The first official day of fall is just around the corner and we all know what that means – class is back in session. We started our first week back with homemade butter, quick fruit jam and homemade crackers.
Butter is much more than just tasty. After beginning class with a name game, Amanda’s students at 75 Morton had a quick science lesson, where they talked about butter and the scientific method, then made hypotheses about what would happen if they shook a jar of cream.
McKenzie’s class at Computer School also embraced the shaking component of the butter recipe by taking the concept of ‘jamming’ to a whole other level. “Half the class shook the cream into butter while showing off some dance moves; the other half mixed and rolled the cracker dough into a thick but tasty ‘bread,'” she reported.
Needless to say, butter was a popular recipe. McKenzie turned the recipe into a competition at P.S. 20K by splitting the students into two groups that competed to see which team could make butter first. “It came out really well, and they asked for seconds and thirds!,”
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Pour heavy cream and salt (if using) into a canning jar. Screw lid tightly. Shake. Keep shaking. Keep shaking. Shake. Shake until butter forms. Butter forms when whey separates from solids. You can pour off whey, to use for another batch of biscuits, shakes, bread, etc.
Eirann’s students at LMC also enjoyed making classic quick jam and butter recipes in class. She found that the students were very excited to mix cinnamon into their butter, and enjoyed comparing the tastes between the spiced and plain versions. They also made peach jam!
Though our classes enjoyed using some of this season’s last peaches for Week 1’s quick jam recipe, you can whip it up all year round by using strawberries in the spring, cherries in the summer, and apples in the fall and winter. Check out the recipe below for a longer list of delicious fruit suggestions.
Quick Fruit Jam
Makes about 1 ½ cups
- 4 cups fruit, washed and well chopped, if necessary
- Fruit Suggestions: SPRING: strawberries, SUMMER: raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, FALL/WINTER: apples, pears, grapes
- 3/4 cup raw sugar or 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 lemon zested and juiced
- Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, combine the fruit and sugar, and let them macerate for about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a heavy pot and place on the burner over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Add the salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Allow the fruit to gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fruit breaks down and the mixture begins to thicken. When nearly done, the jam will still be loose (it’ll firm up more as it cools), but should coat the back of a spoon. Jam will keep, in a sealed container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or freezer for up to 6 months.
But what is butter and jam without something to eat it on? That’s why Amanda’s class at 75 Morton made sure to enjoy their creations on crackers. Embracing grains from whole wheat flour and sesame seeds, these crackers pair perfectly with jam and butter – and they’re sure to make this new school year tastier than ever.
Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
Mix together both flours, salt, baking powder and sesame seeds. Drizzle the oil on top of the flour mixture and stir in well. Gradually stir in water, adding just enough so that the batter can be gathered up into a ball.
Roll dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll thin and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool completely. Break into pieces and serve as is, or with dips or spreads.
We’re looking forward to a great semester. Keep cooking!
The Allergic to Salad Team