Archive for the ‘Canning Recipes’ Category

Use it to fill pie crusts, or tarts shells.  Spread it between cake layers or as filling for cupcakes.  Smear on pancakes, serve over ice cream or pound cake..or my favorite just grab a spoon and dig in.

Making your own lemon curd at home is not difficult it just involves doing the process in small quantities to assure it turns out.

To make your own curds you will need:

6 egg yolks (save whites for that lemon meringue pie).

1 cup sugar

Large lemons or limes (juiced) to make approximately 1/2 cup or better of juice….OR you can use 1/4 –  1/2 cup  concentrate.

1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz if you make your own butter).

In heavy pan over medium heat whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.  Add lemon juice and using wooden spoon stir to keep from burning.  Stir continually for 10-15 minutes but do NOT let come to a boil.  Don’t fret about any egg lumps they will be worked out later when butter is added.  Once thick enough to coat back of your spoon the curd is done.  At this point add butter and stir well until melted.

Pour your curd into prepared jars place in hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Curd will keep for several months, however it might lose some of it’s color.  This doesn’t not mean it is bad…just use it in things where it won’t be so noticeable.

Canning for shelf storage is only considered safe for lemon and lime.  Orange, Grapefruit and other citrus can be made into curd using same method but require being stored in refrigerator.

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Love, love, love orange marmalade, especially on fresh from oven warm buttermilk biscuits. Thankfully this is citrus season which means bags of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes adorn my counters and allow for stocking away this golden treasure to enjoy all summer long. Yet I am not a fan of the pieces of rind found in traditional orange marmalade.  Now I’m sure others have created rindless marmalade as well, but this is my method. Besides I have another purpose for those rinds in making citrus cleaner.

8-10 navel oranges peeled and sectioned.

2 packages pectin.

7 cups sugar (if using regular pectin), 4 cups sugar (if using low sugar pectin)

2 cups orange juice

Place oranges in blender or food processor, add orange juice and puree until clump free.  Move to pot on stove and heat to boiling.  While it’s heating remove 1 cup of sugar to separate bowl and add your pectin stirring to incorporate.  Once orange puree is at full boil add your cup of sugar with pectin as well as remaining 7 cups of sugar and stir well.  Bring back up to rolling boil while stirring frequently.  Let boil 5-10 minutes.  Reduce heat, jar and seal.  Hot water bath in boiling water for 15 minutes.

Jars will take up to a month to set into a jelly so don’t be shocked if it stays runny at first.

As another blessing this week, I am the proud foster mother of 8 (and counting) baby chicks.  There really is little that truly announces spring like baby animals which, right now, we’re overflowing with.

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This weekend I was blessed with a pleasant surprise of a bag of pomegranates.  If you never had pomegranates before you are truly missing out. Cleaning them however…left my kitchen looking like a brutal murder scene.

Some of the seeds (or aril for correct term), I placed in muffin tins with a little water and froze for eating later or using in salads.  The rest I turned into jelly.

Making pomegranate jelly is just like all other jelly making.  I put all the seeds in a pot with a little water and let simmer to soften.  When softened I run them through a blender to separate the “seed” from the juices.  Pour the broken down mixture through a fine screen colander or cheese cloth.  Use a spoon or hand to make room for drainage as you will have a LOT of seeds.  After separating the liquid from rest it’s just a matter of using the recipe that comes with your pectin box.  My personal favorite is to add 1 tbsp lemon juice per batch and use low sugar pectin.

This makes a wonderful and tasty seasonal gift to give for the holidays.

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With temperatures peaking today at 98, of course I decided to slave over the stove.  My targets, 20 lbs of carrots, a bag of orange and yellow bell peppers and banana peppers, and half a bushel of cucumbers.  The carrots were just canned normal style, the bell peppers I roasted and packed in oil, banana peppers got pickled in a sweet brine while the cucumbers were done bread and butter style.


Canned Roasted Peppers In Oil.

Clean your peppers, removing stem and seeds…then cut into thick slices and arrange on cookie trays skin side up.

Rub skins with oil, season with any flavoring you desire but salt, pepper and garlic work best and are the traditional compliments.

Place peppers under broiler for 15 minutes, or until skins become blackened and charred.

Remove peppers,  place them in Ziploc bag and seal bag for 30 minutes to allow steam to help skins slip off easily.

After 30 minutes, remove peppers and pull off skins.  Pack in jars.

Combine Olive Oil and minced garlic in sauce pan on stove.  Saute garlic until tender and translucent.  Pour the hot oil mix over your peppers in jars.  Add 6 drops lemon juice per jar.  Seal and process 25 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.  (Some recipes say you do not need this step, however I feel more comfortable putting it through the pressure canner due to acidity levels.)



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While out picking the plums today, I figured I would stop and gather some of the last of the tomatoes in the garden as well. I plan to start a fall garden with hope of getting a better yield now that the scorching heat of this past summer is with luck behind us…so green and red tomatoes came into the house in the basket.  As most of the tomatoes were from the Roma plants, salsa was the best use for them I figured.  The jalapeno plant having some peppers remaining, it sealed the deal of their fate.

Fiesta Salsa

Half-bushel of tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, diced

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced fine

4 tbsp lime juice

5 tbsp cider vinegar

4 – 6 jalapenos, diced  ( I don’t remove seeds but if you wish less fire to your salsa, remove the seeds and inner membrane)  DON’T FORGET TO USE GLOVES!!

2 tbsp sugar

Add all ingredients into a pot on stove.  Stir well and bring to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes to incorporate flavors.  Ladle into pint jars and seal.  Hot Water Bath jars for 35 minutes.


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I know I’m partial, but I must state that my son is the most amazing photo taker.  Many photo’s in this blog have been taken by him. A dear friend of his turned him on to using the camera to capture his world, and use pictures to help speak for him where he struggled.  Through this he also found a way to across distance share his life with another.  My son took the camera with a passion, it’s almost rare to not see it near him no matter if he’s sleeping, at computer, outside or somewhere in the house.  Granted this also has been a bit interesting for his mother, as he is very skilled at sneaking up on me at those “just the wrong moment” occasions.  I don’t mind, he’s found a way to communicate and share what’s important to him with someone important to him….and lets me use his photos for this blog to share with all of you.

Now, on to the topic at hand.  As most everyone knows this has been a really harsh year on crops for us down here in Texas.  Many of my fruit trees took a bad beating and while I didn’t lose any…thanks mostly to a lot of bailing and carrying grey water from tub/shower, dishwasher and washing machine…the fruits produced were smaller then normal and many fell off the trees before fully ripened.  The wildlife suffering as much as we were, I left them for the fallen ones for them to eat and figured I could make due just fine with what remained on the tree branches.  Last night decision was made it was time to harvest what I could from the Damson Plum.  All in all it wasn’t a bad harvest, it offered me enough to make six freezer containers of jam and left enough fresh fruit for us to nibble on for a treat later.

Though the years I’ve pared many flavors with plum in jams.  Lavender-Plum, Lemon-Plum, Thyme-Plum, Rosemary-Plum, Orange-Plum, Mint-Plum, Cinnamon-Plum…plum is just one of those flavors that is complimentary to a lot of herb.  Depending on what you wish to use it on, can make a big difference in your personal choices for your parings.  For example…Rosemary-Plum is delicious spread on poultry such as chicken or turkey. Thyme-Plum is more complimentary to pork products such as ham or chops.  Orange-Plum is delicious as a plum sauce with duck or pheasant.  I know few people consider adding herbs or spices to their jams, stores teach us to keep with a solid flavor, thankfully home canning allows us to be more creative.

Ginger-Plum Freezer Jam

2 lbs plums, pitted (leave peel on)

1/4 cup grated ginger root

1/4 cup water

5 cups sugar

1 pkg sure-gel

I will be honest, I don’t pit my plums right off bat.  With more freestone varieties I will, but Damson Plums are often difficult to get off the pit.  I cut the plums in half and put the whole lot into the sauce pan with the water.  I then heat them until the flesh “melts” from the pits and fish the pits out.

Add your sugar once you have removed all the pits from the flesh.

Most recipes will tell you to add your box of sure-jel to additional water and bring that water to a boil.  I find this sometimes causes the jam to not set properly.  Rather I just add it directly into the simmering jam on the stove and stir it well as the mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Ladle jam into clean, dry freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch head room for freezing expansion.  Seal containers and let cool at room temperature for 24 hours.  Store in freezer until opened.  They will last 3 weeks in refrigerator. *Mine never make it past a week if lucky to last that long.*

** This jam is naturally light colored, however with pear and peach jams and other such light colored fruits in my freezer already I opted to use a natural food dye to alter it for easier visual identification**

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Finding a very good deal on fresh picked button mushrooms, being sold in five and ten gallon buckets worth, at a produce stand I could not pass it up and grabbed the ten gallon.  I had three missions in mind, first to can mushrooms up in pint jars, second to dehydrate a few jars and third to dehydrate and grind up the stems to make into a mushroom powder for flavoring.  I’m thankful to say upon writing this all three missions accomplished.

Canning Mushrooms

1.) Wash your mushrooms well, remove stems and slice.

2.) Place in water on stove and bring to boil, boil for five minutes.  Start a second pot of water boiling to cover your mushrooms.

3.) Fill jars with mushrooms and cover with fresh boiling water.

4.) Place one tablet 500mg vitamin C in jar with mushrooms to help retain color.

5.) Fill jars with clean boiling water and seal.

6.) Process half pints/pints for 45 minutes in pressure canner.

Mushroom Powder

Dehydrate your mushrooms to brittle state.  Place in a blender or food processor and pulse to a powder.  Store in airtight container.  This works wonderful in stews, gravies or for flavoring in foods.

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I’ll admit it, I am a sucker for spicy foods and growing up there was a hot veggie mix sold in the stores up North I loved, unfortunately it’s not sold down here so I had to learn to make my own.  This probably was a blessing as the other was packed full of preservatives and sodium, making and canning your own isn’t that difficult with end of garden vegetables.  If you want to try making your own here is the recipe I use.

Hot Veggie Mix

4 bell peppers, chunked  (green or combine green with red/orange/yellow)

4 large carrots , chunked

4 stalks celery, chunked

3 cups cauliflower, broken up

3-4 jalapeno peppers, sliced

1/2 cup canning kosher salt

2 cups water

10 cups vinegar

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp prepared horseradish

1/3 cup sugar

Layer your vegetables in clean jars.  Combine remaining ingredients in large saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.  Ladle hot liquid over mixture and seal.  Process 10 minutes in hot water bath.  Wait at least 2 weeks before opening to allow brine to manipulate the vegetables.


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It was 106 degrees today when the tomatoes demanded I not wait on them any longer.  Rather then lose what this year has been precious gold, I decided to bear with the heat and can up spaghetti sauce.  I am certain I sweated off a few pounds today but if the taste test any indication it was well worth it.

The process was easy enough.  Take your tomatoes and blanch them in a hot water bath until the skins split.  Let cool enough to handle and peel off the skin.  At this point a lot of people put them through a food mill, I don’t bother for spaghetti sauce, instead I just put them in a blender and turn them into a pulpy mess.  I then take this mess and put it in a kettle and begin to simmer it down and reduce.  Total amount of tomatoes was 10 cups to begin before reduction.

To this I added:

7 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (1/4 cup if using dried)

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (2 tbsp if using dried)

2 large green bell peppers, diced.

8 button mushrooms, sliced and diced.

1/2 – 1  cup sugar  (I used 1/2 as I don’t like it so sweet)

2 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients into a pot and cook on medium high heat for 1 hour, stir frequently and let boil down.  Once foam stops, reduce to simmer and let reduce another two hours or longer.   At this point you can ladle into jars and seal.

Hot Water Bath pint jars for 35 minutes, quarts for 40 minutes.

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Spring never seems to be fully here until the first strawberry jam session of the season.  Today I put up 23 jelly jars worth.  I could have easily done another dozen but have some plans to make strawberry cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries this weekend.

I would post the recipe, but I stick to the traditional found in the Sure-gel box and alter between the freezer jam and shelf stable.  This year I made shelf stable to help preserve some freezer room.

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