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Mock Strawberry Fig Preserves

Strawberry Fig Preserves made with figs, sugar and strawberry jello. So easy and so good! mjskitchen.com

 

Figs seem to be one of those fruits that people love or they don’t like at all.  At the house where I grew up, there was a huge fig tree in the back yard that was quite prolific and produced almost every year.  During the summer we had an abundance of fresh figs which a few members of the family enjoyed right off the tree and the other could leave them be.  My mother and I were a couple of the ones that loved figs and could eat them by the bowl full.  However, we had more figs than we could eat so in order to not waste a single fig, my mother made these Strawberry Fig Preserves with JELL-O.  Everyone loved these preserves!  They are a great compromise for those who love figs and those who don’t.

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Quick Easy Jams (No pectin / Small Batch)

A roundup of quick easy jams recipes that yield 1 to 2 jars of jam, take less than an hour to make and require no storebought pectin. #jams @mjskitchen

For the next few months there will be an abundance of fresh fruit and it would be a shame to let the season pass without making a few jars of jam. So to celebrate the bounty of fruit now available, let’s do a little jammin.

The only ingredients you need for a jar of quick easy jam are 1 – 2 pounds of fruit, some sugar or honey, and a little lemon juice or other source of natural pectin.  No need to go to the store and buy a bunch of jars, boxes of pectin, and special tools. If you have a sauce pan, something to stir with, and a pint container or two, you can have a jar of jam in no time at all.

Below are some of my favorite quick easy jam recipes that can be made in an hour or less, yield one to two jars of jam, use a relatively small amount of fruit, require no sealing lids, water baths, and no store bought pectin.  I’m sure you’ll find at least one jam you’ll want to make soon.  I made a jar of the apricot jam this morning and can’t wait for toast and jam in morning!

Be sure to check out the Kitchen Notes for tips on how to make quick easy jams.

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Pork Kabobs with Tomato Red Chile Jam

Pork kabobs marinated in tomato red chile jam | mjskitchen.com

 

A few weeks ago you were introduced to my Tomato Red Chile Jam, a sweet, spicy, and savory jam.  There are several ways to use this jam, but one of our favorites is as the marinade for pork kabobs.  If you already have made the jam, the marinade and the pork kabobs are so easy to prepare and grill.  As kabobs, the pork grills relatively quick and can be ready for the table within 45 minutes from applying the marinade.

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Tomato Red Chile Jam

Tomato chile jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile

 

This Tomato Chile Jam has been my favorite sweet and savory jam for several years now.  I was tempted to keep it to myself but it’s just too good not to share.  It’s not a PB&J jam nor a jam for toast. It’s more of  a jam to eat with crackers, pour over baked brie or use as a marinade.  My favorite use is as a marinade for pork, such as these pork kabobs with tomato chile jam marinade. Continue Reading →

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Quick & Easy Cherry Jam

A quick & easy cherry jam, no pectin, just cherries, sugar and lemon juice | mjkitchen.com

 

Very seldom do I get a special request to make something, but last week Bobby came home with 2 pounds of fresh cherries and asked “Will you make me a cherry jam?”.  How could I refuse?  The 2 pounds gave us enough cherries for a pint of jam, plus a few to snack on.

The recipe below is one of my quick & easy jams made with fruit and no pectin.  It makes one jar of cherry jam that is intended to be refrigerated and eaten, not sealed and stored for the winter.  There are three ingredients – cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  The process requires no large pots of boiling jars and lids, and only about 20 minutes of stirring.  The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries.  The result of about 45 minutes of work? … a pint of cherry heaven!

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Red Chile Strawberry Jam

A quick and easy chile strawberry jam with red chile flakes and no pectin | mjskitchen.com

 

If you love sweet and spicy then you’re going to love this Red Chile Strawberry Jam! With every bite you get the luscious sweetness of strawberries soon followed by a burst of spicy chile that continues to tickle the tongue long after the jam has moved on. It’s a great jam for toast, biscuits, crackers and our favorite, a soft double cream brie.  But once you taste it, you’ll probably just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the jar.

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Raspberry Mole Jam

Raspberry Mole Jam made with spice, red chile and a touch of cocoa. mjskitchen.com

 

Have you ever had black mole (aka Mole Negro)?  Mole Negro is a dark, rich, spicy sauce that is one of the seven moles of Oaxaca, Mexico. I made it once with great success, but it was a very time consuming and laborious process, so much so that the next time I wanted to make it, I wimped out and bought some from the local Mexican market. My love of mole is what drove me to make this  Raspberry Mole Jam. I wanted a sweet and spicy jam with a little nuttiness, and the richness of a black mole.  For this jam, raspberries are cooked down with a little sugar (less than normal), minced dates, almonds, red chile, chocolate and spice.  You’ll be hooked on the first bite.
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Mixed Berry Jam – Quick and Easy

Mixed Berry Jam - quick & easy, no pectin. mjskitchen.com

 

When it comes to making jam, the days of torturing my feet with a 12 hour day processing the fruit and making 20 jars of the same jam are over.  Now I make jam one jar at a time and as needed or whenever I have excess fruit that needs to use before it becomes compost material.  Because we eat a lot of berries, we usually have a lot of berries; therefore, there is almost always have a jar of Mixed Berry Jam in the refrigerator.

This recipe for the perfect jar of Mixed Berry Jam is one I’ve been working on since last spring.  The problem has been finding the best ratio of fruits that yield the flavor of “mixed berries”.  What I mean by that is one of my earlier batches tasted like blueberry jam with a hint of other berries.  Another batch, with matching amounts of blueberries and raspberries, tasted like raspberry jam.  The recipe I’m sharing with today isn’t dominated by any one berry flavor; therefore, you’ll be able to taste “hints” of each berry used – a little blueberry, a little raspberry and a little blackberry.  If you don’t have blackberries, you can substitute strawberries with the same mixed berry jam result.  Both versions are delicious!

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Watermelon Rind Candies

Don't throw away the watermelon rind. Turn it into sweet and crispy Watermelon Rind Candies or Preserves #watermelon #preserves @mjskitchen.

 

In my watermelon post a while back I mentioned that my mother saved the watermelon rind and made watermelon rind preserves.  After we all finished off the watermelon, she would cut away any remaining pink from the rind, peel the rind, then slice it into spears. All of the rind spears were transferred to a big pot and layered with sugar, then left to sit overnight. The next day she cooked them down “until done”.  🙂  After they cooked I helped her pack the spears lengthwise into sterilized mason jars and then seal the jars.  By fall we had enough watermelon rind preserves to last the winter and then some. This was the inspiration for these watermelon rind candies.

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