Tennessee Biscuits & Jam

No one ever told me just how difficult it is to make jam from scratch. I guess that’s because I never asked. But let me forewarn you that this is one of the most difficult recipes I’ve ever made. The biscuits were a cinch! But without canning equipment or a stock pot, the process you must improvise with to make jam should be an olympic sport and should never be tackled at 10 p.m. on a Saturday.


Biscuits: What you’ll need? 

2 cups purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter

3/4 cup of milk

This is a Paula Dean Homemade Biscuits recipe that can be found on Food Network’s website, but I added a few extra touches to make them a little more “food truck gourmet” and a little less “down on the range.”

In addition to this mixture I added…

1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of water

The lemon juice holds moisture in the biscuits so they don’t dry out as quickly and then brown sugar is the perfect twist that make these biscuits delicious to pair off with a sweet condiment like jam. The addition of water just helps the batter lighten up a bit and become easier to mix.

Instead of baking my biscuits in a buttered skillet like the recipe calls for, I split up the dough and formed 12 separate balls into a greased muffin pan. It worked so well and allowed the biscuits to keep their shape while rising.

Apple Whiskey Jam: What you’ll need? 

I got this recipe from a local Nashville magazine and had to modify quite a bit once I realized I had no pressure cook to soak my canned jams in for the final steps of its’ “preparation.” I also replaced a lot of the initial ingredients because I don’t like nutmeg and ginger very much, so I subbed brown sugar and cinnamon-sugar. That being said, this an extremely laymen version of jam making, but it’s for all of you out there who don’t have the fancy equipment but really want to make a quality breakfast/snack.

6 granny smith apples (peeled, cored & chopped)

2 oz of whiskey (approximately the size of a nip) – I used Bulleit Bourbon 

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar

1/2 cup of lemon juice

1/2 cup of water

2 oz (1 box) of fruit pectin (grocery aisle 7 after the dressings next to the canning jars)

7 cups of sugar

Now for the hard part…

The recipe says you can puree the apples in a blender or a food processor. I tried the blender and 20 minutes later… I was still trying the blender, so if you have a food processor, it may get the job done a whole lot quicker.

You’ll add the apple, whiskey, spices, water and lemon juice into a pot to simmer on med-high heat.

Stir frequently so that the apples really breakdown and the ingredients can thoroughly combine.

Bring to a boil for 30 seconds and stir in 3 and 1/2 cups of the sugar.

Bring back to a boil, because the sugar will blanket the heat and add in the remaining sugar and the fruit pectin.

Bring back to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat to slowly spoon the mixture into your canning jar leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Fully-lid the jar and then, this is where we go on the backroads.

Place your full jars (or one jar if you get a large canning one) in the middle of your kitchen sink. Fill your sink… yes, your sink… with boiling water from the stove until it covers the top of your jam jar and let soak for 15 minutes.

Remove the jar and drain the sink, making sure the water is cool enough to reach into. Store the jar on a flat, wooden surface (a cutting board or cabinet works well) overnight and in the morning, you’ll have a delicious, apple pie-like jam that goes perfect with those biscuits!

To turn these breakfast recipes into a unique lunch, add ham and swiss cheese to the biscuit after applying some of the apple jam and forget you’re at work (for a little at least).

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