• Cranberries are coming!

    Canning up some juice is the perfect use for cranberries!

  • Are you Ready for Apple Season?

    Coming back into the fall season with Apples and Apple Butter is on the list!

  • Pressure Canning

    This step by step instruction for pressure canning will get you on your way to canning up your garden harvest!

  • Canning your Winter Squash!

    The safe process for canning your pumpkin, butternut, and delaca winter squash.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Red Jalapeno Jelly

The basics for pepper jelly is the combination of some kind of hot peppers such as jalapenos, habaneros, or serranos, depending on your level of heat, and the mixture of vinegar to bring up the pH. The only way to get this to gel is a lot of sugar and pectin. The sugar helps to cut the tanginess of the vinegar and at the same time work towards making the mixture gel. You could cook this mixture to 220 degrees, which is the point at which sugar turns to a soft ball, but to ensure the gel using the liquid pectin will perfect in getting the texture of jelly. 

Paula shared with me her gorgeous version of the classic recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Paula has been in the middle of making Holiday gifts and used red jalapenos and green peppers to come up with the 12 oz of peppers. You can interchange the peppers as long as you only use the measurement called out for in the recipe.
Below is the pictures of her amazing jars. Thank you Paula for letting me share them with my readers. 

Jalapeno Jelly

12 oz  jalapeƱo peppers
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups granulated sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin

Preparation : Prepare 5 half pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer. In a blender or food processor puree peppers and 1 cup of vinegar until smooth. 

Cooking: In a large stainless steel pot combine pepper puree and the remaining 1 cup vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring constantly for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place your hot jars and using your funnel in each jar using a ladle then fill the jars leaving 1/4 ” headspace.  Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight". 

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Jalapeno Pepper jelly
Paula's Red Jalapeno with Green Pepper Jelly


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cranberry Salad - A Combination of Cranberries, Pineapple,and Manadrins

A few times over the years I remember my mom making cranberry salad. It was a mix of jello and cranberries and other tidbits of fruit with a dollop of whip cream on the top. It was more of a dessert for me and my sisters, but I'm always looking for a reinvention of the cranberry sauce we serve every year at Thanksgiving. 

I have made about 4 different cranberry sauces, one from Sherrie and another from Leslie which over the last two years have been major hits with my followers. (I will post the link to those recipes at the bottom of this page.) 

I have recreated the cranberry salad recipe for canning and it's very close to the original. I omitted the jello and used Clear Jel as my thickener. The consistency is less "jiggly" but the flavor is awesome. 


It can be a side dish or used for other purposes like a topping on pastries, pancakes and waffles, or a yogurt or ice cream topping. I left the fruit somewhat chunky since I like that texture rather than everything being so creamy like a sauce. You can also add nuts at the end just before ladeling into the jars.  It's not sweet like a pie filling but just enough sugar to cut the tartness of the cranberries and pineapple.
Clear Jel is available at the SB Canning store! 


Cranberry Salad
Yields: about 7 half pints

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups (approximately 2 - 12oz bags) fresh cranberries, chopped
1 large can (20 oz) pineapple (crushed or tidbits - reserve the liquid)
1 small can (11oz) mandarin oranges 
1/4 C. bottled lemon juice
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. cranberry juice
1/3 C. clear jel & 1/3 C. sugar & 1/3 cup pineapple or cranberry juice

1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Cooking: Cook cranberries with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cranberry juice in saucepan till boiling. Add pineapples, oranges, lemon juice, remainder of cranberry juice and sugar. Cook about 15 minutes more till the mixture comes back to a boil. Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix with a whisk Clear jel and sugar and 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. If there isn't enough pineapple juice you can add either cranberry juice or water to get to the 1/3 cup. Once the fruit in the pot comes to a boil add the Clear Jel mixture while stirring. Cook until slightly thicken. Remove from heat. At this point if you are using the nuts you will add them now, stirring them in gently to incorporate. 

Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place hot jars and ladle into hot jars to 1/2" headspace in the jar.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space , if necessary, by adding more sauce. Wipe rim with clean cloth or paper-towel, center lid on jar, screw band down till resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal after waiting several hours.

Labeling:  Make sure to label your jars after they have cooled with the name of the recipe and the date canned.































Other Cranberry Sauce Recipes: 
Leslie's Cranberry Orange Sauce

Sherrie's Whole Cranberry Sauce

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Apple Pie Jam - Another inspiration for apples!

If you haven't tried to make jam with Clear Jel you don't know what you're missing. Chris, a follower on my Facebook page, took a classic flavor of apple pie and created a jam that looks amazing.  
The sweetness of the apples, with essence of cinnamon and vanilla make a jam that not only taste great on your morning toast but can be used for apple tartlets, perfect for filling of homemade poptarts and handpies, and is a great topping for waffles and pancakes.  The apples are diced and work better in these more delicate pastry recipes. 

Thank you Chris for letting me share your adaptation and your mouth watering picture! 

Apple Pie Jam made with Clear Jel
(note: this is a small batch and yielded 3 -4 half pints depending on your sugar)
4 cups diced apples
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Clear Jel
1/4 cup sugar + 1 cup
3/4 t.  ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T.  bottled lemon juice

Clear Jel is available at the SB Canning Store! 

Preparation: Prepare 3-4 half pints , lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till it’s time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer. 

Cooking:
  •  In a stainless steel saucepan, combine diced apples and 1/3 cup sugar . 
  •  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add the cinnamon and vanilla. 
  • Add additional 1/3 cup of sugar and stir in for 5 minutes. With a spoon taste the mixture to see if it's sweet enough. Remember it will be hot so let it cool on the spoon for a minute.  If you add more sugar only add in 1/4 cup increments. Note: you are going to add 1/4 cup more sugar with the Clear Jel. 
  • In a separate bowl add 1/4 cup of Clear Jel and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix together the powders with a wire whisk. 
  • Using your ladle scoop out about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid from the pot. You can instead use an additional 1/4 cup of water or other liquid if you want to add additional flavor. Some suggestions would be apple juice, grape juice, or orange juice. 
  • Use the whisk to completely stir the mixture until it looks smooth like milk.  
  • Add 2T. of bottled lemon juice to the fruit in the pot and while stirring increase the heat under the pot to medium. 
  • Pour your Clear Jel mixture into the pot and stir for about a minute until the jam is thick. This will be like adding a thickener to make gravy. Turn off heat and remove pan from stove.  
Chris's Apple Pie Jam
 Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place hot jars and ladle jam into hot jars to 1/4" headspace in the jar.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space , if necessary, by adding more jam. Wipe rim with clean cloth or paper-towel, center lid on jar, screw band down till resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal after waiting several hours.


Labeling:  
Make sure to label your jars after they have cooled with the name of the recipe and the date canned.  




Friday, September 5, 2014

Red Hot Apple Butter - An homage to Heather's Mamaw!

From Heather: This was my Mamaw Bradford's recipe for Red Hot Apple Butter. When I was younger, it was the one thing that I looked forward to the most in the fall. When she passed away, my mom took over the canning, and now I am teaching my daughters.

Thank you Heather for sharing this with me and the canning community! It's such an amazing color and the cinnamon will be so good in the apple butter. 


Red Hot Apple Butter

1/2 Bushel (24 lbs) Apples of your choice (we particularly like Gala or Jonathan)
2 1/2 to 3 cups of Red Hot Candies
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 water or apple juice

Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place in a large, heavy-bottomed, pan. Add the water or apple juice and cook on medium heat (with a lid) for approximately 2 hours, or until the apples are soft and start to fall apart. Add the sugar and stir. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Add the Red Hot Candies and stir to dissolve and incorporate.
At this point you can use a stick blender (or a regular blender) to smooth it out if it's still a bit chunky. This is also when you decide if it is thick enough. If it is not thick enough, remove the lid and continue to cook until you reach the desired consistency.
While it is still hot, ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Process in boiling water canner. 5 minutes for half pints and pints, 10 minutes for quarts (as per USDA recommendations).

Yield will vary based on how thick you want the consistency. 


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Cantaloupe Pineapple Jam - Vanilla Bean optional!

Many of you are anxious for this recipe so I will get right to it!!! 
Note: The most important thing about this jam is to get the sweetest tasting melon. The sweeter the melon the less sugar is required. It should not be overripe as melon will loose its flavor and will be mushy.

Cantaloupe Pineapple Jam

4 cups diced cantaloupe
2 cups crushed or small diced pineapple (you can used canned)
1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
1/4 cup pineapple juice, orange juice, or water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Pectin: 3 1/2 T. Ball Low sugar pectin or 
             4 t. Pomona pectin with 4 t. calcium water or
             1 box sure-jel no sugar pectin


Preparation: Prepare 5 half pint jars in hot water. Using  knife cut cantaloupe in half and using a spoon scoop out the seeds. Cut the melon in half again and using a pairing knife cut away the melon from the rind. Cut into smaller pieces for the jam. Cut fresh pineapple into small dice or you can use the canned crushed adding the juice as well. You will be using your 1/4 cup of juice at the bottom of the pan so you don't scald the cantaloupe.  

Cooking
In a stainless steel pot combine cantaloupe, pineapple and juice/water and cook on medium till cantaloupe starts to break down a little, about 10 to 15 minutes at a simmer. Add the vanilla bean by splitting it lengthwise with a knife and adding it to the pot. Stir in the vanilla then add 1 cup of sugar. Continue to heat for10 minutes. With a clean spoon taste the mixture remembering to let it cool on the spoon. If the jam is not sweet enough add the additional 1/2 cup of sugar. If it is sweet to the taste then bring the jam to a boil and then add the pectin. You will boil the jam stirring constantly for one minute.

                                                                                    Remove from heat.  


Processing: Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Remove air bubbles and refill if necessary. Wipe rims, and add hot lids and rings. Place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.




Sealing: Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Cantaloupe jam
Black flecks are the pods from the vanilla bean

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