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Prickly Pear Preserves (Yucatán)

Prickly Pear Preserves (Yucatán)

Prickly Pear Preserves (Yucatán)

In order to preserve the beautiful dark-purple color of the prickly pears, be sure to cook the preserves over medium heat so they simmer, not boil. Keep an eye on them toward the end of cooking; overcooking can also turn them brown.

 

2 prickly pears

One 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Remove the skin from the prickly pears. Put the flesh in a bowl and break it apart with a spoon until liquefied. Combine the prickly pear, ginger, vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium-size saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, then strain out the seeds and ginger.

Shallot Jam

Shallot Jam

1 T. olive oil

5 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thin

1/2 C. chicken broth

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar

2 heaping T. apricot jam or preserves

salt and pepper

 

Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to get soft and the bottom of the pan begins to brown. Add the 1/2 C. chicken broth to the shallots, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan while the broth reduces. Add the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the apricot jam and stir to combine. The sauce will thicken but should still be easily stirred.

Sweet and Spicy Canned Onion Marmalade

Sweet and Spicy Canned Onion Marmalade

Sweet and Spicy Canned Onion Marmalade

2 pounds onions preferably sweet or a mix of sweet and regular

1 C. apple juice

1/2 C. cider vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 T. Low or No Sugar Needed pectin – flex batch equals 1 box

1/2 teaspoon butter or oil optional to reduce foaming, but I always use it

1 C. honey

1/2 C. brown sugar

 

Prepare water bath canner, 6 half pint jars & lids, keeping warm until needed. Cut ends off onions and peel; slice in half and cut each in half again, lengthwise (or in thirds if onions are big). Turn halves and cut into 1/4 inch slices widthwise. Place slices in an 8-quart measuring C. – you should have 6 C. of onion slices. Add prepared onions, apple juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard and red pepper flakes to an 8-quart stockpot. Gradually stir in pectin and then add butter if using. Bring to a boil that can’t be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly. Add honey and sugar; return to a full boil and let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat (skim foam if needed). Ladle hot marmalade into prepared half pint jars one at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims, attach lids, and place in canner. Place lid on canner and bring to a gentle, steady boil – process for 10 minutes, maintaining steady boil the entire time. Turn off heat and let jars cool in canner 5 minutes before removing jars to a towel lined surface to cool for 24 hours. Check lids for seal before labeling and storing in a cool, dark place (with rings removed). Notes: *You don’t have to can this – it will keep for 2-3 months in the refrigerator.

 

  • Use as a glaze for meats like chicken, ham and pork, as well as seafood (my favorite is shrimp).
  • Top grilled steak, pork, chicken and seafood.
  • Add on top of Boursin cheese or cream cheese as an appetizer.
  • Mix into sour cream as a dip for crackers, pretzels, or chips.
Cherry-Vanilla Jam Recipe

Cherry-Vanilla Jam Recipe

Cherry-Vanilla Jam Recipe

2 pounds cherries, pitted

2 scant C. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla powder

 

Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. If desired, chop them down more finely.  In a large nonreactive pot, combine the cherries, sugar and vanilla powder. Macerate for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  Put the pot over medium heat. Heat the macerated fruit, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring only to prevent scorching, until ​the gel point is reached.  Pour the jam into clean, heated jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Jam

Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Jam

Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Jam

5-6 large pink grapefruits about 5-6 pounds, you can also use Ruby Red grapefruit

1 1/2 C. sugar or more to taste

2 vanilla beans

 

Remove the rind from the grapefruits. Thickly slice the fruit and then cut or break apart into pieces. Discard any seeds. Puree the fruit in a food processor or blender, and then pour it into a heavy bottomed pot, along with the sugar. Cut the vanilla beans in half and then make a slit down the length of each piece. Pry the beans open with the tip of your knife and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the pot with the grapefruit. Throw the pods right in, too. Bring the pot up to a boil, then turn down and boil for about 40-50 minutes. You won’t have to tend it much at first, but toward the end you’ll need to keep an eye on it and stir often to prevent scorching. It will be greatly reduced, darker, and thicker at about the 40 minute mark. The longer you boil it the thicker the jam will be, but I found about 45 minutes was sufficient. Remove the vanilla bean pods and discard. Pour the hot jam into jam jars and let cool before covering and refrigerating. Use within 2 months, or freeze.

Drunken Rose Hips Jam

Drunken Rose Hips Jam

Drunken Rose Hips Jam

 

1/2 pound rosehips

2 C. red wine

3/4 C. water

1 1/2 C. sugar

 

Days 1-3. Rinse the rosehips well. Cut the dark spot off the end of each and halve them. Remove the inner seeds and hairs using a small, sturdy spoon. In a large bowl, cover the rosehips with the wine. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 days.  Prepare a hot water bath. Place the jars in it to keep warm. Wash the lids and rings in hot, soapy water, and set aside. Strain the rosehips. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the water and strained rosehips. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the rosehips are tender. Run the rosehips and their cooking water through the fine screen of a food mill. Measure and return the pulp to the saucepan. There should be about 1 1/2 C. of pulp. Add the sugar, adjusting the amount, as needed, to equal the pulp amount.  Over medium-high heat, bring the jam to a full, rolling boil. Turn off the heat. Skim off any foam. Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Use a nonmetallic utensil to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims clean and seal with the lids and rings. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water canner. Set aside to cool for 12 hours.  Check the lids for proper seals. Remove the rings, wipe the jars, label, and date them, and transfer to cupboard or pantry. Refrigerate any jars that don’t seal properly and use within 3 weeks. Properly sealed jars will last in the cupboard for 12 months. Once opened, refrigerate, and consume within 3 weeks.

Blackberry & Apple Jam

Blackberry & Apple Jam

Blackberry & Apple Jam

 

2 large cooking apples, cored and thinly sliced, cores reserved

3 pounds fresh blackberries

5 C. sugar

3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 to 3 T. blackberry or raspberry cordial, or liqueur (optional)

 

Prepare a hot water bath (see here). Place the jars in it to keep warm. Wash the lids and rings in hot, soapy water, and set aside.  Put the reserved apple cores in a piece of cheesecloth and tie the ends securely with kitchen twine into a sachet. In a preserving pot or deep pot, combine the apple slices, blackberries, and the sachet. Cover the fruit with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the fruit is very tender and starting to fall apart. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the sachet. Using a sieve or fine strainer, purée the fruit by passing it through into a clean pan. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and cordial (if using). Return the mixture to a simmer over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 20 to 25 minutes or until the jam gels and the mixture reaches 220°F, measured with a candy thermometer. Test for gel after 20 minutes (see here).  Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Use a nonmetallic utensil to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rims clean and seal with the lids and rings.  Process the jars in a hot water bath (see here) for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water canner. Set aside to cool for 12 hours. Check the lids for proper seals (see here). Remove the rings, wipe the jars, label, and date them, and transfer to a cupboard or pantry. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly and use within 1 month. Properly sealed jars will last in the cupboard for 12 months. Once opened, refrigerate, and consume within 1 month.

Lemon Verbena Jelly Recipe

Lemon Verbena Jelly Recipe

Lemon Verbena Jelly Recipe

 

1 1/2 C. lemon verbena leaves, chopped

2 C. water

2 T. apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 C. sugar

3 ounces liquid pectin (such as Certo)

 

Put lemon verbena leaves and water into a pan. Bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain and measure 1 1/2 C. of the infusion into a 3 1/2-quart or larger saucepan. Add the vinegar and sugar. Mix well and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Take off the heat briefly and add the liquid pectin; bring back to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute. Have your jars sterilized either in the dishwasher or by boiling them for 10 minutes in water. Lids and rings can be in hot water until needed. (It is not necessary to boil them.) Skim foam from the Lemon Verbena Jelly with a spoon if necessary, pour into jars and add lids. Process jars in boiling water for 5 minutes. When you take them out of the pot, they should seal. If you press the middle of the lid and it pops back, it has not sealed properly. If they don’t, place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use them promptly.

Rose Petal Jam

Rose Petal Jam

Rose Petal Jam

2 ounces (approx. 2 C. lightly packed or to what would be a perfectly comfy fairy bed) wild rose petals (preferably collected 50 feet from roads and in a pesticide free area)

2 C. organic cane sugar

3 T. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. Pomonas fruit pectin

 

Place water and roses in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 ¾ C. of sugar into the simmering petals. Stir to dissolve the sugar crystals. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pay attention to the gorgeous vibrant color that emerges. Simmer 10 minutes. Mix the remaining ¼ C. sugar and pectin in a bowl. While stirring the jam add the pectin/sugar mixture sprinkle by sprinkle to ensure pectin incorporates without clumping. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes. It may seem quite loose for jam, it will firm up as it sets but does remain more of a silky syrup with luscious bits of petals. This keeps for 2 months in the fridge, also freezes beautifully and canning is always a brilliant option. Notes: you can use dried petals…. 1/3 C. dried = 1 C. fresh (readily available in natural food stores, in the bulk herb section) Try it on vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

2 C. cherry tomatoes; halved (amount after slicing)

1/2 C. dark plums; chopped (optional)

1/2 C. sugar + 1/2 C. date honey

1 T. lemon juice

2 star anise seeds

 

Over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring it to a boil, constantly stirring for about 10 minutes. When film begins to form spoon it off and discard. After about 10 minutes, let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. You don’t have to stir it but keep an eye to make sure nothing is sticking and burning. Turn off the heat, let it sit for about 10 minutes or so and then transfer to a jar. It stays good for about 2 wks.

Spicy Lemon Chutney

Spicy Lemon Chutney

Spicy Lemon Chutney

10 to 12 lemons/about 3 pounds, plus 2 or 3 more for juice (see below)

2 tablespoons salt (kosher)

2 cups brown sugar

6 garlic cloves (minced)

1/2 cup dried currants

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds (crushed)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 half-pint (8-ounce) jars and lids

 

Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove the zest from lemons. Be careful to remove only the zest (the thin outer yellow skin) and not any of the white pith beneath. Finely chop zest and put in a large bowl. Cut off and discard the white pith. Finely chop the lemon flesh, discarding any seeds, and add to bowl with the zest. Add salt, stir to combine, and let sit at room temperature overnight. Put salted chopped lemons in a large pot. Add sugar, garlic, currants, lemon juice, cider vinegar, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add jars and lids and turn off the heat. When chutney is thick, remove jars and lids from their hot water bath and dry. (Bring the pot of water back to a boil.) Fill jars with chutney. Using a wide-mouth funnel makes filling the jars much easier. If you don’t have one, however, just spoon the chutney into jars and clean edges with damp paper towels when jars are full. Firmly screw on lids. Put jars back in the pot of boiling water (jars should be covered by at least 2 inches of water). Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Store at room temperature for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months before eating to let flavors blend. Keep opened jars chilled.

Watermelon Jam

Watermelon Jam

 

7 C. watermelon – cut into 1-inch pieces

4 C. granulated sugar

1/4 C. lemon juice

4 T. coarse salt

1 T. ground ginger

Cold water

 

Dissolve salt thoroughly in 8 C. cold water and pour over watermelon pieces; let stand 5 – 6 hours.  Drain, rinse well and drain again. Cover with cold water and let stand 30 minutes; drain. Sprinkle with ginger, cover with water and cook until fork tender; drain. Combine sugar and lemon juice and 7 C. water. Bring slowly to boiling and boil 5 minutes; add watermelon pieces and boil gently for 30 minutes, then simmer until watermelon is clear about 3 hours. Pack, boiling hot, into cleaned jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space; adjust caps. Process jars about 20 minutes at 180° F in hot water bath.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

 

1/2 pound of fresh rhubarb

1/2 quart of fresh strawberries

1 C. of sugar

1 T. of lemon juice

3/4 tsp. of quick tapioca

 

Clean the rhubarb and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.  Clean and hull strawberries and slice in half. In a large heavy saucepan, add rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Without turning on heat, stir ingredients together and allow them to set for 45 minutes. Add the tapioca, stir and allow to set an additional 15 minutes. Bring mixture to a very low simmer and cook for 50 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a jar or other container and refrigerate.

Oregon Blueberry Chutney

Oregon Blueberry Chutney

4 cups Oregon blueberries
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

In a medium non-corrosive saucepan, combine all chutney ingredients, except mint, and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook gently until onions are tender and chutney has thickened, 25-30 minutes. Stir often to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding mint. Also serve as sauce on grilled salmon, poultry, pork or Ahi tuna.

Serving Size: 1 T.
Calories: 17
Fat: 0g
Fiber: 0g

Berry Refrigerator Preserves

Berry Refrigerator Preserves

 

1 quart berries

1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

 

Makes about a pint.  Wash the berries (if using strawberries remove hulls and quarter them). Alternate layers of berries and sugar in a small non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, from time to time, then turn the heat down. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. With a slotted spoon, remove fruit to a small jar. Continue simmering juice until it is reduced by half and becomes syrupy. Pour over the berries and allow to cool. Cover container and keep in refrigerator. My notes: Blackberries generally require more sugar than other berries. If I make more than one jar I keep the extras in the freezer, and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight when I want to use them. This also makes a very nice topping for ice cream, and simple cakes such as a pound cake or Angel Food cake.

Cheeky Chilli-Pepper Chutney

Cheeky Chilli-Pepper Chutney

 

[Jamie Oliver] This is a great chutney. The sweetness created in the cooking of the peppers calms the heat of the chillies down, giving the chutney a lovely warmth. It’s fantastic with crumbly cheese, smeared on toast with melted cheese or with Welsh rarebit. Also lovely stirred into gravy with sausages, or with cold leftover meats. Crack on and have a go.

 

8-10 fresh red chillies

8 ripe red peppers

Olive oil

2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped

a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

a 5cm piece of cinnamon stick

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g brown sugar

150ml balsamic vinegar

 

If you want your chutney to last for a while, make sure you have some small sterilized jars ready to go. Place your chillies and peppers over a hot barbecue, in a griddle pan or on a tray under a hot grill, turning them now and then until blackened and blistered all over. Carefully lift the hot peppers and chillies into a bowl (the smaller chillies won’t take as long as the peppers so remove them first) and cover tightly with clingfilm. As they cool down, they’ll cook gently in their own steam. By the time they’re cool enough to handle, you’ll be able to peel the skin off easily.  When you’ve got rid of most of the skin, trimmed off the stalks and scooped out the seeds, you’ll be left with a pile of nice tasty peppers and chillies. Finely chop by hand or put in a food processor and whiz up. Then put to one side. Heat a saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook very slowly for about 20 minutes or so, until the onions become rich, golden and sticky. Add the chopped peppers and chillies, the sugar and the vinegar to the onions and keep cooking. When the liquid reduces and you’re left with a lovely thick sticky chutney, season well to taste. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Either spoon into the sterilized jars and put them in a cool dark place, or keep in the fridge and use right away. In sterilized jars, the chutney should keep for a couple of months.

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

2 slices Bread

Thin slices of Smokey Havarti cheese

1/2 onion sliced thin

2 T. fig jam

3 T. softened butter

Instructions

 

In a small frying pan, add 1 T. butter and sliced onions. Cook on med-low heat cook until softened and lightly browned while stirring occasionally. Cook about 20 – 25 minutes. Set aside. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Add cheese slices to the other side of the bread until covered (opposite of the buttered side). On one slice of the bread, spread the fig jam over the cheese. On the other slice, spread the onions over the cheese. Place the slices of bread (buttered side down) in the pan on medium low and cover with a lid. It only takes a minute or two for the bread toast and the cheese to melt. Once bread is browned, take out of pan on a plate and put sandwich together. Cut in half and serve.

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam

4 cups (480 grams) rhubarb, diced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar (or more to taste)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped from the pod

 

In a large saucepan, sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb pieces. Add the lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds. Throw in the vanilla bean pod while it cooks for extra flavor. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the jam has thickened. If the jam is too tart for your liking, add more sugar a T. at a time until it reaches your desired sweetness. Remove the jam from heat just before it reaches your ideal consistency. Serve warm or chilled, spread over hot toast, spooned over vanilla ice cream, or stirred into Greek yogurt. The jam will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Elderberry Apple Jam

Elderberry Apple Jam

Elderberry Apple Jam

Yield: 3 half-pint jars of jam

 

6 cups of elderberries, carefully picked over to remove any green berries and pieces of stems and leaves.

8 small-medium, slightly under-ripe apples, diced (roughly 1/2 inch pieces) and cored (leave skin on). I’ve used Liberty, McIntosh, and Jonathan with great results in my various versions of elderberry apple jelly and jam.

1/2 cup water

3 and 1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

 

In a large saucepan, gently crush some of the berries with the back of a large spoon. You must be gentle, to avoid crushing the seeds, which releases a bitter flavor into the juice. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and gently crushing the berries with the back of the spoon, until enough of the berries have burst to make it liquidly. You won’t need to do much crushing because the boiling actually makes most of them burst. Add diced apples, return to a boil, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until apples are mushy. Strain through a fine mesh metal strainer, to remove seeds. You may gently push the berry and apple pulp through the strainer with the back of a spoon. But, again, avoid crushing the elderberry seeds. Put the juice/pulp, the sugar, and the lemon juice into a large saucepan, and return to a boil. The mixture will be thick, so stir frequently, scraping the bottom of the pot, to prevent scorching. Continue simmering and stirring/scraping for about 10-15 minutes, until it sheets off a spoon (or until it reaches desired thickness). Hint: Do not use the temperature test for doneness. Mine became quite thick and passed the spoon test while still at the boiling point of water, 212 degrees F. It’s a firm gel when cool. Pour into sterile half-pint jars, cover with sterile lids and rings, and process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

Sweet Tomato Jam with Honey and Vanilla

Sweet Tomato Jam with Honey and Vanilla

Sweet Tomato Jam with Honey and Vanilla

3 lb. firm ripe tomatoes, cored and diced (about 8 C.)

1 C. honey

300 grams granulated sugar (1 and 1/2 C.)

½ tsp. lemon zest

2 T. lemon juice

2 vanilla bean pods, split

Pinch fine sea salt

 

In a large nonreactive pot, combine ingredients, adding both vanilla seeds and pods to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture is very thick and jammy, about 1 and 1/2 hours. Discard vanilla pods. If canning, spoon into hot sterilized jars and process as directed. Otherwise, let jam cool, then store in refrigerator or freezer.

Blood Orange Mimosa Jelly

Blood Orange Mimosa Jelly

Blood Orange Mimosa Jelly

3 lbs. whole blood oranges

2 Meyer Lemons – about 1/2 cup juice

1 bottle Prosecco

(All to equal 5 1/2 cups total juice)

3 1/2 cups sugar

1 pkg. Low Sugar Sure Jell Pectin

 

Prepare 8 half-pint jars and lids and a boiling water bath.  Measure the juices and Prosecco to equal 5 1/2 cups total. Place into a large pot. Measure 3 1/2 cups sugar. Remove 1/4 cup of the measured sugar into a small bowl and stir in the contents of the pectin packet. Stir the sugar and pectin mixture into the juice and bring to a boil. When it has reached a full. rolling boil, stir in the remaining sugar. Return to a full, rolling boil and boil for 1 minute exactly. Remove from the heat and skim any foam. Ladle into hot, prepared jars and process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove carefully and let stand, undisturbed, until the lids pop.   Makes about 8 half pints.

Apple- Currant Chutney

Apple- Currant Chutney

2 C. chopped tart apples 

2 C. fresh red currants 

2 C. chopped green tomatoes 

1 C. chopped onions 

1/2 C. honey 

1/2 C. cider vinegar 

1/2 C. water 

2 tsp. minced garlic 

2 tsp. brown or yellow mustard seeds 

1 serrano pepper, chopped (wear plastic gloves when handling) 

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger 

1 lime  

 

In a large saucepan, combine the apples, currants, tomatoes, onions, honey, vinegar, water, garlic, mustard seeds, pepper, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slice the lime into 4 lengthwise wedges. Cut each wedge into thin crosswise slices. Add to the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the mixture until the apples are tender and the mixture thickens slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate in a covered container for several days to allow the flavors to develop.

Grilled Red Onion Marmalade

Grilled Red Onion Marmalade

5 medium red onions, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeno chile, seeded, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons each: creme de cassis, grenadine, zinfandel or other full-bodied red wine

Prepare a grill or broiler. Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste. Grill 2 minutes on each side. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add grilled onions, garlic and jalapenos. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add vinegar, creme de cassis, grenadine and zinfandel, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a food processor; pulse 5-7 times until finely chopped but not pureed. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 2 C.
Serving Size: 1 T.

Calories: 21
Fat: 1g
Fiber: .3g

Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade Recipe

Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade Recipe

2 lbs. Meyer lemons

8 cups Sugar

2 cups Fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. Peeled and grated ginger

1 tbsp. Finely chopped crystallized ginger

 

Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.  Cut the ends off of all of the lemons.  Slice the lemons as thin as possible.  Place the lemon slices in a large saucepan and add 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat.  Measure the lemon slices and their liquid in a quart sized measuring cup.  Note the amount and then return to the pan.  For each cup of water/lemon mixture, add 1-1/4 cups sugar to the saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice.  Bring mixture to a bowl over medium heat.  Allow to boil for 10 minutes.  Add the fresh ginger and continue to boil, until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the crystallized ginger. Ladle  the marmalade immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of tops.  Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids {I used Weck jars} and screw bands on. Place jars on elevated rack in a canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process for 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam

Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam

3 large Spanish onions
2 heads garlic – roasted
2 T. sugar
2 T. brown sugar
4 T. balsamic vinegar

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves unto a small plate. Set aside. Cut onions in half lengthwise; peel. Cut off ends; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Coat a 13 inch skillet with cooking spray, and set over medium heat. Add onions, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add sugars; recover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 20 – 30 minutes. Add 1/4 C. water and stir. Cover and cook until dark brown, 20 -30 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic cloves, and another 1/4 C. water. Continue cooking until liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Savory Rhubarb Jam for Grilled Salmon

Savory Rhubarb Jam for Grilled Salmon

1/2 C. sherry

1 1/4 lb. rhubarb trimmed and cut in 1” pieces

3/4 C. sugar

Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

1/4 C. water

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

 

Cook ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan for 10 minutes or until jam like. Stir to prevent burning. Serve under or drizzled over the top of grilled salmon.

 

 

Yield:

Calories:

Fat:

Fiber:

 

 

Lemon Marmalade

Lemon Marmalade

lemon marm4 pounds lemons, scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges each

8 1/2 cups sugar (3 3/4 pounds)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Ten 1/2-pint canning jars with lids, sterilized in boiling water

 

On Day 1, in a large nonreactive saucepan, cover half of the lemon wedges with 2 inches of water (about 8 cups) and let stand at room temperature overnight.   One Day 2, bring the lemon wedges to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring every 30 minutes, until the lemons are very tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Pour the lemon wedges into a fine sieve set over a large heatproof bowl; let cool completely. Wrap the sieve and bowl with plastic and let drain overnight at room temperature; discard the lemon wedges.   Also on Day 2, seed the remaining lemon wedges and slice them very thinly crosswise. In a large nonreactive saucepan, cover the lemon slices with 2 inches of water (about 8 cups) and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the lemon slices in a fine strainer; discard the cooking liquid.   Return the lemon slices to the saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the lemons are very tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 40 minutes; let stand at room temperature overnight.   On Day 3, add the strained lemon-wedge liquid to the slices in the saucepan. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, without stirring, until the marmalade darkens slightly, about 30 minutes; skim off any foam as necessary. Test for doneness: Spoon 1 tablespoon of the marmalade onto a chilled plate and refrigerate until it is room temperature, about 3 minutes; the marmalade is ready when it thickens like jelly and a spoon leaves a trail when dragged through it. If not, continue simmering and testing every 10 minutes until it passes the test, up to 1 hour and 30 minutes.   Spoon the marmalade into the canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top. Screw on the lids. Using canning tongs, lower the jars into a large pot of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Remove the jars with the tongs and let stand until the lids seal (they will look concave). Store the marmalade in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Marmalade

Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Marmalade

marmalade5 C. of Sugar

1/8 tsp. Butter

1 1/2 C. of Water

2 Medium oranges

1 Medium Size Blood Orange

1 Large Regular Lemon

1 Large Meyer Lemon

1/8 tsp. Baking Soda

1 Pouch of Liquid Pectin such as Sure Jell

 

Measure sugar into a bowl, top with 1/8 Tsp. butter, cover, and set aside. Pour water in a large saucepan, cover with a lid and set aside. Using a zester, carefully remove zest from all of the fruit and place in the large saucepan, stir into the water, cover with the lid and set aside. Try not to remove any of the white part, known as the pith, as it will give your marmalade a bitter flavor. Segment and chop all of the fruit, catching their juices in a non reactive bowl. (Be sure to remove all pits.) Cover bowl of fruit and juices and set aside. Add baking soda to water and zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 2o minutes. As the zest simmers for 20 minutes, it is a good time to check the dishwasher cycle to be sure it is still on heated dry, re-read instructions for filling and sealing jars, and it is a good time to wash, dry, and put away all dirty dishes used so far. Place Liquid Pectin Pouch standing up in a glass measuring C. and cut off the top of the pouch using clean scissors. Set the pectin near the simmering zest, so it will be handy, when ready to use. As soon as the zest mixture is done simmering, turn the heat up to high and add the fruit, juice, sugar, and mix well. Bring water in the water bath canner, tea kettle, and small sauce pan back to a heavy rolling boil. Quickly remove small saucepan full of boiling water from the stove and place on a trivet. Place clean lids in the water, cover, and allow to rest, until ready to use. Turn heat under tea kettle down to medium low. Bring jam to a heavy rolling boil that will continue even as mixture is stirred. Reduce heat to medium or medium low so mixture is bubbling gently. Continue to stir as mixture simmers for 8 minutes.*It is very important to stir constantly so mixture will not burn. Turn heat back up to high and bring mixture back up to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Add pectin and bring mixture back up to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 more minute. Remove marmalade from the heat, set on trivet, and quickly skim off any foam with a metal skimmer. Remove 1 hot jar from the dishwasher, place funnel on top of jar, and ladle marmalade into jar, being sure to leave 1/4 th of an inch head space. Remove the funnel, use bubble freer to remove bubbles from jar, slightly wet the clean paper towels with water and use to wipe any jam from the top of the jar. Using lid wand, remove 1 lid from the small saucepan of water, line up and place on top of the jar and screw band on, making sure the band is not too tight. Lift canning rack; latch onto sides of canner, and using jar lifter, place jar of marmalade on the rack. Continue this process till all jars are full and are resting lid side up on the rack. The jars should all be half covered with boiling water at this point. Gently lower rack in to the boiling water. The jars should be covered with 1 – 2 inches of water. If more water is needed, pour boiling water from tea kettle into the water bath canner at this point. Bring water in water bath canner to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, begin to clean up the kitchen and set down a dish towel to place under the hot processed jars of marmalade while they cool. (Setting hot jars on a cool surface may cause them to shatter.) Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and allow the pot to cool for 5 minutes. Lift canning rack, latch onto sides of canner, carefully remove jars one by one with the jar lifter, and place 1 – 2 inches apart of the clean dish towel. Do not tilt jars to remove water from the lid as this may affect the seal. The water will easily evaporate from the heat of the jar. Listen for and count the pings, the sound that the jars make as they seal. Allow jars to sit for 24 hours before removing bands and checking lids to be sure they are sealed. Store homemade marmalade in a cool dark place such as a basement for up to 1 year.

 

 

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Lilac Jelly

Lilac Jelly

Lilac Jelly

4 c. lilac flowers

4 c. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 tbsp. powdered pectin

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Rinse lilac flowers in a colander and remove stems. Place flowers in a bowl and cover them with 4 cups of boiling water. You are essentially going to make “lilac tea.” Let the lilac mixture sit for about an hour. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the lilac flowers. You should end up with a clear liquid. If not, try pouring it through the strainer again. Measure the tea, adding a little water if necessary to get exactly 4 cups of liquid. Stir in lemon juice. The liquid should change in color to be similar to the original color of the lilacs. The darker the lilacs, the darker the color of the jelly. Violet colored lilacs will make a rose colored jelly. Experiment with different flower colors! Pour liquid into a large stock pot. Sprinkle the pectin on top of the juice and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the pinch of butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute.  How to make and can homemade lilac jelly from fresh lilac flowers. A unique gift idea with a wonderfully floral taste and scent!

 

Canning Instructions:  Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch head space, and process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.  Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for 1-2 years. If you have any jars that do not seal, just place them in the refrigerator to eat in the next month or two.  Jelly can take a day or two to set completely, so don’t disturb it for a couple days even if it doesn’t set completely.

Strawberry Lavender Jam

Strawberry Lavender Jam

16 C. (4 lbs) Strawberries, hulled and halved
2 ½ C. Sugar
½ C. Fresh lemon juice
1 packet of pectin
1 tsp. Fresh or dried lavender

In a large non-reactive pan add the strawberries and sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids. You can sterilize by placing in a 225 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes or sterilize in hot water or the dishwasher. Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer. Add the lemon juice and pectin to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, add lavender, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Use 1 tsp. jam and a chilled plate to test if the jam is ready. The mixture is ready if it wrinkles when nudged gently with a finger. If it doesn’t, continue to cook for a few minutes longer and retest. Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if needed. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids. Process the jars for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove and let cool on a towel. The lids will pop and that means they are sealed. To test, simply press down on the lid and if no popping happens, they are sealed. Tighten the lids and store in a dark, cool location.

Strawberry Basil Jam

Strawberry Basil Jam

2 pounds of strawberries, some super ripe, some under ripe
½ C. water
2 tsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 C. sugar
¼ C. roughly chopped basil leaves
2 tsp. vodka

Remove the stem from the strawberries and halve or quarter them if they are large. Place them in a large stockpot with the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the berries from sticking to the pot. Meanwhile, put the sugar and basil leaves into a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment. Pulse until the basil is finely minced and the sugar turns a pale green color. Set aside. Remove the lid from the pot and stir the lemon juice into the berries (after they have simmered for 10 minutes). Add the sugar, ½ C. at a time, waiting for the liquid to return to a boil before adding more. Continue to boil for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Skim any foam that rises to the surface, if desired. Cook only until the jam begins to stick on the bottom of the pot. You should be able to draw a trail through the jam with your spatula. Another sign that the jam is ready is that it will begin to sputter. Pour jam through a funnel into hot, sterilized jars to within ¼ inch of the lips. Wipe the rims clean with a paper towel that you’ve submerged in the vodka. Attach new lids, and screw caps tightly. Invert jars briefly to vacuum seal, or process in a boiling water bath, submerged by 1 inch, for 10 minutes.

Peach-Nectarine Jam

Peach-Nectarine Jam

3 C. peeled, chopped peaches
1 1/2 C. peeled, chopped nectarines
2 T. lemon juice
3 C. sugar
1 package powdered pectin
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. butter (to reduce foam)

First you need to prepare your jars. There are tons of articles on the web that tell you how to do this, so I won’t go into it here. Just make sure that CLEANLINESS is a big priority in your canning process…this is how you avoid contaminating all of your beautiful fruit preserves. I recommend looking at the Ball website or Pick Your Own for basic, safe canning information. Now, get your extra large stockpot/canner filled with water and starting to heat. That much water takes a while to get going. The water level needs to be high enough to cover filled jars by 1-2 inches when submerged in their water bath. Once your supplies are all clean and sterilized, you can start preparing your fruit. Peel, pit, and chop the fruit and place in 6 or 8 qt. stockpot. Stir in lemon juice. Add cinnamon stick. Carefully measure out sugar into a separate bowl. In a small bowl, mix powdered pectin with about 1/4 C. the measured sugar and mix well. Add this mixture to the fruit in the stockpot. Also add optional butter at this point. Bring the fruit mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. **NOTE: A full rolling boil is such that when stirred, the boil does not go away. After 1 minute, remove from heat. Skim off any foam. Remove cinnamon stick. Ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 – 1/8 inch of the top (called “head-space”). Wipe any spills on the jar or rim with a clean damp cloth. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands finger-tip tight (this just means screw on tight, but don’t over-do it). Put all of the filled jars into your large stockpot (canner) of boiling water, submerge either with a canning rack (very handy), canning jar grabber, or silicone oven mitts (don’t recommend). The canning rack is great because it keeps the jars off the bottom of the pot preventing etching, scratching, or cracking the glass. If you don’t have a rack, you need to put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot to cushion the jars and make sure there’s space between the jars themselves to allow water to circulate through. The water should cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add more boiling water if necessary. Once the water starts boiling with the jars in the canner, put the lid on and start your timer for 10 minutes. Boil on medium…not a hard boil, but not too gentle. Carefully remove jars from canner–THEY WILL BE HOT! Place on a towel on the counter to cool. When you hear the pop and see that the flat lid is indented, you know you have a good seal. If any jars don’t seal after a couple hours, you can reprocess 10 more minutes, or simply store in the fridge to eat right away. It will keep there for up to a month. Let sealed jars stand at room temp on counter for 24 hours. Store the unopened, sealed jars in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Once you open one, store in the fridge for up to a month (any longer and it will start to crystalize).

Persimmon Jelly

Persimmon Jelly

1 C. water
1 tangerine
1 lemon
3 C. sugar
1 pkg. Sure Jell

Take wild persimmon, wash and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. During cooking, add water as needed to avoid burning. Remove from heat and strain through colander or cloth. To each cup of persimmon pulp add the above ingredients. Mix Sure Jell with pulp, water, juice of lemon and tangerine; bring to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. At once, add sugar. Bring to rolling boil and cook 1 minute. Remove foam and fill glasses immediately.

Peach Jam

Peach Jam

6-7 half pint jars

4 pounds of fresh Peaches
3 C. Sugar
2 T. Lemon Juice
1/2 C. Water

Prepare the jars for canning. Wash jars and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse. Place jars inside a canner filled with water, bring to boil. Boil jars for 15 minutes to sterilize. Place lids and bands in warm water, do not boil. Leave until ready to use.

Rinse the peaches under cool running water. Place whole fresh peaches in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and place in a sink with cold ice water. Peel peaches, remove the pit, slice in half, then into quarters. Slice each quarter into 2 or 3 chunks. Place cut peaches in bowl and toss with lemon juice. Place in food processor and pulse into small bits but do not liquefy. Place a saucepot on stove, set to medium heat. Add water, then sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add peach pulp and continue to stir until it thickens. As it thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning. When done, ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, add lid and band. Finger tighten. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner or according to the time for your altitude. Remove from canner, and place on folded towel for 24 hours in a draft free location. May be stored

Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

1 1/4 pounds rhubarb, diced
1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. powdered fruit pectin (I use Ball’s Flex Pectin)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
juice of 1/2 lemon

Prepare a small boiling water bath canner and 2 half pint jars. Place the chopped rhubarb in a low, wide non-reactive pan. Whisk the pectin and vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and add it to the fruit. Drop the split vanilla bean into the pan and add the lemon juice. Stir well and let it sit until the sugar looks damp. Set the pan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. If the sugar begins to caramelize, reduce the heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the rhubarb breaks down and the liquid looks thick and jammy. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the jam between the two prepared jars (depending on how much water the rhubarb contained, you may have a couple tsp. leftover. I recommend stirring the leftover into some plain yogurt). Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. When the time is up, remove the jars from canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool and seal.

Strawberry Kiwi Jam

Strawberry Kiwi Jam

2 C. chopped strawberries
1 C. peeled and chopped kiwi
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine the strawberries, kiwi, and sugar in a bowl and stir until the fruit begins to release its juice. Scrape the fruit and sugar combination into a 12 inch skillet and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook at a rapid bubble for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the jam is thick. You can tell it’s done when you can pull your spatula through the cooking fruit and the jam doesn’t immediately rush in to fill the space. When jam is done, you can do one of two things. Simply scrape it into a pint jar, let it cool, and put it in the fridge. Or funnel it into two clean, hot half pint jars and process them in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes. As long as the seals are good, the processed jam is shelf stable for up to a year.

Strawberry Lavender Jam

Strawberry Lavender Jam

3 pounds strawberries (about 9 C.), rinsed and hulled
1½ C. sugar
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice, strained
1½ tsp. dried lavender (or 1 tsp. fresh lavender)

Begin by preparing the jars. Put four, half-pint jars in a stockpot or other large pot and cover with water. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Put the jar lids in a separate bowl and set them aside; also, place a small plate in the freezer. While the jars process, begin preparing the jam. Place the strawberries and the sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for five minutes. Now pour the mixture into a colander set over a large bowl. Gently stir the berries in the colander to strain off most of the juice. Set the colander and berries aside, preferably over another bowl or plate to catch juice drips, and return the juice to the saucepan. Bring the juice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Allow the juice to boil until reduced to a syrup measuring 1½ C., about 20 minutes. Return the strawberries and any juice that has drained from them while sitting to the saucepan with the reduced syrup. Stir in the lemon juice and the lavender and return the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer until a small dab of jam spooned onto the plate in the freezer becomes somewhat firm (it will not gel), about 15 minutes. Spoon off any accumulated foam from the saucepan and stir gently. At this point, ladle boiling water from the pot with the jars into the bowl with the lids until the lids are covered. Place a folded kitchen towel in the designated work area. Use a jar lifter to remove the sterilized jars from the canning pot, being careful to pour the water in each back into the pot, and place upright on the kitchen towel. Note, the jars should have boiled at least 10 minutes in order to ensure they are sterilized. Ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving ¼-1/2 inch of head space. Once the jars are filled, use a damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars. Drain the water off the jar lids and place the lids (flat lid and ring) on top, securing until finger tight. Return the filled and sealed jars to the pot of water. Make sure the water is at least one inch above the tops of the jars. Return to a boil and allow to boil for five minutes to process. Remove the jars from the water and again place on a folded towel. After one hour, check the seals on the jars by pressing down on the center of each lid. If the lid is easy to press down and then pops back up (just like an open jar of pickles), the lid has not sealed properly and the jar should be refrigerated. Allow the sealed jars to cool for 12 hours before storing in cool dark place. Once open, refrigerate any unused contents.

Pear Cranberry Jam

Pear Cranberry Jam

1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 lb. pears, quartered and cored (no need to peel)
1/2 – 3/4 C. sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Spices, as desired (see above)

Prepare water bath canner by filling to 3/4 full of cool water and adding jars. Bring to boil and turn down to keep at simmer. Combine pears and cranberries in a sturdy non-reactive stockpot or deep skillet. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent burning and to keep mixture evenly cooking. After 5-10 minutes, the cranberries will begin to pop. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Continue cooking until most of the cranberries have popped and juices have been released from the pears. Cook until mixture reaches the desired thickness – about 20 minutes. You can test this by dropping a tsp. the mixture onto a saucer. Let cool for about a minute. Then pick up the saucer and tilt sideways. If the jam appears to keep it’s shape, it’s done. If it separates or runs down the saucer, cook a bit longer and test again. At this point, you may puree the mixture with an immersion blender or by spooning batches into a food processor or mixer. Or if you like the texture as is, you are ready to fill jars. Spoon into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Wipe rims, lid and place in canner. Bring water in canner back to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove to protected countertop. After 1 hour, test lids and place any unsealed jars in refrigerator. Let remainder cool for 12 hours. Label and date.

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

3 pounds Meyer Lemons (or any lemons)
4 1/2 C. Sugar (I use organic raw sugar)
2 oz. prepared pureed Ginger or 4 tsp. finely chopped fresh Ginger
7 C. water

Prepare water-bath canner with jars by bringing cool jars and cool water to a boil in canner. Turn heat down and let simmer until ready to use the jars.

Scrub lemons thoroughly. If they are not organic, scald with hot water to remove any wax and debris. Prepare lemon peel by cutting the peels from the lemons with a sharp knife or using a vegetable peeler. Avoid cutting into the pith (the white part). You should end up with long swirls of peel. Cut across the swirl into very small slivers. Place the peels into saucepan with 1 C. the water, add saucepan lid, and simmer long enough for the peels to soften – about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, chop the remainder of each lemon into small 1/4 inch pieces, retaining all the pith, fruit and seeds, and juice. Place these pieces into a cheesecloth and tie tightly. Place in non-reactive saucepan and cover with the water. Boil 1 hour. Remove the cheesecloth bag from the liquid and cool. The easiest way to do this is to place in a sieve over a bowl. When cool enough to handle, press as much of the liquid from the bag as possible. It will be milky and sticky – this is the good pectin that will aid in setting the marmalade. Discard the cheesecloth bag.

Now combine the softened peels, the liquid remaining in the saucepan, the additional captured liquid from the bag, ginger and sugar. Bring back to a boil, then lower heat to medium, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking uncovered until the liquid reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

Immediately spoon into jars and process for 10 minutes after water returns to a boil in a boiling-water bath. Remove jars from canner and cool on heat-proof surface. Check lids after 1 hour, refrigerate any unsealed jars. Let the remainder of the jars cool overnight. Label and date and store in cool, dry place.

Apricot Vanilla Bean Jam

Apricot Vanilla Bean Jam

2 pounds ripe apricots
1/4 C. water
Small wedge fresh lemon
2 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 to 2 vanilla beans

Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Place apricot halves, water, the juice from the lemon, and the lemon rind itself in a large non-reactive pot. Stirring intermittently, cook over medium-high heat until the juices begin to boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the apricots are soft and tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Once soft and tender, stir in the sugar. Split the vanilla beans down their length, scrape out the seeds, then add both the seeds and the pods to the pot. Increase the heat back up to high and bring to a rolling boil. Clip on a candy thermometer and continue to cook, while stirring, until the jam thickens and reaches about 220°F. Carefully remove the vanilla bean pods and lemon rind. Ladle the jam into clean 4-oz., half-pint, or pint-sized glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe Notes: Taste your fruit first to check for ripeness and sweetness. Additional sugar may be required. This recipes keeps the skin on the apricot before cooking. You can remove the skins before cooking if you like. To check for doneness, place a small plate in the freezer when you start the recipe. As the jam nears completion, place a small amount on the plate and return the freezer. If the jam wrinkles as you nudge it, it is done.