Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Adventures in Canning - Peach Jam (and more!)

So I picked up a box of peaches from the farmers market this week, I'll probably grab more next Saturday since I've already used almost all 15 lbs on peach jam and peach cobbler (which I haven't tasted yet - but doesn't look picture pretty)

Peach Jam
Recipe found at recipezaar.com

5 lbs peaches (wash, peel, pit and chop - about 10 cups worth)
3 teaspoons lemon juice
5 cups sugar

Place all ingredients in a large glass bowl and let stand for 1 hour.

Transfer to a large stainless or enamel pot. (make sure all the sugar gets scooped out the bottom - I missed some and added it in partway through boiling)

Bring to a full boil - stir often and then constantly as it gets closer to gel point about 25-30 minutes.

Remove and skim off foam (I didn't. I forgot. Oops)

Ladle into clean hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Evan said it was ok. Colin spit it out. I love it. Of course these are the same kids that didn't like the blueberry jam, but came home raving about it on their sandwiches on the 1st day of school!

and from peach jam came Peach/Mango Iced Tea

I boiled the peaches for about a minute each to get the skins off - which left me with a peach (slightly flavored) water. So I boiled that back up and poured it over a few Mango-Peach Tea bags I had - added a dash of sugar, put it in the fridge and ended up with some tasty Iced Tea!

Since we've moved onto well water, I've become more aware of our water usage and re-use as much as I can. I used rainwater for the hot water bath for canning, and then when it cooled used it to water the plants.

But - back to speaking of Blueberry Jam - I owe some recipes!

Blueberry Jam
From Home Made in the Kitchen

2 pints blueberries
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Combine blueberries and sugar in non reactive dutch oven (I used a big ol' pot on the burner) Mash about 2/3 of the berries to release their juices, leaving the remaining fruit whole. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar completely. Reduce heat to maintain a constant low boil and cook for 15 minutes, gently scrape the sides and bottom of the pot every 5 minutes or so with a wooden spoon so incorporate any sugar crystals into the mixture. At the last moment, stir in lemon juice and zest.

Sterilize 4 1/2 pint jars. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

The recipe says it yields 4 1/2 pint jars. I got almost 3. I sealed 2 and put the almost full one in the fridge.

I'll make this one again, my kids loved it - and they're increasingly picky.

Cherry Vodka
From Home Made in the Kitchen

I wish I had discovered how much I love sour cherries before the very end of the season! At least I know for next year!

About 21/3 - 23/4 cup pitted sour cherries
1 cup sugar
2 cups vodka

Put the cherries into a one quart mason jar and cover with the sugar. Seal the jar and shake several times until cherries are well coated with sugar.
Add vodka, reseal and shake a few more times to mix. Set aside in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks (I stored ours in the fridge, because it was sooooo hot and humid here).
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. If desired transfer to a decanter.
Ready to drink immediately and good for 2-3 months.

I'm drinking the sour cherry vodka with some Sprite as I type this. It's been just about 4 weeks since I made it and this is my first taste. It's really good and I'm thinking it should work with things like blueberries and raspberries too, yeah? It's good - this one's a keeper for sure. mmmmmm.

This weekend: Ribs and clearing out some woods behind the house

Next week: Fall slowcooking begins!

1 comment:

Sara said...

hope you like your jam I sent! I sent the strawberry rhubarb. And your recipes are making me want to try more stuff in the kitchen. The cherry vodka with sprite sounds really really good.