mdt

Canning And Preserving

269 posts in this topic

Mike are you canning or freezing the preserves?

I have not picked up Mes Confitures yet.  It's on the list.  Do you have Fine Preserving by Catherine Plagemann?  It's worth picking up if you can find it used.

I figured this would be a great topic to start a new thread on as I would love to hear what others are doing.

I am canning, my first real attempt, and cannot wait to try new recipes.

I have not seen that book, but will head to the library and see if they have it.

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This is my first time posting, so I'd ask you to be gentle, but I don't think I'd get that here! :lol:

Mr. Bimbap and I make a mess of jam in the summer after going to either Butler's Orchard or Homestead Farms for pick-your-own fruit. My personal favorite is spiced peach jam which I could just eat out of the jar with a spoon.

We had decided to give out little 4oz jars of our jams and jellies as wedding favors two years ago, which led to a summer of intense canning experiments. Needless to say, we feel like old pros now.

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Can anyone recommend good books on canning for techniques and recipes, as well as local go to farms to pick your own fruit?

Thanks :lol:

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Every year I swear I'm going to to a big batch of peach preserves, and every year I get swamped just as the peaches are ready to be preserved. Maybe this year...

I like to stick a jar or two of something home-canned in Christmas baskets/stockings every year. Big hits in years past have been the aforementioned peach preserves, peach butter, apple butter, blueberry marmalade, brandied pears, garlic chutney, smoky ketchup. The nice thing about the last two is that they don't depend on things being in season (I can used canned tomatoes instead of fresh, etc.), so they're easier to fit into my schedule.

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Glad to see there is some interest in this. Now how about some recipes or sources for what you have made.

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Here's the recipe for the Peach Jam (with my favorite Spiced variation) from the Ball Blue Book:

Peach Jam

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide

2 quarts peeled and crushed peaches

1/2 cup water

6 cups sugar

Combine peaches and water in a large pot. Cook gently 10 minutes.

Add sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, then ladle into jars and seal.

Process about 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

Makes about 4 pints.

Variation: For Spiced Peach Jam, add a spice bag containing 1 tsp whole cloves, 1/2 tsp whole allspice and 1 stick of cinnamon. Remove spices before pouring jam into jars.

We don't use any added pectin products for this recipe, so we make sure to boil the jam for a while to be sure we've boiled the water out. We usually bring the temperature to 222-224 degrees.

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Can anyone recommend good books on canning for techniques and recipes, as well as local go to farms to pick your own fruit?

Thanks ;)

CAtherine Plagemann book is wonderful but not for beginners. Try The Joy of Pickling, Preserving the Harvest and the Ball Blue Book (which is not actually Blue anymore :P ), which is published by the folks who make the jars.

I am canning blueberry jam, strawberry jam, pickled peaches, vidalia relish, pear/sour cherry chutney, pickled dilly green beans, hot pickled carrots, Indian spiced cauliflower, and sour cherry preserves. And this might be the year I make my own catsup. :lol:

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CAtherine Plagemann book is wonderful but not for beginners. Try The Joy of Pickling, Preserving the Harvest and the Ball Blue Book (which is not actually Blue anymore ;) ), which is published by the folks who make the jars.

I am canning blueberry jam, strawberry jam, pickled peaches, vidalia relish, pear/sour cherry chutney, pickled dilly green beans, hot pickled carrots, Indian spiced cauliflower, and sour cherry preserves. And this might be the year I make my own catsup. :lol:

Whoa! Wow! Thanks you for the references and the inspiration. Do the above mentioned references have the recipe for the pear/sour cherry chutney? If not could you share?, and if it's a well guarded beloved recipe, I understand.

Thank you.

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Garlic Chutney

This makes a lot, but it's easy to do and makes a great gift. It also keeps a long time in the refrigerator. I got this from Mimi Hiller. Not sure where she got it from.

Great on crackers, spooned over chicken or fish before baking, or just right out of the jar with a spoon.

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered

1-1/2 pints white vinegar

2 pounds dark brown sugar

1 pound raisins

2 heads garlic, cloves separated, peeled and chopped fine

4 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped fine

1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dry pepper flakes

Cook apples in vinegar till soft and mushy. Add remaining ingredients (adding only half the pepper flakes) and mix well. Cook over moderate heat about 10 minutes. Taste. If spicier taste wanted, add remaining pepper flakes. Cook 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Pour into sterile jars and seal.* If not sealing, store in refrigerator.

Makes 8 jelly glasses.

* I use a boiling water bath to seal these - no need for a pressure canner.

Smoky Tomato Ketchup

I pulled this off of rec.food.cooking years ago. I make a batch every once in a while and just keep it in the fridge. WAY better than regular ketchup.

5 pounds tomato -- coarsely chopped (or 3 28 oz. cans crushed

1 large onion -- finely chopped

1 poblano chili -- finely chopped

2 jalapeno -- coarsely chopped

2 dried chipotle chilies -- or canned

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a large nonreactive pot and bring to a boil over

medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until

vegetables are soft an sauce is reduced by 1/4. Puree in food processor.

Strain through a sieve into a clean pot (for a chunkier catsup, don't strain).

Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and simmer (partially covered to prevent

splatters) for 1 hour or until quite thick and dark brownish red. Store in

refrigerator for up to 1 month. Freeze for longer storage or can (boiling water bath).

Peach Preserves

From The Joy of Cooking. First time I made this for gifts, my mother's comment was "the only thing wrong with that jar of preserves was that it wasn't big enough." Really fabulous peach flavor.

Peaches, skinned, pitted, cut into lenghwise slices

For each cup of fruit, allow:

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Pour sugar over fruit, stir gently, and let stand 2 hours. Add lemon juice and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to maintain the simmer and avoid scorching. Continue cooking until fruit is transparent (I use a candy thermometer and stop cooking when the temperature reaches 221F -- for the true geeks, meaure the temp of boiling water in your area and add 9 degrees).

Place in jars and seal (hot water bath). If there's too much syrup, place the fruit in jars and continue boiling syrup to concentrate it before pouring over fruit.

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Garlic Chutney
I make a very similar recipe and heartily concur that this chutney is delicious!!!
Smoky Tomato Ketchup
Hey mdt -- you were wondering what to do with all those extra tomatoes? :lol:

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Spiced Peaches From the 1963 "Freezing and Canning Cookbook" by the food editors of the Farm Journal, this recipe is worth it even though it spans two days. Better to at least double the recipe to maximize the effort.

4 lbs freestone peaches (about 16 medium)

1 T. whole cloves

2 quarts water

2 T. plus 1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

4 c. sugar

3/4 cup water

1 tsp. whole ginger piece

2 sticks cinnamon, plus optional half stick for each jar

Largest size you have non-aluminum pot

To peel peaches, bring a large pot of water to boil and dunk a few peaches in at a time for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and peel. Stick one clove in each peach. Mix 2 T vinegar into 2 quarts water and pour it over the whole peaches (I used to use a scrubbed out sink to hold them all) and let sit for an hour or so while you suck down a couple of cold ones. In the large non-aluminum pot, combine the sugar, 1 1/2 c. vinegar, 3/4 c. water, add a cheesecloth bag or tea ball of the ginger, remaining cloves, and cinnamon, and bring to boil. Drain the peaches and add to the pot. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from burner and allow the peaches to steep overnight in the covered pot. Lift out the peaches with slotted spoon to drain, and put them in hot jars(putting the jars through the hottest dishwasher cycle by themselves works, but boil the lid disks in a pot.) Reboil the remaining liquid to a rapid boil and fill jars up to within 1/2" of top. Add a half-stick of cinnamon into each jar (optional). Pop on the lids and process for 30 minutes.

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We made three batches of jam today - strawberry, blueberry, and sour cherry are cooling on my counter. Half the jars went home with Mr and Mrs B who brought the cherries and strawberries and provided the wine and bahn mi (next time lunch is on me). Special mention to Mr Shorter and Nora who took the little ones to the pool while mom played with boiling fruit and sugar.

Tomorrow I prep a big batch of vidalia relish to be processed on Tuesday. And make some biscuits to go with the jam. :lol:

Edit to say I'll post some pretty pictures of the jars as soon as I find our digital camera.

Edited by Heather

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I took my kids to Westmoreland Farm, which is south and east of Fredricksburg, and came back with a bucket each of freshly picked red rspberries and blueberries, and a couple of buckets of blackberries. They have different varieties of blackberries out there. Some, which are not nearly ripe yet, appear to be what I will call "domesticated" blackberries. The ones that we picked were more akin to the wild blackberries that I used to pick on my grandfather's farm when I was a kid.

I rinsed the blueberries and put them on a cookie sheet and then into the freezer. When they freeze, they are like marbles and yoiu can roll them into a plastic bag and they keep in the freezer for a really long time. I like bringing them out in the winter for blueberry pancakes or waffles. I also make blueberry shortcake out of them.

The red raspberries and the blackberries get a different treatment. I puree them in the food processor and then I seive out the seeds. The pulp/juice that remains gets brought to a boil with a little sugar. Them it gets parceled out into plastic containers and frozen. In the winter, I will thaw out a container and use the stuff on vamilla ice cream (tastes like summer time) or use it to make sauces for roast meats (a blackberry/port reduction goes really nice on roasted pork or venison backstrap).

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Sounds good, Jacques. In addition to the jam I took half of the blueberry/sugar mixture, strained it and got a quart of blueberry syrup that was damn good on vanilla ice cream last night.

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;)

I opened a jar of blueberry jam last night and it didn't set properly. I tried not using pectin and obviously didn't do it properly. Anyone have ideas for 4 jars of blueberry sauce?

This weekend: pear/sour cherry chutney, and more blueberry jam. :lol:

Edited by Heather

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Anyone have ideas for 4 jars of blueberry sauce?

Homemade vanilla ice cream. But only if made in an ice cream maker that was brought over on the Mayflower.

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Homemade vanilla ice cream. But only if made in an ice cream maker that was brought over on the Mayflower.

You're bad. :lol:

I bet it would make good ice cream flavoring, or sorbet. Time to freeze the insert for the ice cream maker and start experimenting.

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Went to Westmoreland Berry Farm over the weekend to pick blueberries, black raspberries, and blackberries. Made a ton of jam and froze some of the blueberries.

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7/6/05 Washington Post has article and recipes with emphasis on reduced sugar and new pectin products.

Canning

This link will not last forever.

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Good article, but the recipes are all for freezer products which don't last as long.

I will be making low-sugar blueberry jam this weekend. I've never tried it, and have heard that the low-sugar pectin can do funky things to the texture. If it turns out badly I'll just give those away as "gifts". :P

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I got a copy of Fine Preserving, by Catherine Plagemann, from the library.

As near as I can tell, M.F.K. Fischer (sp?) found this book out of print, liked it,

and decided to get it back in print, with her margin notes printed along side

the text, in red. I would call those notes "marginalia", except that I always think

of marginalia as being pencil scrawls beside text.

Anyway, so far I find that the original author loved pectin, and M.F.K. Fischer

is definitely anti-pectin.

Will controversy never end?

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Is there some store in DC or nearby that sells canning supplies? Sometimes

I read "your local farming supply store will have ...". I have to go a good ways

to find such an establishment.

I have an assorted collection of empty jars, mostly traditional Ball type.

Checked out Sur La Table on-line, and see that they start with an entirely

different type of jars.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Strosnider's Hardware in Bethesda, Potomac & Silver Spring sells jars by the case, in a variety of sizes. They also sell lids, so you can re-use your old Ball jars.

Anyway, so far I find that the original author loved pectin, and M.F.K. Fischer

is definitely anti-pectin.

Much as I admire MFK Fischer, I have to disagree with her here. Without using pectin, preserves have to be cooked for a much longer time, in order to get them to thicken. To me, the flavor of the fruit is changed much for the worse by the longer cooking process. In the many years that I have made preserves with all kinds of fruits and berries, both with and without pectin, I am solidly in the pro-pectin camp.

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Count me in the pectin camp as well, just because it allows you to cook the fruit as little as possible.

That said, those low-sugar pectin recipes are a waste of good fruit and an expensive lesson - the lesson being if you don't want sugar in then don't make jam.

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I made some strawberry preserves with no pectin and am not to pleased with the results. Some of the berries are very firm and they have that 'cooked' taste. My other, with pectin, jams and preserves are much better.

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