6.25.2016

Balsamic Cherry Jam




Hello Cherry Lovers. It is that time of year again when those luscious Washington Cherries are available. I am blessed every year to be one of the lucky jam makers to get a shipment of Rainer Cherries from the Washington Fruit Board.

I have been cookin' up recipes for their delicious cherries for two years. I am always honored to use prime fruit in my jam's.




This year the recipe came from the original Balsamic Strawberry I brewed up a few years back. The thought of the balsamic vinegar mixed with the deep delicious cherries just could not leave this jammin' brain. So here we go.

Ingredients

7 cups of chopped cherries
1 1/2 cup's balsamic vinegar (reduced to 1 cup) 
Juice from one lemon
2 cups of sugars

Pectin User's * 1 box powder pectin if you use it please follow the package direction with proper amount of pectin to sugar


As most of you know I am not a big pectin person. The pectin recipe's call out for far more sugar than any jam should have. I do larger batches and use the good old fashion boil to the gel point like Grandma Lois did.


The first thing you want to do is get your balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Bring it up to a boil and then take it down to a mild simmer. This will reduce your vinegar to a thicker syrup and give it a  richer flavor. Keep an eye the vinegar while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.


** Also get your water-bath ready.  Once it is hot turn it down until your ready to fill your jars **

Alright now clean your cherries and pit them.
I like to keep one counter for cleaning and chopping and the other counter for all things cook to jar. I remove all the stems and place the cherries into a colander. I wash the cherries then pit them. Once pitted they go to a large bowl to be chopped. I use several bowls. Why you ask?

I have found in each stage of cleaning any fruit there is always some little bit of bruise, dirt or bug I missed. Hey this is what happens when you use fresh stuff!




Once your little cherries are cleaned, pitted and cleaned get your cooking area ready. Water-bath ready. Jar clean and in the water-bath staying warm. Lids and screw tops.

Let's get started.












 Put your cherries into your non reactive stainless steel pot. Let them get warm and add the lemon juice. Then proceed to smashing them.







I use a potato smasher to get them to the consistency I like with out pulverizing them.

This is a picture from my Apricot Blackberry Jam ! 








Once you get your cherries to the consistency you like you are ready to add your vinegar and sugar. 

Keep the jam on a boil you can not stir down. If you have a candy thermometer use it. A good gelling jam will come to a gel point of 222 to 223 degrees. This is not as important if your using pectin.








Once your jam has come to the proper gel point turn the flame off of the jam. Let it sit while you get the jar's and all ready. I let all my jam sit for 5 minutes prior to pouring them into the jar's. The fruit has time to collect itself. This will prevent fruit floating.






Alright if you are ready let's fill the jars. Fill them to 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Wipe your jars rims clean place the lid and screw top on. Tighten them taunt and put them into the water bath. Water-bath the jam for 12 minutes. Remove the jars from the water-bath and let them cool for 12 hours or overnight.





When they have cooled remove the screw top if storing. Wipe your jars clean again, label and store for up to one year. Once opened refrigerate.


Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.
 

6.08.2016

Raspberry Marmalade


This last year was a great year for lemon's. I have a freezer full of lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon sections for marmalade. I then purchased these beautiful local raspberries. Out here we are blessed with very good berry business's locally. 






* Put a teaspoon and small saucer into the freezer for the gel test later.

Ingredients

6/8 cups raspberries app 2/3 pounds
2 cup of lemon pulp
1 thinly sliced lemon
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of lemon juice
1/8 of a teaspoon of baking soda
3 cups of sugar
juice of one lemon about a 1/3 cup



This will yield you 8 to 10  8 oz. jars of jam. It is a good idea to have all your ingredients cut and measured out prior to starting. This makes the jam making process so much easier. First thing to do is get your lemon slices and put them into a small saucepan with the water and lemon juice. Bring it up to a slow simmer and add the baking soda and keep on low for approximately 15 minutes or until your peels have softened.






If you want to learn how to cut and section your citrus go here. It is so easy to do once you get the hang of it.  Please do not be to picky the bit of rind and pith you may miss will add to the flavor and texture. Marmalade = tangy





While your lemon peels are getting ready you can place your raspberries and lemon pulp into your pot. I use a Copper Pot because it gives the even amount of heat for my jam making. I do large batches and the heat is extremely important for me to get the gel.






At this time you can smush your raspberries to the consistence you want. Be aware that they do cook down a lot when the heat hit's them. I wait until all the ingredients are in then stir this gives it just the right amount. After all it is a good thing to get a nice big raspberry on your toast.








Now add in your peels liquid and all. Bring the ingredients up to a rolling boil while stirring.


Your jam will start to change color and consistency. Keep this jam going until it reaches a temperature of 220 to 222. This is the key to the gel point with no pectin. If like me you have been canning a while you can tell when the jam has gelled. But for any beginner please use the spoon test.





Ok the jam should be ready for the jars. Turn off the heat and get your jar's ready to fill. Skim the foam off the top.Why do you get a bit of foam? Well like strawberries they have a bit of foam here is the rest of the story on that foam!



 Fill the jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rims clean and cap them putting the screw band taunt onto the top. Give the jar's a 10 minute water bath. Once done remove and let them cool completely. Once cooled remove the bands, wipe clean and store in a cool dry spot. Label and date.












This is a Beautiful Jam !













Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Agricultural Extension Service for additional information and available classes.


5.18.2016

Testing Testing it's all About the Sugar!

Well it sure is the time to start planning your in Season Preserving. I have had a whirl wind of a year and it is only half started. But a I was walking down from the barn a little pomegranate bloom talked to me.

Canarella get to canning the season is starting and before you know it it will be time to pick us! Now Go Girl Go!














With that said another sign that I am late getting the season started is that the Washington Fruit Board called to let me know that my first delivery of their fresh cherries is on it's way! That is always a great way to start the canning season.



 And always an Honor to be asked to be a Canbassador!





This year I am going to try a new approach. Many a customer has asked if I do low or no sugar jam. GOD FORBID! I know I am one of those do not fix it unless it is broken but this year I have had a change of heart. Low Sugar here I come.

Oh Why Ms. Canrella?

Because everyone deserves to slather my jam's across a toasted piece of baked goody. 







I have done a lot of research and to start and make sure I get the right gel out of the jam's I will try a pectin called Pomona Universal Pectin. There website is deliciously simple. Well follow my progress as we attempt to go Low. How low can we go!


4.29.2016

Pressure Canning Butternut Squash

Pressure Canning is a great way too preserve the harvest. My neighbor had oh say 30 butternut squash and she asked me if I wanted them or her husband was going to get rid of them. Well yes I will take all and give back pressure canned butternut.


That little chore turned out to be more then I could handle. With my arm's being disabled it is a bit more work than they can do. I did manage to get through a few jars.

I thought peeling them would be a breeze with all the great tips from the internet. NOT .







 One tip which turned out to make the butternut cry was to put them in the microwave for a few minutes thus soften them for the peel.


This did not work for me not to say it would not work for you! 
Ingredients

14 pounds large Butternut squash
Water
Spices

7 Quart Jars/lids/twists

Once I was able to get a few peeled I simply put them into a large stock pot and blanch for 2 minutes. NOTE do not over cook them you can not safely pressure can mushy squash or pumpkin! 



So next time chop and put them directly into the jar's with some liquid hot broth or water.

Then Pressure Can





So with that said fill you jars with the butternut cubes and liquid until there is one inch of head space.




Fill your jars remove any air bubbles, wipe the rim clean and seal. Do not tighten your jars as tight as when you water bath. Just secure them on the jar.  The lid portion can crinkle leaving an unsafe seal for storage. 





Wipe your jars clean and top with the lid and twist top. Taunt but not super tight. Pack the jars in the pressure canner so as to not touch we do not want any broken jar's.




I do so love preserving the bounty!















 

Once your jars are filled, wiped and placed into your pressure canner you can begin to process at 11 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.


Allow the pressure to come down naturally once the time is done. Remove jars from canner and place on a counter and let them cool until they are completely coo to the touch.


Once you jars have completely cooled remove the twist top wipe clean and label. We know never to store our jars with the twist top right ??????

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. 
Please consult your local Center forHome Preservation for additional information and available classes.

3.08.2016

Blackberry Ginger Jam

Blackberry Ginger Jam that sounds delicious. I do not ever seem to have a lack of blackberries. The season bring me such a nice amount. I always freeze fruit when it is in season this way when it is cold and the berry vines are sleeping I have what I need to make jam all year around.

Let us get started with this Blackberry Ginger Jam. I never had a real love for ginger but have grown quite fond of it since I have learned to adapt it into different recipes. This jam is no exception.








Ingredients

6 cups of whole blackberries
1/4 cup finely chopped ginger
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 to 5 cups of granulated sugar

* Makes approximately 7 half pint jars




Before you start get your ginger cut and ready. The easiest way to peel ginger is to use a spoon. Take the spoon holding the bowl of the spoon toward the ginger and scrape. It makes it quite easy to peel. Chop the ginger into small pieces. Ginger is full of fiber so the smaller you can chop the better.







I always like to have everything ready to go when making jam. It makes the whole process so much easier and a more pleasant time.




Get your berries going in a large stainless steel pot. Have your finely chopped ginger and other ingredients ready to mix.


Add your ginger with one cup of sugar and the lemon juice. Bring this up to a rolling boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Now add the remaining sugar and get the jam up to a temperature of 223 degrees.






Beautiful color and texture !








Now it is time to turn the flame down and let your jam sit for a few minutes prior to filling your jars Check the jam to see if it is set. This gives you time to get the jars out of the water-bath and scape any foam off the top of the jam.

Ladle the jam into sterilized half-pint jars, wipe the rims, add lids and rings. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.




Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.

12.20.2015

Persimmon Apple jam

Persimmon Apple Jam is delightful. The life brought to this jam with the combination of Persimmons and Apples Is Jammin'.

 I was going to go with a straight Persimmon Jam (ha ha) but there was just a slight tart that I personally did not like so in came the apples. I used three different types of apples which just danced with the persimmons.

Ingredients

4 cups chopped persimmons
3 cups chopped apples - variety
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of white sugar 

* This will give you approximately 7 half pint jars - 8 ounce jars 
Have all you equipment ready. Water-bath, jars, sugar this makes the process so much more pleasant.



Start with clean scrubbed persimmons. Peel and chop the persimmons.

Do not use the core or seeds that is where the bitter taste comes from. If you are not sure or have not experienced persimmons eat one you will understand.










Next you need to get your apples chopped.

I use three granny smith and a variety of apples are from my brothers apple trees. This came to approximately 3 to 4 cups.


Have a bowl of cold water ready with the juice of one lemon squeezed in it.

This will keep the apple from browning.



 They look pretty in the jam white not brown.








You can hand peel as I did or use a peeling tools. It seems sometimes it is more work to use a tool than just rely on my own hands.Vary the size of the apple chunks it makes a more interesting jam and people love to taste and feel the fruit in the jam.


 




Put your persimmon, apples and lemon in to your stainless steel pot. You will need to keep this mixture on low and stir for about 45 minutes give or take.





You want the apples to soften up. You do not want them to loose there form it is not a butter so pieces of fruit in your jam is the best.

This is after about 45 minutes on low. Once it softened up I used my immersion blender to break up the jam a bit. It is now time to jar up and water-bath your jam.



The texture here is just perfect if I do say so! Now it is time to take your jar's out of the water-bath and fill. Fill the jars to approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Fill wipe the rim clean and cap. Water-bath for 12 minutes.







Once done remove from the bath let them cool overnight. Once cooled remove the ring (do not store with the ring on) wipe clean and store labeled for up to one year.


Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.     

12.01.2015

Apricot Blackberry Jam

This year's crop of Apricots was incredible. This Apricot Blackberry Jam rocks the toast. I get so busy canning when the season is on that I forget to post for you all.

But we were also lucky enough to grab some of the apricot's from Washington. 






Remember it is never to late to look at and plan next year's canning calendar. I love to mix up my jam's. To create a jam that makes you actually imagine the way it looked on the tree. You do want to taste the fruit prior to adding the sugar to your jam it varies on the fruit. Do not fret no pectin makes it alright to be variable with your sugar. It is all about the temperature.


 Ingredients yields about 7 half pints - 8 0unce Jars

4 cup of chopped apricots
3 cups of blackberries
1/4 cup of lemon juice
3 to 4 cups of sugar- depends on the fruit





I thought that the mixture of some sweet apricots and just slightly tart blackberries would do a palate good.

Wash your fruit and let it dry thoroughly
Water is no a jam's friend !

The first thing we need to do is chop up the apricot's. Not to small and not to large as we cook them down they will get small and we will use some of our tool's to accomplish the rest.






Place your chopped apricots and the lemon juice into a large stainless steel pot and simmer until they all get nice and warm. You can mush prior to adding your blackberries .In this little picture you see I turned to the old reliable potato smasher it always seems to do the job I need.









Alright moving on we have warmed our apricots pieces and lemon now it is time to add your blackberries. Stir in your blackberries and get those to the consistency you like.  







Once you have a rolling boil coming up start to add your sugar one cup at a time. Make sure you dissolve the sugar prior to adding another cup. Once it is all dissipated bring it backup to a rolling boil.





To get it up to the right temperature which is a sweet 220 to get the gel. Just keep it at a rolling boil but keep stirring it so you do not burn the bottom or get a thicker mix on he bottom.






Now it is time to turn the flame down and let your jam sit for a few minutes prior to filling your jars Check the jam to see if it is set. This gives you time to get the jars out of the water-bath and scrape any foam off the top of the jam.

Ladle the jam into sterilized half-pint jars, wipe the rims, add lids and rings. Process in a boiling-water bath for 12 minutes.





Once done remove from the bath let them cool overnight. Once cooled remove the ring (do not store with the ring on) wipe clean and store labeled for up to one year.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.