Havarti Cheese, Apple and Jam Sandwich

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I wanted to dress up a grilled cheese sandwich and went around the kitchen picking up things – some good homemade raisin bread, Havarti cheese, a small amount of jam left in the jar, a tart apple, and butter.  This was definitely a welcome change from the usual cheddar cheese sandwich.

HAVARTI, APPLE AND JAM SANDWICH

For each sandwich:
1 Tblsp. butter, divided
½ Golden Delicious tart apple, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 slices raisin bread*
1 slice Havarti cheese
1 Tblsp. jam or apple butter

In a small skillet, melt 1 tsp. butter and add apple slices.  Cook apples until light brown on each side and fork-tender.  Set aside.
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havsand-bread*My favorite raisin bread

Wipe out skillet and place on burner over medium heat.   Butter a slice of bread,  add a slice of cheese and the jam.

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Place the apple slices on top of the jam and add the remaining slice of bread, buttered side up.

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Place the sandwich in the skillet and brown on each side until cheese is melted.
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Makes one delicious sandwich. 

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Fresh Blueberry Jam

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Our favorite farm market (Blooms ‘n Berries in Loveland – near Cincinnati) has U-pick for blueberries this summer for the first time.  My daughter hurried down to pick about 2 quarts of the most flavorful blueberries I’ve ever tasted.  My 9-year-old granddaughter ate about a quart of berries out of hand, but I still had enough to make this beautiful dark jam.  The recipe makes 9 cups of jam and I used an assortment of pint and half-pint jars (the half-pint jars destined to be gifts to some special people).

FRESH BLUEBERRY JAM

  • 4 pts. blueberries (4-1/2 cups of crushed berries)
  • 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pouches CERTO liquid pectin

Makes 9 cups of jam 

Before beginning to cook the jam, do the following:

  1. Have pint and/or half-pint jars washed and sterilized.
  2. Bring a boiling water canner, half-full with water, to simmer.
  3. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat.
  4. Measure lemon juice into small container.
  5. Measure sugar into large bowl
  6. Cut tops off pouches of pectin and set in a bowl.  Keep this near the stove.

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Place the berries in a large bowl and crush with a potato masher.
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I like to leave about half of the berries whole.

Mashed

Measure 4-½ cups of the prepared berries into a large heavy-bottom pot.  Stir in lemon juice and sugar.

On high heat, stirring constantly, cook the berry mixture to a full rolling boil (bubbles completely covering the pan that do not stop bubbling when stirred).  Keeping the pot on the heat, stir in the pectin from the two pouches.

Once again, bring to a full rolling boil, cook for exactly one minute longer.  Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.

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Wipe jar rims and threads.  Cover with two-piece lids.  Screw bands tightly.

Place jars on rack in canner.  Turn up heat to medium and start timing after water begins to boil.  Process for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place on a rack to cool.  After jars are cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger.  (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)  Let jars stand for 24 hours.  Processed, unopened jars can be stored for one year.

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See this web site for good information on home canning.

Kelli’s Strawberry Jam and Watermelon Jelly

Kelli at The Domestically Impaired Guide to the Retro Kitchen Arts has some great recipes, including two that I recently tried.  Her Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper Jam has become our favorite and I just made a second batch.  The only changes I made to the recipe were to use dark balsamic vinegar and reduce the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon.   The balsamic vinegar gives this jam a deep, rich flavor.

Her Watermelon, Mango and Black Pepper Jelly is completely different from anything I’ve tried.  This calls for Mango Rum which I had never tasted but was able to find in my local wine shop.  Here again, I reduced the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon because I wanted to use it as a spread for toast, biscuits, etc.  In each case, I used freshly grated pepper and there is no taste of it at all – it just enhances the natural flavor of the jam and jelly.

I had to sample some of each on a toasted homemade roll for my breakfast this morning.

Simply delicious!

On Kelli’s blog, note that she has some canning recipe books for sale to use on the Kindle.  If you don’t have a Kindle (or have a Nook like I do), the book can be read on your computer.

Lillian’s Jam Balls

I’ve been making these cookies for years, adapted from a recipe in an old 1970s Redbook Cookbook.  It’s a good way to use up a little bit of jelly, jam or preserves left in the jar.

LILLIAN'S JAM BALLS

  • Servings: Approximately 3 dozen cookies
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  • 1 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 Tblsp. jam, jelly or preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Have an ungreased cookie sheet at hand

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the salt.  Gradually add the flour, mixing well.

Shape a level tablespoon of dough into a ball.

Place balls one inch apart on the ungreased sheet.  Press each ball with the index finger, making an indentation.  Drop about 1/4 tsp. of jam, jelly or preserves into each indentation.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Yield:  Approximately 3 dozen cookies

Since my daughter and I like fresh cookies and I don’t want too many around to tempt us, I like to make a dozen cookies and then divide the rest of the dough into two containers to seal and either refrigerate or freeze for another time.  I like these Lock ‘n Lock containers, available on QVC.  They really do make and keep a tight seal.

In my recipe binder I have a note:  “First made on March 18, 1984 – excellent – very short.”

Really Good Jam Bars

I found this recipe in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook.  The bar cookies are easy to make and the flavor is wonderful.

REALLY GOOD JAM BARS

  • 1/2 cup margarine (I like Imperial)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup jam*

*This would be a good way to use up little bits of a variety of jams.  I keep a jar in the refrigerator to put the last spoonful of jam or preserves and the resulting mixture is delicious.

Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar, vanilla and almond extract.  Add the egg, mixing well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add to the margarine mixture, beating until blended.

Spread half of the dough in the 8″ greased pan, using water-dampened fingertips to help spread the dough.

Spread the top evenly with jam

Drop the remaining dough in large dollops on top of the jam….

….then use water-dampened fingertips to spread the dough and cover the jam – a few bits of jam peeking out are OK.

Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes until top is golden brown.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

While still warm, loosen the edges from the pan and cut into 16 bars.

Keep bars in pan on wire rack until completely cool.

Yield:  16 bars 

I have a note in my binder:  “First made July 12, 1995, using my homemade seedless blackberry jam.  David (my husband) ate about 1/3 of them while they were cooling in the pan.”

Plum Nutty Jam

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I first made this jam in 1983 when we had lots of fruit trees and berry patches, and had baskets of fruit and berries all over the kitchen .  I used to process 15 to 20 jars of jam at a time.  Now that I’m in a small suburban house with no fruit trees on the property and no one around to eat that much jam, I buy a small amount of fruit at the market and make a couple of jars to keep in the refrigerator.  This is really good on toast, biscuits, scones …. you name it.

The addition of walnuts was the idea of my boss’ wife back in 1983 and I loved the crunch of the nuts along with the tart fruit.

PLUM NUTTY JAM

  • Servings: 4 cups of jam
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4 cups unpeeled, diced purple plums (about 6 medium plums)

1/4 cup water

4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 box powdered Sure Jell pectin

1/4 cup chopped toasted English walnuts

If processing for storage, thoroughly wash and scald jars – keep hot until needed.  Makes about 4 cups of jam.

In a large heavy kettle combine the plums and water.  Cover & simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir pectin into fruit mixture.  Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in the sugar.  Bring to a full rolling boil; boil 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, skim off foam.  Stir in walnuts.  Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

If the jam is going to be used within a month or so, omit the hot water bath and store in the refrigerator.

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