By Daniela Apeloig, Co-founder of Apeloig Collection
Sukkot is over. Now one question remains: what should you do with your Sukkot etrog? Make a delicious jam!
Every year I receive an etrog and a lulav from our Rabbi from back home. For us, it’s tradition to celebrate the Sukkah by going to the Temple and to friends and family who host a Sukkah at home and are generous enough to invite us. Together we say the blessings of the lulav and etrog and sit down to eat under the Sukkah.
And here’s where the etrog comes in. I recently learned the meaning of "Segulah" or "Segulot.” These spiritual, or even mystical, Jewish practices are believed to help achieve certain desired outcomes in Kabbalistic and Talmudic traditions. They essentially are what you might call “Jewish Superstition!”
Some Segulot tie the Sukkot etrog to women, pregnancy and birth. According to them, after Sukkot ends, pregnant women eat the leftover etrog to make for an easier labor later. The etrog is also believed to help women who would like to have children conceive. I’ve never used the etrog after Sukkot, but this year I’m expecting a baby, making this the perfect time to start. Like they say, “you never know!”
So it was decided. 2015 would be the year I make my first etrog jam. In search of the perfect recipe, I started calling my friends one by one, but got some bad news: most of their jams turned out very bitter. So, I went straight to Chabad.org to try their recipe. And the results were...WORTH SHARING!
This jam was easy to make, required simple ingredients and most importantly, was delicious! So what’s the secret? Adding an orange to the etrog, just as the recipe suggest, is exactly what you need to make a jam with a taste as sweet as it is fresh.
- 1 etrog
- 1 orange
- Wash the etrog and the orange, cut them in half lengthwise, and then slice them very thin.
- Remove all the seeds.
- Soak the fruit in water overnight.
- In the morning, change the water to cover the fruit, and bring to a boil.
- Change the water again, and bring to a boil once more.
- Pour out the water.
- Weigh the fruit, and add an equal weight of white sugar.
- Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes until the jam begins to gel.
- Tip: Don’t worry about the consistency of the mixture when it’s hot. As it cools, it will thicken.
- You can use a hand blender to make the fruit pieces smaller before the jam cools.
- Last, let stand 5-10 minutes to thicken, then pour into jars as you like.
To add an element of design to tradition, or perhaps superstition in this case, we suggest using Ball or Mason jars to store the jam in style. Any size you prefer will do. To add a bit of character, cover the lids with fabric or paper and tie with ribbon. You can also add decorative labels to your jars. I chose to use mini jars so I could give one away to pregnant friends in hopes of easing their labor, as well as to friends who hope to have a baby on way soon. No matter how you choose to package your jams, we hope you enjoy celebrating tradition in style.