I just returned from Florida yesterday. My family is moving there towards the end of the summer and therefore so is my jam operation. It will be sad to leave behind my wonderful gardens and the organic produce grown by an Amish family just a few miles from my home.
But Florida offers a whole new variety of fruit to explore: citrus. Of course, I did venture into citrus a tiny bit in the fall, by the mercy of Tucker Hill out in Fishing Creek. He had an ornamental trifoliate orange tree (sour orange). It is a pretty tree but the fruit is too sour to eat straight. He let me pick a bucket full and from that came Sour Orange Conserve, lightly sweetend and oh so tart.
It is a delicious accompaniment to rice pudding and cheesecake. Fabulous for making lemon bars or thumbprint cookies, Sour Orange Conserve is also a wonderful base for lemon sauce. I’ve even tossed a tablespoon or two in with steamed vegetables.
And while marmalades are the obvious choice for a Florida jam maker, I really do not want to do the obvious. Conserves have less sugar and are often mixed with other ingredients, such as nuts. Mmmm, pecans anyone?