Archive for the ‘Canning’ Category
Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)
Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.
#12) Coffee Rum Chata
#9) Tamale Pie
#1) Shrimp and Grits
Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!
Every year we head to a local apple orchard to pick apples or just buy them directly from the source. With the especially hot and dry summer we had in Wisconsin, it’s pretty difficult to find an orchard where you can pick your own (instead you just purchase them already bagged).
So far I’ve bought 15 pounds of apples from an orchard in Appleton, Wisconsin (ironic, right!). I used some to can Cranberry Apple Butter, which would be fantastic in Apple Butter Granola now that I think of it. But my true goal was to make apple pie filling.
Apple pie filling can be used in so many things, such as:
- Apple pie
- Apple crisp
- As a topping for pancakes/waffles
- In a yogurt parfait with granola
- Heated up in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
For those of you who don’t like, or can’t, can (pardon the pun!), you can easily make this recipe and divide it among freezer bags.
I did a lot of research before deciding which canning recipe to try. Ball is the absolute expert on this subject. Although I found a tasty looking recipe on AllRecipes.com, I trusted Ball to make sure these methods are proven and safe.
One of the main difference between the Ball recipe and the other ones I’ve seen is the use of ClearJel versus cornstarch. The more I read, the more I discovered that cornstarch hasn’t been shown safe to can with because heat infiltration during the water bath canning process can’t be measured as easily. I also read that cornstarch can alter the look and taste of the pie filling when it’s heated up.
Therefore, I bit the bullet and bought some ClearJel (which you can pretty much only find online). I bought mine from Nuts.com for only $3.99/pound. Since the shipping is expensive, I decided to make my shopping trip worth it and buy Carob Covered Raisins and Whole Wheat Fig Bars. Everything I tried was delicious and arrived at my house within a few days.
This recipe made a little more than 7 pints, so I used the extra to make a mini apple pie with some dough from a galette I made earlier that day (funny how perfectly that worked out). It was delicious without being too sweet. The only thing I did different was not blanch the apples before making the filling (find Ball’s original recipe for apple pie filling here). I didn’t think it was necessary because the apples were already sliced thin enough when I used this handy device:
Canned Apple Pie Filling
Recipe adapted from Ball’s “Complete Book of Home Preserving”
Makes 7 pints
12 cups sliced peeled cored apples, sprinkles with lemon juice and tossed
2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup ClearJel®
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2-1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1-1/4 cups cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice
7 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
COMBINE sugar, ClearJel®, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain apple slices and immediately fold into hot mixture. Before processing, heat, stirring, until apples are heated through.
LADLE hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
For me, nothing screams fall like apple picking, changing leaves and knee-length riding boots. It may only be early October, but I have successfully enjoyed all three.
When you combine my love of apples with my new favorite hobby, canning, it was only a matter of time until the two joined forces in the kitchen.
Well, that match made in heaven happened this past weekend. I canned my own Apple Pie Filling (post to come soon) and this delicious Cranberry Apple Butter.
This has been the easiest thing I’ve canned so far. So if you’re a newbie like me, it’s a great starting point. I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Mommie Cooks. When I saw that Julie used a slow cooker to make the apple butter, I was sold. Not to mention a bag of frozen cranberries was sitting in our chest freezer since last Thanksgiving, so I couldn’t wait to use that up!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Butter
Adapted from Mommie Cooks
Makes 3 1/2 pints (you may be apple to get 4 pints depending on how big your apples are)
14 apples, peeled and chopped (Use a combination for more unique flavor. I used Golden Delicious, Mollie and Gala apples.)
One 12-ounce bag frozen whole cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 12 hours, stirring once every few hours.
Canning Instructions: Prep your jars and lids for canning. Ladle butter in 3 pint jars (or 6 half-pint jars) and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, let jars rest in the rack (after being lifted to the top rim of the canner) for 5 minutes. Place jars on a dish towel on the counter and let cool for 24 hours before removing the bands and storing.
Question: Are you an apple butter fan? This is one of those foods that I hated when I was younger but now love as an adult.
Ok, so this post may be a little overdue. But I still wanted to show you guys my last canning experiment.
In July, I canned for the first time ever by myself. I could have picked something seasonal, but I had homemade lemon curd on the brain. I still have half a jar left (which I’ve been eating on Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread and my own creation – cashew butter and lemon curd sandwiches….TO DIE FOR!).
The other thing I just had to learn to do was make homemade pickles. I tried Garlic Dill Pickles and Bread and Butter Pickles using the water bath canner from West Bend. The dill pickles turned out fabulous and I’ve been giving jars away as gifts. The bread and butter pickles? Inedible. They shrank and went limp (insert the part where I tell you to get your head out of the gutter!). But seriously, I was not happy and I don’t know what went wrong. I followed a recipe from the Ball canning company. Until I figure that mess out, here is the recipe for the Garlic Dill Pickles. But beware, they are very vinegary (which probably means that Brigitt will love these!).
Garlic Dill Pickles
From Food in Jars
Makes 8 pints
2 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers, sliced into fat coins
4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
5 tablespoons pickling salt
16 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar (2 teaspoons total)
8 dill heads (1 per jar)
½ teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (4 teaspoons total)
Wash and slice the cucumbers.
In a large sauce pot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.
Arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices to each. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You don’t want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight.
Pour the brine into the jar, leaving ½ inch headspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
When 10 minutes are up, promptly remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on the countertop. When the jars are cool, check the seals (by pushing/tapping on the lid).
Pickles can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
To make refrigerator pickles, pop the jars directly into the fridge once they’re cool.
Question: Have you ever made anything that has turned out completely wrong? My other kitchen fail that I can’t forget was making a spinach and artichoke mac and cheese from Rachel Ray. It said to broil for 30 minutes in the oven. That was obviously wrong because it was burnt after 5!
Happy Friday! This week has crept by at a snail’s pace (probably because I’m excited for all that’s going on this weekend). Tomorrow I’m tacking a 9-mile run before getting a massage (woo hoo!). There’s also Irish Fest, a fun blogger’s brunch and trolling the farmers market (but not necessarily in that order).
If you’re heading to the market, or your garden is overflowing with zucchini, I’m sure you’ll appreciate these recipes. I posted about Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes last year and it’s remained one of the top-rated posts on the blog.
And this, my friends, may be the healthiest zucchini bread you’ll find (that still tastes good). It’s a Whole-Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread. Of course I had to smear some homemade lemon curd on top. (BTW, I canned this on July 22. This was the first time I popped open a jar…it worked!).
Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread
Adapted from Delishhh
Yields: 1 Loaf | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 60 minutes
1/4 cup honey
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a standard-sized loaf pan.
Beat together the eggs, honey, banana, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-combined.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix into the egg/banana mixture just until combined.
Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips, just until combined.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest for 20 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For best results, store loosely draped with a kitchen towel. Wrapping your bread in plastic or foil will result in gummy texture.
Question: Any fun weekend plans? Favorite zucchini recipes? Feel free to link up!
I’ve made yogurt, pretzels and Pop Tarts – all from scratch. However, none of these scare me like canning does.
First of all, canning looks complicated. There’s a long process, sterilization, following a recipe exactly and then getting a good seal at the end. On the other hand, I see neighbors with their stockpile of homemade dill pickles and vendors at the farmers market with rows of homemade jam, and I think, I really want to do this.
I helped Brenton’s parents make applesauce in the fall of 2009 (I know this because I just recently used up my last jar and that was the date on it). My part was cooking the apples down. I vaguely remember the jars being washed beforehand in the dishwasher and the huge burner outside that processed the applesauce. Other than that, I’m at a loss for what went on.
Although I was still a little intimidated, I did a bunch of research online beforehand to get comfortable with the process. I found this great video from Lowes.com that was very informative. The National Center for Home Food Preservation was another helpful resource as was the blog Food in Jars.
For my first canning experience, I decided to adapt Marisa’s Meyer Lemon Curd.
According to the blog post, the recipe made 1 pint. I wanted to fill four half-pint jars (2 pints) so I doubled it. However, I easily had enough for six half-pints.
First, I washed all my jars in the dishwasher. While I was making my lemon curd, I put the jars and lids in simmering water in a small pot.
At the same time, I filled half of the water bath canner with water, put it on the stove over medium-high heat and let it simmer.
During this process, you want to make sure everything you need is within reach.
Once the lemon curd was finished and I was ready to can, I used the jar lifter from my canning kit to remove the jars. This tool is essential for canning. It gets the jars out easily with no mess.
Next, I used the funnel to fill the lemon curd in the jars leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Afterward, I wiped the rim of the jar with a clean rag. Then I used the kit’s magnetic lid lifter to secure the lid.
Next, I screwed on the metal screw band. Since the water bath canner is meant to hold seven 1-quart jars, I was worried that my tiny half-pints wouldn’t fit. I fixed the problem by putting them side-by-side, which worked out perfectly.
After all of my jars were ready, I lowered the metal crack and let the water come up to a boil. Then I processed the lemon curd for 20 minutes. After that time, I turned off the burner and brought the rack back up to the top to rest and waited five minutes. I heard a bunch of popping (a good sign!), but Oliver was confused.
The finished product…
Here is what I had leftover…
Canning Homemade Lemon Curd
Adapted from Food in Jars
Makes 3 pints (or 6 cups)
12 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 large lemons, juiced (to yield 1 cup juice)
2 sticks of butter, cut into chunks
zest from the juiced lemons
In a small, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the lemon juice and switch to stirring with a wooden spoon, so as not to aerate the curd. Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, adjusting the heat as you go to ensure that it does not boil. Your curd is done when it has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Drop in the butter and stir until melted.
Position a fine mesh sieve over a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the curd through it, to remove any bits of cooked egg. Whisk in the zest.
Pour the curd (a single batch will make one pint of curd) into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If you want to process them for shelf stability, process them in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (start the time when the water returns to a boil). According to So Easy to Preserve, it is best to process only in half-pint jars or smaller, as they allow better heat infiltration.
The people at West Bend gave me an extra home canning kit to give away to one lucky She’s on the Run reader.
1. (Mandatory) Leave me a comment telling me what you would can if you won the home canning kit.
For an extra entry ***Make sure you leave an extra comment telling me you have done any of the following:
2. Tweet about the giveaway: Alysha @Shesontherun has an awesome @WestBendKitchen Giveaway! http://shesontherun.com/?p=2383
3. Follow me on Twitter @Shesontherun
4. Follow me on Facebook
That’s 4 chances to enter! I’ll be choosing a winner on Saturday morning, July 28, 2012. Good luck!
Disclaimer: West Bend has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.