Sunday, July 31, 2011

More culinary experimentation

We have been making jam since the early-in-the-relationship strawberry picking date landed us with waayyy more berries than we could eat or pie. Turns out, though, only Americans use commercial pectin in our home-jam making. At least, we can't find pectin in stores anywhere else in the world. So we started looking into making our own pectin.

Supposedly, it's quite easy: chop up some underripe apples; simmer them forever in just enough water to cover them; strain through cheesecloth overnight; boil the resulting liquid until it has halved. We did this last night/this morning.

Today the weather was perfect - sunny and cool. We decided not to travel so far outside the city and instead set our sights on the recently-opened New Holland Island. Sadly, it's an "I can see it but I can't get there" place, so we aborted the attempt and decided to stop by Sennaya Ploschad instead and see what produce they had. Peaches were cheap enough and hard enough to find jam-wise here, so we decided that would be our test batch.

You can't find jam recipes that include homemade pectin because it all depends on the pectin content in the liquid you have on hand. So we muddled through and got ... peach syrup. It was our backup plan as maple syrup is ridiculously expensive and I love my pancakes, however it means we had too much sugar or not enough pectin. We'll try again someday and report back.

btw - today's culinary explorations included some old favorites - waffles, cobbler (blueberries at Sennaya!) - and a first try at plov (an Uzbek dish). Thank you to my friend who taught me how and my other friend who took much better notes than me :)

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