Apron Optional: Slow Jams

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For the special red, white and blue holiday, Apron Optional whips up a batch of buttermilk blueberry scones paired with handmade raspberry and strawberry jam for a summer snack that’s both patriotic and delicious.
For the special red, white and blue holiday, Apron Optional whips up a batch of buttermilk blueberry scones paired with handmade raspberry and strawberry jam for a summer snack that’s both patriotic and delicious.

My fellow Americans:

It’s almost the 4th of July, and in the spirit of the holidays, this blog is going red, white and blue — literally. This week, my editor Julie Rene Tran and I made raspberry strawberry jam along with blueberry scones.

Now, I’m going to go ahead and tell you I’ve never made scones OR jam before and I was a little nervous trying either for the first time. Well—there was one time I made bacon jam, but that is a COMPLETELY different (and delicious) story.

As kitchens go, mine is pretty small. A few years back, my parents renovated the kitchen at our house (it used to be tiny!). Any time we had a lot of people over for dinner, I never understood why my mom was always telling everyone to get out of the kitchen. After this particular cooking experience, I think I finally understand just how overwhelming it can be if you feel crowded in your kitchen (at one point there were five of us in there, I believe).

Much to my surprise, both the jam and the scones were delicious. I would say that if you have an electric stove, you’re going to have to be a bit more patient with the jam. The sugar will probably take longer to dissolve, but hastily turning up the heat could result in a mass of burnt syrup in your saucepan with a side of broken dreams (which are not nearly as appetizing on a scone).

As for the scones, the key is to handle the dough as little as possible. As far as baked goods go, it seems counterproductive to leave lumps and clumps of powder, but resist the urge to continue blending. Mix everything just enough to combine the ingredients, even if you are twitching with the desire to smooth things out.

After all is said and done, make sure to put your jam in the fridge, unless you have decided to take the proper canning process upon yourself — a task I chose to forgo.
That’s all for now, I hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend! Mine will be JAM-packed with friends, sparklers and some patriotic fruit preserves (and perhaps some better puns).