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Aug 7, 2008 07:51 AM

Out of the Ordinary Ingredient Combos for Jam

ajcraig posted a great recipe for Mango Jalapeno Roasted Garlic Jam and toodie jane voiced my sentiments about looking for other unusual combos for jams (or chutneys, jellies, etc) so I thought I'd start a thread for CHer's to add their own unusual, but tasty combos. What have you put together in the preserving kettle that goes beyond the standard jam and tastes great?

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  1. Persimmons and dates

    Lychee and green tea.

    I've always wanted to try something with roasted chestnuts, maybe next year when my apricot tree starts bearing fruit ...

    1. A good friend combined strawberries and lime (cause he ran out of lemons) and the accidental combo turned out to be sensational.

      1. Great, Morwen! (still looking for recipes myself)

        May I chime in here and ask for actual TESTED RECIPES rather than just exotic sounding combo's.

        Because fruit acidity varies so much, you can't just willy nilly change ingredients ina standard recipe and have it come out right (jelled).

        Who's made some great combo jams and what are the recipes?

        7 Replies
        1. re: toodie jane

          I don't know, sometimes I would rather have the inspiration than the recipe - because I'm just going to screw with the recipe anyway. Amazingly enough, I've only really have one jam fail to jell. It's not that hard to make a decent estimate based on proportions from other recipes. Of course, certain additions (versus fruit combinations) don't affect the jell at all, like nuts, spices, etc. For instance, I add sesame seeds to fig jam, which gives it a nice something-something. And I've added cardamom to orange marmalade.

          But I will say that anyone looking for exciting jam recipes should run to the store (or, um., click really fast over to your favorite online book dealer) and buy Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber. Or at least, I think it's Ferber. I'm a little feverish at the moment and too damned sick to go look it up. But, buy, does that book have some great recipes.

          1. re: curiousbaker

            here's the link to the book on amazon:

            The reviews are all pretty good and the names of some of the jams sound interesting, but nearly all reviews had the caveat that this book isn't for novice jammers as it lacks vital basic information about preserving and safety. But for experienced preservers it may be just the ticket.

            1. re: morwen

              I bought this book this summer. I haven't made any yet. The recipes are lovely, the combinations simple but intriguing. Ferber doesn't use pectin unless its her recipe for green apple pectin. Her most common method involves macerating the fruit in sugar, often overnight. Sometimes heating it and macerating again. Its not a method a novice may think of but it definately is of novice competence. I suspect her products have a softer set than some may expect. She also doesn't follow the canning process many may be familair with from say, the Ball canning book. But you can sterilize your jars and waterbath can for 5 minutes and I doubt it would change her recipes.

              1. re: chowmel

                Yes - I'm uptight enough to do a quick sealing bath, and it doesn't affect anything. The method of macerating and heating (sometimes with the fruit strained out, sometimes more than once) is my favorite for getting flavorful jam with hunks of fruit. (Helen Witty does this also). The set is somewhat lighter, but it's not very loose.

            2. re: curiousbaker

              I LOVE this book. I'm currently mascerating peaches for her peaches with pinot noir and cinnamon jam.


            3. re: toodie jane

              Jams are so easy to make that I just follow a basic "jam making" procedure.

              For example, on the lychee/green tea jam noted above I did the following:

              1. Peel, pit lychees and place in a medium saucepan. Use enough lychees so that you fill the saucepan to about a 1" depth.
              2. Add some water so that it covers the lychees.
              3. Drop in a healthy handful of whole, green tea leaves
              4. Bring to boil, then allow to simmer until the mixture takes on a thick consistency.
              5. Remove tea leaves.
              6. Cool and refrigerate in sterlized canning jar.

              1. re: toodie jane

                Yep that's what I'd like to see also, tested recipes. I can come up with interesting sounding combinations all day and I have no fear of whether something will jell or not, but some combos sound great and taste like....well anyway, I've been down that street.

              2. Pears and crystallized ginger.

                1. Not all that unusual I suppose, but I make a blueberry orange amaretto jam that is by far the best jam I've made out of perhaps 20 different kinds. The recipe came from a Canadian cookbook. It's quite soft set so it's to die for in yogurt or on ice cream.