered low or no-sugar needed pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
Place peach slices and peppers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until peaches reach your desired consistency (depends on if you like big chunks or little chunks of peaches in your jam).
Combine mixture with lemon juice, water, and pectin in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a hard rolling boil.
Stir in sugar. Return to a boil and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jam reaches desired consistency. Jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
Remove pan from heat. Skim off any foam that has formed on the surface.
Allow jam to cool completely. Store any remaining preserves in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Makes 8 cups