Jennifer Hyman's Beet Jam
MAKES 5 – 6 PINTS
This recipe, in The Jewish Kitchen, for eingemacht (beet jam) comes from Jennifer Hyman's grandmother Annie Glass, who insisted that the beets be cut uniformly—and that it be served with matzoh. "It doesn't taste right on bread," she says.
7 lbs. beets, peeled
4 1⁄2 lbs. (10 3⁄4 cups) granulated sugar
1 heaping tbsp. ground ginger
Large handful of whole blanched almonds
1. Boil the raw beets for about 1 hour until you can just get a fork through them. Drain (use the liquid for borscht) and set aside to cool. Cut into wedges then into small, even, triangular shapes. Place in a large saucepan with the sugar and about 3⁄8 cup cold water. Heat gently, stirring frequently to make sure the sugar doesn't catch. Once the liquid starts to come out of the beets, turn up the heat so it bubbles gently.
2. Plunge the lemons into boiling water and drain. Peel off the skin and pith and cut into 1⁄2" slices, then into quarter triangles. Discard the pips (this also helps clean red-stained fingers).
3. After the beets have been cooking for 1 hour, add the lemons. Keep the jam bubbling away, then after another 30 minutes add the ginger. Continue to cook for another 1 1⁄2 hours until thick and jam-like, although remember it will thicken even more as it cools. To determine if the jam is ready to fill, drop a teaspoonful on a chilled plate. Let it sit briefly then push gently with a fingertip; if the surface of the jam wrinkles, it is ready. (Take the pan off the heat while you are testing.)
4. Throw the almonds in at the very end, and mix well. Pour into warm, sterilized jars. Cover and label when cold.