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Hot Pepper Jam 

This recipe appears on the insert for Certo Liquid Pectin. I am adding it here because the proportion for the hot peppers is optional, as long as it measures 2¾ cups. Make this as mild or as hot as desired. Use red or green bell peppers, jalapenos, Serrano, hatch chilies, or pepper flakes. I love to serve this poured over a block of cream cheese at a party or get-together. Set out some crackers and you have an instant appetizer.

Makes about 7 cups

2¾ cups peppers, total -  I used:
     - 2 red bell peppers
     - 4 Serrano peppers, seeds and membranes removed
     - 2 dried hatch chilies, soaked
1½ cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
6½ cups sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin


Hot Pepper Jam
Hot Pepper Jam
Wash small canning jars, rings and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse well and set the jars and rings into simmering water.

Prepare the peppers by washing, removing seeds if less heat is desired, and mincing finely. Measure to be sure of 2¾ cups in total. In a separate bowl, measure out the sugar and set aside. Add the lids to the pot of simmering water to sterilize.

In a large pot, place the peppers with the vinegar. Add in the sugar and stir well. Over high heat,
bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stopped by stirring). Quickly add the liquid pectin, return to a boil and stir constantly for one minute. Remove from heat. Ladle the jam into the sterile jars, top with lids and rings. Set the jars into a gently boiling water bath for:

10 minutes at up to 1,000 feet (above sea level)
15 minutes at 1,001 to 3,000 feet
20 minutes at 3,001 to 6,000 feet
25 minutes at 6,001 to 8,000 feet
30 minutes at 8,001 to 10,000 feet

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Beet Pickles 

Beet Pickles, or Pickled Beets; whatever you call them, they are a great staple to have on hand. Whether making this modest 6 pint recipe or making 20 quarts as a niece just got done with, this recipe is simple and delicious. I have added in the slice of lemon to each jar because lemon brightens the beet's flavors.

Makes 6 pints / 3 quarts

4½ - 5 pounds beets
1¼ cups water
1¼ cups sugar
2½ cups cider vinegar
3 teaspoons Kosher salt or pickling salt
1 (4-inch) stick of cassia cinnamon
15 whole cloves
15 whole allspice berries
1 lemon, sliced thinly

Clean the beets well and place into a nonreactive pot with water to cover. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.Drain and set into cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel the beets and cut them into equal sized pieces.


Beet Pickles
Beet Pickles
In a large nonreactive pot (enamel or stainless) combine the water, sugar, vinegar and salt and stir until all the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the cinnamon, cloves and allspice, wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth for easy removal later. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the beets, return to boil, lower heat and cook beets for 10 minutes in the brine. Have ready sterile jars with lids and rings. Ladle beets into the jars, adding in one slice of lemon per jar. Using a table knife, run it around the beets to pack them well into the jar. Top off with enough brine to leave a half-inch headspace. Wipe rim and threads with a damp cloth, place the lid and rings.

Place the jars into a canner with water to cover, bring to boil and maintain the boil for 30 minutes at up to 1,000 ft, 35 minutes at 1,000 to 3,000 feet and 40 minutes at above 3,000 feet. Remove jars from the bath with a jar lifter and allow to cool on the counter. If any jars do not seal, place in the refrigerator to use first.


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Tomato Salsa 

I have made tomato salsa for many years, but only fresh; never canned. I have not done as much canning as many people, and still have too many incidences of jars not sealing properly, so when thinking of creating a canned salsa I was in a quandary. It seems every recipe out there differs in what it takes to make salsa. One says pour 3 tablespoons of lime juice into each jar before filling with the salsa and processing 30 minutes. Another says boil the mixture 10 minutes and process 15 minutes. Yet another did not use a water bath at all. I created a recipe somewhere between all the instructions that exist. My jars all sealed almost immediately after removing from the water bath so it appears to be a good start.

Makes about 5 pints

6 pounds tomatoes
3 cups chopped onion
3 cups
chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped jalapeno
(about 5), seeds and membranes removed
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
10 - 12 cloves garlic, minced finely
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup vinegar
¾ cup chopped cilantro

 
Tomato Salsa
Tomato Salsa

Prepare the tomatoes first. Have a pot of boiling water and place tomatoes into the water for about 1 minute, or until the skins start to split. This can be done in stages. Peel the tomatoes and chop them as desired. Set them into a large colander over a bowl to drain while working with all the rest of the ingredients. Place the drained tomatoes with all the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 15 minutes, then add the cilantro and cook for 5 minutes more.  Have sterile jars ready; fill jars, place on the lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath to cover for 15 minutes.

NOTES: I added a little vinegar to the mixture as added insurance against botulism. Tomatoes have plenty of acid on their own, but the ratio of tomatoes to the rest of the non acidic ingredients is high.

Just as cumin is not my favorite spice, particularly in salsa, cilantro is not everyone's favorite either. It can be omitted entirely, substituted with an herb or spice of your choice. It is all about which flavors you prefer.


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Bread and Butter Pickles 

Mom Rawstern was most famous for all her pickles, and these are another excellent recipe. Many variations exist, of course. Mom Rawstern used the sweet spices in most of her recipes. The amount of onion is entirely up to personal preference. My husband likes nearly equal parts cucumbers and onions, but the amounts can be scaled as desired.


1 quart apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
7 cups sugar
1 - 2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves
5 pounds pickling cucumbers
3 pounds onions, sliced and quartered
Canning or Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Slice cucumbers to about ¼-inch thick and layer into a large colander, sprinkling salt all over them, layer upon layer. Set them aside to drain for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, slice the onions and set aside. In a large nonreactive enamel or stainless pot mix together the vinegar, sugar water, turmeric, mustard and celery seeds.

Bread and Butter Pickles
Bread and Butter Pickles

In a small piece of cheesecloth, place the allspice, cinnamon and cloves and tie together for easy removal later. Place into the pot. Bring the mixture to nearly boiling to dissolve the sugar. Drain the cucumbers well and add them to the pot with the onions and bring just to under a boil. Remove the little bag of whole spices. Pack the pickles and onions into hot, sterilized jars and top with lids and rings. Place the jars into a boiling water bath to cover and process for 10 minutes at 0 - 1,000 feet. Add 5 minutes for 1,000 to 3,000 feet; 5 more minutes for above 3,000 feet.


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Spiced Pickled Pears 

With Seckel Pears in abundance, I was given a little bag of about 19 pears, so I decided to try and create a recipe that might approximate one I had tasted many long years ago. The flavors from those back then have stayed with me. Though pears are not my favorite fruit, the sweet, spicy and pungent flavors of that memory made them most enjoyable. These could be eaten alone or as a sweet condiment next to ham.

Makes about 1 quart, plus a little
(Multiply the recipe as needed)

18 - 20 Seckel Pears, slightly under ripe
1 gallon water
juice of 1 lemon
1½ cups sugar
1 cup white or cider vinegar
2 (3-inch) cassia cinnamon sticks
6 allspice berries
10 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon canning salt or 1¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

Spiced Pickled Pears
Spiced Pickled Pears
Have a bowl with the gallon of water and lemon juice handy. Wash the pears, then quarter and core them. They may be peeled, but this is not necessary. Cut the quarters in half again, or thirds, if they are larger, and place them into the water so they will not turn brown.

Prepare the syrup by placing all the rest of the ingredients into a large, nonreactive pot (stainless or enamel) and bring to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Have the canning jar at the ready in a boiling water bath, with lid and ring.

Drain the pears and add them to the syrup and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Pack the pears into the canning jar and top off with the syrup, ensuring that most of the spices have gone into the jar. Place the lid and ring and then put the jar into a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.


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Lime Chunk Pickles 

The name is so mundane, for the amazing pickles resulting from the labor of this recipe.Another of Mom Rawstern's amazing pickle recipes, these are about a 3 day process, but worth every second, these chunks of deliciousness are sweet, crunchy and highly spiced. Do not let the time put you off. Make a bunch and they might last a while...or maybe not. They are so sweet and delicious, it is hard to stop eating them.

Makes about 7 - 8 quarts, depending on how tightly packed in jars

1 peck or 2 gallons of small cucumbers for pickling
1 cup pickling lime
2 gallons water
2 quarts apple cider vinegar
4½ pounds granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pickling salt or 1 tablespoon +½ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoon celery seed
2 tablespoon whole cloves
2 tablespoon pickling spices
½ teaspoon green paste food coloring, optional

Rinse the cucumbers free of any dirt, then cut them into small chunks. If the cucumbers are very small, cut into about 1-inch chunks. If slightly larger, cut them into about 3/8 to ½-inch slices. Prepare a large enameled kettle (I used 16-quart Granite-ware Preserving Kettles) with the 2 gallons of water and 1 cup of pickling lime. Stir well, then add in the cucumber slices.  Allow the cucumbers to soak in the lime mixture overnight, or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the cucumbers coated in the lime mixture, which tends to settle to the bottom of the pot.

Next day, or when ready to work with them, scoop out the cucumber pieces and rinse them in copious quantities of water to remove all traces of lime. This might require rinsing and rubbing each individual cucumber slice, but better safe than sorry. No one wants all that work to end up with black pickles due to leaving lime residue on the cucumbers.

Once the cucumber slices are all cleaned, place them into a large enameled kettle with water to cover, stirring occasionally, for at least 5 hours, or up to overnight.

Prepare the brine
in a large enameled kettle, adding in the vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and food coloring, if used. Stirring, bring just barely to boil to a boil, remove from heat and add in the drained cucumbers slices and stir in well. Allow to stand overnight. Next day, bring the entire kettle to a boil and allow to boil for 40 minutes. Pack the pickles into hot, sterile jars, wipe all rims and seals clean, then place the lids and rings to seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

NOTES: When making the brine and adding in the cucumbers, it will seem that there is not enough of the brine solution. The cucumbers will still release moisture into the mix, so do not be tempted to add in more brine or water.


Lime Chunk Pickles
Lime Chunk Pickles, finished and processed
Making Lime Chunk Pickles
Making Lime Chunk Pickles:
already soaked in the lime solution and rinsed, now soaking in plain water in preparation for the brine.


Mango Chutney 

This is the British style of sweet jam-like chutney, rather than the thin, fresh ones that are defined as true Indian. This recipe has a lot of spices and an interesting mixture of ingredients. It turns out quite sweet, very tangy and just a little bit spicy-hot. It can be made without the chile flakes, or you may add more if you like a hotter finished product. I used two (1-pound) bags of frozen mango chunks. If using fresh mangoes, you may need an extra pound to cover the loss from skin and seeds).

Makes 3 pints

8 green cardamom pods, crushed
5 whole cloves
1½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
3-inches true cinnamon stick, crumbled
2 pounds mango, cut in ½-inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup Sultanas (white raisins)
¼ cup seedless tamarind pulp, optional
1 piece fresh ginger the size of a large walnut
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly and chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon hot chili flakes, amounts optional
1½ cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar


Place the first 6 ingredients into a dry skillet and heat to fairly high, stirring often until very fragrant. Remove the spices to a large enameled or stainless pot or stock pot. Add in the mango, onion, Sultanas, tamarind, ginger and garlic with the salt and chili flakes. Pour in the vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat to medium, maintaining a good boil and stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes. Add in the sugar all at once and stir to dissolve. Once the mixture returns to a boil, stir relatively continuously for another 12 minutes or so, until the mixture begins to fall in two thick droplets from the side of a spoon.

Have hot sterilized pint jars ready. Pack the chutney into the jars, wipe rims and threads with a wet cloth and seal with lids and rings. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for

10 minutes if at 0 - 1,000 feet
15 minutes if at 1,000 to 6,000 feet
20 minutes if above 6,000 feet

Remove from water bath and set jars on the counter to await the nice pop, indicating a good seal on the jars.


Mango Chutney
Mango Chutney, above
Mixture falling from spoon in two thick droplets
as for jam, below
Jam Stage
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Green Tomato Relish 

A couple of years ago I had a lot of tomatoes growing  when we had a cold snap. After that, it was as if the tomatoes collectively said "That's it! We're done growing." They stayed green. So I picked them all and made this relish; recipe courtesy of Mom Rawstern. It is sweet and tart and just delightful on or with anything you might use with a sweet pickle relish.

Makes 6 pints

1 gallon green tomatoes
3 onions
2 bell peppers
½ head of cabbage
2 tablespoons Pickling Spice Mix
Salt
1 quart cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Green Tomato Relish
Green Tomato Relish
Mom Rawstern used a manual grinder for making this. I happen to have one from my Mom, and I used the medium grind disk. Grind all the vegetables. As you grind, there will be a lot of juice pouring out, so have a large bowl handy. You do not use the juice, but you don't want it pouring onto the floor. Sprinkle salt all over the ground vegetables and allow them to set overnight.

Next day, drain the vegetables and set aside. In a large pot, dissolve together the vinegar, sugar, celery and mustard seeds and the ground cinnamon and cloves. Add in the vegetables and bring to a boil. Boil for a half hour, then pack into hot, sterile jars. Wipe rims and threads and place lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


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Spiced Tomato Jam 

When my Mom brought packages of "Sure Jell" to Guatemala for me in the 1970s, this recipe was on their insert. My family and I came to absolutely love this jam, so imagine my dismay upon returning to the US to find they had eliminated this recipe! I wrote to them and explained my dilemma, and they were kind enough to send me the recipe, so I could continue making this jam when tomato season hits. Tomatoes are fruit, after all.

Makes about 6 (8 fluid ounce) jars

3 cups prepared tomatoes (about 2¼ pounds, fully ripe)
1½ teaspoons grated lemon rind
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
4½ cups granulated sugar (2 pounds)
1 box "Sure Jell" fruit pectin

Spiced Tomato Jam
Spiced Tomato Jam
Prepare the tomatoes.  Scald, peel and chop about 2¼ lb tomatoes.  Place in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Measure 3 cups worth into a 6 - 8 quart saucepan.  Add lemon rind and juice and the spices.

Measure the sugar and set aside. Mix the Sure Jell into the tomatoes in the saucepan. Place over high heat and stir until mixture comes to a full boil.  Immediately add all sugar and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle quickly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/8-inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw bands on tightly. Invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. After 1 hour, check seals.

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Spiced Pickled Peaches 

I decided to try making these peaches, which somehow evoke a taste memory, though I cannot place where I might have tried any like this before. The flavors are just excellent, and while they would be excellent all on their own, they would be good as a side with ham and eggs, or with a ham dinner, or over ice cream, among others.

Makes about 4 to 5 pints

4 - 5 pounds freestone peaches
1 tablespoon whole cloves
5 (3 - 4-inch) cassia cinnamon sticks
1½ teaspoons allspice berries
2 small chunks dried whole ginger, optional
2 cups white vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
In a large pan, mix together the vinegar and sugar and add in the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Use a mesh bag or a tea strainer to contain the allspice and ginger, if using and place into the pot. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

Drop peaches into a pot of boiling water briefly, then into cold water. Slip off skins and cut peaches in half, removing pits. (Alternately, if you have a ceramic bladed peeler, they can be peeled without the boiling water.) As they are prepped, place them into a bowl of cold water with lemon juice to preserve color. Have your canning jars either fresh from the dishwasher or place them in a large pot of simmering water, along with the rings and lids. Place peaches into the vinegar and sugar 
Spiced Pickled Peaches
Spiced Pickled Peaches
solution for just a few minutes, until barely tender. As they are ready, place the peaches into the prepared canning jars. Wipe all the rims of the jars before placing on the lids and rings and sealing.

Place the jars into a canning pot with water to cover. Bring to boil and time for 20 minutes. Remove the jars from the boiling water and set on the counter to wait for the pleasing sound of the jars sealing.

Any preserving of this sort will be tastier if allowed to set for at least 2 weeks before using.

 
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Mango Tamarind Barbecue Sauce  This sweet sour sauce can be used for basting or dipping. Thin it down just a little to use as a dipping sauce. It is great with grilled chicken or pork, chicken wings, and seafood such as shrimp or scallops. Tamarind can be found in compressed "seedless" (some seeds are still found) compressed cakes in oriental markets. Tamarind also makes an excellent beverage similar to lemonade in the thirst quenching area.

Makes about 7 cups (freeze some for later use)

½ pound dried mango slices
½ pound "seedless" compressed tamarind
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 - 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 walnut sized piece fresh ginger, peeled, minced
2 jalapenos (or other hotter chile, to taste), finely minced
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ - 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
½ teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more, to taste

4 tablespoons cold butter, in ½-inch cubes

Place the tamarind and the mango slices into separate medium sized bowls. Pour hot water over to just cover the fruits and allow to stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Work with the tamarind first: using very clean hands, squeeze and work the tamarind. If it is not soft enough yet, allow another 20 to 30 minutes. Work it until you have a thick gravy like consistency to the liquid. There will be a lot of bits and pieces left. This is the thicker fibrous covering to the seeds, and some stringy bits. Place over a large mesh strainer and strain out the thick liquid, pressing out all the goodness, then set aside. There should be about 2½ cups. Discard the seeds and fibers.

Mango Tamarind Barbecue Sauce
Mango Tamarind Barbecue Sauce, above
Below, packaged "seedless" tamarind at left,
then unwrapped at right

Packaged and unwrapped tamarind cake
If the mango is not yet soft enough to chop into small chunks, allow it to steep a while longer. Usually 2 hours is enough. Reserving a cup of the soaking liquid, remove the mango slices and cut up into small chunks and place into a blender container. Puree with the cup of reserved soaking water and set aside.

Heat a 6 quart pot and pour in the olive oil. Add the onion and saute for about 5 to 7 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, jalapenos and ginger with the mustard seeds and saute for about 3 to 5 more minutes. Add in the reserved mango and tamarind
purees, along with all the rest of the ingredients except the butter. Stirring, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and sallow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lid, scrape down sides and add in the cubed cold butter, about 3 - 4 cubes at a time, stirring until completely dissolved before adding more.

NOTES: This could be placed into plastic containers and frozen for later use. or canned and placed in a boiling water bath for whatever time is specified.

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Apple Butter 

Though Apple Butter has never been top of my list, this is a really good recipe. Adjust spices to your taste.

Makes approximately 5 pints

4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, sliced
2 cups water
½ cup brown sugar, per cup of resulting apple puree
4 teaspoons cassia cinnamon
1½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt

Simmer the apples and water together in a pot until soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 to 25 minutes until most of the liquid is gone from the pan. Puree the apples, then measure the amount; there should be around 6 to 6 ½ cups of puree. Return the puree to the pot.


Apple Butter
Apple Butter
Add in ½ cup of brown sugar per cup of apple puree. If you have 6 cups puree, add in 3 cups of brown sugar. Add in the spices and stir well. Cook, stirring the mixture until it is thick and sheets off of a spoon, about 10 or 15 minutes more.

Have your canning jars sterilized and hot. Using a wide mouth funnel, ladle the hot apple butter directly into the jars, leaving ¼-inch of room at the top of the jar. With damp paper toweling, wipe the rim of the jar before placing seal and rim.

Lower the jars into
a canning pot, or a large stock pot with a rack in the bottom, with boiling water about half way up the pot. Make sure the water is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars and maintains a boil throughout the timing process. Process the jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and wait for 5 minutes before removing the jars with a jar lifter. Set them on a towel to cool. If you hear a "pop" , then congratulations, the jar has sealed properly.

NOTES: If you like a more acidic flavor to your apple butter, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar when cooking the apples. It will need more time than noted to cook the liquids out.

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