Entries from January 24th, 2013

Grape & Ginger Jam

32

24.1.13

Grape & Ginger Jam

 

I have been thinking a lot about how much time I spend in front the computer, on my phone, tablet etc etc and I am not particularly happy about it. Of course I am most of the time doing my blog work or reading/learning lots of wonderful stuff online but while at it I also just ‘wander off’ into several links and from there to more links… it just never ends. I know this is not just me. We all are hooked to our gadgets these days. My day starts and ends with my phone or laptop and I am not proud of it. I have decided that I need to do something to change this.

Also… apart form reducing the computer time, I also want to just slow down myself a little more. I know it might sound strange to many of you. Today, when most women are juggling work, home, babies, hobbies and many more things, you might wonder why I would want to slow down my ‘already slow’ life! But I have realized that I am just not the best person to play the modern day ‘super woman’ role doing the perfect balance act.

I think some of you already know that we are choosing not to send our 4 year old daughter to school (not in the near future at least!). Being and growing with her, exploring and enjoying everything that comes my way, is the life I am choosing for myself. I have no doubt that only she is my priority right now. To match the enthusiasm of a super active 4 year old, to live up to her and to parent her with a certain philosophy that we intend to, I just need to keep myself as calm and energetic as possible.

 

Bangalore Blue grapes

 

I have been posting at least 2 recipes a week here but I am going to reduce that from now on. All you fellow bloggers reading this know exactly how much work and time goes into every blog post. I have realized that to be able to spend more quality time with myself, I need to spend less time blogging. I have tried this earlier and I haven’t been completely successful. I get way too exited about the food I cook and can’t resist sharing it with you all but unfortunately I might have to hold myself back. I know you all will understand and respect my thoughts.

That kind of explains why I haven’t posted anything here for almost a week this time. Of course I have been cooking and baking a ton but I consciously stayed away from blogging it. I have been on a major preserving mode! For the first time ever I have frozen my own peas, other local varieties of beans, some strawberries and grapes! You know how much time shelling several kilos of beans takes right? My daughter has been in love with ‘pink milk’ (as she calls it) which is basically milk with a splash of strawberry syrup. So I made lots of strawberry jam so that I can stir it with milk and give it to her whenever she asks for it. I followed this beautiful recipe by Revati and it turned out great! While I was at it, I thought i’ll make a few more bottles of grape jam thinking I might be able to get through a few months without buying any jams from outside.

 

Grape & Ginger Jam

 

Today I am sharing the recipe of my last batch of Jam which is this gorgeous maroon ‘Grape and Ginger Jam’. I have made this jam with a local variety of grapes called ‘Bangalore Blue’! What an appropriate name for this black grape variety which looks sometimes blue and sometimes maroon but always tastes just wonderful! Bangalore Blue Grapes are juicy fruits full of seeds with thick black skin. They have a unique tart and sweet taste which makes my mouth water!

While I can eat several kilos of these fruits all by myself my husband finds them way too sour. The only way he likes this fruit is in a super sweet juice that his mom makes. For the juice you boil fresh grapes with sugar and a bit of ginger till the fruits disintegrate. Then remove the skin and the seeds and your pulpy grape juice is ready!

 

Grape & Ginger Jam

 

I made this ‘Grape & Ginger Jam’ inspired by the juice recipe and it was brilliant! I am very happy with the texture of the jam. It’s really thick, sticky and has a beautiful maroon color. This recipe results in a jam which is quite tangy instead of being overly sweet. I am not a fan of jams in which you can only taste sugar.

Apart from serving this jam with your morning toast, you can also use is in cakes, cookies and other bakes. Have a dollop of this sweet and tangy jam with a blow of homemade yogurt for breakfast or aa a snack. I actually eat it even for dessert. I am looking forward to adding a little bit of this to my smoothies for a lovely tang and of course the deep maroon color.

Between a few bottle of this jam and a few bottles of strawberry jam I am clearly a happy girl.

 

Grape & Ginger Jam

 

Notes:

Do not skip the ginger. It adds a beautiful new dimension to the flavor.

I have made this jam only with Bangalore Blue grapes so I don’t know if this recipe will work with any other variety.

Unfortunately I never get organic grapes. Please wash you grapes very well in warm water in 2-3 times, soak it in salt water for about 15 to 12 minutes to ged rid of all the pesticide sediments on the surface of the fruits.

While making the jam, you can use the remaining skin to make a grape juice. Just simply combine it with water and stir to get all the remaining juices out of it, strain and serve.

I have no idea for how long I can store this jam. I am currently refrigerating it to be on the safer side but then again I am not too sure if it’ll last for more than a couple of months anyway.

Do not be tempted to make this in large batches. The jam thickens because of the natural pectin present in the fruits and if you use a large quality it’ll not set.

I have made the same jam using unrefined cane sugar. It’s not the same as white sugar but still works good.

I know this jam has quite a lot of white sugar in it  and I usually avoid sugar in my recipes. I went ahead with jam making mainly because it’s still better to make it at home than buying as at least I know what goes in it.

I found this great jam recipe using honey instead of sugar. I will definitely try it next time. I am not sure it’ll work with Bangalore Blue Grapes as they are quite sour but It might work with other sweeter fruits.

 

Grape & Ginger Jam

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of cleaned grapes
  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger

Clean and wash your grapes well. Combine the grapes, crushed ginger and sugar in a thick bottomed vessel and slowly bring it to a boil till the sugar completely dissolves. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes til the fruits start to disintegrate. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down a little.

Sieve the mixture to get rid of all the seeds and the skin. Press as much of the pulp of the fruits as possible with the back of your spoon to get all the juices of of the fruit.

Place the thick fruit juice/pulp back on the stove and let it simmer slowly. I simmered mine for more than 30 minutes to get to the desired consistency. You can stop when you think your jam is thick enough. Remember it’ll thicken further as it cools.

Store it in an airtight bottle.

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