Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Konfitura, Baby!

I have made konfitura. Myself. From berry bush to jar, all from scratch.
I’m expecting a call from the President at any moment.
This is not a very elegantly presented or photographed dish, but homemade waffles with homemade blackberry preserves is the best.
Konfitura can be translated simply as jam or as I prefer, preserves. My original plan was to make jeżynówka or nalweka from jeżyny. Nalewka is homemade liquor. If you’ve ever had it, especially berry or cherry liquor, I’m sure you’d agree that it is delicious. It’s so deceptively delicious that I have seen people who don’t usually drink, quickly get falling-down drunk. OK, that was me, but I am sure it has happened to other people as well. I checked the nalewka recipes and saw that I’d have to wait a month or 2 or 3 to consume said nalewka. There is also a process of filtering that looks like a lot of work for a person who rarely drinks alcohol. So it seems that delicious nalewka is reserved for the patient which I am definitely not. (Notice the unhealthy pale color of my waffle. Waiting for it to brown up was just taking too long and I had already started to eat all the preserves straight from the jar.) In the end, I opted for a recipe which allows me to eat berries now.
We pick blackberries in a secret and undisclosed location near our house in the village. Judging by the quantity and quality of berries we’ve been picking the last few weeks and the unscientific research I have done (i.e. ask the drunks at the shop), we are the only people who pick berries. Apparently picking berries is for biedaki and/or hipsters. At any given time, I fall into either or both of those categories, so I guess that evaluation is spot on.
Here is how this poor hipster made some delicious jam.
Blackberry jam – Konfitura z jeżyn
We picked about a kilogram of ripe berries. We ate another half a kilo on the walk. We spotted an eagle catching a fish and then a frog jumped into my berry container. Don’t worry, I didn’t preserve it. At home, I cleaned the berries and removed all extra material such as leaves, a snail, a worm of some kind and the frog. Next, I started cooking the kilo of berries in a big pot. I added a teaspoon of citric acid to keep the color vibrant. Next, I added the seeds of one vanilla bean. Finally, I added cukier żelujący – gelling sugar and cooked for 3-5 minutes. After that I transferred the hot berries to clean jars, put the lid on, and let stand upside down for 5-10 minutes. I then checked that the jar top sealed and that’s it.
That’s all there is to it. Easy, isn’t it? We also found some big, fat mushrooms I thought would be perfect for pickling. I know nothing about wild mushrooms so when Misiu declared, “I think you can eat them.” I decided that pickled mushrooms can wait for another day.


Prezentuje Prezenty said...

I am very well impressed Chris and indeed you now deserve Polish citizenship! :) Anyone who can make konfitura and especially anyone who makes it without being forced to do so, is definately Polish!

mary nama said...

Niestety grzyby nie mogą czekać, trzeba je niezwłocznie po zebraniu oczyścić i przetworzyć - to znaczy można ususzyć, udusić zagotować do dalszego przetwarzania. W przeciwnym razie będą robaczywe i mogą zapleśnieć.


Zuzanka said...

For biedaki or hipsters is mirabelka - you cannot buy it in the markets, you have to pick it yourself anywhere you find. Sadly, it grows mostly near roads.

But definitely - congratulation on being a real Polish autumn housewife.

Chris said...

PP-Maybe on the citizenship application where you should justify your claim, I should just write, "see jar" and attack a jar of konfitura.

mary nama - Grzyby aren't my thing.It just seems like a lot of work and I'm not 100% sure which mushrooms are safe. I'll leave that for the weekend grzybers.

So Zuzanka, I am officially a hipster biedak. At this moment I've got about a kilo of mirabelki in the fridge. To add to my outlaw status, we picked them from trees next to the main road in front of our local McDonald's. McDonald's customers could sit and enjoy the view. We're just eating them as is. Can you make anything interesting from mirabelki?

zutor said...

you can make konfitura from mirabelki, which could make you Polish citizen even more! a must for you!

Tomasz said...

Your konfitura looks great! Congratulations.
I am doing nalewka in Houston from Polish candies "Raczki" and "Fistaszki". It is so delicious that I am going to be patient.

Chris said...

zutor - Today mirabelki will be baked in a cake. I've never made it before so we'll see.

Tomasz - Please share with us your candie nalewka recipe, pleeeez!

Ingwen said...

Candies are full of shady ingredients, fruit-based beverages are better and healthier ;).

I have solution to your problem with having to wait on a result. Just buy/harvest/pick/steal whatever so many fruits that you'll want to just throw them in the jar with alcohol and sugar and be done with them for some months :D. Works like charm.

Chris said...

I made another batch of jam this weekend and I think you are right Ingwen, I've had enough of jam making. Bring on the alcohol!

snufkin said... 1:37:)

but hey - i'm so proud of you and your marmolada. Looks really delicious!

Zuzanka said...

@Chris, my mirabelki never manage to get into konfitura or ciasto. I was always eating them.

Maybe next year I'll prepare mirabelka konfitura:

(this year I've already made too much ;-))