The meditation of spreading jam on toast is similar to Zen gardening. Rakes design calming paths through pebbles much like butter knives draw harmonious swirls of watermelon, apple, and hints of geranium over crusty bread. Who knew a book dedicated solely to preserves like chutneys, mustards, and curds could lead you to enlightenment?
Join author Jody Vassallo and photographer Clive Bozzard-Hill as they walk you through the colorful world of Preserving Basics: 77 Recipes Illustrated Step by Step.
Watermelon and Geranium Jam
- 1 pound red apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 4 to 6 sweet-smelling rose geranium leaves
- 2 pounds seedless watermelon, chopped
- 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar, warmed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Put apple cores, seeds, and geranium leaves into a piece of cheesecloth and tie with a string. Put apples and melon into a large pan and cook until soft.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the pan from the heat and, using a handheld blender, blitz until smooth.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the cheesecloth bag.
- Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes, until the jam reaches setting point. Remove the cheesecloth bag, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Spoon the jam into warm, dry, sterilized jars, then seal and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Label and dae, and refrigerate after opening.
Variation: Substitute the geranium leaves with some fresh rose petals, if you like. Make sure neither has been sprayed with pesticides, wash thoroughly.
Tip: Try to find seedless, brightly colored, fragrant watermelon, as it will have a big impact on the final color of this jam.
This recipe comes from the introductory chapter, “Indian Essentials” from Indian Basics: 85 Recipes Illustrated Step by Step. If you love Indian food, but are intimidated by the idea of cooking it, this book is a great place to start.
The book begins unassumingly with an introduction to Indian spices and dals. Simple recipes like this paneer follow, and will lead you to discover just how easy Indian cooking can be.
How to Make Paneer
- 8 cups unhomogenized milk
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Put the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until it curdles and forms curds and whey.
- Line a colander with cheesecloth and pour the curds and whey through the colander.
- Tie the top of the cheesecloth and weigh the mixture down with a can for 30 minutes, or until it is firm. (The longer it’s pressed, the firmer it will be.)
- Remove the mixture from the cheesecloth and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.