The Debut of Casey "Cocoa Butter" and Her Delicious Dishes

Lady luck strikes us Happy as we welcome the Culinary Institute's own genius in the kitchen : Casey "Cocoa Butter".  We'll be bringing you a new seasonal delicacy by Casey every week! Make sure you check out her BLOG for these and many more gotta-try-it treats!

To begin: A little info about -Jam- Jam is everything that a jelly is not. Jam is almost the halfway point between Jelly and Butter. To make jam, you are going to cook down the entire fruit/veg with sugar and water and any flavorings. This is usually then pureed together and you have jam. Jam is not clear or even translucent. It is very opaque and cloudy. It has pieces of the actual fruit still in the finished product. It is entirely up to you if you want to leave these pieces of fruit whole or mush them up with the rest of the mixture. So now that we have all been properly introduced.....LETS MAKE SOME JAM! :]

Pumpkin Cranberry Jam

I wanted to put my pumpkin puree to good [and different than pie] use. Its almost November, which to me [and most of America] that means THANKSGIVING! And what [besides turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes] says Thanksgiving like cranberries! So here we are, saying  hello to November with a pumpkin cranberry jam! Pumpkin Cranberry Jam Pumpkin Puree: 2# Cranberries: 8 oz Sugar: 1# Water: 1# Cinnamon Stick: 2 each Clove: 1 each Vanilla Bean: 1 each Salt: pinch [small pinch!] Lemon Juice: 1 Tbsp pumpkin cranberry jam

Bring all of the ingredients together into a LARGE pot. You are going to use a pot that is much larger than you think you need. This is going to boil and bubble a lot [my pot ended up being too small, it worked, but i made a MESS (sorry Kat and Allie- best roommates ever, I'll clean the kitchen before work!) So i advise using a large pot [think, something that you would cook pasta in] Boil everything in the pot together, stirring constantly at first. Once you hear the cranberries sing to you.....yes, i said sing [they are going to whistle a little and then their skin will pop] give the pot a nice stir and place a lid on it. Allow this to boil for about 30 minutes. You will need to stir every so often, so stay near by. After about 30-45 minutes of boiling, the jam should have reduced slightly and be very thick. Carefully remove the cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla from the mixture and pour into a large container to cool. Make sure you cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn't form a skin!