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.     



8.01.2015

Peach Pie/Cobbler Filling Recipe by the Pint

Well I did get my Peaches from Washington and they are heavenly. Only 16 survived the trip but of those we got a good 5 pints.

I searched the internet for day's prior to my peaches arriving and geezzz if I saw one more Peach Pie filling in 2 quarts or 7 quart sizes I thought I might scream. Ok I did scream!

Thank you Sweet Preservation for having theses beauties sent to me. Peaches from Washington oh Yum!




I thought about how many people who do preserve food might not want to make a whole peach pie. Perhaps they are just two people and want a smaller quantity. So I have taken the recipe and revised it to be able to make pint jars. Pint you say! Yes, and this is a great thing because I know that many people like to make individual size desert's. This is good for parties or little ones or just me!


 A few things I need to review with you is first the peeling. I read on all the sites to put them into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minutes. This is a good method BUT these peaches did not want to peel or let go of their pit. Little devils. They do say over ripe peach peel easier.I will research reasons for this in another post. All I did was use a sharp paring knife to peel them and then proceeded to chop them.







Why chop Canrella? Well, the recipe is for cobbler and small peach pie pockets. Chopped just seemed to make since. Also I am using pint jars they will fit and fall out of the small mouth jars better.

Plus my idea is for little peach pie pockets or individual peach cobblers. Not everyone can eat or want a whole peach pie.





Next the big question how do I keep the peeled peaches from getting yellow/brown while waiting for me to finish the peel and chop phase. Many a website called out for Fruit Fresh, Syrup, ascorbic acid crystals, 500 mg vitamin C. STOP the madness see the container next to the one holding my chopped peaches?

That is a mixture of one lemon squeezed into the water so while I am peeling I can coat and turn the slices and I dip my clean hands in it.


There is so little lemon in the mixture or used that you never even taste the lemon in your pie filling.

 Ok let us get started gee wizzerz this is a lot of information but I had never made a pie filling so it is my first time. Thank you Washington Fruit Commission for sending me these lovely little peaches. For more recipes and information about there great fruits go here. And look at the Chef's who took the seasonal fruit and made some outstanding dishes. 

Ingredients - Yields 5/6 pint jars

8 Cups of peeled and chopped peaches - I had 16 large Washington Peaches luck me
1 cups of white granulated sugar
1 cups of brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon or nutmeg
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup clear jel



Also this is my first time using Clear Jel ! Yet another post wow I am learning so much new stuff. I will link you to the resources I used on the bottom of this post.







Clear Jel magic there are old school ways of thickening up your peach filling. Flour, cornstarch but this product is made for this process. Have everything ready. Your jars, water-bath, measured out ingredients this goes quickly. Alright once your peaches are cut and ready to go. This recipe is a do it one step after another no delays.


 
Combine your water, suger, clear jel and spices into a large pot.
Stir on medium heat until your mixture begins to thicken.

Keep an eye on this it can thicken quickly and then you are left stirring out clumps.








Alright once it begins to thicken add your lemon juice. Stir and bring it up to a soft boil. Turn the heat down to low and add your peaches carefully coating the peaches until they are coated and the mixture is combined.


Get your jars out and start to fill right away. Don't rush just don't wait!












Look at the beautiful liquid it is very exciting !







Fill your jar's leaving 1" head space. Get rid of the bubbles/air pockets. Wipe the rims top with lid and screw top and water-bath those babies.

These get water-bathed for 30 minutes more than most jams we make but we must go with the expert's!










I adapted this recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. There were so many variables out there that I went to my go to expert's.



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.    


7.22.2015

How to smash your fruit for Canning


There are two tool's I use for smushing my fruit in jam's. I know smushing is not a word but it is as close as this girl can get. I love my jams with pieces of fruit that can pop in your mouth. Jam is something that deserves real pieces of fruit.









So back to the topic. What I use to thin out the fruit you ask?  The potato smasher that is my go to when I do not want to loose the quality of great jam pieces. I use this for most of my berry jam's.













To the right you see where I used it to smash my peaches that I used in my Blueberry Peach Jam. I sliced the peaches but need them broken down just a bit more. The potato smasher was perfect for his jam.














Here I just worked around the lemons. Yuppers I just slice those beauties and in they go. this way I get the pectin, and real lemon flavors.











Here is the link for the consumer reviews on many immersion blenders Immersion Blender Reviews

7.06.2015

Blueberry Pineapple Jam


Blueberry Jam with Pineapple Recipe this is a winning combination. I seem to always mix up my jam's. The season is here and all jam's we make right now are like a candy store delight.

This Blueberry Pineapple Jam is a simple jam as are most once you get the hang of preserving jam.

So let us create some Blueberry Pineapple Jam.


I found a tool that cuts the Pineapple and it is so simple and easy. Cutting is always what held me back from using pineapple. When I cut is I come out with about 30 % less then when using this tool Avon Pineapple Cutter



Ingredients

6 cups of blueberries
3 cups of chopped pineapple
4 cups of sugar
1 box powder pectin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice







Once your fruit is measured put it and the lemon juice into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a rapid boil. Please stir it so it does not burn.









Look at the beautiful color change as it cooks.





Mix pectin with half cup of your sugar I find when it is mixed it incorporates better. Once your fruit is at a rolling boil add your pectin mixture and bring back to a boil.













Add the sugar into the fruit mixture and cook over high heat continuing your boil, stirring constantly. Continue until your have reached the gel point.









 Remove from heat. Skim and stir to remove foam. Ladle jam into hot jars  leave 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims and seal.Give them a 15 minute bath.








 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. 


6.23.2015

Using Butter to get rid of the Foam in Jam

Foam no one likes it in their jam. I have done the deed and tested the "butter" for no more or less foam in your jam test.
Yes it works it will eliminate or cut your foam down a lot.




 BUT .....  yup always a BUT





Why do I not recommend it ?








There is no testing to prove that it is safe in jam making. It is "said" even the smallest amount of butter can cause your jam to spoil sooner.

And really are we that lazy that we can not take the time to skim. The stuff is delicious in so many way's. xoxo


Here is a link on the what and why is there foam





How you can use your foam

  • Pop on top of warm biscuit
  • Mix with Cream Cheese for flavored cream cheese (thank you neighbor Nancy)
  • Put into a blender with your soft ice cream instant flavored shake or re-freeze for Popsicle
  • Microwave the foam on high but watch it when it comes out it is a beautiful syrup or just more jam.

6.22.2015

Apricot Jam with Dried Cranberries


Apricot Jam such a pleasure. I truly get ready for this wonderful season so fruit packed. Sweet and delicious. So this year I got a bit creative with the Apricot. As you can see I got a few. I lined them up on my table for a day or two to ripen them up just right. I never want them to over-ripen because then the jam is no good. You want your fruit firm but tasty. Never mushy, bruised or mealy.

This year I added some dried cranberries. The apricots are so fresh and sweet that bit of tart added a great taste.









Ingredients

Makes about 7 half pints

8 cups of chopped apricots
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups of granulated sugar
Gel to 222 degrees or * 1 box pectin follow direction for pectin



Clean your fruit and cut off the spots/bruises and loosen the pit and dis-guard.  Chop your apricots. I slice the apricot in half then quarter the half. I love my jams chunky. Have your cranberries measured out . When you cook the apricots it will break up so do not worry about skin . No you do not have to peel your apricots they will dissipate when cooked.









Cook your chopped apricots on medium heat until they begin to make a thinner consistency. Add the lemon and cranberries. If the apricots are to thick just smush them to make them smaller. 










Once the apricots are cooked down to the right size and consistency for your jam it is time to get your sugar ready to add OR Mix your pectin with equal parts sugar this helps it to blend in with your fruit. If you added pectin then bring this to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes. Then move on down to the sugar adding part with us.













With Apricot jam there is always just a little foam. This just goes with jam making at times. Nothing is wrong with you jam. Some people add a bit of butter. I have experimented with butter and with out. I choose to put less stuff in my jam's. So no butter for me. And I eat the foam on crackers after it cools. No there is nothing wrong with the foam just ugly!





There will be foam but that is good not to worry. The foam is just from the boiling jam coming up through the viscous jam. Here is a link to more information on Foam in my Jam

 



Now it is time to add your sugar have it measure out so it is easier to add. Add it slowly about 2 cups at a time, while stirring and keep you jam at the rolling boil your not done with your work out yet.







Keep this boil going for yet another 5 minutes when you have made jam for a while you will know when it has reached it gel point. Sometimes it is hit and miss there are times I have done everything perfect to only come out with syrup. If you did not use pectin please get it to a temperature of  222 degrees with a candy thermometer. Never throw away any jam that is to thin you can re-do it or use it for Syrup! Think Ice Cream !

Your jars should be ready this amount of jam fills 7 half pint jars or 4 pint jars. Ladle the jam into the jars leaving a 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims. Cap and water bath process for 15 minutes. Always have extra jars you just never know nothing in canning or cooking is exact well for me it isn't. Water bath your jars 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.