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By this time of year, our shelves are well-stocked with jam. We’ve been making it all summer: Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry. Rhubarb, cherry, three kinds of plum. We eat plenty of jam–on yogurt and oatmeal, in sandwiches, with fancy cheese–and still, we will make it through the winter. We have plenty of jam.
But it’s hard to stop. And really, can there be too much jam? Extra jars make welcome gifts, and I never seem to find myself with much left over when summer rolls around again.So I was happy to spend a day in the kitchen with a box of organic peaches last week. They arrived on my doorstep courtesy of the Washington State Fruit Commission (full dislosure: the peaches were given to me at no charge, but the opinion that peaches are great is entirely my own). We ate one after another after another. And then it was time to make more jam.
I asked you for your peach preserving ideas. I browsed the Sweet Preservation website. I flipped through Mes Confitures. I couldn’t decide. So I made some of everything. I made a sweet, chunky peach jam with a vanilla bean scraped in. I made a tangy peach chutney with a lot of grated fresh ginger. And, at Hannah’s suggestion, I made this Saffron Peach Jam.
It’s based on a recipe from The Preservation Kitchen, but it’s a good deal sweeter than the version in the book. Some people say that saffron tastes spicy, or purfumey, or that it tastes like the sea. Here it simply provides an earthy, savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the peaches, subtle enough that my six year old loved the jam but intriguing enough that I have gone about my days plotting uses for it. I’m going to spoon it onto rice pudding and ricotta-topped toast. I’m going to layer it into my next frittata sandwich in place of the tomato jam. I’m going to serve it on a cheese plate. But meanwhile, it’s just been going straight on toast.
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