Sunday, January 7, 2018

Jams and Fruit Butter Recipes

Here are the recipes from my last post

Holly Jolly Jam
***DISCLAIMER*** this recipe isn't  approved by NCHFP. I found a few recipes I liked by looking through my various books and and a few internet searches, then modified to work with what I have, so proceed at your own risk.

1.5 c orange juice (no calcium added, with or without pulp is fine)
1/4 c lemon juice
3 c sugar
2 TBS ground cinnamon**
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg**
1/4 tsp ground cloves**
1/8 tsp ground ginger**
1 lb of oranges, peeled, de-seeded, and segmented

2 lbs of peeled, deseeded and shredded or fine diced apples & pears (I used a combination of fruits-Granny smith, Gala (I think), Anjou, Bosc and Bartlett pears
1 lb fresh cranberries (washed and sorted to remove any bad ones)

**A note on the spices--if you want your jam more translucent you can use whole spices (2-3 cinnamon sticks, several cloves, 1/4 nutmeg pod and 1 inch piece of fresh ginger) in a spice ball/ cheesecloth and simmer in the orange/ lemon juice on low for about 30 minutes, then remove the spice bag before adding other ingredients to the batch**

Prepare canning jars, lids and pots as per standard canning conditions. (I wash and sterilize everything--it is just how I roll)

In a non-reactive, heavy bottom pot add orange juice, lemon juice sugar and spices. Begin heating on medium low. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add oranges, apples, pears and cranberries. Simmer on medium low until the cranberries begin to pop (about 20 minutes on my stove), stirring frequently. Once the berries begin to pop, I used my immersion blender and gave a few quick pulses. If you don't have a immersion blender a potato masher will work fine.

Increase heat slightly, until you have a gentle, slow boil. Stir frequently. Once the volume has reduced by 1/4 I began checking the gel stage and skimming foam. Continue cooking until the gel stage has been reached.
Ladle into hot jars (1/4 inch headspace), wipe rims, set lids, tighten rings finger tight. process in rapid boiling water bath (cover jars by 2 inches of water) for 15 minutes (adjust time depending on elevation). Raise basket and let jars stand for 5 minutes before removing. Remove hot jars to sit undisturbed overnight. Check seals, remove rings and refrigerate those which didn't seal. My yield was 10 1/4 pints, 2 and 3/4 of half pints (the 3/4 half pint is my fridge jar)

You can add other fruits or adjust spices based on your preference. Cranberries are pretty high acid so you have a little wiggle room.  My favorite use for this is in oatmeal or in jam bars.

Apple-Pear Butter
5 lbs of apples and pears (mixed) I used a combination of granny smith, honeycrisp, I think Gala's, and yellow delicious apples. The pears were a mix of Bartlett, Anjo and Bosc. All peeled, cored and chunked.
1 & 1/2 c dark brown sugar (after it cooks down you can always add more to your liking)
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/3 c apple juice, apple cider or water **I used apple juice
2 TBS gr. cinnamon
1/2 tsp gr. allspice
1/2 tsp gr. clove
1/8 fine grind kosher salt
You can adjust spices to your taste.

Combine all in crockpot. Cook on low 8-10 hrs. I then used an immersion blender. Cook on high about 1-2 hrs lid ajar. The sauce should thicken (reduce by 1/3 to 1/2 or until desired consistency) , stir and watch it doesn't burn. When temp has cooled but still warm add 1 tsp of good vanilla extract. Stir.

This will keep in the fridge 5 days, you can store in the freezer or waterbath for longer storage. If waterbath canning, follow proper canning protocol. Headspace is  1/4 inch and process for 15 minutes, remove canner from heat, raise basket and let jars sit for 5 minutes before moving. Let sit undisturbed overnight. Check seals, remove bands, wipe down jars and label. 

I have to tell you the texture of the Apple-Pear butter was like silk and the flavor AMAZING!  I can't go back to store bought after making this.

Monkey Butter
***DISCLAIMER*** Another warning--this recipe isn't  approved by NCHFP. I found a few recipes I liked in the 2012 Ball book and modified it, so proceed at your own risk.

I used what I had on hand...
5 c frozen pineapple chunks defrosted and drained
5 frozen bananas
1 c frozen pineapple juice concentrate
4 c moreno sugar
2 oranges juiced and zested
1 lemon juiced and zested
1/4 c lime juice
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/8 c Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Prepare jars ans canner as per normal directions. Combine pineapple, banana, orange, lemon and pineapple juices. Mix really well.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Boil for about 15 minutes.-keep stirring! Reduce heat, add sugar, mix well, keep stirring until sugar is dissolved (mixture should be slow boil). Once sugar is dissolved increase temp to a rapid boil. Boil hard,add coconut and lime juice,  keep stirring. As mixture begins to thicken, use an immersion blender to puree or if you like it chunky use spoon or potato masher. Add the ACV. Keep stirring, as jam begins to thicken check the gel. I cooked mine until the volume had reduced by a good third. I skimmed the foam and when the gel was to my liking I ladled into sterilized hot jars,  1/4 in headspace, wipe rims, finger tight lid/ rings. Process for 15 in a rapid boil water bath. When time is up remove, the lid, turn of heat and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars to draft free area to cool, undisturbed overnight. Check seals, remove bands, wipe down jars and label.

As I stated in my original post I caramelized the sugars in my batch, with the use of frozen fruit, adding ACV and Moreno sugar (which does not have all the Molasses removed) so my Monkey batter is darker (amber/ orange) in color. The flavors are tropical but not as sharp. I do not like coconut but using the immersion blender, I don't really get the coconut texture but do get a hint of coconut. I added the ACV and additional citrus to drop the pH (for safety) and additional flavor.  Should you choose not to can this you can store this in the fridge for a few weeks. Also using fresh pineapple and white sugar (and not cooking as long) will result in a brighter yellow jam. If you do an internet search, you can find variations with the addition of mango or rum. It can be called Island Ambrosia Jam or Drunken Monkey Butter. All I know is this is FANTASTIC over ice cream or swirled in yogurt. Even better by the spoonful!

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 wrap up and goals for the New Year

Hello all. It has been quite a while since I posted on my blog. I have dozens of drafts but couldn't seem to find the gumption to complete them. I hope everyone has been healthy, happy and productive.

2017 was somewhat trying health wise for me . A few procedures and minor surgeries. Nothing too horrible or life changing. To be honest, 2017 was just a trying year overall, for so many reasons.

5 months is too much for me to cover in detail.  I never seem to know how time manages to get away from me so easily. So reader's digest condensed version...

The garden was so-so. I still managed to do a bit of canning. Lots of pickles, jams and tomato sauce. I even managed to can few new (to me) recipes for jams. 

Monkey Butter-I think I mine is a darker amber color because I used frozen fruit, used moreno sugar (which doesn't have all the molasses removed) and I caramelized the sugars.  I don't really like coconut (texture) but this jam is sweet, tropical and mellow. Very delicious!

I made an overnight crockpot Apple Pear butter. 12 hours on low before pureeing. Then 3 hours in high to drive off the water and thicken (not shown). The flavor and texture are AMAZING!

I made this one up based on other recipes. I call it Holly Jolly jam. It is a hybrid of  of soft set, no pectin jam and fruit butter spread. Apples, oranges, pears, apples, cranberries with warm winter spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves). It gelled beautifully. I like it on warm toasty bread and in my thick oatmeal. Yum!

I have spent many months working on my baking skills. Especially sourdough. I had a little fiasco and lost both of my sourdough starters to accidents. I had a back up in the freezer, which I successfully revived after 7 agonizing days. They have since been named Thing 1 (fed with  KAF white whole wheat) and Thing 2 (fed with KAF White AP unbleached).  They are very happy yeasty beasties. Thing 1 gives me a more rapid rapid but collapses more quickly. Thing 2 a little slower to rise, but holds the rise with minimal collapse for almost 12 hours).

I am still learning the correct ratios of other grains for multi grain sourdough. The texture is good, I am working on the rise and slashing. 

I have learned to make my own snack crackers from the sourdough discards.

Work is great! I work from home full time now, which makes me very happy. I did have to make concessions though. I had to give up my dressing room to have a full time office. Downsizing from a 6ft x 14ft to 4ft x 5ft closet space was challenging, but surprisingly, now that I am settled in, I love both spaces. A requirement for my job is continuing education (so that I retain my credentials).  I finished a class in December and  begin a new class mid January for SIXTEEN weeks-oy! That'll keep me a busy.

Christmas was great! I really enjoyed decorating this year.

My Porch

My Dining Room

My Living Room

My Dogs, heh

I made a few sweets to share with friends, family and a couple of neighbors.

I have some new hobbies/ interests which are great for my mental health.  We have a few projects ongoing. Which is bad for the ol' bank account and WHY I have new hobbies/ interests (besides baking, canning and sewing).

I have hope for 2018, that it will be better, happier, healthier and more productive.

I plan to continue to work on me, work on my social skills/ interactions, work on my house, work on my garden, spend more time with my family, to be more adventurous and resume my blogging activities.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Preserving my harvest

No time to write much. Even though I have about 20 half written posts sitting in my draft folder. I have been buried with cucumbers and zucchinis.

Ignore the weeds. 2 plants each and it was the motherload.
The cucumbers have escaped the garden and are climbing the fence.

The Zucchini are very tall! The fence posts are 48 inches, the zukes are 3/4 their height.
Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles
Polish Dill Pickle slices
More pickles
Refrigerator Pickles
Did I mention pickles?
That was just the cucumbers. Except I am not finished.

Dill Relish

Sweet Relish

5 day Cinnamon Pickles in progress.

Now for the zucchini.
Zesty Zucchini Relish

Garlic Dill Spears and Chunks
Low Sugar Mock Apple Pie

Low Sugar Muesli Zucchini bread
 Mock Pineapple is AMAZING! I made mine lower sugar with Splenda. The texture is spot on crushed pineapple and the flavor matches the no sugar added you can buy.
It fooled the hubbs!

3 more loaves of Zucchini bread have been baked and frozen.

Citrus Ginger Zucchini marmalade is up next.

My humble little  canning pantry makes me happy!

Whatcha y'all working on?

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.