Cherry Lemon Jam and Brown Butter Honey Buns

No, these do not necessarily go together.

But they could.  I mean, why not? I’m not going to slap the jam (or the buns) out of your mouth. Ok, that sentence’s double entendres skewed way towards the creepy.  Can we forget I ever said that?  Please?  Well, fine, you just wait until you say something awkward. You just wait, sir or madame.  Boy, will I snicker then.  Oh, the snickering.  Epic snickering coming your way, baby. Just wait.

Anyway, please, please, dear reader, do what you like.  You’re grown, after all, aren’t you?  And isn’t the consolation for the stress of being grown the illusion of agency?  Like I may have absolutely no control over anything of importance in my life at all at any moment, but damn it, I will make jam and honey buns if I want to, you best believe that %$*#! Can you tell I’ve been overloaded with grown stress lately?  So I took a mental health day.  That is, I took my appointed day off and tried (as much as was possible) not to think about my new job, which has been demanding, to put it mildly.

But sometimes you just have to wake up and say, “F$%* this noise.” In fact, that’s pretty much the first sentence that comes out of my mouth each day.  (That’s a lie. It’s actually, almost invariably, “Well, hello, beautiful ladies.”  Sadly, this is absolutely invariably directed at my dogs.  Ahem.  Moving on).

So yesterday I was all, “F*%# this noise, I’m going to have fun today.” Here’s how I did it.

I made this jam, a la David Lebovitz, which is awesome because there is literally no recipe.  Take some cherries.  I took these.

I, Jaime, take you, Cherries…

And de-stem them.  Also, if I have not mentioned this, I generally frown on single use “gadgets”.

This is not one of those times.

I mean I guess I could pit olives with this too, if I ate olives.

Anyway, you can pit cherries without a pitter, but, hot damn, it’s annoying.  You would have to cut each one in half and manually remove the pit.

Be advised ****wear something black or that you don’t care about and be prepared for your cutting board to look like a crime scene****

But so once this has happened, David says to cut 3/4 of them into small pieces.  I rough chopped about 1/2 of them.

Because you’re not the boss of me, David L. No recipe, remember? They’re my hot cherries, I’ll do what I want!

That was a Cartman reference not my actual attitude.  Also, note how I have the top of my hand on the tip of the blade?  That way I can keep my fingers out of the way, use the tip of the blade as a pivot, and go fast and furious with no risk of injury.  Despite the look of things.

Then I zested and juiced a lemon and threw it with the cherries into a high-sided pot.

Then I turned the heat on medium high and cooked them for 15-20ish minutes, stirring occasionally, until they were soft.

Measure the cherry business you have rocking –

I happen to have a bowl with measurements on the side, but whatever your method for measuring this is fine. You do you.

Then measure 3/4 the amount of cherry business in sugar and add that.  For instance, I had 2 cups cherry-like matter, so I added 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar.

This seems like a lot.  It is.  David assures us that this is necessary to keep the jam from spoiling.  Know what I did?  Juiced another lemon into it.  Problem solved (and it became cherry lemon jam not just cherry jam. Sour and sweet. Huzzah.).

Then you cook this on medium high heat, stirring nearly constantly, until it starts to gel and have the right consistency.  It will visibly thicken, but you should keep a little plate in the freezer.  When you think it’s there, take the plate out, put some jam on it (turn off the heat), stick the plate into the freezer.

Wait three minutes.  Take out.  Check consistency.

Looking good to me.

If not thick enough.  Cook another two minutes, test again.  Repeat until happy.

Also, if you’re ambitious, and going to the beach, make these also –

Brown Butter Honey Buns

makes 10-12

1 cup half and half
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, browned
1 cup water, cold
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
5 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

First mix flour and salt in a bowl or your stand mixer.  In a pan, melt and brown the butter.

For this, maybe don’t use a cast iron pan. Hard to tell when it’s brown.

and then add the honey. It will foam.

Add half and half and warm through. Turn off the heat and add the cold water.

Oddly riveting…

Add all that to your flour.

If it’s in your stand mixer, turn it on and let it knead until it window panes.

I did this one by hand.  If you are too, bring it together with a a spoon until a rough dough forms.  Then dump the whole mess onto your board, knead until it windowpanes, adding sprinkles, light sprinkles, of flour when it starts sticking to your fingers.

About 5-10 minutes if you’re a kneading fool.  15-20 for you leisurely kneaders.  If you need to know about kneading or windowpaning (is all your bread dense or flat even when you followed the recipe?) check out the notes.

Then form the dough into a ball, spray a bowl with pan spray or just rub some veg oil around it if you don’t have pan spray.

Isn’t this bowl pretty? I complimented it until the owner gave in and gave it to me.  Thanks, Mom.

Cover with plastic wrap or towel.  Place in the warmest spot in your kitchen. Wait about 1 1/2 hours until it’s doubled.

Then turn it out onto a lightly floured board and fold it gently in half. Cut the dough into ten to twelve pieces (or measure out 5 ounce portions on your handy-dandy scale) and form them into little balls.  Tips on that also in notes. Place on a sheet pan.

The plastic wrap wasn’t cutting it, so I ended up going with a kitchen towel.


Give those about a half hour to double, and brush them with more browned butter.

Bake at 350 for @20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

When they come out, brush with more browned butter.

Oooh. Shiny!

Then make a sandwich with them.

This is just the sandwich version of my buffalo wings with roasted garlic blue dressing.

Take said sandwich to the beach.

Where many women in full burkas are playing in the water. At first I was like, aren’t they hot in those?? Then I realized – probably not. They’re wearing full-length wet clothes. They’re probably cooler than me. Car ride home couldn’t have been comfortable though.

Sorry, kids, only people who actually go to the beach with me get to see the goods. Thems the rules.

Then I managed to spill sauce on my shirt as I was eating and walking, hurrying to meet my friend Lyndee.  Good thing we were going shopping.  I found one for 8$ on clearance, that I just love.  Yes, in case you were wondering, I also managed to get a stain on that. At the Bad Apple.

The Bar - The Bad Apple

The burgers rock, but the main attraction is that the beer menu is longer than a beagle’s face. If most beer menus are Old Man And The Sea, this one is Infinite Jest.

Lyndee had the Peppered Kraut Burger. I got a Belhaven Scottish Stout.

On tap, baby.
(Geez, I’m calling you baby a lot in this post…It’s weird.  I’ll stop.)

Then I went to see Moonrise Kingdom.

It wasn’t revolutionary or awe-inspiring or ground-breaking.  It was just utterly charming and surprisingly heartfelt for a Wes Anderson and predictably stylized and beautiful. It was the perfect end to a relaxing day.

Ok, I’m ready now.

Bring on the stress.


3 thoughts on “Cherry Lemon Jam and Brown Butter Honey Buns

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