I've been busy lately. Two weddings, a trip to Iowa, a camping trip to Lake Superior and hanging out at Traditional Ways Gathering, nighttime walks around the Minneapolis lakes, gardening, lots and lots of crocheting in an attempt to get an Etsy site set up... I really haven't been cooking much, honestly. Or blogging. Maybe you've noticed (I'd like to think I have readers that miss me when I'm gone...)? Well, I finally got my act together last night. I cooked and blogged and now today I publish. Holy smokes!
I recently came into a lot of honey. I bartered some handmade jar cozies for some honey at the Traditional Ways Gathering, and a friend blessed me with three jars of honey as he was packing his kitchen to move across the country to Berkeley, CA for a new job. What's a girl to do with all this honey? Especially a girl that really doesn't eat much in the way of sweetener. Yikes. I've been eyeing up honey jam recipes for a while, and given my abundance of honey, decided it was finally time to give it a go. Homemade jam makes an excellent currency in bartering circles, is the perfect last-minute gift, and is so darn tasty! I especially love plum jam, and grabbed some of the last Michigan plums from the co-op, some lovely little Italian prune plums.
Canning adventures, here we come! I had never made honey jam before or used Pamona's pectin, so I was a little nervous. But I set forth with determination, and embarked on my third canning project.
It was a massive success. Not only did it totally set up into a lovely, thick jam that is almost more the consistency of fruit butter or curd, the flavor is divine. It is totally addictive; aromatic, sweet, rich, and scented with vanilla. I canned six 8-oz. jars, but kept the seventh out to eat right away. Since I had already heated up my kitchen, was sweating like crazy, and was on a roll, I decided to attack some of the berries in my freezer and make more jam. So, whipped up a batch of honey-sweetened spicy raspberry lime jam, a recipe that I will share with you as well in another post. Hip hip hooray for jam!
Thankfully, I had a few slices of this tasty coconut flour bread leftover from a loaf I made last week, and knew that this morning's breakfast needed to be toast and jam. It was absolutely delightful, so I wanted to share both recipes with you, sort of a double header of awesomeness.
For my readers with multiple allergies, I do want to point out that the jam contains citrus (lemon juice), and the bread contains duck eggs (you could use chicken eggs instead). Lemon and lime juice and duck eggs are two of the exciting things I've been able to bring back to my diet, so I'm taking full advantage! But I know that many of you come here because you can find recipes without those things, so to you, sorry! Don't worry, I'll still post lots of recipes that don't use those things.
For those of you that can eat those things, enjoy!
Basic Coconut Flour Bread
yield one 9x5 loaf
4 duck eggs (6 chicken eggs)
1/2 cup melted butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, or other neutral tasting oil
1-2 Tbsp honey or other sweetener (optional)
3/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
Heat oven to 350º F and line a 9"x5" bread pan with parchment.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs until evenly beaten, then add melted butter and honey and whisk until smooth. In another bowl whisk together dry ingredients until light and fluffy, then add to eggs and whisk until smooth. Batter will become very thick. Spread firmly into lined pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
Honey Sweetened Vanilla Plum Jam
yield 6-7 cups of jam
I used Italian prune plums, but any kind of plum should work. Pamona's Pectin can be found at natural grocers and online. Each package of Pamona's includes the pectin as well as calcium powder to make the calcium water, and a handy recipe chart and instructions. Don't be intimidated - canning really is easy!!! If you don't want to can, you can just transfer this to jars and keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
2 1/2 - 3 lbs fresh plums, pitted, chopped, and pureed (4 cups pureed)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2-1 cup honey (I used 3/4 cup)
3 tsp Pamona's pectin
4 tsp calcium water
6 or 7 8-oz. canning jars (or proportional number of larger or smaller jars)
blender or food processor
1-2 large pots for canning (deep enough to fill with enough water to cover jars by 1 inch)
1 saucepan for heating jam
helpful tools: canning basket or jar-lifting tongs
Wash jars, tops, and rings well with hot soapy water, rinse, and place in pots of hot water. I usually fill the pots with enough water to cover the jars by one inch, remove the jars, bring it to a boil, then shut off the burner. Then put the clean, empty jars, covers, and rings in the hot water and let them sit until I'm ready to fill them.
Prepare the calcium water per the instructions in the Pamona's box, and set aside.
Wash plums well. Slice in half, remove pit, and chop. Place in a blender or food processor with lemon juice and blend until totally smooth, working in batches as necessary, until you reach 4 cups of pureed plum. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, and add to blender along with calcium water, then mix briefly to combine.
In a small bowl or measuring cup stir together honey and pectin until smooth. Transfer fruit puree to a saucepan and heat the mashed fruit until boiling, then add honey-pectin mixture and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin. Return mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
Remove jars from hot water and set on a double thickness of towel or cloth. Fill jars 1 inch from the top with hot jam mixture. Wipe rims clean. Screw on two-piece cover.
Place jars in pots of boiling water (water should cover jars by 1"), cover pot, and process for 10 minutes, working in batches as necessary as size of your pot allows. After 10 minutes, remove jars from pot and set on a double thickness of towel, away from drafts. Allow to rest for 24 hours before checking seal on jars, then tighten ring and store. Will keep for 1 year sealed, and lasts for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator after opening.