Sometimes the only perfect way to start your day is by taking a bite out of the perfect toast fresh and still warm, with butter melting all over and that slight sweetness and tartness that comes with the orange peel grated into your marmalade on top! According to us, while buttered toast by itself is a treat, the cherry on top is having your favorite preserve by your side to add the right amount of sweetness.
Jam by no means is a recent phenomena. There are mentions of jam recipes in the earliest cook book written in 1st century Rome. It is speculated that jams, jellies and preserves are most likely to have started in the Middle Eastern countries where there are plenty of fruits and sugar. By preserving it, they could enjoy the yummy taste and nutrition of fruits all year long.
They found their way into Europe when the Crusades returned with their spoils ( who knew it included Jam recipes!! ). Marmalade though is said to have a more royal beginning. The legend goes that in the 16th century , when Mary Queen of Scots got sea sick, her physician mixed orange and sugar to help her seasickness. In fact some even suggest that word ‘marmalade’ comes from the phrase “Marie est malade” meaning ‘Mary is sick’ but we don’t think that’s very likely! Either ways, it became an instant hit with the royalty and if you visit the Queen for tea, for sure you’ll see a small pot of marmalade sitting right beside your tea cup!
The best thing about jams though are the fact that it’s an accompaniment for almost anything. As a spread over cakes, scones; for a quick fix we have spread it over chapattis and made sweet rolls for a bite on the go; to add a different flavor with ice creams or cheese cakes.
And we found this awesome and unique recipe which is sure to a favorite of any jam lover : The Banana Jam.
- 50 Plantains (the small and over ripe is best suited)
- Sugar – 750gms to 1 kg ( depending on how sweet you want it)
- Orange juice- juice of 5 oranges
Boil the plantain in a cooker. When cool, strain the juice and discard the residue. To this add sugar (quantity may vary according to the sweetness of the plantain- this is usually trial and error) and cook till thick, add the orange juice and remove from fire when it attains the consistency of viscous liquid. The color will be a deep-almost-black purple in the jar.
Enjoy with almost anything – appam, puttu, idyappam and of course bread and butter.
Do let us know how your version worked out!