Showing posts with label canning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canning. Show all posts

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe comes from Massachusetts author Sherry Vinton's wonderful preserving book Put 'Em Up. You can use it for any kind of chili peppers. The pickling process mellows their heat considerably, but they still retain a little kick. The hotter the pepper you start with, the more kick retained. I like to use jalapenos and Hungarian hot wax or banana peppers. If you like the pickled flavor but not the heat, try sweet peppers. Once opened, a jar of these will keep for ages in the fridge.  Great for nachos, tacos or quesadillas, scrambled eggs, homemade salsa, etc.

If you want to make more or less than this recipe calls for, just keep in mind that each pound of fresh peppers equals roughly one quart (or equivalent) of pickled peppers.


2 lbs jalapenos or other chili peppers
3 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar


Stem the peppers and slice them into rounds. You may want to use rubber gloves for this. If you opt to use your bare hands, be sure to scrub them very thoroughly with soap afterwards to avoid unpleasantness the next time you rub your eyes or some other sensitive area.


Prepare the brine by bringing the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar just to a boil then turning off the heat.

Pack the peppers tightly into jars (I like to do this in half pint jars but you can do pints as well). Using a funnel, ladle the brine over the peppers, leaving about a quarter inch of head space at the top. Wipe the rims clean, then place the lids on and add the rings, screwing them until until just 'fingertip tight'.

Process the jars in a boiling water bath, 10 minutes for half pints or 15 minutes for pints. Remove from the water and let cool for 24 hours. If any jars fail to seal, put them in the fridge and use them soon.

Makes 4 to 4 1/2 pints.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Raspberry Peach Jam

My son takes a cream cheese and jam sandwich to school for lunch most days, so we go through jam at a pretty good rate at our house.  This batch used up the last of our frozen peaches from last year, just in time for the new crop that will start coming in in a few weeks, plus some of the wealth of raspberries our bushes are producing.  The end product is a lovely color, and delicious.

If you use an immersion blender for a more uniform consistency, you do not need to skin the peaches. If you plan to leave the jam chunky, I recommend skinning them first.  If you don't like seeds in your jam, you'll want to use the blender and then press the jam through a sieve to remove the raspberry seeds.  Personally, I don't mind the seeds and I skip this step (which is kind of a pain).

I would recommend using pectin in this, as both raspberries and peaches are very juicy and not high in pectin themselves.  Alternatively, you simmer it for a really long time and end up with less of the final product.  If using pectin, follow the instructions on the package for how much to use per unit of fruit and when and how to add it.

8 cups sliced peaches (thawed if frozen)
4 cups raspberries (thawed if frozen)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (optional)
Pectin per package directions

Combine the peaches and raspberries in a Dutch oven or other large pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until cooked through.  Use an immersion blender to puree the fruit.  Stir in the sugar (combined with the pectin if that's what your pectin instructions call for; otherwise stir the pectin in afterward). Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from heat.

This recipe is suitable for canning, processing 1/2-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  Otherwise, refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 9-10 half-pints (less if you opt to simmer instead of using pectin to thicken).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Red Currant Syrup

We had a nice crop of red currants on our two bushes this year.  I turned about a quart of them into this tasty syrup, which is good mixed with seltzer or in cocktails.  Cook it a bit longer and you'll get sauce instead of syrup; a bit past that and it'll be more like jelly.


1 quart stemmed red currants
2 cups sugar
Splash of water

Place the currants, sugar, and water in a Dutch oven or similar large pan.  Cook over medium heat until the currant skins start to separate from the fruit and it gets pretty soupy.  (As mentioned above, keep cooking it longer if you desire a thicken end product.)  Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl, then use the back of a spoon to mash and press as much of the remaining flesh and liquid through the sieve as you can.  When you're done, pour the syrup into a jar(s).  This is suitable for canning (5 minutes for half pint jars, 10 minutes for pint jars), or just keep it in the fridge.

Makes about 1 quart.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spiced Quince Butter

Since first happening on quinces at Clarkdale Fruit Farms a few years ago, I have made this quince butter every November. It is astoundingly good. I like it on toast, but it's also great in jam print cookies or in almost any dessert recipe where you might use jam. Also excellent with a bit of aged cheddar or some goat cheese.

I make this in the pressure cooker, adapting a recipe from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors cookbook. But you could also do it on the stovetop - it will just take longer. Quinces are a very hard fruit and take longer to cook than their cousins, apples and pears.

This recipe is suitable for canning, which is what I do with it each year. The quince butter will also keep for many weeks in the fridge, perhaps months if you put it straight into a clean jar and let it seal itself as the butter cools in the refrigerator. Or you can freeze it.

4 cups cut up quinces, peeled and seeded and any bad parts cut out
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar (or to taste)

Place the quince pieces, water, cinnamon stick, ginger, and nutmeg in the pressure cook. Bring to pressure, then cook for 15 minutes. Once the cooker comes up to pressure, lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain pressure, to avoid burning the quinces. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let pressure release naturally.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the cooked quince. Mash the fruit thoroughly or run it through a food mill or blender to make it smooth. Add sugar and simmer over low heat until it reaches a nice jammy consistency.

Pour into jars, then refrigerate, freeze, or can.

Makes 3-4 cups.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pickled Hot Peppers

Having brought in many hot peppers that were still in the garden in preparation for a hard freeze and snow, I decided to try pickling the bounty. This recipe is lightly adapted from one in a book called Put 'Em Up by Sherry Brooks Vinton.

2 lbs hot peppers, stemmed and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
3 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
2 1/4 cups water
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar

Have ready 9 hot, freshly washed half-pint jars. Make sure you have new lids; boil them in a small saucepan then let them sit in the hot water. While you prepare the peppers and bring, bring a large pot of water to a boil for canning.

Pack the sliced peppers into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headroom. The recipe in Put 'Em Up said 2 lbs would make for 4 pints, but I found it produced an extra half pint (and I needed to make just a little more brine to go with it, which I have accounted for in the ingredients above).

Combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Using a funnel, ladle the brine over the peppers in the jars until they are covered, leaving 1/4-inch headroom at the top.

Carefully place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings, not too tight. Place the jars in the pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a rack. Once they are cooled and sealed they can be stored in a cool dark place. Any jars that do not seal should be refrigerated and used promptly.

Makes 8-9 half pints.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vanilla Peach Jam

I've been freezing and drying peaches over the last week, and also made some jam (by special request from my four-year-old). I have made Ginger Peach Jam in the past but decided to try something a little different this time around. The vanilla flavor adds a lovely note to the peach.

You can make this with pectin or without. When I use pectin, I use Pomona's Universal Pectin. If you do this, follow the directions about how to add it (at the end, mixed in with the sugar).

6 cups sliced peaches (skin on is fine, ok to use frozen)
1 pod vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
Up to 1/4 cup lemon juice (optional)

If you're using frozen peaches, thaw them first.

Combine the peaches and vanilla pod or extract in a Dutch oven and simmer until peaches are very soft, stirring occasionally. Mash the peaches as you go. Remove the vanilla pod at the end. If desired, use an immersion blender to make the jam smoother, or skip it for a chunkier consistency. Stir in the sugar and simmer for a few minutes. Add lemon juice if desired (for flavor; even if canning it's not required). If you are not using pectin, you may wish to simmer the jam longer to thicken it further.

Can the jam, freeze, or refrigerate. (If you choose to freeze it, make sure there is plenty of headroom. If using glass jars, do not seal until frozen.)

Makes about 4 cups.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's April - What's Left?

I put up quite a lot of food last summer and fall - frozen fruits and vegetables, canned tomatoes, canned jam, and lots of canned salsa. We also had squash, shallots, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, and carrots, mostly from our late fall CSA, and bought some more storage crop items at Winter Fare in early February. So what's left now that it's April and the farmers market is due to open in a week and half?

In a nutshell, not much. It seems we did pretty well at putting up enough to use without having a ton leftover when the season starts up again. I have one package of corn, a couple of green beans, and a couple of chopped tomatoes in the freezer, along with some more pesto. I've got a few packets of strawberries that I'm saving for the first rhubarb, some peaches that I'm saving for smoothies and popsicles as the weather warms up, and a LOT of blueberries left. That might be the one are where we were overly ambitious, having put up about 30 lbs of them. But I also know we'll start using a lot in smoothies and popsicles as the weather warms up and before they are in season again.

In the pantry, I've got one last quart jar of tomatoes, a couple half pints of salsa verde, and a little jam. We have some shallots left, though I recently had to toss some in the compost because they were crumbling inside. And that's it.

I wish I had done a little more corn and some more red pepper, but we did alright with what we had. Next year I'll definitely stock up on more red peppers in the early fall, in order to make more romesco sauce.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

Since I had a lot of tomatoes, and I just can't leave well enough alone, here's another salsa recipe for green tomatoes.

7 lbs green (unripe) tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb green chili peppers and/or green sweet peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic in roasting pans (I needed two) and sprinkle generously with salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Puree the vegetables and any liquid they have given off, then pour it all into a large pot. Add the vinegar, lime juice, and sugar and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Refrigerate, freeze, or can.

To can, use pint jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: about 6 pints.

Green Tomato Salsa

As I had hoped, this worked out pretty well. The result is much like salsa verde more traditionally made with tomatillos: a green, fairly thin, smooth salsa with a nice sour edge to it.

7-8 lbs green (unripe) tomatoes
1/2 lb green chili peppers and sweet green peppers (ratio up to you)
2 large onions
1 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
Salt to taste

Coarsely chop the tomatoes, seed and chop the peppers, and chop the onions. Put it all in a large pot with a splash of water, and cook until nice and soft, 15-20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Puree the vegetables, then stir in the lime juice, sugar, cumin, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate, freeze, or can.

To can, use pint jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: about 6 pints.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peach Salsa

One last salsa recipe for August! This is adapted from a recipe given to me by my friend Amy Mayer.

4 1/2 lbs peaches
2 1/2 lbs tomatoes (red is good)
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 red onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1-2 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare the peaches and tomatoes for peeling by dunking them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then into ice water. Then peel - the skins should essentially slip off.

Pit and chop the peaches. Chop the tomatoes, seeding as you go. Drain the tomatoes of extra liquid, then combine with the peaches in a large pot.

Cook the peaches and tomatoes for about 5 minutes, then puree a little bit, either with an immersion blender or by removing a small quantity to puree in a blender then return to the pot. Add the jalapenos, bell pepper if using, and the onions. Add the vinegar, lime juice, and cumin bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste and stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings.

The salsa is now ready to refrigerate, freeze, or can.

Yield: 6 pints

Monday, August 30, 2010

Salsa Verde

Another summer salsa recipe for the repetoire. By adding a good amount of tomatoes and some lime juice, this becomes safe for canning.

3 1/2 lbs green-when-ripe tomatoes
1/2 lb tomatillos, husks removed
3 New Mexico-style green chilies
1 large onion
1/2 cup lime juice
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Core the tomatoes and coarsely chop. Coarsely chop the tomatillos, peppers, and onions. Combine the veggies in a Dutch oven and cook until soft. Puree to desired level of smoothness, then return to the pot. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Yield: 5 half-pints

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peaches - Freezing, Drying, and Canning Jam

Saturday afternoon I picked up two pecks of peaches (that's about 16 quarts) from Clarkdale - where they are selling "orchard run" peaches for $25 for two pecks (or $15 for one). Orchard run fruit has been picked but not separated into first and second quality - generally a good deal for putting up. The quality of the two pecks I bought was great; all the peaches were ripe and most were in very good shape. I spent the rest of the weekend drying, freezing, baking, and making jam.

Freezing Peaches
Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Slice each half into four to six pieces. For best results, tray freeze the slices before packaging: arrange on trays, individual pieces separate from each other, and freeze for 6-8 hours. Then package in freezer bags (I do 1 lb of frozen slices per quart bag). If you don't have the time or patience to tray freeze, it's also ok to just dump all the slices into freezer bags and freeze that way. They will stick together in a giant clump, but if you plan to thaw before using, that's not a huge problem.

Drying Peaches
To dry peaches in a dehydrator, cut them in half and remove the pits. No need to peel unless desired. Then slice about 1/4-inch thick - a mandoline is great for this but a knife works, too. Instead of wedges, cut pieces of even thickness from the inside of a half to the outside. Spread slices on the dehydrator trays and dry for 9-12 hours. Check after 9 hours and remove any pieces that are completely dry; rotate the trays as well. Check every hour after 9 hours and remote dry pieces.
Using a mandoline to slice peaches into the dehydrator
Jam
Here's my recipe for Ginger Peach Jam. You can make this with fresh or frozen peaches. Skip the lemon juice if you like. You can also substitute ground ginger for the fresh.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chipotle Salsa for Canning

Another day, another mountain of slicers on the counter. This recipe makes a smaller batch than the last one, but the proportions are similar.

If you don't want to bother with proper canning, you can "refrigerator can" this stuff: ladle it into sterilized jars and top with sterilized lids and rings, then refrigerate. The jars will seal as the salsa chills, and the result will keep for a couple months in the fridge.

6-7 cups chopped tomato solids (see instructions below)
2 medium onions
1-2 sweet peppers
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste (I used 3)
1/2 - 3/4 cup cider vinegar
Salt to taste

Core and seed tomatoes, and peel if it's easy to do so with a knife. Chop in a food processor until well chopped but not pureed. Pour into a colander or sieve and shake/toss until much of the liquid has drained out and a more or less solid mass remains. Remove to a bowl (or one of my favorite kitchen items, an 8-cup measuring bowl/cup with a pouring spout). Repeat until you have 6-7 cups. Drain again, then put in a large saucepan.

Chop the onions, peppers, and chipotles in the food processor until well chopped but not pureed (pulsing works well for this). Add to the tomatoes in the saucepan.

Bring the vegetable mixture to a boil. Add the vinegar (1/2 cup is enough, but add more if your taste buds think it needs it) and salt, then simmer for a few minutes.

The salsa is now ready to eat or can.

To can the salsa, ladle it into sterilized pint jars and top with sterilized lids and rings taken directly from hot water. Boil in a hot water bath for 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack. (Or use 1/2 pint jars and boil for 10 minutes.) You should hear the ping of each lid as it seals down. If any jar fails to seal, refrigerate and eat in the next week or two.

Yields about 4 pints.

Salsa for Canning

In the last three days I have picked 30 pounds of tomatoes from our garden (we have 9 plants). While the bounty is thrilling, it is also rather overwhelming. I have been drying the cherry tomatoes and freezing the paste tomatoes, but what to do with the mountain of slicers? It turns out salsa is a great way to use these juicier specimens.

The amount of whole tomatoes you will need for this recipe will vary depending on the variety (or varieties) you use, so I am not giving a set number of pounds to start with. I would make sure you have a good ten pounds or so on hand, though. Just keep chopping and draining until you have about 10 cups. You can also use more peppers than listed here, if you want - up to about 5 cups.

10 cups chopped and drained tomatoes (see instructions below)
3 cups seeded and chopped peppers (sweet and/or hot)
4 medium red onions
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 cup lime juice
1 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

A food processor is the easiest way to deal with all the chopping for this recipe. Don't process to the point of pureeing - just pulse until everything is well chopped. Some chunks are fine.

Core each tomato and peel if it's easy to do so (as is true of some heirloom varieties). Squeeze out some of the liquid and seeds. Chop the tomatoes in a food processor, then dump out into a colander or sieve. Shake/stir/toss until much of the excess liquid has drained out and you have a semi-solid mass. Measure (number of cups) and set aside. Repeat process until you have 10 cups of the semi-solid tomato mass.

Chop the peppers and onions in the food processor as well, then place them in a large pot along with the tomatoes and cumin. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt, and turn off the heat.

At this point you can eat or can the salsa.

To can the salsa, ladle it into sterilized pint jars and top with sterilized lids and rings taken directly from hot water. Boil in a hot water bath for 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack. (Or use 1/2 pint jars and boil for 10 minutes.) You should hear the ping of each lid as it seals down. If any jar fails to seal, refrigerate and eat in the next week or two.

Yields about 8 pints.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ginger Peach Jam

Since I didn't have time to make jam when the fruit was in season, I am doing it now with frozen fruit. Works just fine. Two well stuffed quart-sized freezer bags is about 6 cups.

6 cups frozen sliced peaches (skin on is fine)
1-3 tsp grated ginger root
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Thaw the peaches (on the counter, in the fridge, or in the microwave). Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven and simmer until consistency is jammy, about 45-60 minutes, stirring frequently. Mash the peaches as you go. If desired, use an immersion blender at the end (I didn't bother).

Can the jam, freeze, or refrigerate. (If you choose to freeze it, make sure there is plenty of headroom. If using glass jars, do not seal until frozen.)

Makes about 4 cups.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blueberry-Chipotle Chutney

After seeing Tinky Weisblat's recent post on chipotle cranberry sauce, I was inspired to try a chipotle-fruit chutney. After the happy results I had with blueberry salsa, some of my frozen blueberries seemed like a good base. The resulting chutney is sweet and hot and savory all at once--delicious. Try it with chicken or pork, or perhaps with soft cheese and crackers or bread.

I canned some of this, but you could also freeze it. Or just refrigerate--it should keep for a few weeks.

5 cups frozen blueberries
2 medium apples, cored, peeled, and finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (2 if you really like heat), finely minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
Salt to taste

Combine blueberries, apples, onion, chipotle, and cider vinegar in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the fruit is well cooked, then add 1/3 cup sugar. Taste and add more if desired. Continue simmering over low heat until the chutney thickens to desired consistency (it should be jammy). Add salt to taste.

Makes about 4 cups.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Awash in Strawberries

Saturday we went to Upinngil Farm and picked strawberries, which was lots of fun. We picked roughly 10 quarts, for which we paid $20. Quite a savings, considering that pints were going for $3.50 apiece at the farmers market the same day. The farm is beautiful, too, and Nate enjoyed getting a close look at the cows.

So what did I do with all those strawberries? Well, we saved out some to eat over the next few days, of course, but I also made strawberry shortcake and strawberry rhubarb jam. The rest (about 13 pints) went into the freezer after washing and hulling. I canned the five pints of jam--canning jam is easy because the fruit is has plenty of acid and the jars only need to boil for five minutes--so we can eat it at our leisure or give it away as gifts. You can also freeze jam if you don't want to bother with canning, but then it's not as suitable for giving away.

A friend asked me last night what we would do with all the frozen strawberries. There are lots of options. Quite a few will probably go into smoothies. They will also present some nice brunch possibilities, thawed and warmed or even cooked into sauce for pancakes or crepes. I could always make more jam later, too. Or they might go into homemade sorbet, which I like because it doesn't require an ice cream maker (puree the fruit with some yogurt or simple syrup and serve immediately, or freeze again, then put the frozen product through a food processor again before serving). And, of course, there are plenty of pie/crisp/cobbler options, perhaps in combination with other fruits as they come into season, or else combined with other frozen fruits later in the winter. Another friend suggested strawberry ice cream, which would be a great idea if I had an ice cream maker.