Summer season is coming to a close and the local berries are at their peak. I cooked this 12 jar batch at my bakery in the Chelsea Market today. Once they cool, I am going to sell them at the counter. If you happen to be lucky enough to snag one, hooray! In preparation for my new book, pub date Fall 2014, I have been making all sorts of "quick jams". This deliciousness is composed of my favorite seasonal fruit— figs (grown in Brooklyn) and local blackberries (from the East End). To those, I added Valencia juice oranges and a touch of fresh pineapple and— there you have it, "End of Summer Fruit Fantasy Marmalade".
This preserve of strawberries and rhubarb is as vibrant and crimson in color as the images you see on the pages that follow. I made six jars two days ago and they are history. The bakery staff fell in love at first bite and the slightly warm jars went home to their families that afternoon. I will be making more tomorrow and this time I will triple the batch because this recipe is a keeper.
I adore cooking for my grandchildren and often try to feed them fresh fruit for dessert when possible. There is always an expectation that Bubbe (aka Sarabeth) will bake their favorite dessert. Last Saturday's dessert included some succulent Cara Cara navel oranges. The interior fruit is a vibrant deep rosy- orange, especially sweet and low in acidity. They are considered by many to be the best of the navel family—I buy them whenever available. I segmented three and chilled them for the dessert— having planned to serve the oranges with 2% low-fat Greek yogurt and a touch of orange blossom honey.
Later that evening, after returning from driving the boys home, I went to the refrigerator for some chilled water, there was the bowl with the ORANGE SEGMENTS— they never made it to the table! Jack and Drew had opted for ice cream cones with Oreo-vanilla ice cream and sprinkles—there went my healthy dessert. How could I leave them overnight to lose their flavor and freshness? Sitting on the counter were some beautiful ripe cherry tomatoes— could work nicely with the oranges. I have never combined tomatoes with any fruits to make a jam or preserve before. Thinking this might be something really good, out came a saucepan, the sugar and a vanilla bean. I was very surprised with the results. It was delicious and the color was pretty amazing. Cooled and covered, I popped the bowl in the refrigerator— Bill (aka Mr. Sarabeth) and I would have it with our breakfast in the morning. I had all night to dream about what would accompany my new treat.