December 17, 2012

Zucchini, Dried Fruit and Cinnamon Jam for Christmas

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.
Eileen Elias Freeman

Christmas Jam

Like never before, I'm almost ready with my presents this year. Only a couple left to purchase (somewhere, I still don't know where) and then I will be all set for sharing. For giving. Exchanging. Smiling with all my heart. Saying thank you and your welcome from the most deep within. Once again appreciating each and every person I'm surrounded by, and feeling more than blessed to be able to give them that little something. Especially when that something is home-made.

Like this zucchini jam deeply flavored with dried fruits and a generous splash of cinnamon. It speaks Christmas. Deliciously and loudly. 

I love zucchini (or marrow) jam, cause even after cooking for an hour or so, zucchini doesn't lose it's texture. It doesn't become mushy, like many other fruits and vegetables do, but rather gets soft and slightly caramelized. In that way, it turns to be a perfect companion for a scoop of ice cream, a pile of pancakes or a stack of waffles, as well as a sweet filling for a delicious pastry. Well, I believe there are thousands of ways to spread the usage of this jam, so I'm not going to teach you how to be creative - you are, and you know that!

Though, if you like, you can substitute zucchini with any kind of squash or marrow, as I mentioned above. And when it comes to dried fruits, I used sultanas, golden raising and dates, but apricots, apples, figs, and cranberries would  be lovely too. Just don't forget the cinnamon - it plays an extremely important role in here!

Christmas Jam

Christmas Zucchini Jam with Dried Fruits and Cinnamon

2 lb (1 kg) zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
(700 g) light brown sugar (it gives nice caramel flavor, but if you feel like you can also use regular white sugar)
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (more or less, according to your own preferences)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup dried dates, cored and cut into quarters

Put zucchini into a generously large saucepan, pour over the sugar, cinnamon, mix everything well and leave overnight covered with a kitchen towel for juices to release.
Next day, transfer the saucepan onto the stove and bring that sugar-zucchini mixture to boil. Then, lower the heat to medium, add cinnamon sticks and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finally, add all the dried fruits and let everything cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Ladle hot jam into clean and dry jars and store in a dark place before wrapping it up and giving to someone special for Christmas.
This jam can be kept unopened for months, and all the flavors may even intensify over the time.

  Christmas Jam

Similar ideas:
- Marrow and Ginger Jam
- Marrow and Banana Jam
- Rhubarb and Lime Jam

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