The Great Plotnik

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Two Queens versus The Tower of Plotnik

At The Great Plotnik World Headquarters Royal Citrus and Avocado Grove. the lemon tree is bursting at the seams, and has been since April. Plottie can't STAND not to use up all the fruit. He has made preserved lemons twice already this year and in August he made Lemon Marmalade with Vanilla Bean.  It came out so delicious that yesterday he picked more lemons and made a second batch.

In the picture above Block Two (second batch) is on the left and Block One (is on the right). You will notice the different colors.

The Tower of Plotnik (brand) was made before he knew exactly what he was doing. When you make jams or marmalades without pectin, you have to cook the fruit-sugar mix until it gets to the gel stage (around 225 degrees F) before you ladle it into the jars and process it.

There are several ways to tell if you're at the gel stage. One way is to take a plate, freeze it, then keep sampling tiny spoonfuls of cooking fruit by pulling the plate out of the freezer and dropping the hot mix onto it. If it sheets instead of drips: you're done.

Or, you could get a candy thermometer. Plotnik didn't have one, so he just cooked and cooked and cooked the mix until he couldn't stand it anymore, and then he put it into jars. The reason it is so much darker is the flavor concentrated so much more. It's absolutely delicious -- full of vanilla.

The Two Queens Kitchen (brand), made yesterday, was done with the aid of a candy thermometer which simplifies the process greatly. However, the mix comes up to the gel stage faster on a warm day (yesterday) and if you follow what the thermometer says you will stop cooking after around twenty minutes. The jam jels. 

But it doesn't cook as long, so the flavor is deliciously sweet but not concentrated to the point of really being able to taste that vanilla bean.

So now the Large Larder in the Grand Pantry in the Royal Kitchen at Great Plotnik World Headquarters has quite a few jars of both Tower of Plotnik and Two Queens Kitchen Lemon Marmalade with Vanilla Bean. One is sweeter, one is vanilla-ier. Both are really good with peanut butter on a Snacker cracker from Trader Joe's.

Why two different labels?

Because Plotnik loves last year's photo of Belly Bone with Mummy P. playing with each other's noses. Also, he can't find the original label for Tower of Plotnik (brand).


At 6:47 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

That sounds really good. Maybe you could make some with oranges, and maybe add some black trim. Just saying.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

very cute, plottie!13

At 7:25 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

disregard the 13, pls.

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

I can't wait to try some (if there is any left) in December!!!


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