9.24.2014

Plum-Strawberry Jam

Plum and Strawberry Jam just the name makes my mouth water. There are a "ton" of recipes out there. Some are simple with a ton of sugar and then there are the few who want me to mix and macerate my plum mixture in the refrigeratpor for a day or two. Look,  first do not have that kind of time and what the heck is macerate?


Moving on !









I was invited again to go strip Jean's tree's and the plums are so nice. This is a super simple recipe and just divine to eat.

Keep the skins on the plums they will cook down and give the jam a nice color mixed with the strawberries. Unlike the Plum Jam the mixture with the strawberries is not quite as time intense. 

Ingredients

3 cups chopped Plums
3 Cups chopped Strawberries
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Packet of powder pectin (optional)


Clean your plums and take out the stems. Remove any brown spots on the skin. Plums do sometimes have brown leather like spots on them and are easily removed with a sharp knife. Take your plums split them and take out the pits.




If you would like to you may chop you plums parts smaller if needed. I like mine to dissipate as they cook and use a immersion blender to thin them out in the final cooking time

Clean and cut your strawberries in half. I find with my jams that even though I cut my fruit rather large as it cooks down the fruit gets smaller. You can also use a potato smasher to make your fruit smaller. 




 I always save a few of the pits from my fruit and crush them and place the crushed pits into a small bag. The pits give your jam a nutty taste. This is a personal option.You can do this with any stone fruit.





If your plums have not broken down the the size you would like them take an immersion blender and run it through slowly don't pulverize it. The strawberry's will survive . Don't be scared Bucko We love chunks of fruit in our jam's. That is the beauty of Jam's.







Once you have the right consistency bring it back up to a rolling boil add the sugar and lemon. Bring it back up to a rolling boil.

Have your jar's and water-bath ready to process the jam. Take the pot off the heat skim the foam and fill you jars ¼ inch from the top. Wipe the rims of your jars clean. Do make sure you prep your lids.



Add cap on the lids and the bans and give them a well deserved bath for 15 minutes. Now when you take them out let them sit over night. Prior to storing the jars remove the twist part of the lid, make sure the jar's have sealed. Wipe your jars clean there is nothing worse than opening a jar and having it all sticky or better yet Mildodo









Store in a cool and dry place . Remember to remove the bands when storing.
 Replace once you have opened the jar. 

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

9.07.2014

No No No Dairy when Canning

Dairy when pressure canning or water bath is a big  

NO NO

and the same goes for any pasta noodles or rice. These practices have not been challenged in microbiology studies to see if it is safe.




 Milk is not something you can add to your canned goods. The amount of heat even when pressure canning would never be able to kill the harmful bacteria. The amount of heat that is needed would make the quality of your goods bad.

No one 

I repeat 

NO ONE has ever developed a canning process to safely use milk when canning. 

 The fat in these products (oil and milk) encapsulates any bacteria which includes botulism and this encapsulation prevents the heat used impossible to kill the bacteria. That means it will insulate the bacteria spores and let that bacteria spoil anything you preserve with milk. Remember milk has a low PH. Add it after you open it to prepare for eating!


For further information

Don't let the Milkman get you!!!!!


Safety with soups


Here is a page on insuring safe canned foods:
Safe canning soups

Old Fashion Applesauce


This Applesauce reicpe is simple and old school.

Applesauce from the tree. Jean, again a BIG Thank you! I have a very generous and sweet as the apples neighbor named Jean. This woman allows me to come to her house and pick her fruit tree's . There are two great things wait three great things about this. One I get fresh fruit. Two I get to preserve fresh off the tree fruit. Most important I have another fruit friend.


Have all your water bath canning stuff done and ready to go prior to starting any canning project!








There are a few different sites that give you delicious recipes for applesauce. I have combined many but most important my Grandma Lois recipe for apple butter. I do a large batch of apples and half gets to be apple sauce and half apple butter!  I will make this post about the apple sauce but be aware some of the the picture are tricky it does show both.

The link to the Apple Butter gives you that recipe.

 Ingredients - approximately 8 pints

12 pounds of apples
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar - optional
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar - optional
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Cinnamon/ Nutmeg optional spices  - optional



My apple sauce consistency

Clean and core your apples. You can leave the skins they are full of good antioxidants. Chop the apples and put them into a large stainless steel pot. 

There are  a few variables when doing apple sauce. You can peel and core the apples but you know how I feel about peeling. I don't.




So cut and core the apples and put them into the pot.
 
Cook the apples adding just enough water so they don't stick to your pot.Within about the first hour the peels just come loose and you can pick them out if they bother you. The texture of your apples sauce is a personal thing. I like my applesauce to have texture like my jams. The picture just a above this is what my applesauce looks like in the end.




Once your apples have been cooking (with or with out peels) on a very gentle boil for 45 minutes they should be nice and tender. This will depend on your apples. remove them from the heat and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the amount of apple you want to thin out and working in small batches put them through your food mill or you can use a food processor. 











   
This is the consistency of the apples run thu the mill


I will take about 1/4 of the apples that I have cooked down and run them through the food mill. If you do not have a food mill just use a potato masher until you get the right consistency. And buy a food mill you will use it for so many thing should you choose to continue this canning and preserving adventure.






Return all the apples back to the pot. Now is the time to add the other ingredients you want for your apple sauce. I have given you ingredients I have added to my applesauce. The trick is to add about half of what you want let it simmer for 10 minutes taste it and then add more you may want to add nothing ! What ever you do bring it back to a low simmer stirring it frequently to prevent it from sticking.The minute I start my batch I add three whole cinnamon stick and fish them out when I am done. Alright moving on have your jars ready to fill. Ladle your applesauce into your warm jars and leave 1/2 inch head space. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the warm of the jar clean. Add you warmed lid twist the band until it is tight.







Process your jars in your boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Remove your jars and cool. Once cooled check seal wash clean. Remove the twist lid and store in a cool pantry.

Here is the link to the Ball Site I used to check my steps. It is always good to check a few different sites prior to starting any canning project. 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.  

8.14.2014

Dill Pickle Chunks with Garlic


Dill Chunks a great way to use left over pickling cucumbers.
I use a jar of these at parties. Sometimes people do not want a whole pickle so this is the greatest way for them to taste you creation

It has been such a great idea. I noticed that many people who thought they did not want a whole pickle (Could not quite understand) grab a toothpick an try them. Also it is so nice to have a small bowl of these pickle chunks to go with just a bite of cheese.

This combo goes well with crackers and cheese. One of our BBQ's I chopped up a jar of them and everyone used it on their hamburger and hot dog's.




Ingredients

8 pounds of pickling cucumbers
48 garlic cloves 5 to 6 per jar
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of canning salt or Kosher Salt
1-2 quarts of vinegar
1 quart of water
1 tablespoon of mustard seed
3 tablespoons of pickling spices
Fresh green or dry dill (1 sprig per jar)


Combine your sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large stainless steel pot.  Add your pickling spices to your brine in the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. I just realized with all the pictures I take and I take a lot. I have none of brine, huh what a funny thing!





While your brine is simmering chop your cucumbers into bite size pieces.












Pack your cucumber's chunks, garlic cloves and dill into the sterilizer jars, leaving a 1/4 inch of head space.



Ladle hot liquid into jars and again leaving the 1/4 inch head space. 




Some jar's get hot pepper's !











Remove air bubble. Wipe the rim's of all your jar's. 

Adjust two piece caps.

Process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Carefully remove the jars from the water-bath. Let your jar's cool completely then remove the twist part of the cap. Clean you jar's and store in a cool dark place. Do not store your jar's with the twist part of the cap on and make sure you store "Clean" jars.

The longer they sit the richer the taste of the garlic. Let them sit for at least 2 week.

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.    

8.11.2014

Why do I store my jar's without the twist ring

Removing the ring/twist portion of the top's of your jar that your preserves are in that is a great question.

So very important !

The picture to the left shows you a jar with the ring/twist on and with the ring/twist off.

 I am going to tell you a few thing's I personally noticed when this is NOT done.

First and most important when you give any of your preserve's as a gift or for sale you "must" have removed the twist. Let the person know once they open the jar they can replace it.



I have gotten jar's with the twist on that had a chip of glass because the rim of the jar was knocked during travels/storage. This chipped small piece of the glass once the jar is opened is released into the ingredients.





Second is that there could be some of the ingredient's that stayed on the rim and the twist not removed keep it there and it spoiled.

Bacteria my friends not good! 


Always once your jar's have completely cooled remove the ring/twist from the jars and rinse the jars in warm soapy water to clean anything that may have been in the water-bath. Dry and store without the rim/twist.

Plus you will always have available rim/twist
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.


7.22.2014

Blackberry-Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Blackberry Jam with Meyer Lemons and Sweet Little Clementine Oranges this is such a delightful combination. I love the bitter tang of fresh blackberries and with the combo of citrus this is one sweet and tart jam. I love making jams jellies not so much. I think that you need the texture of the fruit to enjoy the taste.

Ingredients

4 Meyer lemons and tow Clementines or juicy oranges =  2 cups pulp
1 Meyer lemon and One Clementine orange thinly sliced
3/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups blackberries
1 packet pectin (optional)
5 cups of white sugar


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 and fun. xoxo

Wash and clean all your fruit prior to starting. Cut the clementines and Lemon into thin slices and quarter the slices. You will use these in your jam after they have cooked for a while.




 Place your slices, water, lemon juice into the pot you will use to cook the jam.  Bring to a soft boil add the baking soda and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes this will soften the peel for your jam.






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. Chop the remaining lemon and clementines into quarter's. Please do not be to picky the bit of rind and pit you may miss will add to the flavor and all marmalade's have texture. Marmalade = tangy





Now in the original pot you have your slices simmering, add your blackberries and citrus.  Keep this at a soft boil and let the blackberries break down. I use a potato smasher to get the consistency I like in my jam.









My jams are thick and when you spread them on to a piece of toast there is always a nice combo of jam to fruit. In my humble opinion there is nothing more delightful then a nice chunk of fruit to bite into when eating warm buttered toast.




Bring your mixture to a rapid boil one you cannot stir down. Add your pectin mixture and stir back up to the rapid boil. Now add the sugar and bring it back up to a boil yes that can not be stirred down. You will have a small amount of foam on the top. This you will skim off prior to filing the jars.

 Turn off the heat and get your jar's ready to fill. Fill the jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rims clean and cap them putting the screw the band onto the top. Give the jar's a 15 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.




Once cooled the fruit should be evenly distributed mine you see is a little citrus heavy as I wanted. I added a bit more citrus then the recipe called out for. Lemon head I am.

Always be safe and follow the rule