At the beginning of this century, for a few years, we owned and ran a B&B in East Hampton. Georgica Bend Bed and Breakfast was located in the ocean-side Georgica Estates area of East Hampton — although we were not exactly on the ocean and the 'Bend fell short of estate status.
Nevertheless we welcomed a small and discerning clientele season after season (emphasis on "small"). We took our B's very seriously. Our tastefully appointed bedrooms were spotless, sheets crisply ironed, the sparkling bathrooms stocked with Georgica Bend-branded soaps and shampoos. Breakfasts featured an abundance of freshly-baked muffins (the lemon ricotta never failed to dazzle), chunky apple ginger jam, flaky cream scones, streusel-topped tea loaves and whatever else tickled our director of baking operations' fancy.
Still, the fragrant aroma of hot-from-the oven treats was eclipsed by our opulent array of hand-crafted jellies, jams, marmalades and fruit conserves. The combination of local fruits and our proprietary recipes (in tasteful Georgica Bend private label jars, natch) was irresistible. Everyone had to sample each of the six rotating flavors presented in charming jam pots on the breakfast buffet.
Each guest had his or her favorite. Ruby Dee (a late riser) praised the flavor-dense strawberry. The avant garde duo Andrew Andrew gravitated to the double blueberry. George McGovern enjoyed tree-ripened pear. The dozen or so Pakistani-by-way-of-London party girls nearly blew a fuse toasting loaf after loaf of bread, slathering each slice with marmalades of every stripe.
But it was our Beach Plum Jelly that reigned supreme — how could it not? We meticulously harvested the wild beach plums dotting East Hampton's sandy shores in the full glory of late summer.
Our sophisticated array of preserves were not without controversy. Spiced Peach Jam was adored by parents; their kids turned their noses up at the stimulating infusions of star anise, cinnamon stick and ginger.
Today's feature, Chunky Apple-Ginger Jam is a throwback to the assertive flavors found on Georgica Bend's breakfast spreads. Boasting a rugged kick of dried and crystallized ginger suspended in the thick syrup clinging to luscious chunks of Amagansett apples is another entry in the bold flavors family. And if the kids don't cotton to it, all the better — more for you!
Interesting to note: this recipe is thickened with natural pectin derived from the apple peels. No added Certo needed, not that there's anything wrong with that.