Strawberry and Lime Marmalade

jam

When I first started making jam I would follow recipes to the letter, add pectin and all that jazz. As I’ve got more practice and relaxed a little bit I’ve found that jam is very forgiving and you can get great results without all of the worrying. I never time how long my mixture simmers for anymore and I add a lot less sugar than most recipes call for. The usual weight ratio of fruit to sugar is 1:1 which results in a classic super sweet jam but I don’t find that very appealing anymore. That’s where this jam/marmalade comes in. There is just enough sugar to balance the lime juice, resulting in a very tart and refreshing final product. Most people that I have fed this too have commented on how much they enjoy the sour hit from the limes and the fact that it’s not too sweet. The original recipe calls for lemons but limes are my spirit food so I used them instead. Once when I was low on limes I substituted in some orange zest and it worked beautifully (I wouldn’t substitute orange juice for the lime juice though, unless you wanted it to be less tart). There is no pectin in this recipe so when you refrigerate it the marmalade will be soft set but still hold it’s shape on a spoon. I call this a marmalade because of all the lime zest but it is so small that you’re not chewing on bits of peel like a traditional marmalade (which I prefer).

I got the chance to make this because we spent a night at the farm of a friends parents and her step-father was nice enough to tip me off to a local strawberry grower with great prices (Thanks Glenn!). I picked up 1.5kg of strawberries for $10 and I knew that this marmalade would be the first thing I made with them. If strawberries aren’t in season in your part of the world then experiment with other fruits while you wait, or even go for frozen strawberries if you can’t be patient.

Strawberry and Lime Marmalade

Inspired by Lindsay and Taylor’s Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Marmalade over at Love & Olive Oil.

2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup caster sugar

zest of 6 limes

1/2 cup lime juice

Mix the strawberries and sugar in a large saucepan, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cook until the mixture reduces by about half, approximately 30 minutes.

If you would like smaller pieces of strawberry in your marmalade, mash with a potato masher until it reaches desired consistency.

Sterilise two small jars and transfer the hot marmalade into them.

Screw on the lids and allow to cool at room temperature, if you hear the lids pop then they have sealed and your jam will keep for around 3 months, if you don’t hear the lids pop then keep in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.

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Croatian Plum Jam Biscuits

jambiscuits

These biscuits bring to mind grandma’s with old but deft hands kneading and rolling biscuits to feed all of their children and grandchildren. At least they do for me. I think it’s the dusting of caster sugar, so old school. The amount of butter and cream in these biscuits is pretty ridiculous, I temporarily forgot about it when I ate five right after I dredged them in sugar. I will definitely put more jam in the middle next time I make them but if you like your biscuits on the less sweet side keep it at 1 tsp. I know that sounds kind of silly considering that these are covered in sugar but there is very little sugar in the dough, so pretty much all of the sweetness comes from the sugar on the outside. You can get the jam from European deli’s but I got mine from Gourmet Mix.

The dough was surprisingly easy to work with considering all of the butter, just make sure you keep dusting with flour while kneading, this prevents the dough from sticking to the counter. The original recipe uses vanilla sugar but I don’t keep that in my cupboard so I just used caster sugar and vanilla syrup, the syrup has real vanilla seeds in it and is quite strong. The other big difference to the original recipe is that I divided the dough in half to roll it out, just as a space saver.

I recommend getting the cream to room temperature before combining it with the soft butter because if the cream is cold it makes the butter harden up again and you have to mix with your hands for longer to help the butter melt (yeah, that happened). I’ve included this in my recipe so you don’t have to repeat my mistake. If you watch the video for the original recipe you will probably notice that Mira’s biscuits are longer and more steeply curved than mine turned out, I realised afterwards that my triangles needed to be shorter but wider. I am pretty happy with how they look, though, similar to tiny croissants. Don’t stress if you don’t get them even, appearance becomes less important after you taste them. Licking the sugar off you lips after taking a bite will more than make up for any disappointments you have with their looks.

Croatian Plum Jam Biscuits

Adapted from Mira Valcich’s Plum Jam Biscuits over at SBS Food.

250g unsalted butter, softened

300ml cream, room temperature

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean syrup

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

400g (2 2/3 cups) plain flour

provdl plum jam

extra flour for dusting

extra caster sugar for dredging

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Place the butter, cream, sugar, vanilla syrup and baking powder in a large bowl and mix together with your hands until well combined.

Add the flour in three lots, mixing well each time.

Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 mins, adding extra flour to stop it from sticking.

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Cut into two pieces, set one aside.

Roll out one piece on a well floured surface until quite thin, then cut it into triangles.

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Place 1 tsp of plum jam at the thickest end of each triangle.

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Roll up starting from the thick end into a croissant shape.

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Place on a lined baking tray, curling into a crescent shape (allow room for slight spreading).

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Repeat with remaining triangles, then repeat the whole process with the second piece of dough.

Bake for 12-16 mins until light brown.

Allow to cool on trays for 5 mins, then dredge each one in the extra caster sugar.

Best eaten warm.