Top | The Produce Diaries
(article, Caroline Cummins)
[%image jars float=left width=200 credit="Photo © Culinate" caption="Jars of raspberry-marionberry jam left outdoors to cool."] The pickup: Peaches at the downtown farmers' market, plus several pounds of raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries at a local U-Pick farm. The results: Rather than wait for the (quite firm) peaches to ripen fully, we blanched, peeled, sliced, and baked them in a lattice pie. The berries presented the opposite problem: on a hot day, all those fresh berries quickly started to turn into mush. So, first, a cookie sheet of washed raspberries went into the freezer for a few hours; when frozen, the berries were flipped off and put into a freezer bag for future smoothies, baked treats, or to serve as fruity ice cubes in lemonade. Next, some of the blueberries went into muffins; this provided breakfast and afternoon snack for a few days. [%image pie float=right caption="Fresh peach pie."] Third, the big project: simmering the bulk of the raspberries, plus all of the (very ripe) marionberries, down into jam. Last year's raspberry jam, from the exact same U-Pick farm, cooked down nicely into a soft gel without the aid of pectin. Not this year; even with pectin, the best we got was, essentially, a thick dessert sauce. But who's gonna complain when there's still half a summer of sauce-loving ice cream to get through?