Friday, March 11, 2011

Summer Sunshine Peach Jam and Honey-Wheat Rolls

Few foods make me think of summer the way peaches do. They are wrapped up in the promise of picnics and beach time, cobblers and ice cream. It's hard to capture that feeling in March -- right now, a cold rain is pounding my office windows -- but I'm finding that jam helps. It's like a bit of summer sunshine in a jar, even when you start with frozen fruit.

peach jam and honey-wheat rolls
Peach jam with honey-wheat rolls
(which resemble potatoes in this picture).
Summer Sunshine Peach Jam
(Adapted recipe)

Note: Because my peaches were frozen in apple juice, I semi-defrosted them and drained off some of the excess liquid before proceeding with the recipe. All quantities are approximate.

7 to 8 cups peeled, sliced frozen peaches (about 2 to 2.5 pounds)
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar, or to taste

Bring the peaches, water, and lemon juice to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the peaches are soft. Mash the peaches gently as they cook (I used a potato masher for this).

Add the sugar to the peach mixture, stirring until dissolved. Continue to simmer gently, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, another 20 to 40 minutes. The jam is done when a small amount placed on a cold plate holds its shape and does not run.

Cool the jam and refrigerate. Makes 2.5 to 3 cups.

Honey-Wheat Rolls
(Adapted recipe, attributed to Taste of Home, and included in a promotional brochure for the honey industry that was distributed at the 2010 Topsfield Fair. The rolls pair well with jam and peanut butter, and are particularly tasty when eaten warm.)

1 package active dry yeast
1.25 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F), divided
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2.5 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until foamy. Add in the yeast mixture, the remaining water, honey, oil, salt, and whole wheat flour. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for about three minutes or until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough; it will be sticky. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Punch the dough down. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into nine balls. Shape into rolls. These can be ball-shaped, or roll each ball into a 10-inch rope and tie into a knot. Place the rolls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

Cover and let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes. Bake them at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment