Last weekend I had two more very distinct experiments I wanted to try out. The first was to capture the flavor of smoke in a jam and the other was to recreate a holiday drink I enjoy.
For the first I used pears. I felt like they had a texture that would soak up smoke nicely. At the same time however, I didn't want to cook the pears, causing them to get mushy and over cooked by the time i was ready to make jam, so i used a cold smoking technique. Rather than heating the fruit over a grill, I put them in a bag and used a smoke gun (small device with a fan that can force smoke through a tube). I did a few rounds of this smoke treatment, then sugared the pears, added vanilla beans and cooked it down. The smoke held up surprisingly well, but this is one of those you love it or hate it jams i think.
The second was a my first grape jelly of the year with the juice from a few weeks ago. I adapted a recipe for Glogg - a swedish mulled wine from the holidays. I infused the base spices (citrus peel, cardomon, cinnamon, clove, & cinnamon) with a small amount of vodka overnight. The next day I strained this mixture in with my grape juice, sugar, port wine, dried figs, & raisins, then cooked down to a jelly. This one is more appealing to w ide audience i think, though the mulled spice flavor will surprise those expecting a normal grape jelly.