December 28, 2009

Cranberry Jam

I ended up with a little bit over a pound of local cranberries this holiday.  Cranberries are so versitile. You can use them as both a sweet and a savory. Cranberry curd, cranberry syrup or honey, and cranberry vinegars (which I also made). However I wanted to have something for mornings so settled on making a jam. A little bit of lemon zest and a bit of spice with the wonderful tartness of the cranberries.

Cranberry Jam

2 lemons (organic)
1 lb cranberries
1 c water/white wine
1/2-1 c sugar
1 t cinnamon

Zest the lemons.  Combine the zest with cranberries, water and 1/2 cup sugar in a non-reactive pot.  Bring to a low boil and cook until the cranberries have burst.  Taste for sweetness and add additional sugar if desired.  Stir in cinnamon and a few greatings of nutmeg.  Simmer until desired thickness is reached.

Place the cranberry jam in sterilized jars.  Process for 10 mins.  Yield is approximately 1.5-2 pints.

December 17, 2009

December 8, 2009

Jerusalem Artichokes

1 1/2 lbs Jerusalem Artichokes, sliced about 1/4" think
1/4 c + 1 t pickling salt
1 qt water
4 sliced of ginger
4 garlic cloves
2 hot pepper, jalapeno or thai
1/2 t mustard seeds
2 c cider vinegar
3 T honey

Place the sliced artichokes in a non-reactive bowl.  Combine 1/4 c salt plus 1 quart of water, stir until salt is dissolved, and pour over the sliced artichokes. Allow to sit over night and as long as 24 hours.

Drain and Rinse the artichokes.

Divide the garlic, peppers and mustard seeds between your jars.  Add sliced artichokes.  Combine remaining ingredients (vinegar, honey and salt) in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.  Pour into jars. You want 1/2 inch of head space. Process for 15 mins. Wait at least a month before eating.

Adapted from The Joy of Pickling

December 3, 2009

Pickled Beets

Earlier this year I was given a box of assorted beets. Regular beets, goldens and even some chioggias.  Enough that I couldn't eat even a small portion.  So I decided to make pickled beets with them.

 The regular beets turned out great.
   Amazing color and flavor.  
I even made a few spicy.

The golden beets had good color also but not as intense. 
I added garlic to those.

Sadly the chioggias became washed out. More of a very pale pink and gray.  Not attractive. So bad in fact I am not going to post the picture.

The brine that I used is a very simple one and one that can be used for a variety of vegetables.  

1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pickling salt
1/8 teaspoon pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 onion
Garlic cloves
Chile peppers
1 lb beets

Combine first five ingredients and simmer over low heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside. 

Place beets in boiling water for 25 mins or until the skins slide off.  Peel your beets and cut into bite size pieces. 

Slice your onion into half moons.

Place garlic or hot peppers into you jars. Alternating layers place beets and onions into your canning jars. Pour vinegar mixture over the beets and onions.

Leaving 1/2" of headroom process for 30 mins.

November 25, 2009

Asian Pear, Ginger and Bourbon Jam

I love working with asian pears. They stay crisp no matter what you do with them.  This jam makes for an enjoyable treat in the winter. A bit of crunch in a wonderful mix of honey, ginger and a hint of whiskey. As the honey and whiskey cook down the flavors mellow and infuse the pears. If possible give a small batch distillery a try. Here in Northwest DryFly, Rouge and Edgefield produce whiskey.

4 Asian pears, cored and chopped
2 T fresh ginger, grated
2 T candied ginger, chopped
1/2 c local honey
1 c Whiskey (local choices – DryFly, Rouge or Edgefield)

Mix and simmer until thickened.  About 30 mins.  Place in half pint jar and process for 15 mins.