The Art of Paper Filigree

This blog is to celebrate the things I enjoy making. This includes quilling art, crafts, and cooking recipes and ideas, as well as some musings. I enjoy sharing ideas. By all means, if you want to borrow an art idea, go for it. But please, make it your own; don't just copy. If you've never heard of quilling art, I hope this introduces it as an art form and possible hobby. And I hope the pages to the right of the quilling blog posts offer up information, ideas and inspiration.

Enjoy your visit! If you have questions or comments, by all means share.


I just made a batch of Heavenly Jam.  It is, as its name suggests, just heavenly.  I work from my Nanna's old recipe, but I much reduce the numbers of fruit.  Why?  Because in her day, fruit was a lot smaller than it is now.  The original recipe was a dozen each of peaches, pears and apples, 4 oranges and 2 lemons.  Made a substantial batch of jam in those days, but today, that much would be overwhelming! 

*Those who have never made jam before should refer to the page: PREPARATIONS FOR PRESERVING, before going ahead with this recipe.

Yesterday I made up a quarter of the recipe and wound up with 9 and 1/2 ~ 1 cup jars of jam.  This would be enough for most people to stock their pantry and give some away as charming, yummy gifts too.  Please remember, USE JAM RESPONSIBLY.  That said, let's move onto the how to:

So you need 3 each of peaches, pears and apples.  Of course, the ideal time to make this jam is at that sweet spot in the fruit season when peaches are just finishing up, and pears are just beginning.  But there's not a thing wrong with the Heavenly jam I made yesterday.  Thing is, good peaches are easy to find in season, but harder to find at this time of year.  Even if you can find them, they are often mealy, so you don't want these for your jam.  For the peaches, buy canned peach halves, packed in fruit juice.  If you get peaches canned in sugar syrup, your jam won't be as nice.  I find here that fresh pears are available at all times of the year.  I usually use Bartlett pears, but any kind will do.  For the apples, choose a hard variety; the same types you'd use for pie.  Soft apples, such as Macs, will just go to apple sauce, making your jam not as nice.  I used Royal Gala apples.

Ok, so before you peel and chop the above fruit, you need 1 nice, plump, seedless juice orange.  Wash, cut into pieces and feed into a food processor (chopping blade), along with half a juicy lemon.  We need to cook the chopped citrus fruit for a little bit with some baking soda to take the bitterness out of the peel.  Thing is, with our recipe cut into quarters, there's a danger the citrus might start burning.  To prevent this, I added the juice of another half orange to the citrus and soda mixture.  Then I cooked it, bringing it just to a boil in a very small saucepan, and reducing the heat so it just simmered for ten minutes.  Keep an eye on it, but at the same time, you can be peeling, coring and cutting up the other fruit.  Use the same food processor to chop it all up, scooping each processor full into a large bowl.  When it's all chopped, add the hot citrus to the bowl and stir it around.

Now you need to measure your fruit.  Because the size of fruit varies, there's no way of knowing how much fruit you actually wind up with unless you measure it.  You're going to cook this jam in a large pot, so start measuring your fruit cup by cup and put it into the large preserving kettle.  I had about 7 cups of fruit.  To this I added almost 7 cups of sugar.  Yes... in the original recipe, the amount of sugar should equal the amount of fruit; this is why you measure.  I always put just a little less sugar.

Cook, stirring pretty much constantly with a large wooden spoon, until it comes to a hard rolling boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then turn down a bit.  Cook about 6 minutes longer, still stirring, and turn it down again and cook a few minutes more.  It should be feeling thicker, the whole batch of jam moving as a mass as you stir.  You are ready to bottle up the jam.  Again, please see PREPARATIONS FOR PRESERVING if you need to know or refresh on how to be ready to bottle up the jam. 

No, this is not a marmalade, though it has a "memories of marmalade" quality to it.  It's a jam, and it is a fave in our house.   Enjoy your jam!

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