Monday, August 12, 2013

Cucumber Lime Jam with Vanilla

Picture of a Jar of Cucumber Lime Jam with VanilaDespite eating lots of Cucumber Raita, we still have a huge pile of cucumbers that need eating. This calls for desperate measures, namely googling to see if Cucumber Jam is a thing. And apparently it is indeed a thing.

The search turned up a couple of interesting recipes: this Vanilla Cucumber conserve recipe and this Cucumber Jam one.

Based on these starting points, I decided to try making a Cucumber Lime Jam with Vanilla.

To make my jam, I used:

  • 2kg Cucumbers.
  • 2kg Sugar.
  • Juice and zest of 6 limes, plus another couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • 1 Vanilla pod.
Coarsely grate the cucumbers and put into a maslin pan.
Finely grate the zest from the limes and add to the pan, followed by their juice and the lemon juice.
Split the vanilla pod open along its length and scrape out the black seeds into the pan, then add the whole pod to infuse.
Now tip the sugar in on top of it all, cover, and leave to stand for a couple of hours. This will draw the juice out of the cucumbers, and let the lime and vanilla flavours infuse into it all.
Once the cucumber juice has come out into the sugar, start to gently heat the pan, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved into the juice.
Remove the vanilla pod, and turn up the heat to bring the mixture to the boil.
Boil until it reaches jam setting point.
Pack into warmed sterilised jars and seal in the usual way.

The resulting jam took a long time to boil off enough water to reach jam setting point, and is quite runny - it could probably do with a bit more pectin in the mix, and maybe wringing out the grated cucumber in a clean teatowel before adding to the pan.

It's a pale greenish-yellow with greener cucumber shreds throughout, so that it looks like bit like lime marmalade. On toast, the cucumber flavour doesn't really come through. Further experimentation is required to see how it works as a cake filling or in jam tarts.

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