Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fail jam

I made jam in the slow cooker. I got about two pounds of strawberries on sale for five bucks, and bought a bunch of rhubarb (another five bucks) so I could make strawberry-rhubarb jam in the slow cooker. I was very excited.

I chopped everything up and mixed it up with about three cups of sugar. I put it in the slow cooker and then it looked like stawberry-rhubarb soup for a really long time. When it was time for me to go to bed, it was finally starting to cook down a little. So I put the slow cooker on a timer so it would cook for another couple of hours, and then I went to sleep.

I think I overcooked it.

The consistency is veering away from jam and towards fruit leather. And I didn’t even put any pectin in it.

Also? The sugar I used was unrefined, which combined with the overcooking gives the whole thing a kind of caramelly/smoky aftertaste which is suggestive of burned fruit, even though it didn’t actually burn because, you know, I made it in the slow cooker.

Also, see that jar? It used to be a pickle jar. Despite the fact that I scrubbed it, and boiled it, I’m still getting a faint whiff of pickle when I open the jar.

Not the most appetizing thing when you’re expecting to smell jam.

So, to recap: ten bucks worth of fruit + ten (?) hours of cooking + essence of pickle + the feel of leather + burned sugar aftertaste = a big jar of fail.

You can call that a recipe if you want, but I don’t recommend making it. If you’re that intrigued by it, come on over to my house and help me eat it.

Oh yeah, I’m gonna have to figure out a way to eat it. Haven’t I told you how much I hate wasting food?


Joanne said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh all that energy for naught! I started reading and thought the recipe was going in another direction. Sorry for your jam :(

Zippy365 said... Best Blogger Tips

You can throw it out. Really.
But what I find intriguing is the basil in the background. How does the garden grow?

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Joanne - thanks for stopping by! Is there anything more disappointing than when cooking experiments fail?

Zippy - I can't do it! I can't!

The garden is flourishing, but almost everything is late (my fault). I've got my fingers crossed for some cucumbers soon!

Zippy365 said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, if you aren't going to throw it out, take it all the way to fruit leather. Or mix it into vanilla ice cream. But at least get it out of the pickle jar. . . or is it too late? Glad the garden is growing, but fall is just starting, right, like September here? My stuff grows right through Sept and I even had tomatos in Oct this year!

Zoe said... Best Blogger Tips

Have you got an ice cream maker? Or even buy some nice vanilla ice cream (eg Sara Lee - very nice, but not stupidly so) warm it up and ripple it through. Maggie Beer has a burnt fig jam, honeycomb and caramel (which isstupidly nice, that you could try for inspiration.

But yeah, lose the pickle jar.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Zippy and Zoe - thanks for the suggestions: this weekend will be a festival of strawberry-rhubarb glue experimentation.

Have now removed jam/glue from pickle jar. Was so busy being bummed that I never thought of this. Duh.

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

Ohhh nooo, I hate when things don't turn out how you want them to. I hate wasting money, too! I can't believe the rhubarb was that pricey. But man, that stuff is good.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Emily - yes, it was especially disappointing because of the rhubarb - the price and how much I love it. But learning usually comes from painful experiences, right?

PS Going to vote for you again!

Mark Scarbrough said... Best Blogger Tips

I have tried and tried and tried to make jam in a slow cooker. In a pressure cooker, too. And I just can't make it work. Which is why I've gone back to the old-fashioned way: canning. Yeah, makes my hair flat. But what the heck. If you ever get one of these new-fangled things to work, I can't wait to hear about it.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Mark! Thanks for stopping by--your comment made me feel much better. Misery loves company, after all.

I'll let you know if I a) get up the courage to try this again and b) have better results.

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