Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ground Cherry Jam and Other Stories

Well this post was supposed to be about my adventures in Jamland (a principality of the Indepentant Republic of Confiture) but I had such an interesting day today that I had include that too. Firstly, I visited the Salon des Vins et Fromages and sampled some GREAT local wines and cheeses. Notably a selection of 4 goat cheeses and 2 goat sausages from La Chevriere de Monnoir. I bought a bottle of wine from Carone Wines, Bin33 it was called.

Unfortunately I lost 11 of my 30 coupon tickets so we left a little early. THEN we headed to the old port for oysters at Mechant Boeuf. It was my first time eating oysters, and frankly I was terrified! Although I didn't like the little sauces they gave me (Red wine vinegar and shallot sauce was fruity and a little cloying. Tarragon and Pernod was okay but nothing stellar) but with a little lemon juice and tabasco, they were decent.
Sure, sure, a little boogery, but not horrific like I have been told. And the flavour was really good, I will definitely re-try. I'm impressed with myself! Perhaps though, 13 oysters was a little much for a maiden voyage.

Okay on with the Jams and Jellies! I saw Aimée Bourque of Under the High Chair's Jam Swap and decided I wanted to participate, but I'm not a sweets person so I needed practice. I don't think this post really qualifies for the Jam swap, since it is a bit wobbly, but it was a great inspiration. I started with sparkling wine jelly, but not only did it not set well but I think I added too much sugar. I decided to add more pectin to help with the gelling, but I used the crystals and... well you can see what happened to it. Idiot that I am, I saw it in the fridge and thought the crystals were bubbles. I was all impressed that the sparkling wine kept the bubbles. Yeah, no....

Okay! Try #2 I will use fruit, and I will use liquid pectin (I'll save the Jam sans added-pectin for a more experienced effort. I.e. some other time). A few weeks ago it was ground cherry mania here in Quebec. I bought 3 containers and set about hulling them. Here below are ground cherries.

And these are the hulled specimens, 17 hours later. Okay not 17 but it took about 1/2 an hour to hull the little buggers.
I ended up with about 3 cups.

And 1/2 cup of sugar
(2 x 1/4 cup. I know, I know, the picture is of a 1/4 cup... geez!).
It really was enough, I can't imagine throwing 2 cups of sugar in there. We're making JAM here people, not candy!

The ground cherries went into the pot with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water, plus 2 tbsp lime juice.

And then it goes KERRAAZY with the boiling! Once they get soft and start swelling and/or bursting, go at them with a potato masher. I then added a pouch of liquid pectin and boiled for about 5 minutes.

Here is the final product. It is still a little loose, but FAR more successful than the wine jelly. Without adding anything really there's almost a creamy vanilla flavour to it.

I think Kyle seems to think that it is too precious to slap on some bread and munch on, but I have pursuaded him...

Cheers my dears! Please comment, and bring your friends :)


  1. This sounds and looks VERY appropriate for my swap. I'd be honored to include you in the round up, if you'll let me!

    PS. Someone has already submitted their burn nasty jam that ended up in the garbage.We're real people, learning about jam, and supporting each other, that's all!

    Deadline was last night but send me a photo to be included.


  2. Oh that would be great! Thanks :)
    I'll send the photo now.

  3. I try to always use a low sugar pectin--I also wonder about jam being turned into candy!

    And any jam that doesn't set is great for other applications, like topping main dishes and ice cream, as I'm sure you've discovered. :)

  4. Or eating with a spoon!!!

    Being a jam newbie, I didn't even know about low sugar pectin, I'll have to read the boxes more carefully. Thanks!

  5. I had a ground cherry plant this summer and sooo wanted to make jam! Maybe next year. Yours looks great!

  6. I love to read because i think we can learn too much about what i read. Actually i learned how to make jam in one blog like this. Now i am looking for variaties and a better taste. In fact i must to say this blog is absolutely amazing, and i am sure i will do what this blog say.

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