Beetroot, cranberry and apple jam

The last of my kilo of beets is gone. I waved a fond farewell to them as I chopped up the last two little guys – they were going a bit soft, to be fair – and sent them off to jam heaven with some cranberries and apple. I can’t wait to try this with some McCambridge brown bread and goats cheese. It makes me think of a recent sandwich from Munchies on South William Street: Santa’s Delight is a heavenly serving of turkey, bacon, cranberry sauce, stuffing and lettuce on ciabatta. I went into quite a turkey coma after eating this – it’s all down to the tryptophan in the turkey don’t ya know?! But enough about science, where’s the food?

For this recipe, I must thank Allison over at Allison Eats for her inspiration: Blackberry Jam with Pinot Noir. Want! I’ll be waiting in anticipation for delicious Irish fruits to be in season then it’ll be boozy jam for everyone! I’m especially looking forward to making Strawberry and Prosecco jam next year, made with none other than Ireland’s finest: Wexford strawberries.

Cheers also goes to Camilla for this basic jam recipe which I quartered. I used only about a pound of fruit because that’s all I could scrounge up in the kitchen. Feel free to reduce the amount of cranberries and add more apple or beetroot instead to bring down the tartness. Keep an eye open during cooking: if you need to add more liquid, go ahead.

**Update** I made the jam and had it with the McCambridge brown bread and goat’s cheese with a few slices of emmenthal. It was a lot of cheese for Happy Food Baby! I decided to save some of my jam to go with the Christmas turkey and ham – a bit of an upgrade from the traditional cranberry sauce. The jam itself is wonderfully tart, the beets cooked nicely but retained some of their shape and the pepper at the end adds an excellent kick.

Beetroot, cranberry and apple jam

1 cooking apple, quartered, peeled, chopped
2 small beets, peeled, chopped into 1 cm pieces
Enough cranberries to bring the weight to one pound, roughly chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of liquid: I used equal parts water, orange juice and white wine
Juice of ¼ lemon + zest
Freshly ground black pepper – about four good twists

1. Chop all your fruits, making sure to keep the beets small so that they cook down. Throw the fruit, sugar, liquid, lemon juice + zest into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Now grind in the pepper.

2. Once it has come to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15mins, stirring continuously. To test the jam’s doneness, drag a spoon through it: if the furrow remains in the wake of the spoon it’s ready. If it seeps back together like the Red Sea drowning a bunch of Roman soldiers, give it another few minutes.


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