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Jamming, canning and preserving 2013

rstuart Jul 1, 2013 07:34 PM

I know that we had a post last summer, and couldn't find one this season, so thought that I'd post one.
I've been doing a lot of jamming:
Raspberry rhubarb ginger
Strawberry Rhubarb (you may notice a theme here)
Strawberry Vanilla
Strawberry Champagne.
Unfortunately, while making the last batch, I got distracted... and it boiled over in a very dramatic fashion. What a mess: I had to decant the jam into another pot while I cleaned the big pot inside and out, and I still can't the burn marks off my glass top stove, no matter how much I scrub,
And to add insult to injury, the jam still hasn't set yet!
I hope that you are all having better luck than me.. would love to hear about your preserving this year!

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  1. t
    tacosandbeer RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 12:43 AM

    I just made some fridge-pickled green beans two days ago - I had a pint jar's worth of nice beans that I trimmed and packed in the jar, along with some dill, garlic and a slivered red chile. Filled the jar with brine and tossed it in the fridge. This morning, they are great, crunchy, spicy, salty - and the garlic is BLUE!! I know it's safe, but it sure looks strange...
    Three pints of blueberry-lime jam done. Still waiting for the strawberry farm to update their website that the berries are ready.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tacosandbeer
      rstuart RE: tacosandbeer Jul 2, 2013 08:29 AM

      Blueberry lime sounds really good.. kind of different.

      1. re: tacosandbeer
        nofunlatte RE: tacosandbeer Jul 3, 2013 04:37 PM

        I've made blueberry-lime jam in the past--very tasty!

      2. kitchengardengal RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 02:59 AM

        DH and I went to a u-pickem blackberry farm and picked 8 1/2 pounds of beautiful huge berries. I canned 9 jars of whole fruit jam for him, and 9 jars of seedless jelly for me.

        From 4 lbs of southern peaches, I put up 4 pints of preserves. Still need to do another half dozen or so to last till next summer.
        I canned about 18 jars of strawberry jam last month, and when the strawberries went on sale for 99¢ a pound last week, I had to restrain myself from making more.

        Much as I'd like to experiment with some fancy flavors in my jam, I am totally a traditionalist and can't bring myself to add anything other than sugar to any of the fruits I use. I did a strawberry-balsamic once, and it was okay. Did strawberry-orange once, too, and it was okay. When I make pure strawberry jam, it's much better than ok!

        15 Replies
        1. re: kitchengardengal
          rstuart RE: kitchengardengal Jul 2, 2013 08:32 AM

          Wow! Our peaches won't arrive until late July/August.. blackberries can be hard to find, very impressed by your 8.5 lb haul!!
          I like combining fruits the best I'd say, rather than anything too elaborate. Cherry plum is probably my favourite!

          1. re: kitchengardengal
            happybaker RE: kitchengardengal Jul 2, 2013 09:33 AM

            Wow, I'm impressed as well!

            I have 4 pounds of black plums in the kitchen, waiting to be cut up and then turned into sun jam. That will be my first canning project of the summer but hopefully not the last!

            And I too prefer keeping it simple. Love the fancy flavors when I am given some, but for making it myself, prefer plain.

            1. re: happybaker
              cstout RE: happybaker Jul 3, 2013 10:30 AM

              What is sun jam - please explain?

              1. re: cstout
                happybaker RE: cstout Jul 3, 2013 07:26 PM

                cstout -

                Sun Jam is a wonderful almost miraculous thing, made possible by Organic Gardening magazine (they first published the recipe years ago) and the dear friend who shared it.

                You take cut up fruit, mix it with half the amount of sugar, put in cut up lemon (for flavor and pectin), cover it tightly with plastic wrap - and then put it in the sun for 6 - 12 hours.

                The power of osmosis (thank you jr. high science for knowing that word!) makes the dry sugar pull out the fluids from the fruit, and as part of the process, gently breaks down the cell walls. So it pre-cooks it without really cooking it. Then you finish it in a pot on the stove, generally it takes no more than 15 minutes cooking and stirring. Can if you want, or just put in tubs, refrigerate and share. Or freeze.

                So it has the perfect texture of jam, but because much happened when it was raw, it tastes really really fresh.

                And if you are doing strawberries, they are so delicate you don't need lemon and can just do it on the countertop in an hour or two. Then cook.

                It's a tad runnier than "normal" jam. But so much fruiter and more flavorful, people don't mind and I have a running request list for the holidays.

                I've attached a pic of what the cut up fruit looks like a few hours into the process. By the end of the day, it's almost like soup.

                Happy jamming!

                1. re: happybaker
                  cstout RE: happybaker Jul 4, 2013 03:23 PM

                  Sun jam - thank you so much for sharing this. I am totally excited to hear more about it. Will not bombard you with my long list of questions - will just google on "sun jam organic gardening".

                  Of course I can't leave without at least a question or two.

                  What fruits have you tried besides strawberry? Have you discovered any secrets/tips that you learned on your own about this method?

                  1. re: cstout
                    happybaker RE: cstout Jul 4, 2013 03:52 PM

                    cstout -

                    If you can't find the recipe online, you can ask more questions : ) I don't know if we can email each other through chow or if it's just posts...

                    I have used this recipe/method for peaches, plums, nectarines, mangoes and strawberries. With a bit of tweaking, it can be used for blueberries, but that's my secret. (Can't give it away or I'll have nothing to give at the holidays!)

                    Never do a batch larger than 8 cups of fruit - it will take too long to cook and won't taste as fresh or good.

                    Use a big deep pot, to lesson the chances of over boiling.

                    My favs for this method are plum, nectarine (it's like perfumed honey!) and strawberry.

                    Good luck!

                    1. re: happybaker
                      cstout RE: happybaker Jul 5, 2013 02:58 PM

                      happybaker - here is my email address. You are anyone else is welcome to email me as long as you are not selling something - I get enough of those emails!


                      In the back of my mind I faintly remember someone I knew tried this method & ended up with fermented tasting fruit. Has this ever happened to you?

                      1. re: cstout
                        happybaker RE: cstout Jul 5, 2013 05:48 PM

                        cstout -

                        Thanks for the address, I will email you the recipe later tonight!

                        I have been making this jam for longer than I want to admit, and I have NEVER had a fermented tasting fruit/jam.

                        But I only do it in the sun one day, 6 - 10 hours depending on the day and then I cook it immediately, or throw it in the fridge and cook it in the next day or two Then can.

                        1. re: happybaker
                          SueFH RE: happybaker Aug 4, 2013 11:06 AM

                          Oh man could I beseech you for that blueberry recipe too? I'm very nervous about pectins, the natural jam in the sun sounds great! sujormik@gmail.com. Thank you!!!

                    2. re: cstout
                      clepro RE: cstout Aug 7, 2013 08:01 PM

                      Remembered a blogger who had an excellent post on it several years ago, and dug it up for you: http://acookinglife.typepad.com/a_coo...

                      1. re: clepro
                        cstout RE: clepro Aug 8, 2013 07:25 AM

                        This post does not work anymore. Clepro dear, how do you remember these things? I cannot recall that at all, perhaps after reading the post, it will come to me. You are a genius!

                        Please forgive me for the blank here. I read tons of things & after awhile, it becomes a blur. In the meantime I will just google "a cooking life".

                        1. re: cstout
                          rstuart RE: cstout Aug 8, 2013 04:14 PM

                          odd.. I was able to open the link?

                          1. re: cstout
                            clepro RE: cstout Aug 10, 2013 10:42 PM

                            I generally remember a number of details, throw those into a google search, and more often than not, get lucky!

                            I suppose bookmarking would work too, but I'm crap at keeping my bookmarks organized.

                          2. re: clepro
                            cstout RE: clepro Aug 8, 2013 04:46 PM

                            Yes, the post does open for me now. Yes, I do remember the post once I clicked on it.

                            I have tried happybaker's recipe/method with great success. In fact, since I am not a very experienced preserver/canner, I shall just use her recipe from now on out. I did peach sun jam & it was wonderful.

                            Aren't the pictures on that website beautiful? My kind of stuff.

                            Thanks so much for pointing this out to me.

                            1. re: cstout
                              happybaker RE: cstout Aug 26, 2013 06:26 PM

                              Aw, thanks cstout : )

                              I'm not very experienced at canning either - but that recipe makes me seem like I am!

                2. coll RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 03:34 AM

                  I made strawberry with a hint of black pepper, and blueberry-rhubarb. Despite adding pectin, they are both more like heavy syrup. Maybe because I used a different brand that I got from King Arthur, and not Ball? I seem to recall pectins
                  can be very different. The jams taste good over cake or pancakes anyway.

                  And I finally trust myself enough to have canned them and actually stored them at room temperature for the first time.

                  I finally bought a candy thermometer and brought the jams up over 220, definitely longer than I used to cook them, but that didn't seem to help with the setting.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: coll
                    rstuart RE: coll Jul 2, 2013 08:34 AM

                    Setting can be such a pain.. especially with the lower sugar recipes. On the other hand, I once made something with red currants, and it set so solidly it didn't move when I turned the jar upside down.
                    When they don't really set, I label them "preserves" instead of jam!

                    1. re: rstuart
                      coll RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 09:27 AM

                      I label them "ice cream topping"!

                      1. re: rstuart
                        Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 03:25 PM

                        Suggestion for the settlers, freezer jam.

                      2. re: coll
                        girlwonder88 RE: coll Jul 4, 2013 09:25 AM

                        Did you follow the specific directions for that brand of pectin? Did you mess with the amount of sugar using a pectin that wasn't low sugar? Both of those can mess up your set <------voice of sad experience here.

                      3. a
                        AGM_Cape_Cod RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 05:12 AM

                        I am co-hosting a bridal shower tea for my niece and one of the favors are 4 oz jars of jam. I made strawberry rhubarb jam, blueberry marmalade, cranberry raspberry preserves and peach jam. I am not sure I like the peach-too sweet.

                        We had a prolific crop of asparagus and put up 10 jars of pickled asparagus. I also picked up some fabulous strawberries at the farmers market and made strawberry preserves which end up as strawberries in syrup. That is the way I like it where you fish out a berry and smoosh it on your toast. The strawberries have been very good so I think I will pick up more today and make a batch of strawberry-rhubarb for us.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                          rstuart RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Jul 2, 2013 08:38 AM

                          Pickled asparagus sound great! I do wish that I had a garden some days..
                          My strawberry champagne jam is also supposed to be a favour for a bachelorette.. we're doing a wine tour, so I volunteered to make the jam (what was I thinking?). Very impressed that you made 4 different types!

                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                            AGM_Cape_Cod RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Aug 24, 2013 08:25 AM

                            The summer is progressing and I have canned:
                            sweet hot pickle relish
                            fresh apricot preserves
                            dilly beans
                            Chinese duck sauce
                            a rib sauce
                            watermelon rind pickle

                            Items that I haven't processed:
                            Garlic Dill Pickles
                            Bread n' butter refrigerator pickles
                            dill refrigerator pickle
                            raspberries in raspberry liqueur

                            I am planning on making plum raspberry jam but the recipes I see have way too much sugar (2 c fruit 4 c sugar?). Also on the schedule is pesto before the basil gets totally out of hand.

                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                              happybaker RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Aug 26, 2013 10:05 AM

                              My plum jam is 4 cups cut up plums to 2 cups sugar. So you are right - no way do you need that much sugar! You might have to add a bit more if your plums are tart but still...

                              Sounds like you'e doing great stuff!

                          2. MickiYam RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 05:22 AM

                            My grandmother used to make chokecherry gel . . . it rarely set up into jelly. But we'd pour a little into a saucer and dip white bread in it. So nostalgic!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MickiYam
                              coll RE: MickiYam Jul 2, 2013 06:32 AM

                              Hey, my motto is, when life hands you lemons make lemonade! I'm thinking pancakes for breakfast, with the failed jams as syrup.

                            2. poptart RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 11:26 AM

                              Last night I made strawberry jam and blueberry jam.
                              Also made a lemon-mint syrup for using in drinks, as well as a rhubarb syrup for drinks.

                              I am curious about the strawberry vanilla; saw this mentioned in the book "Put 'em Up" that I used for the jam recipes. Didn't have a vanilla bean pod so I just made plain jam, but it did sound intriguing how she described it!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: poptart
                                rstuart RE: poptart Jul 2, 2013 12:20 PM

                                It's really nice.. I just put half a vanilla bean in sugar for about a week or so, and scrape out the "caviar". It just adds a subtle extra something.

                                1. re: poptart
                                  nofunlatte RE: poptart Jul 3, 2013 04:46 PM

                                  I made the strawberry-vanilla from that book, poptart. You really have to let the jam sit for a couple of months for the vanilla to permeate the jam. I made this last year as well. Our strawberries are about done, so that's it for strawberry vanilla until 2014.

                                2. JungMann RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 12:25 PM

                                  I did a rhubarb gum syrup for cocktails that will probably not get repeated. Peach and ginger shrub, however, is very refreshing. Cucumber kimchi (oi sobaegi), coriander dill kirbies are currently bubbling away in the fridge. Still waiting on sour cherries to put up a jar of maraschinos for the year.

                                  1. Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 03:23 PM

                                    I always struggle with jam, sometimes it settles other time nay, nay. So this year I am going to make it in my bread maker as there is a jam making option. I have had great success making grape and apple jelly and apple butter. I will make my pickled beets and maybe I am going to try a pickle. I saw something on television making pickles and freezing them and apparently when thawed they are still crunchy. Skeptic that I am I will be giving them a try.

                                    1. h
                                      HillsofBeverly RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 06:18 PM

                                      After canning fruit, jams, tomatoes and Dilly Beans in 2012 I have in 2013 done nothing but ferment sauerkraut. I really should do some jam so we don't have to buy it, but have been stuck in the nexus of busy and exhausted/lazy. Also fruit isn't into my part of the Great Lakes in quantity yet!

                                      1. j
                                        jeanmarieok RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 06:25 PM

                                        I've had to take a razor blade to get the burned sugar off of my glass stovetop. Not fun at all - but you'll enjoy all that jam.

                                        I made a peach bourbon jam, and we'll be using it over a shortbread crust with whipped cream for desserts. And on biscuits, too....

                                        13 Replies
                                        1. re: jeanmarieok
                                          rstuart RE: jeanmarieok Jul 2, 2013 06:40 PM

                                          I have a terrible feeling I may have to resort to that! The alcohol + sugar combination is deadly.
                                          Peach bourbon jam sounds great! I love eating peaches, but have often found the jams too sweet..

                                          1. re: rstuart
                                            happybaker RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 09:29 PM

                                            Easy solution for the too sweet part.

                                            Don't do two parts sugar to one part fruit. Do two parts fruit to one part sugar.

                                            Changes everything.

                                            1. re: happybaker
                                              dkenworthy RE: happybaker Jul 3, 2013 07:42 AM

                                              But this may not be safe to store on the pantry shelf, so I would only do as much as I could refrigerate, personally.

                                              1. re: dkenworthy
                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: dkenworthy Jul 3, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                I have the book Tart and Sweet, which is devoted to sweet and savory water-bath canning. In the book, the authors explain that the only variable in safe vs. unsafe preservation is acidity, and they specify the things you can/can't tweak in recipes in order to avoid affecting acid levels (e.g., in salsa, use different chiles, but keep the amount the recipe specifies). This is what they have to say about the role of sugar:

                                                "SUGAR: Feel free to add more or less. It's only added for flavor and to help stabilize the shape, set, and color of whatever it is you're canning. It's not added as a preservative. Keep in mind, though, that insufficient amounts of sugar in jams and fruit spreads will result in a runny, dribbly spread, which can sometimes--but not always--be remedied by increasing the cooking time or adding more pectin."

                                                And of course, if you use standard, sugar-activated pectin, you need a certain amount.

                                                This book mostly skips pectin and has lower-sugar recipes. For example, they have a peach lavender jam that calls for 6 lbs peaches and 2 cups sugar, for a five-pint yield.

                                                P.S. especially for rstuart, there's a ginger cardamom nectarine jam in there with your name (and mine) all over it!

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                  rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 3, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                  Yum! I love cardamon (and ginger). I'm off to the library website to see if they have it..
                                                  and I'm back. They did, and I have a hold on it! Thanks Caitlin!

                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                    geminigirl RE: rstuart Jul 4, 2013 08:09 AM

                                                    Just put on hold as well, thanks for the recommendation. I am always wondering what I can tweak so the info sounds helpful.

                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                    dkenworthy RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 4, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                    Sugar is indeed a preservative in most traditional jams and jellies. I'm not saying you can't make low sugar preserves, just that I would alter how I make and process them if I do.

                                                    From the Michigan State Extension:

                                                    Sugar is the main ingredient that safely preserves most jellied products. Jams, jellies and preserves made with so much sugar are often not a preferred choice if you have diabetes or you just want a low- or no-sugar choice. The good news is that there are special pectins and recipes designed to make jellied products with little or no added sugar.

                                                    Low- and no- sugar jellied products cannot be made by leaving the sugar out of regular jam and jelly recipes. Use one of following four methods to make your low and no sugar jellied products:

                                                    Look for packages of jellied products at the grocery store that say “light”, “less sugar” or “no sugar needed” on the label. Very specific directions for making these kinds of jams and jellies are in the directions on the package insert.
                                                    Using regular pectin and adding an artificial sweetener. You must use a special recipe for this .Regular pectin does contain some sugar so this would not be completely “sugar free.”
                                                    Unflavored gelatin can be used as a thickener for jellied products using specific recipes. Artificial sweeteners may be added if you so choose.
                                                    Boiling fruit pulp until the pulp thickens will resemble a jam. You can also add a sugar substitute if you want.

                                                    Follow directions closely when making any kind of jelly product. Not following directions may get you into trouble. The jam or jelly may not set when directions are not carefully followed.

                                                    Some no-sugar jellied products need to be processed longer in a boiling water bath and some need to be kept in a refrigerator. Process your jellied products as directed in the recipe.

                                                    If your jam or jelly has mold, throw it out. Low or no-sugar jellied products and those that were improperly processed are more likely to ferment because of yeast growth. Throw anything out that is fermented.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                      rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 29, 2013 04:29 PM

                                                      I finally got it from the library, and have been pouring over it.. looks great! That recipe in particular looks fantastic!

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                        rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 10, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                        I just made a half batch of the ginger cardamom nectarine jam.. but with peaches (the nectarines that I bought for the purpose were hard as rocks). So spicy and good!!!!

                                                        1. re: rstuart
                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: rstuart Aug 10, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                          Yay, I'm so happy to hear it's as good as it sounds! I'm hoping to be able to make it sometime this month, as nectarines have hit their peak in my neck of the woods.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                            rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 10, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                            It made a lower yield than estimated, but I probably cooked it for longer than needed!

                                                            1. re: rstuart
                                                              rstuart RE: rstuart Aug 11, 2013 05:07 PM

                                                              OK, made another batch with the full 3 pounds of nectarines, and only got 3 jars of jam.. this may have been because they were small nectarines so lots of flesh was left on the stone? Anyway.. still tastes good!

                                                      2. re: dkenworthy
                                                        girlwonder88 RE: dkenworthy Jul 4, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                        Yeah, I don't think sugar has to do with safety, it's more about the recipe and whether it will gel.

                                                2. Musie RE: rstuart Jul 2, 2013 06:47 PM

                                                  I'm a newbie to canning and preserving. I have made jam in the past, but only in small batches. This year though, I think is the year to give it a shot.

                                                  I'm thinking red pepper jelly is in order, starting with a tequila pepper jelly from Canadian living that has been on my mind for a while.

                                                  The SO is the seafood guy. He's already bottled up some clams from the shoreline, and providing there is a fall lobster season here in NB, he'll be bottling up some lobster to enjoy over the long winter months.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Musie
                                                    Ruthie789 RE: Musie Jul 2, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                    Canadian living has a really easy recipe for Homemade Ketchup which can be made in small batches. (July)

                                                    1. re: Ruthie789
                                                      rstuart RE: Ruthie789 Jul 3, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                      Their recipes are always good..

                                                      1. re: Ruthie789
                                                        Musie RE: Ruthie789 Jul 4, 2013 06:06 AM

                                                        I've never considered making ketchup, usually because my SO is a bit of a condiment snob. Have you tried making that recipe yet?

                                                        1. re: Musie
                                                          Ruthie789 RE: Musie Jul 4, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                          No but I am going to, it starts off with tomato paste, so it seems to be a speedy recipe.

                                                      2. re: Musie
                                                        happybaker RE: Musie Jul 2, 2013 09:30 PM

                                                        Canning lobster?

                                                        OMG, I didn't know that was possible!

                                                        1. re: happybaker
                                                          coll RE: happybaker Jul 3, 2013 02:22 AM

                                                          My brother in law, who's big on deep sea fishing, always cans (bottles) his tuna, there's nothing else like it!

                                                          1. re: happybaker
                                                            Ruthie789 RE: happybaker Jul 3, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                            That may be why some lobsters are known as canners.

                                                            1. re: happybaker
                                                              Musie RE: happybaker Jul 4, 2013 06:10 AM

                                                              I didn't know about it either until I met my mother in law. That woman is quite possibly queen of all things lobster.

                                                              Canning leaves the lobster with a better texture than frozen too.

                                                              Ruthie, the canners are the smaller lobsters which get used in bottling. Why they use the smaller ones though, I'll have to ask.

                                                              1. re: Musie
                                                                happybaker RE: Musie Aug 26, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                                This is amazing stuff. Makes me want to rent a house in Maine!

                                                                Or borrow Musie's MIL : )

                                                          2. w
                                                            WNYamateur RE: rstuart Jul 3, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                            We can jellies, jams and chutneys specifically to accompany cheeses at wine tastings:

                                                            - raspberry red pepper (raspberries, a roasted red pepper and 1 jalapeno) - we serve it with grilled Brie
                                                            - Alton Brown's spiced "Bluberry Jammin' "
                                                            - rhubarb with line & ginger from Fine Cooking
                                                            - pear chutney - killer with any blue cheese

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: WNYamateur
                                                              Musie RE: WNYamateur Jul 4, 2013 06:11 AM

                                                              Wow, raspberry red pepper, what an awesome sounding combo.

                                                              1. re: WNYamateur
                                                                cstout RE: WNYamateur Jul 4, 2013 03:37 PM

                                                                I intend to hunt up these recipes - each one sounds wonderful.

                                                                I am thinking about a great gift idea - a jar of one of these jellies, matching cheese & matching bottle of wine. Maybe some crackers included too.

                                                                Can you suggest the wine pairing for the jams you listed?

                                                                What cheese would you suggest with the Blueberry Jammin & rhubarb jams?

                                                                Oh yes, what brand of crackers are you using?

                                                                Thank you so much for posting!

                                                              2. s
                                                                Splendid Spatula RE: rstuart Jul 3, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                Started mine this week, strawberry. Great plans to make with balsamic or vanilla or something - totally forgotten. Didn't have enough sugar - had to run out to the store for more. But then used the wrong pectin - the low-sugar kind which is very unhelpfully in the same shape container as the regular-sugar kind. So now I have ten half-pints of very pretty, quite sweet strawberry jam of undetermined texture!

                                                                Well, nowhere to go but up from this one.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Splendid Spatula
                                                                  rstuart RE: Splendid Spatula Jul 3, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                                  Glad to know I'm not the only one who makes those kind of mistakes!

                                                                2. nofunlatte RE: rstuart Jul 3, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                  It's been a rather cool and wet summer so far, but the strawberry season has come and now gone. I've made plan strawberry jam and two half-batches of strawberry-vanilla jam (from Put 'Em Up, by Sherry Vinton Brooks). I've also made strawberry-rhubarb pie filling from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving--this recipe has some apples in it. It's quite good (I've made a couple of mini-pies), but you really need to strain it before using, otherwise it's way too liquidy. Fortunately, the strained residue is good over ice cream or mixed with seltzer for a refreshing drink!

                                                                  I've also done a couple of batches of spiced pickled beets and onions (from The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather). Got some wonderful small organic beets. They should be ready to open by the end of summer.

                                                                  I am looking forward to canning sweet-and-sour hot Hungarian peppers and pickled zucchini from the garden, if it dries out.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                    geminigirl RE: nofunlatte Jul 4, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                                    Got some beautiful beets yesterday and they are getting pickled tomorrow using that recipie! Thanks

                                                                    1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                      geminigirl RE: nofunlatte Jul 5, 2013 05:17 AM

                                                                      Have you ever done your beets without the onions? I don't have any in the house and feeling a bit lazy about running out to the store.....thanks.

                                                                      1. re: geminigirl
                                                                        nofunlatte RE: geminigirl Jul 5, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                        Onions not required. The yield will be less (fewer jars to fill), but most pickled beet recipes don't even call for onions.

                                                                        1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                          geminigirl RE: nofunlatte Jul 5, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                          Thanks, I went out and got a couple of onions, probably good I did as I only ended up having 5 cups of beets so 3 1/2 jars total. I finished all the liquid which was surprising considering the recipie says it makes 6 jars. Next time I might do double pickling liquid.

                                                                          1. re: geminigirl
                                                                            nofunlatte RE: geminigirl Jul 5, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                            I have made that recipe several times and I ALWAYS make 1.5 to 2X the amount of liquid.

                                                                    2. n
                                                                      nami54 RE: rstuart Jul 3, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                                      So far I've done 18 jars of apricot jam from our backyard Blenheim apricot tree, and apricot-vanilla bean dessert sauce from apricots a friend picked out in Brentwood. We do chicken stock year-round whenever the stock bag in the freezer gets full.

                                                                      The first baby cucumbers are on the vines, so it will be time for pickles shortly, along with all manner of tomato fun. We've got enough crushed boysenberries from the back fence in the freezer for several batches of tripleberry jam, once I get to the Farmer's Market for strawberries and raspberries.

                                                                      And our annual camping trip is coming up, so I've got to make and pressure can a batch of chili. Later this summer, I'm going to teach my niece how to can and make bread, at her request.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: nami54
                                                                        coll RE: nami54 Jul 4, 2013 03:08 AM

                                                                        I'm sort of excited that my local library is having a seminar on home canning just before Labor Day. It will be headed by a local who wins all kinds of competitions. Supposedly he will start with the basics, but then pressure canning will be the main topic. I'm curious how many people will show up.

                                                                        1. re: nami54
                                                                          rstuart RE: nami54 Jul 7, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                          Boysenberries... you don't see those often! Triple-berry sounds really good.

                                                                        2. n
                                                                          Nyleve RE: rstuart Jul 4, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                                          Just yesterday used up the rest of my strawberries and a few mangoes to make a very old-fashioned, long-cooked jam (no added pectin). Threw in a couple of lemons worth of juice and large strips of zest before cooking. It is dark and delicious and if a bit overly sweet for my taste. But the only way to get the jam to gel without added pectin is to cook it until it's reduced to the proper proportion of sugar to fruit. Also, I could detect almost no mango flavour, even though I added 4 whole diced mangoes to the mix. But it's beautiful and it will be a wonderful thing to have in January.

                                                                          1. g
                                                                            girlwonder88 RE: rstuart Jul 4, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                            17 jars of strawberry jalapeno, which is the most popular jam I've ever made-people loooove it over cream cheese. Fortunately, more berries in the freezer as I've given most of it away already. A few jars of strawberry freezer jam, which I like much better than regular cooked strawberry jam, as I don't think the flavor holds up well cooked. And a jar of strawberry preserves, very syrup, to serve over ice cream :). Our strawberries here in Oregon were done early this year and the crop wasn't great, so now it's on to something else. I'd like to pick cherries this weekend but may just pit and freeze the sweet ones (cause they're so much better that way than canned, I think) and brandy some sour ones.

                                                                            GOt a a sodastream recently so definitely want to work on lots of fruit syrups this summer. Anyone have any they love?\

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: girlwonder88
                                                                              cstout RE: girlwonder88 Jul 4, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                                              Strawberry Jalapeno jam - that sounds so good, do you have a recipe for that?

                                                                              Thanks so much.

                                                                              1. re: cstout
                                                                                girlwonder88 RE: cstout Jul 7, 2013 03:44 PM

                                                                                I just use this very basic jam: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jalapeno...

                                                                                After some experimentation, I've decided I much prefer it with the seeds, etc, left in. It needs to be a little spicier than you might like as jam, since the cream cheese or whatever you serve it with will cut the spice considerably. It's also fine made with Pomona pectin, which is my favorite, and cutting the sugar back.

                                                                                1. re: girlwonder88
                                                                                  cstout RE: girlwonder88 Jul 7, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                  Thanks for the link, am looking forward to trying the recipe.

                                                                                  1. re: girlwonder88
                                                                                    NaFLa RE: girlwonder88 Aug 20, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                    This sounds awesome! How much do you cut the sugar by?

                                                                                    There is a conversation earlier in this thread about cutting sugar by half in recipes but I'm always a bit wary of that, I'm kind of a newb with canning and am always worried about making people sick, or the preserves going bad (although it hasn't happened yet..)

                                                                                    1. re: NaFLa
                                                                                      girlwonder88 RE: NaFLa Aug 22, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                      Sugar isn't needed for safety, more for food quality, when you're making high acid foods. I still make the jam pretty sweet-sorry I don't remember offhand how much I cut it. See if you can find the pomona pectin and I believe it suggests a range of sugar on the pamphlet in the packet.

                                                                                2. re: girlwonder88
                                                                                  happybaker RE: girlwonder88 Jul 4, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                  Strawberry jalapeño jam sounds awesome!

                                                                                3. MsMaryMc RE: rstuart Jul 4, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                  Last year I found a local farm that does a variation on their CSA called the 10-Pound Club. You can pre-order the fruits you want and pick them up when they're at their peak. Their quality is great, and it beats the heck out of searching the farmers markets for the hard-to-find varieties, like pie cherries.

                                                                                  So I'm getting pie cherries in mid-July, nectarines in late August, and Italian plums in late September. I have some great recipes for the cherries (Sour Cherry-Amaretto Preserves) and the plums (Plum & Cointreau Jam and Spiced Plum Butter) that I've used before, but the nectarines are new to me. I've found a few recipes (the one with Moscato wine and the one with honey and orange flower water sound especially good), but I'd welcome any suggestions!

                                                                                  I'm also hoping to do some pickled sugar snap peas (quick pickles--wonderfully crispy) this weekend or next. And I want to try giardiniera again (last time I over-cooked it and it was a mushy mess), later in the summer.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                    MsMaryMc RE: MsMaryMc Aug 11, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                    The cherry preserves are made, and I also managed to do nineteen jars of raspberry-cassis preserves. It's heavenly!!

                                                                                    The pickled sugar snap peas didn't happen. I get a weekly email about what's fresh at the local farmers' markets, and they were saying well into July that the sugar snaps were still around. But when I actually went looking, all the vendors said they were gone by mid-June. I should have known it was too good to be true!

                                                                                    I've decided on the honey and orange flower water recipe for the nectarine jam. I put Amaretto in the cherry, Crème de Cassis in the raspberry, and Cointreau in the plum, so I need something with no booze in it for the abstainers on my gift list. I'm also going to try making a few jars of nectarine chutney--another new recipe.

                                                                                    Can't wait for the Italian plums to get ripe. Last year I tried them in a new recipe for spiced plum butter. It said to cook slowly for 1-1/2 hours, and the comments I found with the recipe said some folks had trouble with it not getting thick enough. So I kept cooking for an hour, even though it was seeming pretty thick to me at 45 minutes. It smelled SOOO good and I couldn't wait until it cooled...but when it did, I discovered that it had the consistency of a rubber ball inside the jars, and I bent spoons digging it out! Next time I'll trust my own instincts!

                                                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                      rstuart RE: MsMaryMc Aug 18, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                      raspberry and cassis are so good together.. my mother makes a raspberry cassis jam that I liked to use in baking.

                                                                                      1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                        MsMaryMc RE: MsMaryMc Oct 14, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                        The spiced plum butter is superb! Cooking it 45 minutes this time was just about perfect.

                                                                                        I also did some pickled peppers and Mexican-style pickled veggies, but those will need a few weeks to pickle in the jars before I can sample. I found some purple carrots at the farmers market, so I bought some for the pickled veggies. They were gorgeous when I sliced them up--purple about halfway through, then orange and yellow in the middle, like a flower! But I think they are probably what has made the pickling liquid turn pink in the jars--still not quite the look I was going for. Oh, well--can't wait to taste them!

                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                      Dcfoodblog RE: rstuart Jul 7, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                      Strawberry balsamic jam
                                                                                      Strawberry vanilla jam
                                                                                      Strawberry lemon jam
                                                                                      Strawberry cinnamon jam
                                                                                      Apricot amaretto jam
                                                                                      Tayberry jam
                                                                                      Nectarine BBQ sauce

                                                                                      All turned out great except for strawberry lemon which is halfway between jam and ice cream topping and the tayberry jam which ended up being cooked down way too much and is a bit too firm.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                                        rstuart RE: Dcfoodblog Jul 9, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                        How do you make Strawberry cinnamon?

                                                                                        1. re: rstuart
                                                                                          Dcfoodblog RE: rstuart Jul 10, 2013 10:30 PM

                                                                                          I did a basic strawberry vanilla jam from foodinjars.com and added 1 teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon.

                                                                                          1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                                            rstuart RE: Dcfoodblog Jul 11, 2013 05:30 PM

                                                                                            Thanks DCfoodblog!

                                                                                        2. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                                          Berryj RE: Dcfoodblog Jul 15, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                                          I tried a Strawberry with balsamic vinegar and thyme this year and I really like the combination of flavors.

                                                                                        3. p
                                                                                          piccola RE: rstuart Jul 7, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                          I just made BBQ sauce for the first time -- apple-chipotle version. I processed three jars and kept one open to use right away. Delicious! And not too much added sugar given the fruit.

                                                                                          1. p
                                                                                            pine time RE: rstuart Jul 9, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                            Didn't see this discussion, and I just started a new one, asking if my runny tomato jam can be rescued. Would appreciate help from any experienced jammers:


                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                              rstuart RE: rstuart Jul 10, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                              I saw some sour cherries at the market today.. think that I will buy some next week. I've never made jam with them before, but would like to try. Maybe I will find a small batch recipe.. they're pricy!

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                MsMaryMc RE: rstuart Jul 10, 2013 09:15 PM

                                                                                                Here's what I use...

                                                                                                Sour Cherry-Amaretto Preserves

                                                                                                4 cups pitted sour cherries, mashed
                                                                                                1/4 c. lemon juice
                                                                                                2 tsp. Pomona calcium water
                                                                                                1-1/2 cups sugar (or more, to taste)
                                                                                                2 tsp. Pomona pectin powder
                                                                                                1/4 cup Amaretto

                                                                                                Wash jars and rings in the dishwasher; leave there until ready to use. Bring rings to boil; turn down heat; let stand in hot water.

                                                                                                Heat cherries and lemon juice in a large pan. Add calcium water; stir well.

                                                                                                Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar.

                                                                                                Bring fruit to a boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Add Amaretto. Return to boil and remove from heat.

                                                                                                Fill jars to 1/4" of top. Wipe rims clean. Top with lids. Add rings and finger-tighten. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Bring back to a boil and boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals–lids should be sucked down.

                                                                                                Refrigerate or freeze jars to store. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.

                                                                                                Makes just over 4 half-pint jars

                                                                                                I get about 2 cups of washed, pitted cherries from a pound.

                                                                                                1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                  nofunlatte RE: rstuart Jul 11, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                                                                  I made sour cherry jam the other week--bought a bag at the farmer's market. Apparently our local season is already over :(

                                                                                                  Anyway, I just used the pitted cherries and sugar, with some lemon juice for acidity. Not quite 4 cups cherries and about 1/2 cup sugar, just cooked it until it gelled. It's a somewhat loose jam (or preserve, I guess). I only got three 4-oz jars.

                                                                                                  1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                    rstuart RE: nofunlatte Jul 11, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks to both of you! I found a recipe on Serious Eats that looks good too..

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                      rstuart RE: rstuart Jul 21, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                                                      ANd it was great! Wow, why have I never made sour cherry jam before? It was a pain pitting the cherries.. they are so small I didn't want to use the pitter so just used a paring knife.. but definitely worth it!

                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                        drloripalooza RE: rstuart Jul 21, 2013 05:32 PM

                                                                                                        I'm going sour cherry picking tomorrow! I'm thinking of adding a bit of almond flavoring or maybe leaving a few pits in for a bit of extra flavour. Has anyone tried this?

                                                                                                        1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                          kitchengardengal RE: drloripalooza Jul 21, 2013 08:18 PM

                                                                                                          When I can sweet cherries, I add almond extract to give it a maraschino flavor.

                                                                                                        2. re: rstuart
                                                                                                          equalibra RE: rstuart Jul 22, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                                                                          Going to look this up! I froze 5lbs last weekend and got another 5lbs this weekend to play with. Likely the last of them, such a short season. I'd love to do a basic small batch of jam. And maybe some infused vodka or bourbon.

                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                    cstout RE: rstuart Jul 10, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                    Can fresh dill sprigs be frozen for later use in pickles & what not?

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: cstout
                                                                                                      happybaker RE: cstout Jul 10, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                                                      You might be better off drying them - I use the gas pilot in my oven over 24 - 48 hours...

                                                                                                      But it will be fun to see what other folks say!

                                                                                                      1. re: happybaker
                                                                                                        cstout RE: happybaker Jul 11, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                                                                        Drying dill, thanks for the tip. It is always so hard to find around here & what's a jar of pickles without a lovely sprig tucked inside the jar?


                                                                                                      2. re: cstout
                                                                                                        nofunlatte RE: cstout Jul 11, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                        I just froze some dill (and some dill heads separately) from my garden. Plan to use the dill heads for pickling later on this season. I see no reason for this not to work.

                                                                                                      3. q
                                                                                                        Querencia RE: rstuart Jul 11, 2013 06:20 AM

                                                                                                        Re your glass stove, try a) using a single-edged razorblade again and again and b) definitely try Ceram-a-bryte. Ordinary cleaners won't do the job. Rub it into the burn mark and let it sit a while then scrub at the mark.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                          rstuart RE: Querencia Jul 11, 2013 05:32 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks so much Querencia.. I used special ceramic cleaner, but the razor blade idea is really good; I noticed that I can scrape off quite a bit with my nail, so think that will help a lot!

                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                            pine time RE: rstuart Jul 12, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                                                                            At least w/ my cooktop, I needed to play a bit with the razor (that's sounds dangerous!) to find the right angle. Once I did, scraped off lots of gunk, after letting the CeraBrite soak on it for a bit. Good luck!

                                                                                                            1. re: pine time
                                                                                                              rstuart RE: pine time Jul 13, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                                                              Scraped a bit with a utensil, and got most of the carbonized gunk off... looks almost as good as new. Thanks all of the tips..

                                                                                                        2. q
                                                                                                          Querencia RE: rstuart Jul 11, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                                                                          May be early in the growing season for these vegetables but I think this is the best single pickle recipe I have run into in my entire life. My mother took it from a magazine in 1942. I have also made it out-of-season using nothing but a couple of cauliflowers, bags of little frozen onions, and a few cucumbers (you can vary the vegetables according to what you like). MUSTARD PICKLES: 1 qt cubed large cucumbers, 1 qt tiny gherkin cucumbers, 1 qt tiny onions, 1 qt chopped green tomatoes, 1 large cauliflower broken into flowerets, 2 sweet red peppers, chopped (or rearrange the vegetables according to your taste). Wash vegetables. Soak in brine of 1 qt water to 1/2 cup salt for 24 hours (this makes them crisp). Bring vegetables to a boil in the same brine solution. Drain. Add dressing. Heat. Can. Seal. DRESSING: 3/8 cup dry mustard (like Coleman's), 3/8 cup turmeric, 1 cup flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 quarts white vinegar. Cook until thick. The recipe as given makes 10 pints. Next Christmas when you have a baked ham, there is NOTHING like this Mustard Pickle on baked ham sandwiches.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                            rstuart RE: Querencia Jul 11, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                                                                            Yum... I have never made pickles, but that looks great...

                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                              kitchengardengal RE: Querencia Jul 12, 2013 02:53 AM

                                                                                                              Querencia, We pickle lots of our garden vegetables, and this sounds wonderful! I am definitely going to try it. DH says we've got some cukes just about ready to go, too.

                                                                                                              I made dill pickle relish the other night from the Ball Blue Book, but I really like their sweet relish better.

                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                cstout RE: Querencia Aug 12, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                Querencia,I have been searching for a recipe like this for some time. Many years ago it was always on the table during the winter time. We ate it with dried sausage & large slices of homemade bread or cold beef.

                                                                                                                Thanks so much for taking the time to post the recipe.

                                                                                                              2. Njchicaa RE: rstuart Jul 13, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                Yesterday I attempted the pickled vegetable slaw that was recently on the Smitten Kitchen blog. I used red/orange/yellow peppers, carrots, cucumber, celery, kohlrabi, green beans, and green cabbage. I chopped everything by hand so it took forever. Hopefully it will be edible!

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa
                                                                                                                  nofunlatte RE: Njchicaa Jul 13, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                  Well, this looks wonderful!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa
                                                                                                                    Splendid Spatula RE: Njchicaa Jul 15, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                    Did you process it for non-fridge storage? I'm thinking I'd like to try it, but want to can for long-term storage.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Splendid Spatula
                                                                                                                      Njchicaa RE: Splendid Spatula Jul 21, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                                                                                      no the recipe is a fridge pickle that lasts for about a month

                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                    cstout RE: rstuart Jul 13, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                    Just went over to Amazon & found this book -

                                                                                                                    "Quick Pickles" by Chris Schlesinger

                                                                                                                    Does anyone have this book? If so, what have you tried from it?

                                                                                                                    1. Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 13, 2013 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                      I found this lovely article in the Montreal Gazette today, thought it might be of interest link below:

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                        nofunlatte RE: Ruthie789 Jul 13, 2013 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                        And in case anyone wonders, 1.815 kg is 4 pounds (wrt The Preservation Kitchen's Dehydrated Strawberry Jam). I'd like to add that this book lists measurements in volume, ounces/pounds, grams, and weight-based percentages. I've not cooked much from this book, but it's quite informative and I use it for inspiration and reference (and it's also beautiful, with a nice feel to the pages). The pumpkin butter and the related pumpkin butter ice cream is amazing (I subbed kabocha squash for the pumpkin). Bf thought it one of my best ice creams!

                                                                                                                      2. nofunlatte RE: rstuart Jul 13, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                        Apricots and peaches made their first showing at the farmer's market today. I'm processing brandied apricot preserves as I type. Tomorrow I'll make some sort of peach jam, probably vanilla-almond-peach.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                                          pine time RE: nofunlatte Jul 14, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                          Made my first peach jam ever yesterday, from our peaches I harvested nearly a month ago. Will have to add some vanilla & almond essence to the next batch--great idea!

                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                            coll RE: pine time Jul 15, 2013 04:49 AM

                                                                                                                            I make mine with Amaretto, it's pretty darn good too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                                                                              MsMaryMc RE: coll Jul 15, 2013 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                              I've used rum with peaches. And Amaretto in the sour cherry, and Cassis in the raspberry. It's all good!

                                                                                                                              1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                coll RE: MsMaryMc Jul 15, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                I heartily agree!

                                                                                                                        2. nofunlatte RE: rstuart Jul 14, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                          Blueberry Aigre-Doux, from The Preservation Kitchen. I halved the recipe, but got more than half the expected yield. It looks like one seal may have failed (I'll test in the morning), but if so, I'll refrigerate rather than reprocess.

                                                                                                                          I've never made any kind of aigre-doux before, but the wine/sugar/vinegar liquid tasted very good, so I'm looking forward to using this!

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                                            rstuart RE: nofunlatte Jul 15, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                            I've never heard of aigre-doux.. what is it?

                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                              Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 16, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                              Sweet and sour I think.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                nofunlatte RE: rstuart Jul 16, 2013 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                It's a sweet-and-sour condiment. One seal failed and the jar is in the fridge. I'm going to give it a try later on today.

                                                                                                                                1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                                                  Ruthie789 RE: nofunlatte Jul 17, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                  How was it?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                    nofunlatte RE: Ruthie789 Jul 23, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                    I think it needs more time for the blueberries to soak up the red wine.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                                                      Ruthie789 RE: nofunlatte Jul 23, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                      I`m sure time will tell you that it is delicious.

                                                                                                                            2. r
                                                                                                                              rosepoint RE: rstuart Jul 17, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                              Just started for this year. Rhubarb Orange Chutney, Sour Cherry Pie Filling and froze 20 lbs of blueberries. Will need to make another blueberry purchase this weekend to can some pie filling.

                                                                                                                              Then on to pickles!

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: rosepoint
                                                                                                                                rstuart RE: rosepoint Jul 18, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                Froze 20 Lbs! That's impressive! I do so wish that I had the room for a chest freezer..

                                                                                                                                1. re: rosepoint
                                                                                                                                  Splendid Spatula RE: rosepoint Jul 19, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                  I just made a rhubarb orange preserve from this recipe: http://zesterdaily.com/recipe/rhubarb... and I think it is terrific. Have not done this combo before!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rosepoint
                                                                                                                                    classylady RE: rosepoint Jul 21, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                    I got 2 pounds of blueberries at the supermarket yesterday. Filled a baking tray with the berries to freeze, and this evening I will separate them in rubbermaid containers. No need to wash them now, only with I plan to use them.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: classylady
                                                                                                                                      Ruthie789 RE: classylady Jul 21, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                      So handy year round and so much better than the commercial ones.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: classylady
                                                                                                                                        cstout RE: classylady Jul 22, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                                                                                                        I don't even put them in a baking tray, just toss them in freezer bags & freeze. They really don't stick together, you can just squish the frozen bag & they immediately are unstuck. Mine just never did stick though.

                                                                                                                                    2. viperlush RE: rstuart Jul 19, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                      So far I've made:
                                                                                                                                      Strawberry jam
                                                                                                                                      Strawberry mango daiquiri jam
                                                                                                                                      Dilly beans
                                                                                                                                      Pickled sugar snap peas
                                                                                                                                      Bread and butter pickles

                                                                                                                                      What I anticipate making:
                                                                                                                                      More dilly beans
                                                                                                                                      Pickled zucchini
                                                                                                                                      Dill pickles
                                                                                                                                      Cucumber relish
                                                                                                                                      Bourbon peach jam
                                                                                                                                      Habanero hot sauce
                                                                                                                                      Pickled hot peppers
                                                                                                                                      Corn salsa
                                                                                                                                      Ground cherry jam/jelly/?

                                                                                                                                      This year I'm better prepared to tackle my CSA share

                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                        viperlush RE: viperlush Jul 23, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                        Add to the list of what I've made: Blueberry lemon jam

                                                                                                                                        1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                          rstuart RE: viperlush Jul 23, 2013 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                          Very impressive list viper! I'd never thought of pickling sugar snap peas..

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                            viperlush RE: rstuart Aug 5, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                            Thanks. With only two of us my CSA share can sometimes be overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                            I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe for the sugar snaps. Sweet and spicy.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                            viperlush RE: viperlush Aug 20, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                            Also adding to the completed list:

                                                                                                                                            Pickled beets
                                                                                                                                            Peach Bourbon jam
                                                                                                                                            Pickled cherry tomatoes
                                                                                                                                            More dilly beans

                                                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                              viperlush RE: viperlush Sep 16, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                              More additions:
                                                                                                                                              Pickled peppers and onion
                                                                                                                                              Pickled jalapeño
                                                                                                                                              Bourbon vanilla peaches
                                                                                                                                              Cayenne hot sauce

                                                                                                                                              1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                viperlush RE: viperlush Sep 17, 2013 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                Well only 3 of 8 pints of peaches sealed properly. Add that to my not setting peach jam. Clearly not my year for working with peaches.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                  iL Divo RE: viperlush Oct 10, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                  ummm bourbon vanilla peaches? surely there's a recipe somewhere :)))
                                                                                                                                                  hint hint hint

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                    viperlush RE: iL Divo Oct 10, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                    It was in a cookbook that I can't remember the title of. Basically a light syrup w/half a vanilla bean and a couple tablespoons of bourbon (Jack Daniels) in each quart jar. I cold packed, probably should have hot packed.

                                                                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                                                                          drloripalooza RE: rstuart Jul 21, 2013 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                          How does one substitute brown sugar for white sugar? I'm assuming it is a 1:1 ratio. I can find recipes with honey but not brown sugar, and I thought brown sugar might be a good addition to my plain blackcurrant jam. I can find plenty of recipes using honey in preserves, but none using brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                          I missed the strawberry season as I was out of the country. I'm planning on:
                                                                                                                                          black raspberry with rose water
                                                                                                                                          red raspberry preserves with ?
                                                                                                                                          crenshaw melon with candied orange peel
                                                                                                                                          black currant jam
                                                                                                                                          blueberry jam of some sort, maybe Alton Brown's
                                                                                                                                          peach with black currant and white pepper

                                                                                                                                          I'm trying to stick to as much u-pick and organic as possible, but of course, some things just can't be found here. And everything will be micro-batch, lol.

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                            happybaker RE: drloripalooza Jul 22, 2013 09:08 AM


                                                                                                                                            For jam it really would be a 1:1 swap (brown sugar for white) but I would be careful what recipe I do that in, as the brown sugar will give a bit of a molasses flavor. It would be great with brown fig or apple butter, but I'd be less likely to use it with berries, myself.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: happybaker
                                                                                                                                              pine time RE: happybaker Jul 22, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                              Related, maybe: can you use Splenda for all/part of white sugar?

                                                                                                                                              Plus, I made my 1st ever jam from our peaches, but it's not sweet enough. Can I add a bit of simple syrup or Splenda after the fact to rescue it?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                happybaker RE: pine time Jul 22, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                I have thrown in a bit of splenda after I've added white sugar and it's been fine. It can take heat. However, the sugar also adds body. But, if you can't have any sugar, or want to try to avoid it, you could reduce the fruit down to the thickness/consistency you want, and THEN add splenda to taste.

                                                                                                                                                Absolutely you can add sugar/splenda "after the fact". Have you already canned it, or is it still in a tub/pan?

                                                                                                                                                If you add sugar syrup, you are adding back in much more water, so I'd say no to that. Best to gently heat back up the jam, to get it loose again (may need to add a T or 2 or water) and then add dry sugar or splenda to taste.

                                                                                                                                                Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: happybaker
                                                                                                                                                  drloripalooza RE: happybaker Jul 23, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I have heard that cooking the jam with Stevia, which I prefer to Splenda, will give the jam an "off" taste. Has anyone tried adding it after the fact, as discussed above with Splenda? I don't care if my jams have a rather "loose" texture.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: happybaker
                                                                                                                                                drloripalooza RE: happybaker Jul 22, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                I was thinking that the molasses flavour might round out the sharp tartness of a blackcurrant jam, but perhaps it might overpower it -- I could always experiment and do 1/2 and 1/2.

                                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                                              drloripalooza RE: rstuart Jul 22, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                              I am new to "jammin," but have done a lot of pickling. What is the best method to preserve a very fresh fruit taste? I have read about the method were you macerate the fruit and where you macerate, then heat, then macerate again, then cook. I have also read about methods where you cook quickly. I have read about using low sugar pectin. I have read about making one's own pectin. I don't mind if my jams or preserves are a little bit runny, like a confiture. And in fact, I prefer preserves (which may be the wrong term, but the things with bigger, chunkier, or whole pieces of fruit stuck in them (such as berries, cherries). I'm not interested in freezer jam, my freezer is taken up with other things.

                                                                                                                                              Thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                MsMaryMc RE: drloripalooza Jul 22, 2013 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                One of the things I like about Pomona pectin is that you can use less sugar and it will still gel. I think that lets you taste more fruit flavor, and not just overpowering sweetness.

                                                                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                                                                hippioflov RE: rstuart Jul 23, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                It's been slow this year, but things are picking up. I've canned lots of beans, pickles, and relishes. Made a several batches of dill pickled radishes, green beans, and hot peppers. Got some hot peppers fermenting for hot sauce. Also working on fermented dill pickles. I don't know if this fits the topic, but I'm hooked on making kombucha too. Wishing the berries were better this year, but all the rainy here this year seems to make them rot rather than ripen. Now if only the tomatoes would ripen in all this damp weather, I'd be a happy canner.

                                                                                                                                                P.S. Baking soda may help get the burn marks off your stove, and a little vinegar on the baking soda may too. For scorched pots I put in some rock salt and scrub like crazy.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: hippioflov
                                                                                                                                                  rstuart RE: hippioflov Jul 23, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks hippioflov.. in the end, only a sharp implement worked on the burn marks, but they're all gone! Where are you that it's been so rainy? Berries were good here in Southern Ontario..

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                    hippioflov RE: rstuart Jul 24, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                    North Georgia...We're down to two good rains a week now. In June we had two solid weeks of rain. I tried to work in the garden a little between the showers and ended up stuck and having to take off my boots so I could escape!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hippioflov
                                                                                                                                                      kitchengardengal RE: hippioflov Jul 25, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                      West Georgia here...we put wheat straw down on the grass paths between the raised vegetable beds,where the constant rain made it a bog. Then it kept raining, and we put down cardboard. It's been dry for a few days, and the cardboard isn't full of puddles anymore.
                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, DH had to pull half a bed of fungus covered plants out and throw them away. The tomatoes and peppers are fine. Eggplant and herbs are hanging in there.

                                                                                                                                                2. Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 23, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I was just reading about preserving in the Guardian UK thought it might be of interest to this thread:

                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: Ruthie789 Jul 23, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Gooseberry curd! Wow! That chutney recipe looks great. My mother makes quite a bit of chutney later in the summer: plum (my favourite), peach, and harvest. I do love them but it's a pain without a food processor.. she has one, I don't.
                                                                                                                                                    I always get first pick and usually go through about 10 jars a year, mostly by eating cheese, chutney and apple sandwiches!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                      Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 24, 2013 04:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Certainly different. I recently saw a recipe for rhubarb curd which also intrigues me. I am not able to do as much cooking these days due to a recent surgery but am living vicariously through all these lovely posts.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                        rstuart RE: Ruthie789 Jul 24, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                        That's a bummer.. hope that you're up and at 'em soon!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                          Ruthie789 RE: rstuart Jul 24, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you. I can cook but I tend to overextend myself when I get into preserving so for now I am reading posts.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                            kitchengardengal RE: Ruthie789 Jul 25, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Hope you're feeling better real soon, Ruthie!
                                                                                                                                                            Kitchengardengal (formerly jmcarthur8)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                              Ruthie789 RE: kitchengardengal Jul 25, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you jm. you are very kind. I was wondering where you have been! It's going well, and am taking it one day at a time.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                                kitchengardengal RE: Ruthie789 Jul 25, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I felt that I shouldn't have my last name and location just hanging out there in the internet, so the mods let me change my account. Now you'll know it's me when you see kitchengardengal.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                  Ruthie789 RE: kitchengardengal Jul 25, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I tend to agree with that but glad to see you back!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: kitchengardengal Jul 25, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Hmm.. I have also thought of doing that. When I originally got an account, it was just to ask a question.. never though that I'd get sucked in!

                                                                                                                                                    2. g
                                                                                                                                                      girlwonder88 RE: rstuart Jul 23, 2013 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                      12 jars of plum jam today and juiced 5 Quarts of plum juice-turned some of that into plum syrup and canned it, and trying to figure out what to do with the rest. Our plums are crazy this year, again.

                                                                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                                                                        drloripalooza RE: rstuart Jul 26, 2013 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Wondering if anyone has tried the technique of macerating the fruit in sugar, then bringing to a boil, then macerating again overnight, then boiling again a la some of Christine Ferber's recipes. Will this give a sugary taste or a fruity taste?

                                                                                                                                                        (Yes, I realize her canning instructions would have to be upgraded to meet American specifications.) She has some interesting combinations, too.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                          walliser RE: drloripalooza Jul 28, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I use her book all the time, I would say I have yet to be disappointed by any recipe. There are some that I will not try because I don't like one or several of the ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                          As far as taste, yes, I would say the recipes use a fair amount of sugar, however, they don't taste sugary. Do they taste as fruity as a reduced sugar freezer jam? No, it won't, it cannot.

                                                                                                                                                          To your second point: I follow her instructions, no further processing. It's exactly what I learned from my mom and I have yet to have a batch go bad. Something I cannot say about other recipes I tried.

                                                                                                                                                          My favorite recipe got to be L'Alsacienne, sugar plums and Pinot Noir... what's not to like!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walliser
                                                                                                                                                            farmandforage RE: walliser Sep 15, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I've been using CF method for making all my jams for 2 seasons now. I hate using added pectin so love her method because I can be sure that each batch of jam or preserve will come out the right texture and viscosity. I also like spreading the event out over a day or 3. My question is has anyone made her recipe for "Rhubarb & Whole Strawberries" It seems like the holy grail of the CF method. You've got 2 batches of fruit macerating separately. It takes 3 days. And does she really mean for you to bring the strawberry mixture to a boil 5 times in 4 sessions every 8 hours? That is a lot of boiling and cooling. I start on this part tonight thru tomorrow. Any experience with doing it the way she says no shortcuts?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: farmandforage
                                                                                                                                                              rstuart RE: farmandforage Sep 15, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I have made one of her recipes, and found it very fussy and time-consuming.,.. and very good! Let us know how it goes!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                            rstuart RE: drloripalooza Jul 29, 2013 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I've made her chocolate and raspberry.. quite a fuss (although I cheated and used frozen raspberries).. but oh, so good. Made great gifts..

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                              meatn3 RE: drloripalooza Aug 17, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I've made several of her recipes with great success. I have also used this method with other recipes. The fruit flavor comes through quite well!

                                                                                                                                                            2. r
                                                                                                                                                              rstuart RE: rstuart Jul 28, 2013 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Made cherry and rhubarb jam with triple sec... I'm worried that it's a bit too citrussy (has the juice of one lemon and the zest). Oh well.. guess I'll see how people like it.
                                                                                                                                                              It's the third jam that I've made this year with Pomona's pectin, they all set quite firmly, which surprised me. I like using it because it calls for less sugar, but I'm not so thrilled about the rock hard jam! Has anyone else experienced this? I'm wondering how I could prevent it..

                                                                                                                                                              1. weezieduzzit RE: rstuart Jul 29, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I'm finally actually teaching myself to can! Tonight will be seasoned tomato sauce with garden fresh tomatoes and I have about 8 pounds of cherries left from the weekend that will become some kind of jam.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                  rstuart RE: weezieduzzit Jul 29, 2013 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Cherry jam is great! Are they sour or sweet?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                    weezieduzzit RE: rstuart Jul 29, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    They are sweet. I have about 8 pounds of them. I bought a cheery/ olive pitter this afternoon. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                      rstuart RE: weezieduzzit Jul 30, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      A wise investment! I love the plum/cherry combination in jam..

                                                                                                                                                                2. r
                                                                                                                                                                  rstuart RE: rstuart Aug 5, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I just brought some sour cherries to my mother (she wasn't able to find them in Ottawa). She told me that she made sour cherry and peach jam.. which sounds good! I hope to try some..

                                                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                                                    Rzrosenstein RE: rstuart Aug 7, 2013 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I had always wanted to can but was too intimidated to try it. Well I finally got up the nerve. And I'm so glad I did. It wasn't difficult at all. I really don't follow recipes, just a quick glance sometimes for guidance so that was the hardest part for me. I made strawberry with triple sec and brandy, basil and peach and my favorite, cantaloupe with vanilla bean.
                                                                                                                                                                    I served the cantaloupe this weekend for some friends with French bread marscapone and prosciutto. it was really delicious. Can't wait to can some more.

                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rzrosenstein
                                                                                                                                                                      rstuart RE: Rzrosenstein Aug 7, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Wow.. cantaloupe jam? I've never heard of that before!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                        Rzrosenstein RE: rstuart Aug 7, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        So easy. cut up cantaloupe mixed with vanilla bean and sugar. Let me know if you want the recipe

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rzrosenstein
                                                                                                                                                                          rstuart RE: Rzrosenstein Aug 8, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Would love it! May not happen this year, but maybe next..

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                            Rzrosenstein RE: rstuart Aug 8, 2013 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I hope I'd be able to find it next year. If you live near by, I'd be happy to give you a jar

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rzrosenstein
                                                                                                                                                                              Ruthie789 RE: Rzrosenstein Aug 10, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Some groups exchange the jams etc.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rzrosenstein
                                                                                                                                                                                drloripalooza RE: Rzrosenstein Aug 22, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I'd love the recipe for this year!


                                                                                                                                                                      2. clepro RE: rstuart Aug 7, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        9 jars of sour cherry jam.
                                                                                                                                                                        4 of gooseberry preserves.
                                                                                                                                                                        12 of strawberry balsamic pepper jam.
                                                                                                                                                                        6 of apricot vanilla.
                                                                                                                                                                        8 of blueberry lime.
                                                                                                                                                                        8 of ginger rhubarb.
                                                                                                                                                                        Didn't get my currants this year, darn it.

                                                                                                                                                                        12 jars of kippered cherries. Sour cherries and sweet cherries, all pickled in white wine vinegar warmed with a little sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf and terragon. Eat the cherries with game or cheese, then decant and save the vinegar for later use.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 quarts of sour cherries in ultra light syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                        24 cups of frozen sour cherries, 24 cups of frozen blueberries, 12 cups of rhubarb.

                                                                                                                                                                        Next weekend, I'll be making half sours, dill pickles, and dilly green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                        Coming up later this summer: plain peach preserves, bourbon peach jam, bags of frozen peach slices, a few pints of pickled peaches, and a whole lot of drunken fig jam.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clepro
                                                                                                                                                                          rstuart RE: clepro Aug 8, 2013 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Kippered cherries sounds GREAT. 24 cups of frozen sour cherries? WOW!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                            clepro RE: rstuart Aug 10, 2013 10:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I know. I'm a sour cherry glutton.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. nofunlatte RE: rstuart Aug 10, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I made two batches of peach salsa this week (11 half-pint jars in total), so I'm probably good until next peach season. I may make one more batch next weekend. Nothing like opening a jar of peach salsa in the doldrums of February!

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                                                                                                                            clepro RE: nofunlatte Aug 10, 2013 10:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            hmmm...peach salsa. I've got a half bushel of peaches on its way, so that sounds like just the thing. Which recipe do you use?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: clepro
                                                                                                                                                                              nofunlatte RE: clepro Aug 11, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I use the one in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, though I cut up a home-grown and dried cayenne pepper instead of using the powder. People really like it because it's a little unusual for a salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Crockett67 RE: rstuart Aug 10, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            True and trusted classics:
                                                                                                                                                                            Strawberry jam (from strawberries picked hours before at u-pick.)
                                                                                                                                                                            Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
                                                                                                                                                                            Rhubarb Jam (from my garden!! :D :D :D Three years until a crop!)

                                                                                                                                                                            Bourbon Peach Jam (my SO always finish those first.)

                                                                                                                                                                            Blue Berry Syrup (For my twin since she left a good pint+ of blueberries from the farmer's market at my place. So I made her syrup for the next time she came down. She just came down this weekend and I surprised her with Johnny cakes and the syrup and sent her home with two pints.)

                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Crockett67
                                                                                                                                                                              Splendid Spatula RE: Crockett67 Aug 12, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I made a bourbon peach jam this weekend, too. Outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Splendid Spatula
                                                                                                                                                                                Crockett67 RE: Splendid Spatula Aug 16, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                We rock. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Crockett67
                                                                                                                                                                                  THewat RE: Crockett67 Aug 27, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oooo - bourbon peach jam instructions? That sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: THewat Aug 28, 2013 01:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I just made it with a recipe I found online. Next time I will find one that calls for pectin! Bourbon Peach AND vanilla bean, sounded like a good idea at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                                      Crockett67 RE: THewat Sep 8, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I just use the ball blue book canning recipe for peach plus 2 Tbs bourbon. Done!
                                                                                                                                                                                      1 quart peaches (peeled, pitted or cored, and finely chopped, 4 cups equals 1 quart or about 5 pounds peaches or pear) or 1 quart pear (peeled, pitted or cored, and finely chopped, 4 cups equals 1 quart or about 5 pounds peaches or pear)
                                                                                                                                                                                      7 1/2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                      1 (3 ounce) envelope liquid pectin
                                                                                                                                                                                      Add the 2 Tbs bourbon with the liquid pectin when boiling
                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Like the idea of vanilla but have yet to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Process in water bath 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Crockett67
                                                                                                                                                                                        coll RE: Crockett67 Sep 9, 2013 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you so much, I think me and pectin are going to be getting to know each other a lot better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have an assortment of Ball pectins, including liquid. I'll go through them all before they go bad (something I didn't realize) and settle on one type hopefully. I had NO idea there were so many choices!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mine, I put a vanilla bean AND a cinnamon stick, as my recipe called for. Nice additions!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                rosepoint RE: rstuart Aug 11, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Update: Now I have managed to make some full sour pickles, sweet cucumber relish, sweet red and green pepper relish, and tomatillo chipotle salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                The basil is starting to get out of control. Looks like next weekend will be pesto, pesto and more pesto. Also, need to find some good local peaches. Can't go without my peach BBQ sauce and peach salsa this year!

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rosepoint
                                                                                                                                                                                  rstuart RE: rosepoint Aug 11, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  All of these savoury peach recipes sound great...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                  cstout RE: rstuart Aug 12, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I see a couple of you have used Pomona's Pectin. There is a new book on Amazon called "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not familiar with this pectin or the book. So many reviews from Amazon were saying that the recipes had greatly reduced sugar & you could use other types of sweetener if used in the ratio suggested in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you had consistent success using this pectin? Does anyone have the book?

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout
                                                                                                                                                                                    MsMaryMc RE: cstout Aug 12, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've used Pomona pectin a fair bit. I've never had it fail to gel, no matter how much or how little sugar I used. I've adapted recipes that originally called for conventional pectins, and reduced the sugar quite a bit (which you just can't do with regular pectin)--never had a bad batch. I've also had no trouble multiplying recipes to make larger batches (another no-no with regular pectins). I had some favorite recipes that contained booze (Amaretto, rum, Creme de Cassis, Cointreau) and I wasn't sure if that would make any difference. I contacted the Pomona "Jamline" number on the box, and they didn't know either, so I just tried it--no problems at all. I haven't tried alternative sweeteners yet, but that's my next project.

                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand...the sugar does act as a preservative, so these preserves sometimes got moldy within a few weeks once they were opened, even in the refrigerator. The color also doesn't last as long as preserves with more sugar--it starts out pretty and bright but gets darker and duller after a few months. Freezing does help with that. And these jams have been tasty enough that they don't usually last long enough for that to be a problem! Still, I've been bumping the sugar back up a little in my most recent batches.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The cookbook looks interesting--wish they had the table of contents online so I could look at the recipes in it. I want to take a look at it, but I may be buying it. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                                                                      cstout RE: MsMaryMc Aug 14, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Let us know how you like the Pomona book if you decide to get it. I have been trying to weed out my cookbooks so don't really know if I can justify getting another one so soon! I understand they have a website also. Have not been there. Will probably go there so I can appease myself while refraining from buying the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for all your info about using the pectin. Very encouraging.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout
                                                                                                                                                                                        drloripalooza RE: cstout Aug 15, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I really like the Pomona book. I have contacted Pomona twice on Facebook. One question was how to get a looser set. They suggested experimenting, such as using a quarter less pectin (3/4 of the suggested amount) but the same amount of calcium water. They suggested lowering it from there if needed. The other question was on macerating. The suggested taking part of the sugar to macerate the fruit, only overnight (for one night) and mixing the rest of the sugar with the pectin. Don't know if this will help anyone. Anyway, as I said, the recipes I tried in the book worked well for me. I haven't tried less pectin yet. They set quite well, if a little harder than expected for whole fruit preserves.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                                                          rstuart RE: drloripalooza Aug 18, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooh.. that's good to know. I've had a problem with a thicker set that I wanted with pomona, so I'll reduce the pectin called for by 1/4/...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                            girlwonder88 RE: rstuart Aug 22, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for that tip...that's the one complaint I've had with Pomona, too, the thick set. Other than that, I like it a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cstout
                                                                                                                                                                                      Danybear RE: cstout Aug 19, 2013 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I purchased the book and would not advise anyone else to make the purchase. Basically the book just repeats the recipes that are include with the packing sheet for the pectin, but with lots of pictures. You can get more info here on Chowhound.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. weezieduzzit RE: rstuart Aug 12, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Does anyone have a jalapeno jelly/ jam recipe that has some heat to it and is not mixed with anything else? We haven't been pleased with the sweetness of ones we've tried. I would like something safe for canning (so I don't want to toy with the sugar ratio since I don't have the experience,) but would settle with freezer jam if I had to.

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                        geminigirl RE: weezieduzzit Aug 13, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I use the recipie in the Ball book, straight jalapenos and very easy..

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                          weezieduzzit RE: geminigirl Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately we're finding it MUCH too sweet and not nearly hot enough for our taste. I think I'm going to start experiementing with hotter peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                            coll RE: weezieduzzit Aug 15, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Let me know, I have been using a friend's hot pepper jelly to make Cajun Mustard Shrimp when I have company, but would like to be able to do it more than once a year!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                              geminigirl RE: weezieduzzit Aug 15, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is quite sweet, let me know if you find anything less sweet. Are you using the seeds as well I'm assuming and still not hot enough? I am a bit of a wus with heat so it works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geminigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                coll RE: geminigirl Aug 16, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                So far I'm only using the stuff I'm gifted on an annual basis. I don't recall any seeds in there, that would make it hotter but don't know that I'd like the texture. His isn't all that hot either. I'll let you know if I come up with something different.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                            girlwonder88 RE: weezieduzzit Aug 22, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I mentioned above when talking about strawberry jalapeno jam that I use pomona pectin, which allows you to safely reduce the sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's one recipe for straight jalapeno, that I found with a quick google-haven't tried it myself but would be curious to see how you find it:

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. OliviaPacific RE: rstuart Aug 13, 2013 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Jams (so far)
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Blueberry Anise
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Plum Earl Grey
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Strawberry Rhubarb
                                                                                                                                                                                            - White Peach Ginger

                                                                                                                                                                                            - Dillybeans
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Zucchini Pickles
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Pickled Garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Pickled Yellow Peaches

                                                                                                                                                                                            - tomato sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                            - blackberry syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                            - Caramelized onions

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: OliviaPacific
                                                                                                                                                                                              rstuart RE: OliviaPacific Aug 18, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow.. plum earl grey? WOuld love to read that recipe..

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                              drloripalooza RE: rstuart Aug 15, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember my grandmother making jelly and dripping a little bit into a cup of ice water to test for the set, as one does with candy. Of course it wasn't cooked to the soft ball stage. I haven't come across this method in any book or blog. Is this method used any?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                                                                coll RE: drloripalooza Aug 15, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                A friend just pointed me to a similar test, but with 40 proof alcohol. It was a half to half kind of deal. And I just came across it recently in a book he sent me. I plan on testing that out before the season is over, rather than splurging on a brix measurer.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. nofunlatte RE: rstuart Aug 17, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I canned some chili-garlic beans this week. However, I used purple beans and the color leaches out of the beans (they turn greenish) and into the pickling liquid (which turns a lovely light magenta shade). I'll pickle more chili-garlic beans, but this time I'll use a green-colored variety. I must say that the purple ones I bought tasted great raw, with an aioli dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Bought more peaches to make one last batch of peach salsa, which makes a great hostess gift!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                  pine time RE: rstuart Aug 17, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyone ever jam/can/preserve Hatch chilies?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                                                                    dkenworthy RE: pine time Aug 19, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did a box of Hatch chiles on Saturday, but I vacuum sealed and froze the roasted, peeled, seeded chiles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do have a pressure canner, it looks like it takes 35 minutes under pressure to do peppers. The Hatch chiles that were tumble roasted seemed pretty soft to stand up to that much canning, so I decided to freeze instead since I have room in the freezer right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkenworthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                      meatn3 RE: dkenworthy Aug 19, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could you explain tumble roasted please? I'm not familiar with that term.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3
                                                                                                                                                                                                        MsMaryMc RE: meatn3 Aug 19, 2013 08:32 PM



                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our local Albertson's supermarket has a guy who hauls one of these up here to Seattle on a trailer, from his chile farm in New Mexico. When he fires it up in their parking lot, you can smell it from a block away. That reminds me, he's about due--time to check their website and mark my calendar!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          meatn3 RE: MsMaryMc Aug 22, 2013 09:52 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. kitchengardengal RE: rstuart Aug 17, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've got a mess o' cucumbers in the garden to can. We still have pickles from last year, and I've put up a few jars of relish, sweet and dill. I found a recipe here on CH for mustard pickle, but need ideas for something different to do with the cukes. The mustard relish won't use them all. If anyone has a suggestion, please post!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ruthie789 RE: kitchengardengal Aug 17, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Love mustard pickles!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                                                                        kitchengardengal RE: Ruthie789 Aug 18, 2013 02:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruthie, have you got a recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruthie789 RE: kitchengardengal Aug 18, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Recipe from Prescott & Russell Heritage Cookbook (2011 edition)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 cups of chopped onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                          12 cups of cucumbers with the seeds removed
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cauliflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 green peppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                          coarse salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 cups of white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 tablespoons of dry mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 teaspoon of turmeric
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup of flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 teaspoons of celery seeds
                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 cups of white vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          The night before, prepare the first 4 ingredients, putting them in a large non reactive container, spread coarse salt over the top and cover. The next day rinse the ingredients and strain. Make a sauce with the rest of the ingredients and add the vinegar, heat the liquid until it thickens and add the vegetables and heat at high for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and put in sterilized pots. Seal
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to advise I have never made this recipe, but the contributor is a farm wife. (that phrasing sounds weird)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to be careful about everything that I am posting I end up making it. Not sure if this is the right recipe for you are you looking for pickles only?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                                                                            kitchengardengal RE: Ruthie789 Aug 18, 2013 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This one sounds great, Ruthie, thanks! I like the proportions of the different vegetables, so I think I will use this recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruthie789 RE: kitchengardengal Aug 23, 2013 04:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hope it works out. I got my recipe for pickled beets from this book and they turned out very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Caitlin McGrath RE: rstuart Aug 18, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mother's backyard plum tree had a lot of ripe fruit that really needed using (a sweet-tart purple variety called satsuma), so I went over yesterday and together we put up pints of plum halves in ginger port syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. kitchengardengal RE: rstuart Aug 20, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the past couple of days, I've put up some sweet pickle relish, sweet refrigerator pickle chunks, and spiced fig jam.


                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                          pavlova RE: rstuart Aug 21, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spicy dilled carrots
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dill pickles
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Plum sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crabapple jelly

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                            drloripalooza RE: rstuart Aug 22, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone here make melon jam? I am thinking of making casaba melon, with vanilla and ginger. I am trying to figure out how to convert a recipe to Pomona's pectin from regular pectin. Any hints?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks in advance

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drloripalooza
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rzrosenstein RE: drloripalooza Aug 22, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I recently made a cantaloupe jam with the seeds of a vanilla bean. I used the jell pectin, but wouldn't know how to convert to Pomonas. It was delish, so definitely worth trying to figure out how to convert. A little marscapone on french bread, cantaloupe jam and a slice of prosciutto. Yummy good

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rzrosenstein
                                                                                                                                                                                                                drloripalooza RE: Rzrosenstein Aug 23, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                did you use dry or liquid pectin? I can't seem to find any recipe for dry pectin!


                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                              girlwonder88 RE: rstuart Aug 22, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              14 quarts of peaches last week and a couple of pears. I find pears annoying to can, since I can only do a few quarts at a time since they ripen off our tree so randomly. My kids love canned pears and peaches and would eat a quart a day if I let em, so it's worth putting a lot up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last week I was able to get 100 lbs of Harry and David's peach "seconds" for about 20 cents a pound...I'll have to try and get any load. So lucky to live in Oregon this time of year! My peaches turned out oddly this time, though....several lost a lot of liquid when processing, though they all sealed. Never had that happen before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: girlwonder88
                                                                                                                                                                                                                rstuart RE: girlwonder88 Aug 22, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! 100 lbs! that's a lot of peaches!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  girlwonder88 RE: rstuart Aug 24, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ended up handing a lot of them out to friends, and then wishing I hadn't given quite so many away. Might have to do another buy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                rstuart RE: rstuart Aug 25, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Raspberry peach. Really yummy. but next year I will have to find a recipe that does not involved 7 cups (!!) of sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coll RE: rstuart Aug 25, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have the bourbon peach macerating on my kitchen counter. Six cups of sugar, but hopefully the bourbon will outweight it ? Somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: coll Aug 25, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know that it's not just me going OTT with the sugar! It did make 9 jars of jam though..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll RE: rstuart Aug 25, 2013 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm afraid to adjust on my own, so far it hasn't always worked out. Maybe next year? I need to get comfortable first. Unfortunately excessive sugar doesn't do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coll RE: coll Aug 26, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well once again, I ended up with jam that is more like ice cream topping. I cooked it for almost an hour, until it hit 220, now hoping it firms up as it cools. Guess I should give up for now on jams without pectin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used underripe fruit and enough lemon juice, glad I have a seminar Thursday night at the library by a "canning expert", maybe I'll learn something new then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rstuart RE: coll Aug 27, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've done some successfully without pectin, namely this one:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I generally just stop cooking when I've lost patience rather then when it's supposed to be done! I also tend to burn stuff that needs to cook for a while..I try to multitask! However, I find that unless it's totally liquid, nobody cares!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SOme jams can take a few days to set as well..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            coll RE: rstuart Aug 28, 2013 01:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's what I'm hoping, it's a little thicker now, just not gelled. I even got a candy thermometer recently to make sure I was hitting 220. But since I have five types of pectin in my pantry, wouldn't hurt to use them up I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Looking at Martha Stewart, do you think the trick might be the half and half, fruit and sugar? I have to say, that doesn't appeal to me so much. My recipe was 8 cups fruit to 6 cups sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rstuart RE: coll Aug 28, 2013 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Could be. Plums have a lot of pectin in their skin, so they are one of the fruit that you can get away with not using pectin with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            viperlush RE: coll Aug 28, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made a peach bourbon with liquid pectin and it ended up more like an ice cream topping. I blindly followed the recipe and only boiled it a minute. I forgot to test it or taste it. didnt firm yp at all. Luckily it tastes great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              coll RE: viperlush Aug 28, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll be using it to mix with yogurt, or on ice cream. Maybe as a glaze for duck. But I think the one I made last year with amaretto tasted much better, more peachy. This one had to cook way too long to hit temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had some sugar plums at the same time, just a dozen or so that I had stuck in the freezer, and I cooked them down with the pits and skins, just adding a bit of blackberry brandy. I think they came out thicker than the peaches, with all their sugar!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                iL Divo RE: viperlush Oct 10, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                curious if anyone has a favorite:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                brand of pectin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                dry or liquid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                place to buy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                best price

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MsMaryMc RE: iL Divo Oct 10, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A lot of recipes call for a particular brand, and you may not get the same results if you tinker with them and use something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That said...I've had pretty good luck converting recipes to use with Pomona Pectin. It's more forgiving--you don't have to use one precise formula for the proportions of sugar and fruit. That's one of the things I like best about it: I can use the amount of sugar that tastes best to me, and it will still gel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pomona Pectin comes in a box, with two packets of powder inside. You mix one powder with water and add it to your fruit, and mix the other powder with your sugar before adding that. I can reliably find it at Whole Foods, and at our local natural food co-op. Hereabouts (Seattle) some of the other grocery stores are starting to carry it--I think I've seen it at QFC. You can buy it on Amazon, but the prices there are crazy-high (although you do have to keep in mind that one box makes several batches).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      drloripalooza RE: rstuart Aug 26, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just made casaba melon preserves with vanilla, lemon, and ginger (both the root and chopped crystallized). My bf and I love it -- it will go great with blue cheese and baguettes. Didn't set as well as I would have liked -- I used liquid pectin and the spoon test. I believe I overcooked it. Next time I'll use the plate test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Next experiment is 3/4 peach 1/4 blueberry preserves with peach white balsamic vinegar and part honey, part sugar. Using Pomona's pectin this time. Anything you would add?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. kitchengardengal RE: rstuart Aug 28, 2013 03:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm curious about the opposition to pectin that some jam makers here have. What is it that you don't like about pectin? Is it unhealthy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On another subject, I canned low sugar strawberry jam one time. And only one time. It was not as strawberry-ish tasting, and was just not as flavorful. Since I don't eat a lot of it at a sitting, I decided not to worry about having too much sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coll RE: kitchengardengal Aug 28, 2013 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't have an opposition, but I do always follow jam recipes as written. I seem to find them 50/50, either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am starting to lean towards pectin, the batch I just made that I boiled for at least 45 minutes before it hit 220 seems a little muddy tasting. Ultimately, I would like to be able to figure it out in my mind rather than be a slave to the written word. I'm not having the best of luck with other people's recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kitchengardengal RE: coll Aug 28, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I use the recipes in the Ball Blue Book more than anything. And a BHG canning book called 'You Can Can'. I look online, too; the best ones there seem to be from Extension Services or the pickyourown site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              coll RE: kitchengardengal Aug 28, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now that you mention it, before I branched out the Ball Blue Book was pretty dependable, pectin or non pectin. Guess I should get back in the saddle again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also got the Tart and Sweet book recommended here, and just reading her introduction gave me some of my confidence back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rstuart RE: kitchengardengal Aug 28, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No problem with pectin per say.. would like to use a bit less sugar! on the other hand, the recipes with sugar and pectin don't have to cook for as long, so I find that the jam looks nicer and you can taste the fruit more? I learned to jam using pectin, and still am about 50/50. Like Coll, I always follow the recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              geminigirl RE: kitchengardengal Aug 28, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just a personal preference for me. I like the ball book and Ferber method, especially since I can break up the process into a couple of nights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geminigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                farmandforage RE: geminigirl Oct 27, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just finished C Ferber's Strawberry Rhubarb jam. I love her process and method. It's a revelation for jam to come out well without pectin. Pectin makes for a gummy texture to me. It does the job but ruins the texture for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Father Kitchen RE: kitchengardengal Oct 25, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                About the opposition to pectin. A cook friend said she thought commercial pectin altered the flavor and suggested I try my next jam with and without it. Stay tuned for the results. I'll do without the commercial pectin this week and, hopefully, with ball liquid pectin the following week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kitchengardengal RE: Father Kitchen Oct 27, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, FK! I'm interested in hearing your results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Father Kitchen RE: kitchengardengal Oct 28, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This weekend I made cherry jam without pectin. I macerated the fruit overnight then drained the juice and reduced it by half. Into the boiling syrup I had put a cheesecloth bag containing the seeds and membranes from the lemons I had squeezed. That should have boosted pectin content. I then added back in the fruit. Thinking I could use my new nifty laser thermometer, I hadn't put spoons or plates in the freezer. The laser thermometer seemed to tell me the temperature of the pan well but not the cooking fruit. I pulled it when I thought I had it at the gel point, based on putting a thermometer in the cooking fruit. The trouble is, the contents of the pan were so shallow that even tipping the pan to get some depth to measure, the thermometer was picking up heat from the pan itself. The resulting "jam" didn't quite gel. I am considering recooking it with the addition of some finely chopped, stewed quince. However, the flavor is excellent. We are getting there. I just have to learn to judge the gel point better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll RE: Father Kitchen Oct 28, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Please keep us updated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        farmandforage RE: Father Kitchen Oct 29, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Two things: In reference to the seeds/pith etc. in the lemons. Be sure to allow the bag to cool a bit and then squeeze the liquid into your jam. You'll get more pectin from the bag that way. Also when cooking your jam there are visual clues you can look for when taking the temp is hard. One is the bubbles get bigger and there is no foam when you are close to the set point of the jam. Where do you get cherries in October?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: farmandforage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Father Kitchen RE: farmandforage Oct 30, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did forget to squeeze the bag. The bubbles were getting bigger. I must have been just a hair from the gel point. GFS (Gordon Food Service) Market sells five-pound bags of different unsweetened frozen fruit. I especially like the cherries and the blackberries, but the peach and raspberries aren't bad either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  drloripalooza RE: rstuart Aug 29, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am now embarked on this recipe: Apricot Jam with Pimenton and Grey Salt: http://snowflakekitchen.wordpress.com...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (scroll down
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  )Substituting peaches for apricots as the apricots are lousy here and the peaches good. Wish me luck! I am using liquid pectin as my pectin of choice. I have also macerated the peaches in half the sugar and a little of the lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: rstuart Sep 2, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Autumn fruit jam... plums, apples and pears with cinnamon and ginger.. one of my favourites!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. weezieduzzit RE: rstuart Sep 2, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been doing a lot of pickling lately. As things come into the house from the garden if there's enough to do a jar of it, I do. I'm thinking about making Bloody Mary kits for Christmas this year with a jar of pickled serranos, a jar of pickled okra, a jar of pickled green beans, etc. and then adding the mix and booze. I don't know if I'll get enough fall tomato production to make the mix from garden tomatoes but if I do, I will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rstuart RE: weezieduzzit Sep 3, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What a great homemade gift idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. nokitchen RE: rstuart Sep 8, 2013 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ADVICE SOUGHT!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just canned some whole locally grown San Marzano-style romas today, but that was just a test. What I really want to do is can local Jersey tomatoes and assorted heritage tomatoes. The eventual destination of all of these tomatoes will be a variety of Italian tomato sauces -- marinara, arrabbiata, amatriciana, Marcella Hazan's sauce, etc. If possible, I'd like to keep as much flexibility as I can in case I decide to make a tomato soup or use them in an Indian dish or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is my best strategy to can whole (or halved, or quartered, or whatever) tomatoes, to can a puree, to make the sauces before canning (except the meat ones -- I don't have a pressure canner), or what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If I'm gonna make the sauce or a puree first, is there a good substitute for a food mill? Will I want to shoot myself after blanching, peeling and passing through a seive 20 lbs of tomatoes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd be grateful for any advice anyone can pass on. This is my first year canning anything and I've done mostly test stuff but I'm really enjoying it and looking forward to having a successful fall and getting geared up for a full canning year next spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nokitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kitchengardengal RE: nokitchen Sep 9, 2013 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you use a food mill, you needn't blanch the tomatoes. Just throw them in pot and cook till they are soft, run through the mill, then cook down till it's as thick as you'd like.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And no, there's no substitute for a proper food mill! Worth every penny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            iL Divo RE: kitchengardengal Oct 21, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            using a food mill is how I do my white and black grape jams.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            so nice to simply rinse the fruit, yank off the little stem thingie on top, add some water to a pot and let simmer away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            into the food mill and go from there. just such a nice finish on the jam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Father Kitchen RE: iL Divo Oct 22, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My food mill is on the delivery truck according to tracking. I sure could have used it a week ago. Have you had any experience with using a food mill for passion fruit (purple granadilla? Do the seeds break up in the milling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nokitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nyleve RE: nokitchen Sep 9, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I geat that you're all excited about canning tomatoes and its great that you've plunged into the project. As it turns out, the San Marzanos are the best type of tomato for canning - either in sauce or whole. They are fleshy, with fewer seeds and less water than most other varieties. So for your general canning purposes, stick to those - your sauce will require less boiling to thicken, and your canned tomatoes will remain more intact. The "heirloom" varieties you talk about are often very juicy and flavourful but are meant to be eaten fresh, so don't do well as a canned tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As far as as the canning process itself is concerned, you should probably consult a proper source for detailed instructions. I'm sure someone else will chime in with a suggestion about which one is best. Pressure canning is faster and probably easier, but you can safely can tomatoes in a water bath as long as you process long enough (I can't remember - maybe 45 minutes). I also add 1/2 tsp. citric acid to each quart jar to increase the acidity. You can't taste it at all (as long as your tomatoes are sweet and ripe).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good luck and enjoy! And remember - go slowly. Don't try to do everything the first year because there's a lot to learn from experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rstuart RE: rstuart Sep 15, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just made pear and vanilla bean compote.. it uses no added sugar, but a can of apple juice concentrate. while peeling, coring and chopping 5 lbs of pears is very tedious, it's worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: rstuart Sep 15, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds very good. Where is the recipe from, and can you share it? I once made a pear vanilla butter that had good flavor but was much too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 16, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's from the NYT, from 1991!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here it is..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like it..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: rstuart Sep 19, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, thank you! I hope I'll have time this fall to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 19, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. MsMaryMc RE: rstuart Sep 17, 2013 10:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One thing I liked about ordering my fruit in advance from the grower, back in the spring, was that I could put the delivery dates on my calender and make sure I had some time free to can it when it arrived. Except that of course those dates were only estimates, and we had such an early, warm summer, the cherries and nectarines were a week early and the Italian plums TWO weeks! So I have ten pounds of plums, washed and pitted and sliced and frozen, waiting for me to have the time to make plum butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm still holding out hope of pickling some peppers, too. I stopped in at Pike Place Market this afternoon and asked one of the vendors who has a lot of them, and she says they should hold out at least another couple of weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I want to try again to make some mixed pickled veggies (cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions, peppers), too. The first recipe I tried was NOT good--the veggies were overcooked and mushy. The second had a nice texture and flavor, but it called for half vinegar and half olive oil in the jars. They weren't processed in a hot water bath, so they have to be refrigerated...and you know what olive oil looks like when it's refrigerated! I'm making these as gifts, so I want them to look pretty as well as taste good, and those veggies taste great, but pretty they are NOT. So I'm hoping that this third recipe is the one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. coll RE: rstuart Sep 19, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in the process of making rose hip jam, it's a complicated recipe which involves squeezing fresh lemons and oranges in, then putting the remains into cheesecloth to simmer into super pectin, supposedly very slimy which gets squeezed out into the pot at the end. I'll let you know the results, I though it might be a good lesson for me at the very least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rstuart RE: coll Sep 19, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow.. that sounds like a lot of work. Hope that it's good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: rstuart Sep 19, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I'm trying to learn about pectin/no pectin, it should be interesting. I got halfway through the process today, but then the nice weather outside beckoned me and I got sidetracked. Hopefully will finish up first thing tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rstuart RE: coll Sep 22, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And did you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coll RE: rstuart Sep 22, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes I did. It tastes great, but still so thin. The cheesecloth package wasn't oozing thick or slimy either. I'll see if it thickens up by the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If not, I'm only making pectin recipes from now on! It had you add 6 cups of water in the beginning, so I boiled it hard trying to reduce it: Maybe I killed whatever natural pectin there was? Well, I'm just calling it Rose Hip Syrup, and will pretend I did it on purpose...I got a ton of it, out of four cups of rose hips, so there's plenty to give out anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Father Kitchen RE: coll Sep 23, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coll and I have been in touch on this one. I just discovered a recipe for rose-hip butter in Linda Ziegler's book. It looks like way too much work, worse than the jelly, which seemed like too much--getting all those hairs out. Coll is braver than I. As she was doing her rose hip stuff, I was trying to adjust some marmalade. A friend gave me some four-fruit citrus marmalade that seemed too thick--like it had been boiled to the soft ball stage. Using a recipe found on the Pick Your Own web site, I tried reprocessing it with some apple juice to thin it a bit. It refused to set up. After it reached 227 degrees, I decided to can it as is. I suspect that it had been overcooked to begin with and the pectin had broken down. Maybe I'll mess with it again next week with pectin stock. Otherwise, I'm tempted to poach peaches in the citrus syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            coll RE: Father Kitchen Sep 23, 2013 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From now on, beach plums only....if I could ever find some!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nyleve RE: rstuart Oct 4, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How to protect your home canned foods from being stolen:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Nyleve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: Nyleve Oct 5, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! Very funny..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. weezieduzzit RE: rstuart Oct 4, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What happens if you leave something in the boiling water for much longer than the directions say?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd hate for this to be the batch I screw up.... http://flamingomusings.com/2012/04/me...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      nokitchen RE: weezieduzzit Oct 4, 2013 11:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You should be good. You might have cooked the eggplant a little more than you'd otherwise have preferred, but from a safety and length of storage point of view you need not worry. Let it do its normal melding for a couple of weeks as the recipe suggests and try one before giving away the others, is all. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nokitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        weezieduzzit RE: nokitchen Oct 7, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, nokitchen! If it's too soft I can always turn it into a spread or dip. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rstuart RE: rstuart Oct 5, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      About to make one last batch before I put the canner away in the storage unit for the season.. I want to do something cranberry. Not quite sure what though.. going through my clippings...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Father Kitchen RE: rstuart Oct 13, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As busy pastor of two parishes, plans to make both apricot and fig jam went by the board this year. I did manage to pick some wild grapes last week (Vitis riparia or Riverbank Grape). Most were out of reach, so it was tedious and I only got a small bucket full. (Later I learned we have parishioners whose yard is overgrown with them.) I tested the grape for pectin (using alcohol), and there was more than enough pectin in it; but, as the volume of stuff was so small, I cut up a quince, stewed it, and added it to the grape pulp plus the juice of half a lemon. The jam set up nicely. I got seven cups. The flavor is unusual. I'll probably serve it with cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meanwhile, I got some frozen, unsweetened tart cherries from Gordon Food Service. Before I could make cherry jam, our Serbian cook pounced on them and we had cherry pastries all week. With what was left, I started a cherry/berry jam. Crowded out of the kitchen this afternoon, I mixed the fruit with sugar the juice of one lemon and set it aside to macerate overnight. I'll cook it tomorrow and add liquid pectin. Next in line will be ginger-pear jam. And when the Seville oranges come in, I'll make marmalade, using John Thorne's "Maximum Marmalade" approach. I doubt I'll get the chance, but I'd love to do some lime marmalade again, too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our community doesn't use jam or jelly much--just one guy sold on Welch's Concord Grape Jam. But jars of homemade jam make great thank-you gifts for our volunteers who work so hard to keep the parish afloat, to say nothing of the holidays.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've followed the discussions about using or not using pectin. Purchased pectin can be costly--unless you get it in bulk from the Pacific Pectin Company, though perhaps it is no more expensive than purchasing fruit to make pectin stock yourself. (It is different if you have a crabapple tree.)--so I like the idea of combining low- and high-pectin fruits in a single jam or jelly. I think that must the origin for many interesting flavor combinations such as those in Kevin West's new book or Rachel Saunders' book. All the same, I have no problem with using pectin, especially for something like a straight cherry jam.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coll RE: Father Kitchen Oct 14, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a great solution! Time to get more scientific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did try making rose hip jam, adding lots of lemon, with the peels and pits, and apples and oranges too, all tied up in a cheesecloth bag, but it still came out like syrup. Wish I had time to experiment more, but I will get it down someday. I have plenty of pectin on hand, should have found a recipe using it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Next up will be quince (I do it Persian style) and that is always easy to get right. Will build up my confidence a bit hopefully!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Father Kitchen RE: coll Oct 14, 2013 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made pluot jam a few years ago and it refused to gel, even though I used commercial pectin. We ate it over ice cream. I feel safest now checking both pH before cooking and temperature when cooking. And if I think the fruit may or may not have enough pectin, I'll test the juice or pulp with alcohol. (I think I read some place than any spirits would do--use vodka and you can drink it afterward!) The right pH range should give the juice or pulp about the same tang as lemonade. I actually bought pH papers to test yesterday's batch, but the taste seemed so right on that I didn't bother. I guestimated the amount of sugar to use, based on similar recipes, using about 20% less than equal parts by volume. The taste test for sweetness convinced me I had enough. I also noticed that as the boiling fruit and sugar reached the gel point, the quality of the hard boil changed from a maelstrom of foaming bubbles to a smoother boiling mass with larger bubbles in it. I'm still a novice at jam making, but I suspect that ultimately being alive to taste, smell, and appearance as it cooks will turn out to be as useful as scientific procedures--once you've done it right a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              coll RE: Father Kitchen Oct 14, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Time will tell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Father Kitchen RE: coll Oct 14, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just went back to the Pacific Pectin site, as we are still arguing about what is the best set temperature for a gel. It seems it differs slightly according to the kind of pectin used. At any rate, their technical pages contain a huge amount of information that is worth studying if you are working from available fruit and are not a blind follower of recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Father Kitchen RE: Father Kitchen Oct 14, 2013 06:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Follow up on yesterday's post. I cooked the jam this morning and got nine half pints. Since I was not following an established recipe, but tried to extrapolate from others I had read, I used two pouches of liquid pectin. Next time, I think I will test the fruit mixture for pectin. I probably could have used less pectin. I got a good gel--about like a typical commercial jam--but I think I would have liked it slightly softer. The flavor is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nokitchen RE: Father Kitchen Oct 14, 2013 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A pastor into home canning. If I were such a person, I'd look for opportunities to use canning to bring the community together. If your parish doesn't have a collective sweet tooth, maybe canning tomatoes, tomato sauce and pasta sauces would be the way to go. If you can get together the equipment in one place, setting up an assembly line of your parishioners can really speed the process of getting all those tomatoes (or peaches, or whatever) peeled, seeded, cooked, jarred and processed. As a bonus, you'd be introducing some of the parishioners to the joys of the hobby and providing a wholesome, free, social activity for anyone interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Give some of the finished product to the people who made it with you, sell some for money for the parish and reserve some for the poor over the winter. Heck, with something like that I bet you could even get some local farmer to sell you a few hundred pounds of fruit at a discount.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nokitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Father Kitchen RE: nokitchen Oct 16, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd love to. However, the problem is that once we get into producing home canned foods for sale, we have to conform to health codes and carry liability in case any of them spoil or are alleged to have spoiled. So our food fund raising efforts go in another direction. We have an acclaimed Friday fish fry that is kept going by lots of sterling volunteers. My cousin's wife's Ukrainian church in Cleveland make pierogi. Another church in San Diego built its church by making kielbasa. I'd love to start sales of tamales here, but we'd kill all our volunteers with extra work!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Father Kitchen RE: rstuart Oct 21, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did three batches of cherry jam this weekend, and tried to use a thermometer to reach the gel point. Unfortunately, as the jam reached the gel point, the depth was so shallow in my maslin pan that it was difficult to get an accurate reading even when I tipped the pan. Has anyone had luck with a laser thermometer when making jam?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. weezieduzzit RE: rstuart May 29, 2014 03:57 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My ginger peach jam recipe calls for 8 1 cup jars. Is there a reason I can't use the 12 oz jars and if I can do I need to adjust the time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: weezieduzzit May 29, 2014 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, and no. Processing time should be fine for the larger jars. And can you please send me some? Ginger + peach = 2 of my favorite things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit RE: Caitlin McGrath May 29, 2014 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the quick reply. :) I would totally share if I could. Some of our awesome neighbors brought us a box of their peaches and they're all ripe NOW!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rstuart RE: weezieduzzit May 30, 2014 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Already! Strawberries aren't even out here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Ruthie789 RE: rstuart May 30, 2014 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a good time to revive this thread. I would like to make a blueberry compote which I saw on a show. Link provided it is french and I have translated the ingredients:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 cups of blueberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ cup of sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ cup of water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Juice from half a lemon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Add water and sugar to a pot and add 1 cup of the blueberries bring to a boil, and add the lemon juice. Put blueberry mixture through a strainer in order to remove the skin from berry mixture. Stir the strained mixture and reserve.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Put the balance of the berries in a sterilised jar, add the boiled mixture and sterilise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit RE: Ruthie789 May 30, 2014 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You might wanna start a new one, Ruthie. This one is already over 300 replies. It will get cumbersome soon and the season is just starting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jpr54_1 RE: weezieduzzit May 30, 2014 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    good idea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    new thread


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. iL Divo RE: rstuart Jun 8, 2014 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dawned on me I can buy rhubarb now and strawberries are everywhere so I'd love to make both combined into a jam. I have read as well as heard from my Minnesota family that rhubarb can be tricky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  going to market today I'll check out what's available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: iL Divo Jun 8, 2014 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have some growing in the yard, this is its second year so it's full size this time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never had any problem with making pie, or curry, etc, not sure about jam though. If you learn any tricks let me know!

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