Well I'm in a bit of a jam today, so I figured, Why not write a post about a jam recipe, if not solely for the irony?
So let's get jammin':
France is full of flowers. Like, I mean, roses in every windowsill, cherry blossoms lining the streets of Paris, fleur-de-lis because they sound like my name, I dig it all.
But ya wanna know which one I super dig? Lavender. My friend Gee always makes fun of me for my obsession with lavender essential oil, but then when he gets a headache and needs some of my "hippie drugs", who does he come to? ME, BECAUSE ESSENTIAL OILS WORK WONDERS.
Besides it being a fantastic herbal remedy, it also tastes incredible when added to recipes. In France right now, we have loads of peaches. We also have loads of processed jams and jellies in this Chateau and in the supermarkets, and I want to know what ingredients I'm putting on my bread. So I made my own. (And no, you don't need pectin to make jams or preservatives.)
Okay, recipe time.
What ya need:
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peaches
- 2 tablespoons of lavender buds
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of apple juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Combine lavender buds and water in a tiny saucepan. Boil. Take off of heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Pour liquid through a strainer into a measuring cup. Keep the liquid and lavender buds!
- Slice ya' peaches as thin as possible.
- Mix together your peaches, apple juice concentrate, honey, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lavender liquid in a nonstick skillet. Add 1 teaspoon steeped lavender buds, if you want. (I always do, it makes it look cool, AND gives more flavor.)
- Bring to a boil, then take off of boil. (I know, mixed signals.) Let simmer for 5-15 minutes, stirring and smashing peaches until it looks jam-my.
- Chill in fridge for about an hour.
- Put this jam on everything.
Fun little tidbits:
- The more ripe your fruit is, the less natural pectin it has in it.
- Lavender is used to reduce stress and anxiety, heal burns and cuts, improve sleeps, balances blood sugar, alleviates headaches, improves eczema and acne, and slows aging with powerful anti-oxidants. I'd write an entire page on why lavender rocks, but you'd close the tab by then.
- Also, lavender is used for purification and cleaning purposes. The word lavender originally stems from from the Latin word lavare which means "to wash".
- Most pectin you buy at the supermarket is produced in Europe and imported to the U.S.. It has a limited shelf life; usually you don't want to keep it from year to year, as it's ability to gel will decrease.
- Ya' grandma probably didn't use pectin, and while it does occur naturally in some fruits, I don't dig it. i.e.- my use of apple juice concentrate instead.
- In order for commercial pectin to set, 55-85% of the jam or jelly must be sugar. This means that your homemade creation would contain more sugar than fruit! Nah. More peaches, please.
Oh, hey, also, this recipe does not have a whole lot of added sugar (you're welcome) because the fruits are pretty sweet as it is, but if you like it crazy sweet, add some more honey or simple syrup or any other sweetener that you dig. But not Splenda. That stuff is gross.