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 scarp 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.     

11.12.2015

Italian Dried Plum Jam with Granny Smith Apples

Prune Jam the thought does conjure up a few things like "euuu" prunes. But this is not your Grama's prune ! These are sweet and delicious Italian Dried Plums.

Using brown sugar instead of the standard white makes it glorious ! 

This jam is thick and delicious.






Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of dried plums/prunes
* Soak your prunes for up to 4 hour 
4 chopped granny smith apples
4 cups of brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice


Get all your equipment ready as I have said in the past it makes any job in your kitchen easier and fun when all is ready for you. Well let's get started ..





You can put your softened plums/prunes into a large stainless steel pot and add the brown sugar and lemon juice let this simmer while you cut up the apples.


Peel and chop your apples. I did this by hand as there was no reason to take the peeling tool out with only four apples being used. I kept a bowl of fresh lemon juice to dip the apple once I had the peel off. The reason why is it will prevent it from browning. Oh I know what you are saying won't it turn brown with the plum's anywho? Yup but some habit's are just hard to stop.




I will keep a small amount of my chopped apples aside to add during the last few minutes of making this batch. Oh why you ask again? Well I use the immersion blender to break up the apples and prunes but I do still want some small pieces of apple in the jam.







Ok now add the chopped apples to the mixture in the pot. mix this and bring it up to a boil. Using your immersion blender or what ever you use to thin out the jam do it. Once it is the consistency you like add the remaining apples.

Bring it backup to a boil and check the consistency and taste. Is it what you like?
Keep in mind that all jam's get better while they sit. So if you think it is not sweet enough or something give it time.





Fill your jar until they have 1/4 inch of head space and wipe the rim clean. Seal and twist lid. Process for 10 minutes into your  water bath.

When done lift out of the water bath and let cool overnight or at least eight hours. Label and store no twist tie left on. 












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.     

9.27.2015

Tomato Float, Tomato Seperation and other tomato related Problems when WaterBath Canning

Tomato Float, Tomato Separation, Air Bubbles 
These are such a common question's

"Why does my preserved foods have air bubbles? "

"Why did my tomatoes separate from the liquid?"

"Why is there liquid on the top tomato on the bottom or vise-versa"?




There are a few different types of bubbles when you preserve food. The first we will talk about is the one's you notice when you are canning things like Apple Sauce or other type of fruit sauces


With these type of fruit sauces they are more viscous than your regular jams. No matter how much you try there always seems to be some of those bubble creep up. These bubbles are harmless and will not cause any problem. Please make sure you have followed the directions for cooking and water bath times.

If you see that the bubbles in your are alive that means if they zip out to the top of the jar when you open it and fizz THROW IT OUT! That means that a bit of fermentation has been going on in your jar.



Now let us get to the topic of Tomato's. For many a year I have picked over 150 pounds of tomato's every Labor Day Weekend. Roma Tomato's and as most canning persons know these are perfect for so many thing's. Stewed tomato's, tomato sauce, dried tomatoes. It is endless but so worth the time it takes when you have the jar's all through out the year.








This was the first year I got any tomato separation.  Yup it happened. I freaked out because I thought for sure it was the tomato's fault. Stupid Tomato!!!


Wrong.






I went to a few different sites to research this. You know I do this because quite often there are more then one reason or answer.  What you may have done when canning may be different but we both ended up with the same results.

The University of Illinois said that you can get the Liquid at the top Solids at the bottom by juicing the tomatoes prior to heating them. An example is tomatoes were chopped, run through a steamer, sieve or food mill while still raw and prior to heating. When you do that the enzymes start to break down the pectin that helps to hold tomato cells together. That causes the separation.

Another thing is what I did which causes the same problem. It only happened with one batch and the batch it happened to was the one I cooked Saturday night let it sit in the refrigerator overnight then warmed it up the next day to can. There in lies the problem. Just heat and can!

The solution is to leave the tomato whole or large chunks. The recipe that I use is very old school and you do not peel or seed. Just chop and cook. This has been very successful for me in making my sauces and stewed tomatoes in the past. Here is the link to that recipe for Marinara Sauce. 

Oh and the reverse can happen also. Liquid at the bottom and the solids on the top. Well this means you did to much preheating. The thing is that you can just shake the jar prior to using and the liquids will come together. Please make sure you have used all the safe rules for water bathing your tomato's. I sure hope this helped.

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. 








9.06.2015

Blackberry Mango Jam


This Blackberry Jam is so tartly delicious. I do so love when we can combine a few flavors to get another person's palate wondering what is that! Jam making has become a true love of mine and the longer I do it the more in love with it I am. So let us get started with this simple and delicious jam





This will yield about 8 to 10 half pints of jam

Ingredients

6 cups of blackberries
3 cups of chopped mango's
4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (optional)
1 box powder pectin or not (get it to a gel point no pectin)




Get your Stainless Steel pot ready and put your Blackberries and chopped Mango together in the pot. Bring them to a nice simmer. You will see the blackberries breaking down and the juice just bubble with excitement.

Take your potato masher or any tool you use to break down the fruit and start to break them down.
You want to make the consistency of your jam to your liking. I like my fruit only broken down enough to make sure I get a nice bites of fruit in every bite. That is why we call it "jam"



Once you have it to the right consistency add your lemon juice and let this simmer for 5 minutes.
Now add you pectin mixture to the batch and turn up the heat. Bring your ingredients up to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down.  Keep stirring you do not want to burn the jam. Once the boil is up add your sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil you can not stir down. Get your jam to the gel point and turn the heat off. Let your jam sit for 5 minutes while to get your clean warm jars ready.





 Fill your jar until they have 1/4 inch of head space and wipe the rim clean. Wipe the top clean - seal and twist lid. Process for 10 minutes into water bath.

When done lift out of the water bath and let cool overnight or at least eight hours. Label and store no twist tie left on. 




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.     

8.10.2015

Nectarine Marmalade

Nectarine Marmalade this recipe was quite an adventure in it's self. As most of you know I do a lot of investigating prior to getting any jam started. I go from book to book the internet and then to old reliable recipes from granma.

This Nectarine Marmalade Recipe was not easy, most recipes only call out for juice of one lemon maybe a bit of orange. I like true marmalade's that means citrus vs. fruit in a jar. What taste comes out the winner is the palate decision. Yes these delicious little nectarines came to us from Washington Fruit Commission through their Sweet Preservation Site.

Let's get our citrus ready now.







Ingredients for 7 half pints

8 cups of chopped nectarine
1  cup of thinly slices lemon peel
1 cup of lemon pulp
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 cups sugar (depends on your taste try it after 3 it does get pungent the longer it sits)


It is important to not skip this step.



Now take the slices and cut them into quarters. Put the slices in 1/2 cup of the lemon juice bring this up to a simmer and then add the 1/4 tsp of baking soda. It will bubble. Turn it down and let it simmer on low for 20 minutes this tenderizes the rind's.






Have your cup of lemon pulp ready, It is super easy to get the rind out . I went to a class in Oakland at the Still Room and here is the link to tell you how to Section your Citrus.



Start your batch by putting your clean chopped nectarines into a non-reactive pot and turn the flame on medium heat.









Now add all your citrus and rinds. Smash your nectarines while they are cooking in the juice as  it begins to thicken. There are a few ways of doing this. You can mush or use an immersion blender while they are cooking. They do thin out while cooking no matter how you cut them.




Bring everything to a rapid boil and start to add your sugar one cup at a time. Between cup's stir and let the sugar dissolve prior to adding another cup. Do this until all the sugar is added and then bring it back up to a rolling boil.

With Marmalade the citrus has pectin in it naturally so if you bring it up to the proper gel point 222 degrees you will have perfect Marmalade.




Now it is time to scrap the foam off and get to jarrin' up. Turn off the burner and let your jam sit for 5 minutes this helps the fruit not to float to the top of the jar once water-bathed.










Scrap off the foam and have your jars ready.  Ladle into 1/2 pint jelly jars till 1/4" from the top of the jar. Wipe your jars clean and cap and water bath them for 12 minutes.







Take the jams out of the water bath and let them cool overnight. Once cooled take  the ring off wash and store in a cool spot. Your jam's will be good for 6 to 9 months. Once open put them in the refrigerator and enjoy.








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. 

8.04.2015

Nectarine Butter


Nectarine Butter smooth sweet taste. I received my delivery of Nectarines from Washington. We have to thank once again Sweet Preservation for making us a part of the Canbassador Program. The opportunity to share these great recipes and use their fruit is truly an honor.








Nectarine Butter was a tricky one there were many a recipe and they all are different and yes I did take two or three of the recipes and tweak them a bit. I thought about how delicious some Nectarine Butter would be with a touch of vanilla bean and brown sugar. Ok the thought of Vanilla Ice Cream went with that thought. Well I did not disappoint myself.





This is a simple recipe no peeling just chop add your ingredients and done. Like all butters it does take time to get the fruit to cook down plus you want it to be as smooth as possible. I did not use a food mill or food processor. I just mushed, cooked and mushed more. Well let us get started.




Ingredients -App. 6 half pints

7 cups of chopped nectarine
2 cups brown sugar
Diluted lemon juice for chopping
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or "pure" vanilla extract





Diluted lemon water to coat to prevent browning.


Clean and chop your nectarines. Size is unimportant they will break down. Mine were cut in slices and smaller. Take your chopped/slcies nectarines pieces and put them into a large non-reactive pot.
Coat the nectarine pieces with a bit of the lemon water you used to keep your pieces fron browning.
You want enough liquid to get the cooking process going and prevent the nectarines from sticking to the bottom of your pot. About an 1/4 inch of liquid. Keep the flame on medium and turn the pieces to get them coated.

This is about 15 minutes into the process

See the beautiful liquid that has been produced from the fruit itself. And it will get thicker as you continue the process. Fun right? 




You should have enough liquid to after about 15 to 20 minutes of slow stirring on a low to medium flame.







Now it is time to smush you know I love my potato smasher tool-thing. Smush how ever you must. My way or use a food processor or a Food Mill. My whole thought process when making jam is to keep as much of the vitamins and flavor as possible. If it can be left in the jam and you get a mouth full of texture the better.





 Let's start to add ingredients. Add you brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.





 I make my own Vanilla Powder. I use the Vanilla Pods that I had in my Vanilla Extract. What I do is when the Vanilla Extract is ready I remove the extra pods scrape them and let the goop dry. I will also take the pods and put them into my pestle and grind what I can. Thus Vanilla Powder.





 It should take you about a good hour or two to get this butter right. You can do the same test you would do with a regular jam. The cold spoon plate test. 

Mine was so delicious an the texture was perfect. It looks a bit applesauce like and well I love texture.



Let's jar up. Take 7 half pint jars that are clean and warm from the water bath and fill them to 1/4" from the top of the jars. Wipe your jars rims clean and seal. Water bath the little jar's for 12 minutes. Remove when done and let cool overnight or at least 12 hours.

Once all done wash your jars and store labeled and with no twist band.





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.