Archive for category Canning

Peach Pie Conserve

By some good fortune I came across punnets of organic peaches that were buy one get one free just after seeing that peaches were the ingredient for August on Nazima and Laura’s  blog challenge called One Ingredient, this month over at workinglondonmummy.com

I was spoilt for choice as peaches are one of my favourite ingredients in the summer but finally decided to make this jam as my entry.

I’ve seen Peach pie jam mentioned on twitter and as a lover of peach pie it was music to my taste buds! Its been on my “to make” list for some time.  Peaches are a low pectin fruit and don’t set as well as other fruits so what was meant to be jam turned out to be a conserve, which is only a softer set jam and actually my preference.  The only recipes I could find for Peach Pie Jam were American ones using pectin, it seems much more common to use pectin in the US.  I prefer to use just fruit and sugar to make jams, relying on lemon juice for added pectin where necessary.  You can buy “jam sugar” in the UK which has apple pectin added, I have used this in the past and it does give good results but as I now prefer to use unrefined sugar I don’t use the jam sugar any more.

To make my version of Peach pie jam I just made peach jam and added cinnamon and nutmeg to make more of a pie flavour. It really does taste like peach pie filling!

Serendipity was shining on me when I came across those peaches as this recipe will also tie in with the August Urban Farm challenge set this month by Marissa McClellan, author of the wonderful book Food In Jars. This book is full of wonderful recipes, in fact there is even a peach jam recipe, I will make that next time!

Peach Pie Conserve

  • 2 lbs peaches, about 10 peaches
  • 14 oz sugar (350 grams) I use unrefined
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  1. Peel the skin off the peaches by placing the peaches in a bowl of boiling water for a minute. Remove from the boiling water and the skins (most of them, there is always a stubborn one!) should slip right off.
  2. Remove peach pits, chop the peach flesh up and put in your jam pan along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir together well.
  3. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 15- 25 minutes while stirring frequently.
  4. After 15 minutes check for setting point. The jam can take between 15- 25 minutes to reach setting point.
  5. Once set remove from heat and put jam into sterilised jars. Then follow your usual canning procedure, or not as the case may be. I put my jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

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Blackcurrant Jelly

 

Blackcurrant jelly madebyjane.com

A glut of blackcurrrants is not an easy thing to get rid of! I stopped picking blackcurrants at my Mother in laws allotment when we just about filled the tub we were using and I started to get worried that there was only so much blackcurrant jam one could eat, especially when my husband announced that he didn’t like blackcurrant jam! Picking blackcurrants is a bit of a pain, so many tiny berries attached to little stalks, after a while I perfected the art of pulling the berries downwards off their little stalks, thus saving much picking over later when I got home. I needn’t have bothered as I later decided that it would be much easier to make jelly which actually needs the stems for added pectin! Luckily I still had a lot of stems attached in the tub!

Making this blackcurrant jelly is really easy but does require some time, perfect for a rainy Sunday or make it one evening and leave to strain while you sleep. I really enjoyed the bright flavour of this jelly without all the seeds and bits blackcurrant jam has.

I just realised that I can link this to the Simple and in Season blog event, held by Ren at Fabulicious food but hosted this month by Fleur at Homemade by Fleur

Blackcurrant Jelly

ingredients

  • Blackcurrants, rinsed well (I had 4 lbs)
  • 3 pints water (for 4 lbs of berries, adjust according to your berry weight)
  • 1 lb of granulated sugar for each pint of blackcurrant  juice

method

  1. Having rinsed and drained the blackcurrants put them in the preserving pan of your choice, a really big stock pot is good if you don’t have a special jam pan.
  2. Add the water and simmer until the blackcurrants are soft, this takes about 20 minutes.
  3. Squish the blackcurrants up, a potato masher does the job well, then strain the pulpy liquid through a jelly strainer. This takes about 3 hours or leave overnight. This is a really messy part, blackcurrant juice splashes stain badly so take care! Keep away from anything pale, such as walls! I placed my strainer in a box to catch the splashes.      ,
  4. When the jelly bag is no longer dripping measure the juice.
  5. Add 1 lb of sugar for each pint of juice obtained. I got 2.5 pints of juice from my blackcurrants so needed 2.5 lbs of sugar.
  6. Put the juice and sugar into your jam pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for the setting point, mine was a little stubborn and took about 9 minutes of hard boiling, I tested after 5 minutes then at 7 minutes then at 9 minutes when finally the jelly wrinkled up on my cold plate.
  8. Test for setting, I use the cold saucer method which means putting 2-3 saucers in the freezer while you are boiling the juice and sugar. When testing for a set take a saucer from the freezer remove the pan from the heat and take a spoon of the boiling juice onto the cold saucer. Wait a couple of minutes and push the jelly with your finger if it wrinkles up its set, if no wrinkling happen then return the pan to the heat, boil for another 5 minutes and re-test for a set using another cold saucer.
  9. Pour the jelly into your sterilized jars, seal and follow your usual canning procedure. I simmered mine for 10 minutes in a water bath ( I use my large stockpot filled with boiling water).
  10. I got 7 mixed sized jars.

Update

I made this jelly again this year (2014). After straining my cooked blackcurrants I had 3.5 pints of juice to which I added 3 pounds of sugar and the juice of a lemon. A 10 minute hard boil and the jelly was ready, its a particularly tasty batch this year!

 

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Pickled Beetroot

My Mother in law has half of an allotment plot and although very green fingered she does not eat vegetables (seriously!) She just loves the outdoors and the hard work, she is happiest weeding and pottering!  Without knowing anything about growing vegetables she plants, waters and hopes and is mostly incredibly successful. Lucky for me she passes most of what she grows on to me. While this is a blessing I truly enjoy, sometimes its a little overwhelming, as I said my Mother in law is very green fingered so most of what she grows is abundant and of huge proportions! One of the vegetables she grows very successfully is beetroot. Last year I simply roasted them, which was delicious but this year we are on our 3rd crop of beetroot, too many to roast so I tried pickled beets for the first time, they were a triumph! I thought I loved store-bought pickled beetroot until I tried these! They are sweet and spicy but not hot. The recipe was inspired by the Ball Blue book of Preserving. This made 4  jars (500 ml size)

Pickled Beetroot (Adapted from the Spicy Pickled Beets in Ball Blue Book of Preserving)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds fresh beetroot, washed, larger ones cut in half
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 small chillies (1/2 a chile pepper for each jar of beetroot)

1 lb = 450 g

1 cup = 250 ml

  1. Put beetroot in a large pan, cover with water and cook until tender (15-20 mins depending on beetroot size)
  2. Drain the beetroot and peel, I scrape the softened skin away with a teaspoon. (wearing rubber gloves to avoid stained fingers)
  3. Cut the beetroot to desired size if, like mine, they are rather large.
  4. Add the onions, sugar, vinegar, water, spices and salt to a pan and  bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  6. Add the beetroot to the liquid and cook until heated through.
  7. Put the hot beetroot into sterilised, hot jars.
  8. Using a ladle pour the liquid into the jars, leaving about a 1/4 inch space at the top of the jar.
  9. Add half a chili to each jar.
  10. Making sure there are no air bubbles in the jars, put lids on.
  11. Process for 30 minutes in a water bath or follow your usual canning procedure.

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