Category:  Fruit and Jams

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Quick Strawberry Jam

In Fruit and Jams On March 26, 2014 0 Comments

Don’t you just love homemade jams and preserves? Making them is easy, too. For a quick strawberry jam, all you have to do is boil the fruit with sugar. In no time at all, you’ll spoil everyone who tastes this delicious concoction! Enjoy Quick Strawberry Jam on toasted bread at breakfast, or whenever you feel like having a natural snack.

16 ounces (one pound) fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated, organic, unbleached sugar
Dash cinnamon


1. Remove and discard stems from strawberries.

2. Rinse the strawberries; cut them into fourths, lengthwise.

3. In a 2-quart sauce pot, combine the strawberries, sugar and cinnamon; stir with a wooden spoon.

4. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil; immediately reduce heat to medium and stir.

5. After reducing heat, cook the strawberry mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. After 3 to 5 minutes, using a hand masher, mash the fruit. The mixture will now have liquid as well as pulp.

7. Cook the strawberry jam for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced and thickened.

8. Transfer the hot jam to a glass bowl or jar. Partially cover the bowl or jar (this will let the heat and steam escape).

9. When the jam has cooled completely, store it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate it up to one week.

Note: the consistency of Quick Strawberry Jam will appear more runny than conventional jam (this is due to no thickening agents being added).

Text and Photographs ©2014 Nancy DeLucia Real

Quince Preserves (Dulce de Membrillo)

In Fruit and Jams, Holidays, Preserves On November 22, 2013 0 Comments

Every year, in early November, quince fruit is in season. This is what it looks like:


What shall we make of all this quince? On my end, I’m changing up the usual condiment of “cranberry sauce” served with Thanksgiving turkey. Instead, I’ll make Quince Preserves. In Spanish, this is known as dulce de membrillo. The Spaniards have long been experts at making dulce de membrillo . Of course, they didn’t get the turkey until after Columbus went back and forth a few times from America to Europe.

However, we’ve got both the bird and the quince. Delight and surprise your guests this year when you serve Quince Preserves alongside that yummy turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Active prep time: 40 minutes (for cooking the quinces) & 45 minutes (for cooking the strained fruit with sugar)
Inactive prep time: 45 minutes (cooling time)
Makes: 1 to 1-1/2 cups preserves

3 large quinces
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups organic, granulated, unbleached sugar

1. Place quinces in a 5 to 6-quart sauce pot, covered with cold water.

2. Cover sauce pot and bring quinces to a boil.

3. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the quinces are tender – test by inserting a pointed knife into center of one fruit.

4. When tender, drain and cool the quinces for about 45 minutes.

5. When quinces are completely cool, peel and quarter them.

6. Remove seeds and finely grind the quince fruit in a food processor.

7. Transfer the processed quince pulp through a sieve.

8. Place the strained quince pulp in a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauce pot.

9. Add 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups sugar to the quince pulp in skillet or sauce pot and mix with a wooden spoon.

10. Cook the quince-sugar mixture over lowest heat setting for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thickened.

11. Pour the quince paste into a heatproof glass jar or bowl and cool. Serve or cover tightly and refrigerate.

Note: Quince paste keeps for 2 to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Serve with turkey. Alternatively, as an appetizer, quince paste can be served alongside cheese and wine.

Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real

Jicama, Watermelon & Cantaloup Salad

In Fruit and Jams, Fun Foods, Salads On August 30, 2013 4 Comments

The idea for this salad sort of sparked when I noticed how boring the jicama, watermelon and cantaloup looked on my kitchen counter.

I was surprised at how delicious and beautiful it all turned out. On our upcoming Labor Day weekend and after all that grilled meat, enjoy this salad as a refreshing fruit course. Stay safe and enjoy the holiday!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

3 cups peeled and julienned jicama (one 5-inch jicama or less)
4 cups julienned watermelon
3 cups julienned cantaloup
2 to 3 green onions, dark green tips discarded
Juice from 1 lime
Drizzle of honey (optional)


1. Place the julienned jicama, watermelon and cantaloup in a bowl; toss lightly with lime juice.

2. Slice the white and light green parts of the onions and add them to the jicama mixture in bowl.

3. If desired, drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

Note: This salad is great as a fruit course or a snack.

Text and Photographs ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real

Strawberries with Rum & Sugar

In Fruit and Jams On May 15, 2013 0 Comments

How about cooling down with some sweet strawberries, blueberries, and a shot of rum this summer? For this recipe, all you need to do is mix the luscious fruit with your own version of a shot of rum.


1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled & quartered
8 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup Rum
Fresh mint leaves (for garnish)

In a serving bowl, mix all ingredients together and serve immediately.

Alternatively, chill up 4 hours and then serve.

Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real

Guava & Cream Cheese (Cascos de Guayaba con Queso Crema)

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Fruit and Jams On April 23, 2012 0 Comments

Directly from tropical Cuba, Guavas & Cream Cheese is a unique dessert. Don’t know about you, but I wasn’t aware of this dessert until I discovered Cuban cuisine.

The fresh guavas are stewed with sugar and topped with cream cheese in individual serving bowls. It’s as easy as that!

Make this unique dessert and it’ll be the hit of your next dinner party – Buen Provecho.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

8 to 12 ripe guavas
1 to 1-1/2 cups water
1 cup unbleached, granulated sugar
6 ounces whipped cream cheese
6 to 8 sprigs of fresh mint leaves

1. Wash and dry the guavas.

2. Cut each guava in half; remove and discard inner pulp and seeds.

3. Place the guava halves, hollow or concave sides-up, in an 8-quart sauce pot.

4. Cover the guavas with enough water so that it rises up the fruit halfway.

5. Bring them to a boil and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

6. After 10 minutes, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the guavas.

7. Cook on low heat, uncovered, until sugar has turned into a thick syrup. Cool completely.

To assemble:

1. Place 4 guava halves in each individual glass or porcelain serving bowl.

2. Divide the cooled syrup evenly among each serving.

3. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. At serving time, add 1 teaspoon whipped cream cheese to each guava half. Garnish mint leaves.

Text & Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real