i’m currently in a jam obsession and now that i know how easy it is to make jams it may be on this blog as much as *gasp* lemons!
i feel like i have a bunch of creative juices flowing right now! maybe it’s from being home more often thanks to this arizona heat and having more time to look at my pinterest inspiration board or it could be just the fact that i’m really in the mood to bake lately; either way things are going great in the baking, photo taking and overall blog emotions.
food: this recipe does involve jam again. i think i have found the perfect technique for making jam. i’ve tried this method with soft berry fruits and stone fruit and both have come out perfect! i love that i don’t have to add anything extra as the lemon is the pectin so no third non-food party involved. i usually write in the post that these jams last six months to a full calendar year but this is based off science, the original recipe i used and the fact that it’s in a jar and is somewhat preserved but i’ve never had it in my fridge more than a week, it’s always been gone quicker than the time allotted.
neurotic: i’ve taken to a lack of overthinking for post lately. i tried so hard to make this post like that and to make this picture better that i found myself getting fed up with it. this blog is a hobby and a hobby i enjoy and lately i have been getting a lot more interaction on it by viewers so i think i have that need to make it better and better and then it simply became stagnate which is not something i want for this blog. once i stopped thinking so much – and this has been for a few weeks now – i found myself enjoying it again. i’m not an avant-garde person; i like simple recipes done a bit different and that’s that. no more no less and it’s time i kept to that way of thinking.
food: i very much love the taste of vanilla, and yes vanilla does in fact have its own taste, i find that vanilla powder or paste ensures that you get that taste, extract not so much and i haven’t used extract in years! i first found paste, which you can get for under $6 usd at a few places and then found powder which you can find for around $20 usd at more natural organic food stores.
when it comes to vanilla it is a more “earthy” flavor, which means it has some heft to it and can really add depth, i usually like to counteract that with a fruit of some sort. this time it was nectarines. i hadn’t used nectarines for this blog before since i thought it tasted like nothing but i was wrong. i do believe on its own it taste like nothing, but turned into a jam, which intensifies the flavors and added with the vanilla really made this thing amazing.
neurotic: summers here in arizona – well 2017’s summer in general – has been less than pleasant. i’m very much a homebody but i like the advantage of leaving my house when i want and one of the perks of my job is pushing myself out of my introverted comfort zone and talking to various people. the heat has put a bit of a damper on that and i can’t really leave my house after 10 in the morning. it’s usually 100+f/38+c by then and it literally took the breath out of me. last week i had some chest issues and just made the decision to stay inside as much as possible – so there will be a flurry of blogpost as i really have nothing else to do except work, netflix and hulu.
so that’s it for my rambling storytelling, this post has a few steps where you would think it’d take a few days but if you start in the morning you’ll have it done by the late afternoon. i hope you all enjoy the remainder of your day and week and thanks for stopping by!
NECTARINE JAM & VANILLA BEAN CAKE || NFS
Two nectarines sliced thinly to lie over the cake. You can do this first and then drench a paper towel with lemon and cover the nectarine slices in a bowl.
1 lb. |16 oz. | |453 g| chopped nectarines
1 1/2 c. |300 g| sugar
3/4 c. |6 fl. oz. | |170 g| water
1/2 lemon – halved, juice with seeds removed
Sterilize the jar and lids for canning by boiling them.
Place the nectarine, sugar, water, and lemon juice and halves (they provide the necessary pectin) in a large bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, transfer the nectarines mixture into a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, stirring the jam constantly, for about 15 minutes. Skim any foam from the surface of the jam as it cooks.
After 15 minutes, drop the heat to medium. You want to keep the jam at a constant simmer, stirring frequently, to make sure the jam isn’t scorched at the bottom of the pot. After a total of 30 to 45 minutes, check to see if your jam has set by placing a small spoonful of jam on the plate from the freezer. The jam is set when it holds its shape on the cool plate. If it seems loose, continue cooking over medium-low heat until set.
Remove the lemon halves and place the jam your sterilized jar, filling them to the bottom-most ring. Gently tap the bottom of each jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a damp clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars and secure the lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes if using pint jars, 10 minutes if using quart jars, remove the containers with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the jam is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with the date and contents, store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use for up to 6 months.
Vanilla Bean Cake
1 1/2 c. |210 g| All-Purpose Flour
1 c. |200 g| Sugar
1/4 tsp. |2 g| Baking Soda
1 sticks |8 tbsp. | |115 g| |4 oz. | Butter (room temperature)
2 Eggs |108 g| ||3.8 oz. | |6 tbsp. |
1/4 tsp. |2 g| sea salt
5 tbsp. |75 g| milk
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste or 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
*this can be done with or without a hand/stand mixer
Preheat our oven to 350F/180C and pre-measure out all your ingredients. Your flour, baking soda, and salt can go into one bowl and don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients and whisk it to combine all ingredients. In another bowl spread your butter until it is no longer in a stick and add your sugar, beating until fluffy – about 3 minutes of medium high speed – add your eggs one at a time and mix until combined, and then add your vanilla paste milk. Add your dry ingredients adding 1/4 of each at a time; pour your cake batter in your greased loaf pan, add, 1/4 to 1/3 cup of your nectarine jam and mix slightly into the batter on top and then add your sliced nectarines and bake in the oven for about 60 to 70 minutes.
Once the cake has completely cooled, take a serrated knife and slice 6 to 10 slices of cake, top with whipped cream and extra jam.
downloadable/printable recipe: NECTARINE JAM & VANILLA BEAN CAKE