It’s no secret that I love to cook and even if I say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. The one area of the culinary world that really is not my forte is baking. Oh I can bake killer cheesecakes and goodies that don’t require pastry, but my nemesis is scones or biscuits as the American’s refer to them. I do so love a good scone with lashings of butter and a dollop of thick sticky jam and topped with a pillow of whipped cream. However, for the life of me, I cannot bake the damn things and believe me, I have tried and have attempted every recipe I could get my hands on including every “easy, fail proof, flop proof, three ingredients miracles ones” and everything else in between. Nada. I have also put into play all the advice from “don’t overwork them” to “just bring the pastry together”. No luck. In fact, I think I should make a batch of the wretched things and market them as organic hockey pucks. Now there’s a bridge I could sell you.
However, I do bake very yummy crumbles and that leads me straight into my latest creation. I’ve been baking apple crumbles for years and they are rather delicious with all the apple goodness, spices and caramel. Yum. Anyway, a while ago I made a peach crumble and while it was baking I got to thinking. You see, while the peach crumble was in the oven, there was this whole caramelisation thing happening with the sugar, so I though, what if I roasted a whole bunch of peaches, added a few flavours and made a roasted peach jam? Stove top is good, but i’m after maximum flavour and we all know that just about anything roasted is so good. So I toddled off to my grocer, bought a few punnets of peaches and got down to business.
There are moments when I absolutely love love love what I do and this was one of them. There are not enough words in the English language that can accurately capture the aroma that was filtering through my kitchen while the peaches were roasting. But then, it got even better. I took the roasting dish out of the oven, smooshed the fruit a bit and tasted it. Oh my…you know when something is so good that you just shut your eyes and thank the flavour angels… yup, it was that good.
Because of the roasting process and the addition of the fresh vanilla beans, the flavour was intensified resulting in a truly glorious jam. It’s one of the magical things that happen when you have just the right ingredients…pure jammy magic.
As with a lot of my products, this is definitely going to be a seasonal jam and I’m on a mission right now to find peaches in bulk. You see, it took about 56 smallish peaches to make just five 250ml jars and my financially geared friends are already preaching profit margins to me. Me? I just want people to taste the stuff because quite frankly, it’s frikken delicious and I believe that if the powers that be sat down with a pot of tea, scones (not baked by me) and some of this jam…we may just have world peace.
Anyway, hubby and I toddled back to the grocer to buy even more peaches and while were filling boxes with peaches he pipes up and says “what if you tried roasting pineapples for jam?” So we loaded in six prickly beauties and after tweaking the flavours a bit, I made a batch of roasted pineapple jam. I hate to say this, but it’s possibly even better than the peach! There is just one major problem with the pineapple version…it took six huge pineapples to make just three jars of jam. Maddie and Andy (my financially empowered besties) would have a fiscal meltdown with the costing of this one. So I think I’ll stick with the peaches and make the pineapple jam for loved ones…or by special request.