Shopping, Eating and Exploring

Come along with me and discover some off-the beaten paths in Southwest France

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fruits of the Harvest

On Monday, the warm weather seemed to disappear and we welcomed a cool evening and brisk morning. Today it just felt chilly. As I headed to the market for some supplies, I could really see the changes in the vines. The harvest has just concluded, and already the vineyards are turning the yellows, reds and golds.

A few days ago, my friend Lisa made some suggestions for the surplus figs and pomegranates. "Pomegranate jam is just the taste of Fall". She sent me her recipe, which I will put at the end of this post. I've made a lot of different kinds of jams and jellies, but never pomegranate. Lisa starts with 31/2 cups of pomegranate juice. Have you ever opened a pomegranate? How do you juice those little seeds? After a little experimentation, I came up with something that doesn't require a juicer, or pectin, which I couldn't find here in the market.

Three or four pomegranates, seeded. Here is a trick from my friend Imeileen; seed them in a bowl full of water. No pink spots on white shirts, and the white bits float to the top. Drain most, but not all of the water.

Measure how much water and seeds you have. Now here is the tricky part, French markets sell a zillon different kinds of sugar, including one that says "Special pour Gelees et Confitures". I used not quite 2/3's of the volume of seeds to sugar. Add some lemon juice. Bring to a boil and wait till it thickens a bit. Strain and pour into properly prepared jars. Viola!

The color is brillant, I controlled the sweetness, and used up the pomegranates!
Here is Lisa's recipe, which I will try on my pomegranates in California.

3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin (2 oz)
4 1/2 cups sugar

Prepare 3 pint-sized jars. In a large kettle, combine the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and pectin. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and stir to blend. Bring to a second rolling boil, then boil for exactly 2 minutes. Remove jelly for heat immediately when the time is up. Let stand a minute to allow foam to form, then carefully remove the foam. Pour hot jelly quickly into hot jars, filling the jars within about 1/8 inch of the tops. Carefully wipe off the rim of the jar. Put lid on each jar as it is filled, screwing band on as tightly as you comfortably can. Cool jars away from drafts on a towel.

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