Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jalapeno-Spiked Cherry Preserves

I love jelly on toast - whether for breakfast in the morning or in sandwiches in the afternoon. Alas, it's something I don't often eat anymore because store-bought jellies are so full of sugar and always feel like a bit too much of an indulgence. Making it at home though allows you to know exactly what goes into every tablespoonful! This jam gets an extra kick from the jalapenos. Make it on a weekend afternoon and you've got breakfast for the week ahead - just spread it on toast on your way out the door. It would be great on English muffins too. The whole wheat English muffins from Whole Foods are completely vegan.

In a saucepan, combine one cup raw sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, a dash each of salt, ground nutmeg and ground cloves, two jalapenos, sliced, half of a granny smith apple, chopped, and 1 lb. sweet cherries pitted and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups worth before you pit them).

The recipe didn't say whether or not to seed the jalapenos (I did) or whether or not to peel the granny smith (so I didn't).

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for fifty minutes, skimming foam from the top occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups. Cool the mixture (it will thicken as it cools), then pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

(A note from your guinea pig - keep it on a high simmer, for those fifty minutes, otherwise you'll find that it won't have reduced to the 2 cups called for. I ended up having to simmer almost half again as long).

You'll wind up with two cups of jam that will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge. A serving of two tablespoons is 80 calories.

jalapenos $0.44
cherries $9.98
granny smith apple $1.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance