Sweet fennel jam
Central Kitchen's fennel jam is one of the only staples on the restaurant's constantly evolving menu. Served along the restaurant's signature cheese plate, this jam uses up the entire fennel plant — from the bulb to the frond tops. The sugar here acts as a preservative, while the pectin helps thicken the dish for marmalade consistency. Make a big batch and serve on toast, crackers, or alongside your own fancy cheese plate. It'll keep in a closed container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
MAKES 1/2 cup
1 cup thinly sliced fennel and fronds, separated
1 tablespoon apple pectin
/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
In a small sauce pot, mix together the sugar and the pectin. Cover the sugar solution with enough water to make a paste (about 1/2 cup). It’s okay if you add too much water — it'll cook out anyway.
Add the thinly shaved fennel to sugar and pectin paste and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. After about 15 minutes, the sugar will start to thicken and coat the fennel. It should look like it’s glazed, but not in liquid.
Fold in the fennel fronds and add the lemon juice. This will help the fronds maintain their color. Season with a pinch of salt.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.