Saturday, August 29, 2015

Peach Jam- A Taste of Summer All Year Long...

I love leading a canning class!  It's great to share my passion for great food, fresh and in season.  What better way to ensure a steady supply of local produce through the winter than to can it yourself. Oh, and you'll make a lot of friends who will love you for sharing.

My canning classes feature three recipes: a jam, a jelly or a chutney and a salsa or pickles.  We prepared this peach jam at the end of August class.  This recipe is from the Bernardin Canning Book- a bible for canners.

Makes about 6 or 7 x 250 ml jars.

4 cups (1000 ml) crushed peaches, about (1.4 kg) or 9 medium
1/3 cups (85 ml) lemon juice
2 pouches (170 ml) BERNARDIN® Liquid Pectin
7- 1/2 cups (1875 ml) granulated sugar

• Place 6 to 7 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

• Peel, pit and finely chop or crush peaches, one layer at a time. Measure 4 cups (2 L).

• In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, stir together prepared fruit, lemon juice, all of the sugar and 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine (to reduce foaming). Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add liquid pectin, squeezing entire contents from pouches. Return to boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

• Ladle hot jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.

• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 10 minutes.

• When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pickled Bean Salad- version 2

Continuing to experiment with pickled bean salad.  This will surely provide a touch of summer in the middle of Ottawa's cold winter.

This recipe begins on the scanning website.  It requires an overnight steep and it contains oil which, for me, takes it out of the realm of pickles.

This recipe makes approx. 4- 500 ml jars.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rolly's Plum Chutney

Thanks to Bea for sharing her mother's plum chutney recipe.  You know the ones our mothers would write out on a piece of paper and slip into their favourite cookbooks.  It's fun to read these little yellowed notes- a little nostalgia in the kitchen.  These slips of paper hold so many great memories.  Ever wonder how mom made her famous and delicious cake, pie, roast, casserole?  Find yourself wishing she had written it all out for you?  Well, mom, thanks for the memories!

It will be the centrepiece of our end of August canning class, along with bread & butter pickles and peach jam.

Bea and I will recreate her mom's chutney, a treasured family recipe.  I estimate it will yield about 12 250 ml jars.  This is perfect at the end of the summer when all the fruit are plentiful.  I'm assuming a few things: the masher in the original recipe likely translates into a food grinder, I'll likely reduce the amount of sugar and we will process it in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes.

5lb   prune plums, mash the fruit before weighing
4 lb  apples
3 or 4 onions
4 lb   sugar – (2 lb white, 2 lb brown)
1 t    allspice
1 t    powdered ginger
3 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 qt. vinegar


Wash the fuit; core the apples and destone the plums.  Put the fruit through a food grinder or finely chop.  Weigh the fruit: 5 lbs of plums and 4 lbs of apples.  Place all the fruit in a large pot along with the spices and sugars.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugars are melted.  When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to simmer until it thickens.

Ladle your chutney into clean, dry jars.  I use a chopstick to remove any air pockets in the jars, cover with lids and place in a boiling water bath.  Boil for approximately 15 minutes.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shallot Confiture

Every canning season, I like to experiment with new recipes, try new ingredients and decide on a new favourite.  In 2015, my favourite is shallot confiture... silky, smooth and so amazing!

I've always avoided finicky preparations but this dish is well worth it.  Trimming five pounds of shallots can be tedious, (I triple this recipe) but do it in front of the television and the time flies by.  From there, this preserve is easy and spread over three or four days.  The result is fabulous!

This recipes makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Pickled Three Bean Salad- All of my Favourite Things!

It's Summer!  Fresh green and yellow beans abound at the farmers' market.  Wow!  Bean salad is a go to salad all summer long.  Light, fresh, tasty and wonderful.

The thing about pickling a bean salad is you have to be careful of the proportions of vinegar, vegetables and beans so you can't deviate from the recipe.  Well, not so much anyway.  I started with a recipe from the website.  Changed the vinegars (as long as they have 5% acidity, you are good to go) and the beans to make it my own.  They have posted two versions which I am looking forward to comparing.

After a morning at the Farmers' Market, it was a pleasure to work on this salad.  And it looks great in the jars.

This recipe made 7- 500 ml jars.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Best Jelly with your Favourite Cheese- White Wine Roasted Garlic Jelly

i've been making this jelly for over 15 years.  The best local garlic is available in mid-August at the Carp Garlic Festival.  Perfect for this jelly!  Enjoy it on cheese and crackers, as a baste or give away to your favourite hostess.

I've had friends buy an entire batch as Christmas gifts.  So perfect...

This jelly sometimes takes up to a week to jel.  Be patient...

This recipe makes approximately 5 250 ml jars.  I like to mix 125 ml jars and 250 ml jars.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whiskey Sour Cocktail Jelly

One of my favourite gifts to make and give.  Jellies made with alcohol- for adults only- and perfect with cheese and crackers.

This recipe makes 5 250 ml jars.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sweet and Sour Pickled Vegetables

I love summer shopping!  This pickle came together when I found beautiful cauliflower, great organic colourful carrots, fennel and shallots, all locally grown, all calling out to be pickled!  Perfect as a hostess gift...

This recipe makes about three 500ml jars.

Spicy Carrot Pickles

I love summer!  The grocers are chock full of local produce- at least the good ones are.  That mostly doesn't mean the large grocery stores where the offerings are usually American, South American fruit and vegetables when I know the local produce is ripe and fresh.  So frustrating...

So this weekend, the local good produce store had beautiful, organic, local carrots on sale.  Young, thin, purple, yellow and orange carrots just begging to be pickled.

This recipe makes approx. 4- 500 ml jars.