11.26.2017

Strawberry Fig Jam with Pure Vanilla

Now you all know how fond of Fig Jam's in general I am but this year I am trying to take it to another level. I love the fresh strawberries we are able to get here in Southern California. It i a gift from Mother Nature. I have found that I get better results when I mix my strawberries with another fruit or element. Yes I am a mixer when it comes to creating jam's.

Regular Strawberry Jam tends to float and I know the reason why (here is a post explaining)




This Fig Jam is so delicious. I did a few things different than the first Fig Strawberry Jam I made.I added more Figs and some Vanilla powder from the extract we make. And some of the "Pure" Vanilla Extract we also make. It is heavenly.One tip I have noticed is that the Black Fig's you can leave the skin on but the Green Fig's have a bitter tasting skin. Just a note !

Ingredients

4 cup chopped figs
4 cups chopped strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla powder
1/4 cup "pure" vanilla extract




As always have your ingredient ready for your recipe. There is something about just adding what is needed as you go then not being prepared.

Start by cleaning your strawberries and pitting them. Next chop your fig's.

Notice I peeled these fig's.


Take your chopped figs, strawberries, lemon and vanilla and put them into your stainless steel pot on a medium flame. Bring them to a soft boil that can not be stirred down. Be sure to stir we do not want burn or scorch.

Time to Stir and Smash






Get your mixture to the right consistency. This is a personal issue. The consistency of any jam is up to the cook. I love my jam's to have pieces of fruit that pop in your mouth.

I have two tool's I use to smash the fruit. The potato smasher for the more delicate Jam and the Immersion Blender.  There is nothing better then the taste of a piece of fruit in your jam it gives it a little Pop of Fruit Pleasure.






Once you have the consistency right start to add your sugar one cup at a time. Let each cup mix and dissolve completely prior to adding another cup.

Your jam or any jam that uses strawberries does not always stay that bright strawberry red but not to worry it still is delicious. It does not mean the jam is bad!


Alright you should have all your ingredients together in your pot and the smell must be delightful. Taste your jam to make sure you have the right taste.

You can always add more of any ingredient but you can not remove once it is mixed.







Once the jam has come back to a boil you can check your gel point. Turn off the burner , skim the foam and get ready to jar!


It is time to jar your jam. I always turn the burner off and let my jam sit for 5 minutes. This is a great trick when you have jam that you want your fruit to set not float in the jam jar. Works great with Marmalade's.



Have your lids ready. Fill your jar's to 1/4 inch from the top and wipe clean. Set the lid and screw on the ring taunt.

Put them into your water bath for 10 minutes. Once done turn off your stove and remove your jars. Place on a counter and let them cool over night. Once cooled remove the twist and store.


Here is a link to the California Fresh Fig Website with many recipes for you to try. I have linked you right to the canning recipes.





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.

11.25.2017

Making Vanilla Power

This is a reasonably easy task but time consuming. I have noticed that so many thing's take a bit of patience and elbow grease. But if it were so easy everyone would do it.

I make Vanilla Extract "Pure" that is. When I have gotten all the vanilla I can for the extract I will dry the beans for power. I also take the gooey vanilla from the pods and reuse that also. That is another post.






Another great thing to do with your used Vanilla Pod's is Vanilla Sugar a forever sugar. I will buy sugar cubes and just put Vanilla Pod's in.There are so many ways to use your Vanilla Pod's once they have done there best work.






The main thing is to get your vanilla beans dried out. I have done this with out scraping and scraping either way it is the same out come. Today I will give you a short lesson. I will not bother you with scraping as it all comes out in the end to the same powder.

I use my dehydrator to dry the beans it is fast and convenient and I won't forget about them.  Make sure they are bone dry. By this you should be able to snap them in half. Once this is accomplished you can move to the next step.



Grinding and crushing I tried this many different way and will explain each just a little. Once the pod's are dried to the snap then we can grind. The first method I used was a small spice grinder it is my little hand held one. It is only a bout 2 inches in diameter but it really does a great job in grinding to a powder texture.

This grinds them up to a finer texture but not what I want to cook or to add to my recipes or Jam's.

So once they are done in the chopper I will put them in to my Mortar and pestle to grind as I wish. I just keep it on the counter and when I can will do some grinding by hand until it comes to a fine power.

I use this powder for so many thing's. Baking, Ice Cream making, Jam's the list again is endless.


Always remember prior to throwing anything you use in the kitchen
away think about how else you can use it. From paper to food it can all most likely be re-used or re-purposed. 

11.16.2017

Italian Plum and Pear Jam with Ginger

Italian Prunes it sounds so much better when I say Plum ya think? As you all know the State of Washington sends me stone fruit each year to come up with some new and exciting recipes for this fruit. Well I happened upon this recipe because I have a case of Pear's begging to be jam. And a piece of ginger the size of my Grand-baby's head.These plums are a bit more tart then the California grown.

Yup this later in the season surprise from the Washington Fruit Board was delightful ! Italian Prunes we will call them Plum's.




Ingredients



6 cup clean chopped plums
4 cup clean chopped pears
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Fresh Ginger peeled and grated about a half cup (or less to taste)








Start by gathering all those little plum cubes and put them into your pot with the lemon juice. Keep this on a low flame while they cook. You need to soften up the plums to make them better apt to crushing. The longer they cook the softer they become and the more juice will come out of them. It is a beautiful thing jam making. Take your time and enjoy the process.










Next you need to add the pear's so far you have done no smashing. Lets gather all the ingredients together then get to the texture! Stir the pear's into the plums and start to add your ginger . I add it directly into the pot. Also I take a large piece and let it cook with the jam until I am ready to jar up.











As you see I grate the ginger right into the jam !  This is what makes our jam's so delightful the fresh part of it.








Alright by now you have your plums, pear's, ginger and lemon juice in your pot. You should have a glorious color and liquid going by now. This is the time you can put in one cup of your sugar. Make sure it dissolves completely prior to dding the other cup of sugar. Also take the time to smash your fruit mixture to the consistency you like.



I always have my two favorite tools ready and waiting for the jam making . They are my potato smasher and my Immersion Blender.






Now let everything cook to a boil you can not stir down. You want to get your jam to gel. I do this with no pectin and the use of a candy thermometer. I want all my Jam to get to 222-223 degrees to get a good gel. Here is a post on getting your jam to gel. Also a post on Is your jam set? Once it is to the right degrees you need to turn off the flame and let it sit for a few minutes. With most jam this is a smart idea it will help you fruit to not fall or float. Also when it is done cooking give it 5 minutes to rest prior to filling your jar's.

Have your jar's ready. Cover your counter to protect the jar and the counter. Fill your jar's to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rims. Place the lid and twist top . Twist it taunt and put into the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once the time is done let them sit for a few minutes and then remove and place on a covered counter for no less than 24 hours. Once done Remove the Twist and wash your jar's.

Label and Store.

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. 




8.31.2017

Italian Plum and Cherry Jam


A Washington Fruit you mean so much to me! Every year as you all know I am blessed with the gift of stone fruit from Washington. At the beginning of the season I got a load of killer delicious cherries. With that I made some great Jam's. But my little caning mind said

"Hey Canarella freeze some of these Cherries for later in the season when more stone fruit arrives and mix up a Stone Fruit Party!

Washington State Fruit Commission I love them !



And in come the Italian Prunes but for reason's we all know we can changing the name to Italian Plum's because they are not yet shriveled! Thus we have the Washington Stone Fruit Late Season Party other's will know as Italian Plum and Cherry Jam.

Let us head to the Big Copper Kettle and get to Jammin'

Ingredients - Make app 8 half pint jar's

Clean you fruit

6 cups pitted and chopped Italian Plums
4 cups pitted shopped Cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar




Put your clean, chopped stone fruit into your pot. Make sure it is non-reactive. I have a beautiful copper kettle my hubby got me a few year's back. That is another post.

Add your lemon juice to your fruit keeping the heat on low to medium you want to slowly cook your fruit to soften it for smashing. The longer you cook it down the more natural juice you will get from the fruit. It is a magical process.





My jam's are non pectin jam's. I have used pectin in the past and many of my recipes call out for it but through the year's I have found more taste, less sugar and a beautifully set gel to most of my jam's.

The trick is heat. Be patient any good jam is not something I want to rush if your in a rush get out of the kitchen. Alright your fruit should be softening up to be able to start crushing. I use a potato smasher and an immersion blender. I start with the potato smasher to because I do not always want to blend the fruit to much. I want you to have a nice piece of fruit to see and taste when eating my jam's.







Here are my two magic tools.





Alright moving on you want to get the consistency of your jam to what you like best. Now it is time to add your sugar and get the jam up to temperature. Add you sugar one cup at a time and keep the flame on high. You want a boil you can not cook down. Your thermometer should get to a temperature of 223 degree's to gel.

Here is a link to the whole Gel Point Topic. This post will lead you to the Make your own Pectin post and the good old Pectin or No Pectin Post!


Well now back to our Jam. Now that you have added all your ingredients and have it up to a good temperature turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Now if it is gelled it will get a nice film on top but no worries it will still be hot enough for your jars and you can easily stir in the little film. It looks beautiful!




Have your jar's ready. Cover your counter to protect the jar and the counter. Fill your jar's to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rims. Place the lid and twist top . Twist it taunt and put into the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once the time is done let them sit for a few minutes and then remove and place on a covered counter for no less than 24 hours. Once done Remove the Twist and wash your jar's.

Label and Store.

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.

7.17.2017

Cherry Mango Jam

Well our Summer Cherry Adventure is coming to an end but the recipes are endless. This Cherry Mango Jam is the perfect partnership of two fruits.I do make so many Cherry Jam recipes during this season so do check the Preserves Tab for more. Let us get started with this delicious Jam.




Ingredients

8 cups of clean, pitted, chopped cherries
4 cups of chopped mango
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 cups of sugar


Start by putting your chopped cherries into a non-reactive pot. Keep this on a low to medium heat to get them started it takes a few minutes to crush and get the juices flowing with fresh cherries. Add your lemon juice at this time it will help. I always end up with some cherry pits in the mix but they like citrus seed float and can be easily scooped out.


This is the smash and scoop time while your juices arrive.




Now it is time to add your mango pieces. I say pieces because chopping fresh mango is a chore and you will have large and small chunks. And while you chop them you want to save as much juice as possible.


You can see the different sizes I have in this pot. But that is why my potato smasher is my best tool when preserving Jam's




Once everything is happy together you  can slowly add your sugar and bring this mixture up to a rolling boil. This is a boil you can not stir down. My jam's are pectin free I use a candy thermometer to bring my jam's up to a steady boil of 222 to 223 degrees. I do not say not to use pectin I just prefer without. Yes it is a bit more time consuming but I'm ok with that.


Ok let us get your jar's filled. Take your warm jars and fill them up to 1/2 inch from the rim of the jar. Once they are all filled wipe all the jar rims with a clean cloth. Cap and twist top's on. Put your jar's into a boiling water bath for no longer than 12 minutes. Once done remove the jar's and place them on a cloth covered counter over night 






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.