Friday, July 6, 2012

Blackberry Habanero Jam - My PB&J Just Got Dangerous

Blackberry Habanero Jam - My PB&J Just Got Dangerous

Warning: Tasting this jam will upend everything you thought you knew about preserved fruit spreads. This product is meant for people who color outside the lines.

We've all heard of pepper-jellies. Growing up in the eighties, I can remember the two varieties of sweet and spicy jelly found at the local supermarket; one was neon red and the other was neon pine-green. They were nice spread over a grilled pork-chop, but really, not good for anything else. Who would put pepper-jelly on a peanut butter sandwich or on top of pancakes? Okay, I admit it, I did too. But it wasn't that tasty.

Hot Licks is flexing their genius with this jam. Incorporating the sweet, bright notes of blackberry with the hot, fruity taste of habanero meant this jam wasn't just for an occasional chop, but a unique ingredient capable of igniting pizazz in sweet and savory recipes.

And what a PB&J this bad-boy makes. I used crunchy peanut-butter on butter-toasted brioche with a slathering of Blackberry Habanero Jam. The merging of creamy and tangy, salty and sweet-heat on a crispy buttery bun sorta' changed my life forever. How can I go back to just sweet, boring sandwiches when my tongue has been revved up by the subtle notes of hot pepper that linger on my palate after the last bite is gone?

This jam isn't just a spread though. It works amazing as a glaze for meats like ham and chicken. Try using it in place of BBQ sauce during your next cook out. The sugars in the jam will carmelize on the meat and the heat will provide just enough sizzle to wake up a tired mouth and make it feel alive.

Or try adding a layer to cakes, cupcakes, croissants and pies. The fruitiness of both the blackberry and the pepper will shine when matched with rich flavors of butter and chocolate.

For those of you who want to entertain, spread a quarter cup of the Blackberry Habanero Jam over a round of Brie cheese, then sprinkle it with toasted sliced almonds. Wrap in puff pastry and bake until golden, and serve warm. The gooeyness of the cheese, the butteriness of the puff pastry and the delicate sweet heat from the jam will leave your friends in awe.

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