RASPBERRY CHIA SEED JAM

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Full winter mode is in effect. I'm making soup after soup, the tea kettle is always warm, and I've resolved to my usual winter introversion of staying in most evenings. I swing back and forth between embracing hibernation and seriously contemplating why I live in such a cold place during these months.

Pros of Winter

  • daydreaming about summer
  • romancing a hot babe with 69 candles and a dusty grey-brown space heater because every old building in Toronto is never warm enough.
  • pasta every other night seems reasonable
  • wearing big blankety scarves. No joke, the other day someone told me my scarf made me look like I was from The Revenant. Ummm thank you. They were bad asses and also very cold like me.
  • catching up on all your tv shows and internet memes
  • onesies are appropriate at any hour (are they though?", said a work friend when I demanded I should be allowed to wear one to my job.)
  • The snow is pretty and makes it look like Narnia. (But let's not forget how messed up Narnia was. Firstly, the evil queen cast a spell so that it's permanent winter. So yeah, it was beautiful and magical or whatever, but even the evil queen couldn't think of a worse punishment than infinite winter. Also, Mr. Tumnus is a uber creep. He lures a little girl into his underground lair or home", drugs her drink, and then hypnotizes her with his pan flute and fire demons. Ummmmm whaaaaaat?!?!  Just watch this scene and try and tell me different.)

Cons of Winter

  • toes turn to icicles for 5 months straight
  • buying tubs of moisturizer to prevent a reptile-like appearance
  • everyone has a slight to severe amount of depression
  • the air hurts your face
  • the air hurts your lungs
  • produce is often unripe. My current avocados are more fossilized dinosaur eggs rather than fruit or vegetable. 
  • morphing into a jelly-like blob from too many hours of Netflix and bowls of pasta
  • slipping on ice because 1) it hurts and 2) it's very embarrassing and people always ask if you're okay and you say yeah, I'm fine" when you're not really sure if you are fine and all you want to do is have a frustrated-painful cry for like one minute. 

To improve my winter depression I must have light and fresh things around to whisper sweet summer nothings into my ear. Raspberry jam is my favourite preserve and reminds me of my grandmother's garden where fresh herbs, rhubarb and raspberries would flourish. I bought some lush plants the other day to help remind me that we will eventually emerge from the heaviness of winter – revitalized and fresh, into a lighter and more care-free season.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago
— In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

This raspberry jam uses all natural ingredients and is lightly sweetened with a bit of honey to create a tart and fresh preserve. The recipe is simple, with only a few ingredients, and uses chia seeds to thicken it to the perfect jammy texture that invites eating straight from the spoon.

May your winter and jam be fruitful and your skin still in tact by Spring.

xx

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

RASPBERRY CHIA SEED JAM

the magic

inspiration:            raspberry picking in my grandma's garden                 

the feels:                tart + slightly sweet

eat with:                 a thick piece of toast w/ butter or coconut oil,                                   oatmeal, yogurt + granola, in a smoothie, muffins,                               croissants, scones with clotted or whipped                                         cream, in a cocktail, on vanilla ice cream

might like it you're into:       picnics, cartwheels, the smell of grass,                                               quiet sunny mornings, cheese boards,                                                 English gardens, The Lion The Witch                                                 and The Wardrobe

 

the science

makes one cup jam || prep + cook time: 20 minutes + extra to cool

ingredients:

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (I used white)
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: 1/4 tsp powdered ginger

method: 

  1. In a medium pot add everything except for the chia seeds (raspberries, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt). Place on stovetop over medium heat and stir to combine. Once mixture begins to warm up and berries begin to get mushy (within a few minutes), mash with the back of a wooden spoon until it is all evenly broken down.
  2.  Leave for 5 minutes on medium then reduce to low-medium for another 10 minutes, stirring once in a while. 
  3. Remove from heat, add chia seeds and stir to evenly combine. Leave to cool. Pour into jar and refrigerate. 

Keeps for 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge. 

SMALL BATCH APPLE BUTTER (SLOW COOKER + SUGAR FREE)

Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Winter is here. There is snow on the ground, I bought a scarf that is basically a blanket, and my furry winter jacket has me nuzzling my face into it while out in the cold Toronto air. The other day I walked outside my door and watched an lady on the other side of the road do an unintentional Elaine dance before falling over on to the icy sidewalk. I held back a laugh and did my best surprised yet concerned person face, Are you okay?!" I asked loudly. She said nothing. MA'AM! ARE YOU OKAY?! DO YOU NEED HELP?!" I yelled, because then I was like, maybe she hit her head and is concussed! Yes yes, I'm fine.", she said clearly embarrassed and wishing I hadn't drawn attention to her. Oh, uhhhhh okay. Well, ummmmm, have a good day! Not that it was going good at this moment, but you know what I mean! Like I mean, I hope it gets better!" It was an awkward interaction. I felt bad she felt embarrassed but then I felt embarrassed for myself because of my weird response. But what was I supposed to do? Just watch and laugh and walk away? That's cold. Ice cold. Ha.

Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca

I made apple butter this week which makes these cold days easier. I turned the slow cooker on and basically just dumped everything in and left it for hours while it warmed up my apartment and spread Christmasy scents of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting around. I put on Christmas music and let the holiday feel fully set in.

This apple butter has no extra sweetener added since the apples themselves always lend enough sweetness in my opinion. It's a very easy recipe, takes no skill at all and makes a great holiday gift for your vegan paleo gluten–free lactose intolerant friend. Their life sounds depressing so they need this in a very big way. Also good for other people who eat all food. Might be okay for your cat, but I may be wrong as I'm just making this up right now. But a cat licking apple butter off a spoon would be super cute. You can use it on lots of things– spread on some toast, smothered on a pork chop, added to a cheese board, or dolloped into some yogurt or oatmeal. It's perfect just to eat right off the spoon as well. 

So pick out your favourite Christmas movie, put the tea kettle on, and pull out that dusty slow cooker that sits in the crawlspace underneath all the weird craft projects you started and never finished in the last year. I hope this apple butter makes you as happy as it did for me.

Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Small Batch Apple Butter (Slow Cooker + Sugar Free) || This easy recipe for apple butter is only a few ingredients and completely unsweetened using only the apples natural sugars. Makes a great Christmas gift and perfect on toast, muffins, pork chops or yogurt. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugars + plant based. || www.creamandhoney.ca

SMALL BATCH APPLE BUTTER (sugar free)

makes 3.5 to 4 cups of apple butter || prep time: 10 minutes // cook time: 6 hours  

the magic

inspiration:          roaming apple orchards with my sister      

the feels:              lightly sweet + smooth texture

eat with:              toast, muffins, pork chops, yogurt, oatmeal,                                        layered between cakes,whipped cream,maple syrup. 

might like if you're into:      picking your own fruit, rolling hillsides,                                            cider, fermentation, bourbon, hot                                                      buttered rum, mulled wine.

the science

ingredients:

  • 4 lbs (10-12 medium) apples of your choice (I used Ambrosia)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, fresh grated
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

method:

  1. Leave skins on; core and slice apples. Add apples and water to slow cooker and cook on high, covered. Leave for 3.5 to 4 hours stirring once in awhile. 
  2. Use potato masher or big wooden spoon to mash apples well. Blend up apple mixture using a hand blender, Vitamix or regular blender. Add the apple butter back into the slow cooker (unless hand blended) as well as the remaining ingredients and cook on high, uncovered for another 1 to 2 hours depending how thick you want it. Keep cooking longer to reduce down to whatever thickness you desire.

RHUBARB STRAWBERRY TART + TOASTED ALMOND MERINGUE

RHUBARB STRAWBERRY TART + TOASTED ALMOND MERINGUE || Cream + Honey

Strawberry and Rhubarb are like high school sweethearts. Eternal lovers. They've been together since I can remember and have always been a dynamic duo. Sometimes they're on a break and you see them with others, (especially strawberry). Strawberry is exploratory and a social butterfly. Rhubarb tends to be more reserved and somewhat picky with their partners. Both are charming in different ways and blend well with others, but when you see them back together again it feels nostalgic and just right. You kind of hope they'll eventually run off into the sunset together because in your heart you know they belong with each other. Or maybe that's just me. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey

Strawberry and shortbread are another wonderful pair and rhubarb is welcoming to a medley between all three. This shortbread crust is buttery, delicious, and easy to make. If you end up with too much crust you can make a few shortbread cookies! Or eat the dough raw. It's a win-win-win situation. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey

The filling is a rhubarb strawberry curd. I say rhubarb strawberry and not vice versa because there is much more rhubarb in it. I made 4 different version of this curd before finding the perfect balance I liked. I noticed that once heated, the rhubarb flavour would diminish and the strawberry would dominate so I kept adjusting until it was just right. Not too sweet and less strawberries than most recipes–this way, the tartness and subtleties of the rhubarb flavour get their chance to shine. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey

This tart is so tasty on it's own but after using a carton of yolks on curd trials, I had A LOT of whites leftover. Egg white omelettes are lackluster in my opinion so meringue is often my way to use them up and feel good about it. And what's better than silky meringue right off the whip than toasted meringue?! I could argue nothing is. Until after my sugar high peaks and I fall into a sugar coma. Then I could argue sleep is better than meringue. Until I woke up and saw the leftover meringue smiling at me from the counter. See how it's a vicious cycle?!

(In the end of all the trials I settled on a method with whole eggs, so if you make the meringue you will be left with extra yolks instead. Here are some ideas to use up your egg yolks. I vote hollandaise.)

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey

When something tastes this good, I eat dessert with lunch and dinner. And maybe as a snack.

It may sound gluttonous but we must sometimes welcome the indulgery when things are plentiful because we may soon be in a new place where we crave or need the opposite. There are certain times for everything, whether it's being busy or excited or bored. I think boredom is more important than we give credit to. If everything was exciting all the time, we wouldn't appreciate it. Boredom brings a chance for reflection and relaxation.

This is a time for an abundance of tart. Because maybe next week will be all quinoa and kale. I try to enjoy whatever is coming up in life each moment because it will always pass. And then I'll miss it in some way. Sometimes when I feel apathetic about something, I think of how it will feel to not have it or when it has gone from my life. I'm thinking in bigger terms than this tart. Like spending time with certain people or the homes we live in or the places we regularly go like a market, cafe or park. Just for a few seconds, I think about in the future when I have moved on to new things or people move away–when those times in our lives are over. And those few seconds help ground me to this moment and remember how wonderful it all is. A new found appreciation for something that may seem old or dull or not good enough compared to our desires about the future.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart + Toasted Almond Meringue || Cream + Honey

I had every intention of giving some of this tart away but two of us finished it within 48 hours.

The tart had a short but good life. Every slice was lovingly adored. 


STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TART + TOASTED ALMOND MERINGUE

t h e   m a g i c

i n s p i r a t i o n :        classic food pairings

f e e l s :                           soft top + crumbly bottom                                                                                                                                                     tart + sweet 

e a t   w i t h :                 coffee, tea, glass of sauvignon blanc (or any wine. because... wine.)

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :        summertime, English gardens, afternoon tea,  toasting                                                                                              marshmallows over the fire, working with your hands,                                                                                              Romeo & Juliet.

t h e   s c i e n c e 

makes 1  14 x 4.5 " rectangle tart or 1  9.5" round tart

i n g r e d i e n t s :

Strawberry Rhubarb Curd

  • 1 cup rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (approx. 1 lime)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 75 g butter (1/3 cup)
  • 45 g organic cane sugar (1/4 cup)
  • cheesecloth

Shortbread Crust

  • 170 g butter (3/4 cup)
  • 113 g organic cane sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 220 g unbleached all purpose flour (1 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Toasted Almond Meringue

  • 3 eggs whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 113 g organic sugar or powdered sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract

m e t h o d :

Strawberry Rhubarb Curd

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat add the rhubarb, strawberries, water and honey. 
  2. Leave until the fruit is soft, mixing every few minutes. When fruit begins breaking down, mash with a fork or potato masher until fully combined into a puree.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. To speed up the process, pour into a bowl and put in the fridge or freezer. Make the tart crust at this time.
  4. When fully cooled, strain fruit puree through a doubled cheesecloth.
  5. In a small bowl add eggs, lime juice and sugar and whisk until combined. 
  6. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add egg mixture and fruit puree to saucepan and whisk continuously until thickened to the consistency of curd.*
  7. Pour into a bowl or jar and place in the fridge to let cool and set fully (or freezer to speed up process).  

*Sometimes I find curd will thicken within 5 minutes and sometimes it has taken up to 15. Keep whisking so not to let your eggs cook. This will happen if your heat is too high or you walk away from your curd for too long while which is why I don't leave it. When making curd, I like to keep a shallow bath of cold water in my sink in case I see it start to curdle. You can place the bottom of the pan in the cold water bath and whisk very quickly until it returns to normal then put back onto heat. Consider reducing your heat a little if that happens. You can always add a little cornstarch if your having problems thickening curd. 

Shortbread Crust

  1. Add sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt to a bowl and beat well in stand mixer (with flat paddle attachment) or hand mixer. 
  2. Mix flour into the bowl gradually until dough is smooth.
  3. Press dough into tart pan evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
  5. Pour rhubarb strawberry curd into tart crust and smooth out evenly. Cover tart edges with aluminum foil so it doesn't burn. 
  6. Bake tart until the filling looks set, about 15 - 20 minutes. 
  7. Let it fully cool while you make the meringue. Refrigerate to speed up cooling.

Toasted Almond Meringue

  1. Wipe mixer bowl with a little lemon (or vinegar) to ensure there is no leftover oil (this prevents meringue from forming). 
  2. Add egg whites and cream of tartar to mixing bowl and whisk on medium speed in stand mixer (or hand mixer) until soft peaks form. Look here for a guide on soft to stiff peaks if you're unsure of the difference. 
  3. Add almond extract and whisk on high speed while adding a spoonful of sugar at a time until stiff glossy peaks form. Rub a bit of meringue between yours fingers to make sure it is silky smooth with no grittiness from any undissolved sugar. Keep beating until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Insert decorating tip (I used the Wilton 12) into piping bag and fill with meringue. If you don't have piping bags and or decorating tips you can use parchment paper. Check it out here, I used this method when I started baking. Or you can spoon it on top for an easier method and a more rustic look. Both are beautiful and equally delicious. 
  5. With a kitchen torch, toast meringue lightly. If you do not own a kitchen torch you can turn on your broiler setting for your oven and place under for a couple minutes but make sure to watch over it as it happens very quickly (2 to 4 minutes). 

Shortbread crust recipe from All Recipes.