Thursday, July 30, 2020

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce - not just for summer

**to preserve this sauce, you will need to pressure can.**

There are two barbecues in my backyard so I am always looking for great sauces, especially ones I can preserve.  This recipe is based on the one found in Mrs Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry.  One of my mainstay canning resources.  I will say this sauce is an investment in time and ingredients and well worth it!

It hits all my high notes- spicy, thick, sweet, complex and great on pork, chicken, burgers- just about anything you want to grill or smoke.

Plan ahead- you will need Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, tomato purée (I used my homemade purée) and tomato ketchup (I would have like to use homemade but settled for store bought).

To make approximately 4 500ml jars.

500 ml           tomato purée
355 ml           ketchup, homemade or store-bought
500 ml           strawberry rhubarb sauce
500 ml           strong black coffee
120 ml           water
120 gr            molasses
60 ml             cider vinegar
60 ml             bourbon or rye (optional)
1 tbsp            asian fish sauce
1 tsp              hot sauce
1/2 cup          minced onion
1/4 cup          chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (use less chiles and more sauce if you want to lower the heat)
1 tbsp            minced garlic

Place all the ingredients in a heavy 5qt pot- stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thick- about one hour.

Laddle the sauce into clean 500 ml jars- clean the rims, place the lids and rings on the jars.

Process for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

This sauce remains shelf stable for about one year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Gooseberry Jam-

I had never considered gooseberry jam before but when someone issues a challenge, I am always up for it.  So these little berries are new to me and I never thought a flat of these would take about three hours to "top and tail"  i.e. clean up and prep.  Kuddos to all those German, Dutch and Eastern European women who prepared their annual batches!  Now that I know gooseberries, I will incorporate them into my annual rotation- but as gooseberry-raspberry jam. Why? because my steam juicer eliminates the need to top and tail- a great time saver and you still get the great taste!

This recipe was found in The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Pastor.  I have enjoyed preparing a few of her preserves- in the Jewish European or Middle Eastern traditions.  I am always on the "hunt" for new takes on preserves and am happy with Emily's approach.
Selection of early summer preserves...

This makes about three 250 ml jars.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Aaliyah's Favourite Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Aaliyah's favourite summer drink is lemonade.  This strawberry concentrate hits all the right buttons: her favourite summer berry paired with the sourness of lemons, sweetened with a little sugar (actually quite bit of sugar) which she can mix herself with water or ginger ale.  It's in a special place in the pantry...

You can substitute strawberries with any other favourite berry or use a mix of blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc... just keep the proportions of fruit to lemon juice and sugar the same.  Note: i have decreased the amount of sugar in some batches, by as much as 50% - for more tartness.

The recipe is based on one found in the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Canning.

Makes about six 500 ml jars.

Rhubarb Jam with Strawberries and Lemons

This recipes combines the best of spring fruit: rhubarb and strawberries.  I have based this recipe on Marissa McClellan's, Food in Jars.

Rhubarb is the harbinger of spring.  Finally, this year, I remembered to set aside rhubarb for making a rhubarb strawberry jam.

Makes 10 250 ml jars

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

This jam is based on Marissa McClennan's in Food in Jars.  I made it for the first time in 2019 and didn't like the strong vanilla flavour, overwhelming the strawberries, I thought.  Now, many people tried it and loved it.  After making the jam, I place the vanilla pods in a jar of sugar and it sat in my cupboard until this year.  I have made it again, using two cups of vanilla infused sugar in addition to 3 cups of regular sugar.  I added the pods from the sugar to the strawberry mixture while it macerated.  Perfect...

Makes eight 250 ml jars.

Gooseberry and Raspberry Jam

I have an old preserving book, published in the '80s by Time Life books.  It has been well used over the years as it covers all types of preserving methods.

Last week, my local farmer convinced me to try my hand at preserving gooseberries, a fruit that is new to me.  Had I known how much work goes into cleaning (topping and tailing) these tiny fruit, I might have reconsidered- they are a lot of work to prep, except for this recipe.  Thanks to my steam juicer, all I need to do is wash the berries and place them, stems and all, in the top of the juicer- perfect.  And, bonus, gooseberries have a lot of natural pectin, so it will set quite readily.

This gooseberry and raspberry jam is familiar (because of the raspberries) but with the gooseberry twist- a little tartness.  It is delicious!  This jam, I will make again!

To make 10 250 ml jars.


1.5 lbs      gooseberries, rinsed
3 lbs         raspberries, rinsed


Place the gooseberries in the top portion of the steamer-juicer.  Put about three inches in the bottom portion and steam the berries for approximately 1.5 hours.  The beauty of the steam juicer is the clarity of the juice it produces.

Alternatively, you can remove the stem from the gooseberries and place them in a pan.  Cover with cold water and bring slowly to a boil.  Simmer gently for about one hour, until the berries are softened into a mush.  Pour into a jelly bag and leave the berries in the bag without squeezing or mashing until all the juice is extracted.  Measure the juice.

Pour the juice into your preserving pan, adding one cup of sugar for every 1 1/4 cups of gooseberry juice, plus four cups of extra sugar to sweeten the raspberries.  Stir gently until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil.  Add the raspberries.  Return to a boil and boil for about 15 minutes, until the jam reaches the jelling point (220 degrees on your thermometer).  Pour the jam into your prepared 250 ml jars, clean the rims of the jars, place the lids on and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes..

Monday, July 6, 2020

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce - does this say spring?

Strawberry and rhubarb anything is wonderful- especially jam.  I was actually looking for a BBQ sauce recipe to preserve and found a Chipotle BBQ sauce in Mrs Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry- one of the main components of the BBQ sauce is a homemade strawberry rhubarb sauce.  I'm in!

Here is the first part of the recipe- Strawberry rhubarb sauce.  The Chipotle BBQ sauce will follow shortly!

This recipe makes 8 250ml jars.

Decadent Strawberry Chocolate Jam

I've made strawberry, banana, chocolate jam before with great success.  Today's version is decadent, rich, dark and does not include bananas.  This jam is great on croissants, on ice cream or try it mixed into your morning yogourt.

To make 8 250ml jars.


4 pounds       strawberries, hulled and chopped (about 10 cups)
4 cups           sugar, divided
1 tbsp           vanilla extract
3 tbsp            bottled lemon juice
2 packets       liquid pectin
 ½ cup           unsweetened cocoa powder

Place the strawberries, 3 cups of sugar and lemon juice in a large, nonreactive pot. Give it several good stirs to help combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-high and continue to cook at a low boil, until the strawberries break down and the volume in the pot has reduced by a quarter. Depending on the water content in the berries, this will take 15 to 25 minutes.

While the fruit cooks, whisk the remaining 1 cup sugar together and cocoa powder. Once the necessary amount of reduction has occurred, stir in the cocoa powder mixture. Return the jam to a rolling boil, add the pectin and boil for an additional two minutes. When the jam has finished cooking, remove the pot from the heat. Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

NOTE: If your cocoa powder is really clumpy, push it through a fine-mesh sieve before combining it with the sugar.