Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pear and Vanilla Jam

At Sticky Spoon, we spend a lot of time hunting for the best fruit for our jams and this week was spent shopping around for pears with the very best flavour. After much consideration, discussion with farmers and of course, sampling, we settled on biodynamic fruit from Harvey's Orchards at the Farmers' Market. Their Bosc pears were just perfect for the job, an explosion of pear flavour, hints of floral notes and a subtle, delicate sweetness characteristic of fruit picked at the peak of its season. We certainly are getting to know fruit on a whole new level but wether we are becoming fruit connaisseurs or total fruit geeks is up to you.

We proudly carried home over 50 pounds of those pretty pears (thank you Angela for almost breaking your back) but we won't lie to you, those tiny little things took forever to prep. It was worth every minute of labour because the results are, in our humble opinion, just perfect; a delicate, smooth and pleasantly sweet jam with a subtle hint of vanilla. In addition to the taste, the fact that we combined a large quantity of Bosc pears with a few pounds of Harvey's Orchards' red pears resulted in a gorgeous rose colored jam.

We both took a jar home with us and reached for a bottle of bourbon. A generous spoonful of pear vanilla jam, a couple of ounces of bourbon, lemon juice, freshly grated ginger and a few drops of bitters were shaken and served over ice as a one of the most satisfying cocktails we have had in a long time. The rest of the pear and vanilla jam made for a delicious breakfast over walnut bread and brie. We can't wait to share it with you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cranberry-Apple Jam with Citrus

Apple picking is an activity that we, at Sticky Spoon, look forward to every year. Autumn colours combined with the brisk air, beautiful pumpkin patches and corn mazes always make our trip out to the country a memorable one without fail. This year was no exception and, as a bonus, we brought back a car load of apples that tortured us with their amazingly fresh scent the whole way home.

100 pounds of apples, all of which individually chosen by yours truly, were just begging to be chopped up and cooked into deliciousness. We decided to combine apples with cranberries, also locally in season at this time of year, and created a nice, chunky jam with a ton of flavour.

After careful planning, research and testing, we chose to add to the apples and cranberries just the right amount of crystallized ginger and citrus zest for a little zing, but mellowed the flavours down with the addition of sweet vanilla bean, freshly squeezed orange juice and a touch of cinnamon. Needless to say, the production kitchen smelled amazing this week.

The result is a pleasantly sweet and aromatic Autumn jam with hints of spice and citrus, perfect for Christmas gifts. It has plenty of that cranberry zing to pair with your holiday turkey, but is soft and sweet enough be eaten first thing in the morning over scones and muffins.

This week, our jams are being reviewed by a jury for the farmers' market and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Our Sticky Spoon logo has arrived and we are looking for a company to print off hundreds of stickers. We cannot wait to stick them all onto our jars and show you the results. We will let you know as soon we can finally start selling our jam! We have been working on this for a long time now and have cases and cases of jars just waiting to be sent off to a new home. Thank you for reading and patiently waiting for jam, we appreciate your kind support.