Blue Chair Cooks Recipe #2:
Beet Soup with Plums and Coriander Yogurt!

Our second recipe from Blue Chair Cooks also showcases our plum jam, bringing with it a warming burst of summer. Try it as a delicious addition to a hearty spring meal!

Serves 8

This exquisitely balanced soup boasts a striking combination of colors and flavors. It is an unusual and ingenious use for plum jam, whose hue and tartness perfectly enhance the beets. The bright garlicky coriander yogurt and parsley garnishes show off the beauty of the soup brilliantly.

¼ cup neutral-flavored olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
2½ pounds dark red beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
½ pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into
½-inch cubes
½ cup bright-flavored red or purple plum jam
Freshly squeezed lime juice, as needed
Kosher salt

1½ cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
2 cloves garlic, very finely grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
½ cup finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

Heat the olive oil in an 8-quart soup pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic, and celery and sauté until wilted and verging on translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cayenne, paprika, and several grinds of pepper over the onion mixture and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the beets, potatoes, plum jam, and 9 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until the beets and potatoes are very tender. Puree the soup using a handheld immersion blender. Add a few squeezes of lime juice and salt to taste.

To make the coriander yogurt, while the soup simmers, place the yogurt in a bowl and add the garlic and salt. Toast the coriander seeds briefly by placing them in a small cast-iron skillet and shaking them over medium heat until they release their aroma. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and grind them finely.

Add the ground coriander seeds to the yogurt mixture and stir very well with a fork to combine. Cover well and chill until needed. The yogurt is best within 1 hour of being made.

To serve the soup, ladle it into warm bowls. Drizzle each serving with 2 to 3 tablespoons coriander yogurt and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

From Blue Chair Cooks with Jam & Marmalade by Rachel Saunders, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Exclusive Recipe from Blue Chair Cooks: Swedish Glogg!

As Blue Chair Cooks takes the food world by storm, we’ll be starting 2015 off right with some recipes from Rachel’s new book!

Glogg is a traditional Swedish spiced wine, perfect for cozy evening and long winter nights. This recipe, featuring our Plum Jam, is a wonderful opportunity to use some of your last summer preserves!

Serves 4 to 6

On the years when my husband and I have Christmas at home, this is the wine I make for us on the happy evening we spend together decorating our tree. The recipe is a winter classic, with about a million variations. Its essential elements are red wine, vodka, plums, almonds, and cardamom, and its distinctively rich character sets it apart from other mulled wines.

4 cardamom seeds
2 whole cloves
16 aniseeds
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons dark raisins
1⁄3 cup flavorful dark plum jam
cups dry red wine
2⁄3 cup port
½ cup vodka
Sugar, as needed
Small handful of slivered blanched almonds

Place the cardamom, cloves, aniseeds, cinnamon, and orange zest in a small stainless-steel tea infuser with a firm latch or in a small cheesecloth bag. Place the infuser in a small bowl or cup. Bring 1⁄3 cup water to a boil and immediately pour it over the spices.  Cover tightly and let steep for 10 minutes.

Transfer the infuser with its liquid to a medium saucepan. Add the raisins, jam, red wine, port, and vodka and bring the  mixture just to a boil over high heat. Immediately turn off the heat, cover, and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Place the glogg in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

When ready to serve, strain the glogg through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan. Discard the spices and solids. Heat the glogg gently until just steaming. Carefully taste, adding a little sugar if needed. Place a few almond slivers in each heatproof glass or mug and fill with the spiced wine.

From Blue Chair Cooks with Jam & Marmalade by Rachel Saunders, Andrews McMeel Publishing

A Thanksgiving Jam Recipe!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and our Thanksgiving Jam 2-Pack will add a festive touch to your feast! With one jar of our Cranberry-Pluot Jam and one jar of our Rosemary-Damson Jam, this 2-pack enriches your favorite Thanksgiving foods, from turkey to pumpkin pie to greens.

We recently called on our Twitter community to share their favorite ways to enjoy our Thanksgiving flavors — and boy, did they deliver! From incorporating cranberry jam into stuffing to smearing it on a leftover turkey sandwich, the ideas had us salivating.

There was one suggestion, however, that really intrigued our palates; Suz (Twitter @suzhowells) squished her recipe down to 140 characters: “Toss acorn squash wedges w/melted Cranberry jam, minced red chili & garlic, S&P. Roast @450, 25 min.” We sent her our Thanksgiving Jam 2-Pack straightaway, and she sent us the full recipe:

Jam-Glazed Acorn Squash

Preheat oven to 450.

Sweat 1-2 cloves of finely minced garlic in 1T olive oil over low heat until fragrant & translucent.  Add one minced red serrano, kung pao or thai chili.  Add 1/3 -1/2 C jam (I’m thinking the Rosemary Damson would be awesome.  I’ve used your Bergamot for this in the past). Heat until jam melts and blends with garlic & chili.

Wash, seed and slice 1-2 acorn squash into wedges. Put in bowl with warm jam mixture.  Toss until all the pieces are coated, place in a single layer on a 1/2 sheet lined with parchment. Salt & pepper generously.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until squash is fork tender and carmelized.

Caution: This is addictive!

YUM. Thanks, Suz! Anyone else have a unique way to use our jams for Thanksgiving? Get your own Thanksgiving Jam 2-Pack now!

Bourbon-Pecan Doughnuts

The Blue Chair Fruit team is so excited to participate in a recipe swap hosted by Christianna of Burwell General Store. Kate met Christianna at BlogHer Food in May; proof that the world is indeed small, Christianna had worked on the FoodCrafters episode featuring Blue Chair Fruit! She kindly invited us to participate in her monthly recipe swap, and we gladly accepted.

This month’s recipe was Potato Donuts, for which Rachel developed a Bourbon-Pecan Doughnut recipe. Here’s Rachel’s take on her recipe development:

I am crazy about doughnuts and was hence extremely excited to discover that this month’s Recipe Swap selection was an old-fashioned classic: Potato Doughnuts. Upon researching potato doughnuts a bit further in my eclectic cookbook collection, I realized that this doughnut nearly always follows a set proportion of ingredients and tends to be a bit on the sweet side. Since I love bourbon in my baked goods, I decided to transform this classic recipe into a salty-sweet version, studded with toasted pecans and flavored with fresh nutmeg. It is really delicious, especially with some dark steaming coffee on the side.

These doughnuts are a true delight: redolent of Southern sensibilities, they offer a comforting pastry with a subtle twist. Needless to say, the whole team has enjoyed snacking on Rachel’s delicious results! As for jam pairing? Well, these doughnuts are downright tasty with a bit of Red Raspberry & Rhubarb Jam.

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Two Valentine’s Day Recipes

Blue Chair Fruit’s Jo has come up with two mouth-watering recipes to charm your sweetie this Valentine’s Day — Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting, and Fluffy Buckwheat Pancakes with Mascarpone. Best of all, these recipes incorporate our extra-special Valentine’s Day marmalades!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Quince-Cranberry Marmalade with Rose Geranium:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/4 c milk
1/3 c brown sugar
1 yolk
2 oz. butter (room temperature)
1/3 c sugar
2 yolks
1 c AP flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
1 egg white

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until melted.  Mix in milk and brown sugar. Add the first yolk. Set aside.

In a electric mixing bowl using a whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high with the sugar until white and fluffy. Add the yolks until incorporated.  Put in a separate bowl and wash the electric mixing bowl well with hot water.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Set aside.

In the clean electric bowl, whip the egg white until barely stiff.  Fold 1/2 of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture.  Mix mixture into the whipped butter mixture.  Fold the rest of the whites just to under incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

Fill cupcake just under 3/4 full.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until a skewer comes out clean about 12-16 minutes.  When cool, poke a finger or small spoon hole in the middle of the cupcake.  Fill with quince-cranberry marmalade with rose geranium.

Chocolate buttercream frosting:

4 oz sugar
2 oz water
2 egg whites
5 oz butter
5 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/8 t sea salt

Dissolve the sugar with water and heat on high until 238 degrees.  When temperature hits 200, start whipping egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium.  Adjust accordingly but you’re aiming to add all the 238 degree sugar to just stiff whipped egg whites at medium-high speed, carefully.  Turn back to medium speed and whip until cool to touch.

In a separate bowl, melt chocolate in the same fashion as above and set aside.

Add butter about 2 T chucks at a time to the meringue mixture until incorporated. Add melted chocolate to the mixture.  Add sea salt to taste.  Spoon or pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes.  Decorate as desired.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Mascarpone Cheese and Apple of My Eye Marmalade

If your heart has not already melted for my chocolate cupcakes, have your sweetie stay in bed and enjoy my fluffy buckwheat pancakes with mascarpone cheese and a sweet marmalade!

1 1/2 c buckwheat flour
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t sea salt
1 T sugar
1 t Meyer lemon zest (optional)
1/4 c butter melted
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
1/4 c milk
couple of drops of vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat a griddle at 360 degrees.  If you don’t have one, a nonstick pan warmed to about medium to medium high heat will do nicely. In one large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk (or put in a closed container for your kids to shake up).  In another bowl, whisk melted butter and eggs together.  Add the buttermilk and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just under incorporated.  This takes less than 15 seconds.  Don’t worry, lumps will cook out.  Lightly butter your pan.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle, leaving a good 4 inches between pancakes.  3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the flip side will do the job.  Repeat.

I like whipping 1 cup mascarpone with 1/2 T of sugar and just a couple drops of vanilla.  Pipe it, smear it or spread it, but what makes this extra special is serving with our Apple of my Eye Marmalade!

Jam and Ice Cream

Guess what? I learned last night that our Red Raspberry-Strawberry Jam really takes chocolate ice cream to the next level.

Two words: “Yum. Yum.” The slight tartness of the raspberries really complement each other!

This message brought to you by Kate’s Late Night Jam Adventures.

Tomato Jam from Martha Stewart Show

As promised, the recipe for Early Girl Tomato Jam follows below the jump — this is the same recipe that was featured on The Martha Stewart Show. This is one of the recipes featured in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which is full of important information, like how to know for sure when your jam is done.

Check out the video clip below if you need some guidance; if you’re feeling confident, then just jump right in!

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Rosemary Cornbread Recipe

After Rachel’s appearance on The Martha Stewart Show yesterday, we’ve been getting quite a few requests for Early Girl Tomato Jam! While we do not have this particular jam currently available, we do have two other delicious tomato preserves that should should make you pretty happy: Gingered Tomato-Nectarine Jam and Spiced Tomato-Bourbon Conserve. They are two of our most popular flavors right now, so if you have your heart set on them, act quickly!

The Martha Stewart Show has also posted Rachel’s recipe for Early Girl Tomato Jam, as well as Rachel’s clip from the show.*** This recipe is included in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, and we’re happy to send you a copy!

***ETA 10/9: Looks like Martha’s link has changed and the recipe is temporarily unavailable; you can still find Rachel’s clip from the show here. As soon as we have a new link, we’ll be sure to post it here!

Our fabulous new team member Jo was so inspired by the Spiced Bourbon-Tomato Conserve that she made a delicious savory rosemary cornbread to go with it — and then brought us our own individual jars of vegetarian chili, each complete with its own garnish! While this cornbread is extra special with the Spiced Bourbon-Tomato, we also think it’s yummy with the Tomato-Nectarine. Yum!

Rosemary Cornbread (makes a 9×9 pan)

3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fine chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 oz. (one stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup corn (frozen is okay)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray or butter ur 9×9 pan.

Mix all dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and rosemary) until evenly dispersed.  Mix the milk and egg together in a different bowl with a whisk.  Add the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until almost incorporated.  Add melted butter and corn and mix until incorporated.

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes in the middle of your oven.  Check with a wooden skewer or toothpick, which should come out clean.

Serve with butter and your favorite tomato preserve.  (And if you’re lucky, with your boyfriend’s chili, shared with good friends!)

Beer Empanadas with Fig Jam

A delicious empanada recipe from Luz — made with beer AND fig jam. Luz says:

I remember this was the very first dessert recipe I tried making when I was little!  We have a fig tree outside my parents’ home and I would always want to make fig jam with it.  Plus, there was always beer in the fridge … so, one plus two equals fig-beer empanadas!  No wonder why family friends kept asking my parents if I wanted to make fig empanadas soon… they just wanted the leftover beer.

These empanadas are DELICIOUS, and the perfect use for one of our favorite late-summer jams. Warm, slightly earthy, and delicately sweet, they make an excellent light dessert. Some of us may have eaten them for breakfast this morning. With creme fraiche.

Beer empanadas with fig
3 cups flour, sifted
1/4 cup lard or shortening
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup beer (Luz used Anchor Steam)
1 jar of fig jam (your mileage may vary)
1 egg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix flour, sugar, and salt together. Break in the lard with your hands until the mixture resembles small breadcrumbs.

Begin adding about two-thirds of the beer — you might not need all of it. Knead lightly, about a minute, or until all ingredients have come together. You want to finish with a malleable dough.

On a slightly floured table, roll out the dough into about an 1/8-inch thick disk.

With the mouth of a cup or a cookie cutter, cut out disks no smaller than 3 inches. You can reuse and roll any leftover dough.

Place about 1 leveled Tablespoon of fig jam to each disk. You want to be able to close them easily as you over-flap each one, and not have the jam squeeze out as you join the flaps together. (The dough is a bit elastic, so you will see you can also stretch it a bit with both hands as you are joining one flap to the other.)

Press the corners with the end of a fork to seal them and prevent the jam from spreading out.

If you like, brush lightly with a whisked egg. Either way, bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size) or until golden brown.

Note: These freeze quite well (before baking).

Marmalade in the Summer

Blue Chair’s Jamie has taken her obsession with English Marmalade even further…
Oh, Hello Summer/Coffee-Can Vanilla Ice Cream with a Marmalade Swirl

There was one thing that got me through my first Bay Area winter: Blue Chair’s English Marmalade. Each morning the intensity of this preserve’s Seville oranges, bourbon, and brown sugar, along with a cup of tea, shook the cold right out of my bones. Today, summer showed up and I’m too hot for toast and tea! Consequently I am pioneering a new way to get my daily marmalade fix (yes, I am addicted): ice cream.

My inspiration comes from ReadyMade Magazine: last summer they wrote an article on making vanilla ice cream in a coffee can. The process and recipe are so simple that they lend themselves to creative adaptation. To satisfy my craving, I am leaving out the lemongrass and adding 2-3 tablespoons of Seville Orange Marmalade with Vanilla & Muscovado*. In twenty minutes I can turn five ingredients into Vanilla ice cream with a marmalade swirl. I imagine myself doting on the contrast between the bitter orange rinds and sweet vanilla cream daily.

When summer ends I will continue the ritual of marmalade — on toast — starting my day. As I suspect the glory of this ice cream won’t tire by winter, it looks like marmalade will be ending my day as well.

*For those who insist that marmalade “just isn’t my thing,” any of our jams or lighter marmalades will dazzle in this recipe: Bing cherries! Olallieberries! Meyer lemons!