Some of you know I have a little sideline “thing” making and selling home-canned goods, under the name “Two Parrots” (after my two parrots, of course). My collection of jars for this summer is growing and I’m just worried about striking the right balance between having enough to sell (and making some kind of profit, because man, I’m BROKE) and having enough for my family (myself, sister, brother in law, niece, her partner, and their kids). This year I decided to concentrate on hot pepper jams — lower sugar or alternatively sweetened hot pepper jams (stevia, honey, maple syrup). Today I made a batch of strawberry habanero jam using a new-to-me pectin, Pomona’s. It was great! I used stevia as the main sweetener and just a touch of honey to balance. The jam is medium hot, but it takes a sneaky little turn… instead of a gentle lingering warmth like my Double Cherry habanero, the strawberry hab lingers then slowly increases to a heat that tempts you to reach for some cheese or milk–not because it hurts but because you want to enjoy your ice cold water without having a hot tongue. (If you know hot stuff, you know drinking water does nothing to wash the heat away.)
Anyway, it tastes great… and it should be perfect balanced on some goat cheese, cheesecake, even ice cream, where the heat factor will be moot–the fat in the creamy cheeses or ice cream will balance it out and that lovely fruit and beautiful habanero taste will shine out on its own. I do think Habaneros are one of the loveliest scented and best tasting (once you get past the burn) peppers out there.
If anyone is in the Mahtomedi vicinity on August the Eighth, I’ll be at the Mahtomedi Area’s Farmer’s Market in Triangle Park between 8 AM and 12 Noon… come over and say Howdy! I’ll give you some samples of hot stuff. I’ll have Double Cherry Habanero, Strawberry Habanero, Maple Peach Habanero, some Spicy Pickled Carrots, Dilly Beans, and whatever else I manage to put into a jar by then. (But bring your own milk!) 😀 And while you’re at it, like my Two Parrots facebook page!