Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

If you have been following my blog for some time, then you probably know by now that I like to make all of my own jam.  In fact, I haven’t bought jam in several years.  I process and can several different kinds every summer, in hopes that it will last us until next summer!  And, we eat A LOT of jam.  I love knowing exactly what goes into the jam, rather than eating all those preservatives and goodness knows what else.  It also just tastes so much better than store bought.  I like to be able to play around with different flavors.  Definitely more exciting than the typical kinds you find in the grocery store.

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Of all the kinds of jam I have made, this is one of my all-time favorites.  I made it last year for the first time, and couldn’t wait to make it again this summer.  Vanilla beans are a wonderful addition to anything, but combining with peaches?  Amazing!!  I love how there are little chunks of peaches in the jam.  Especially when I spread it on toast, it’s like little flavor explosions in each bite.

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

This is a no-pectin jam, but don’t let that intimidate you.  Even if you don’t cook it as long as it should, it will still taste great.  So, grab the last of the summer peaches, and make this jam.  It is well worth the effort!

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Yield: about 6-7 half-pint jars

  • 3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, pods reserved
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (including vanilla bean pods) over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has partially caramelized and turned a dark orange color, about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.  To check if the jam is ready- spoon a little on a small plate.  Place in the refrigerator or freezer until cool.  Then, run your finger through the center.  If the jam separates then slowly returns to the streak, then it is ready.  Remove and discard vanilla bean pods.

Divide the jam evenly among sterilized half-pint jars and can using the water bath method. Process the jars for about 15 minutes.  Or store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. (They may last longer, but I have never experimented, so do so at your own risk.)

Source: Cook Like a Champion

Advertisements

Strawberry Jam

strawberry jam

I am sorry that this has taken me so long to share this recipe.  I hope, that since it has been so long, that you are still able to find some local, fresh strawberries to make this jam.  But, if you are not able to, the imported kind will suffice.  But, definitely use local if you can, it will yield a much better taste!

Anyway, this jam is killer.  It is sweet, and just bursting with strawberry flavor.  As you all probably know by now, we eat a lot of jam.  Mostly in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are consumed daily by the boys in the family.  My favorite way to enjoy homemade jam, is on a buttered piece of toasted homemade bread.  With a cup of coffee alongside.  Perfection at its’ simplest.

strawberry jam

On a completely different note, I am super excited to share with you that we are slowly changing the kitchen.  I finally painted over the hideous yellow with white.  It feels so fresh and crisp and like a whole new room now!  I was recently so generously given a gorgeous, large piece of granite on a metal table for my island which makes a HUGE difference.  I have been baking nonstop for the last two days just because I’ve been so excited to use the table.  Next up, is painting the cabinets!  That, and installing a dishwasher, because washing dishes for the amount I cook and for 5 people is just not fun.  Also, I want to take down a single awkward cabinet and put up a few open shelves for all the dishes we use.  I can’t wait!! I promise to share a few photos when I am done with the painting.  (Can you tell I am excited or what?)

Strawberry Jam

Yield: about 8 half-pints

  • 2 quarts strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups sugar

Directions

Place strawberries in a large, heavy bottomed pot.  Crush with a potato masher until there are no large pieces remaining.  Stir in pectin and lemon juice and place over medium-high heat.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.  Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Return to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner, or refrigerate for 1-2 months.

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Blueberry-Lime Jam

Blueberry Lime Jam

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year when Maine blueberry season has come to an end. It’s getting to be the time of year when all berries are coming to an end. It makes me sad, because that means winter is just around the corner. But today, I had my first urge to bake something pumpkin. We have been getting a northerly wind lately, so cold air has been blowing down from Canada, making the days chilly, and the nights even colder. Chilly enough that my thin blood needs a sweatshirt! You would think that living in Maine my whole life I would have thicker blood, but no, I am always cold.

Blueberry Lime Jam

Before fresh blueberries are completely gone from the stores, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe with you. I made a big batch of this last year and it was a big hit. So, I knew I had to make it again. This is a very simple jam that is wonderful to have on hand. I love how the lime is very, very subtle, but still just there. If you want a stronger flavor of lime, feel free to add more zest!

Blueberry-Lime Jam

Yield: about 6 half-pints

  • 4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon zest of lime
  • 1/3 cup lime juice

Directions

In a large bowl, crush the blueberries with a potato masher. You can crush a lot, or a little. I like to have some whole blueberries in my jam. In a large heavy-bottomed sauce-pot, combine the crushed berries and pectin. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Then stir in the lime zest and lime juice. Return to a rolling boil. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam built up.

Using your preferred method, can and preserve jam in sterilized jars. Leaving 1/4 inch headspace and processing 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  Alternatively, store the jam in clean jars and keep refrigerated.

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Stewed Rhubarb

Image

One last rhubarb recipe, I swear! I still had plenty of rhubarb left in the garden, so I wanted to preserve it more than in just jam. So, when I saw this recipe, I thought it would be perfect. It is delicious over vanilla ice cream, or yogurt. I could eat it daily if I didn’t mind using all the jars I canned immediately! I am definitely going to try to save a jar into winter to remind me that summer does exist when the wind is howling and the snow is coming down. Summer in a jar. Perfect!

Image

Stewed Rhubarb

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds rhubarb per quart
  • granulated sugar

Directions

Cut rhubarb stalks into 1-inch pieces. Measure the rhubarb in a large measuring cup. For each quart of rhubarb measured, add 1/2-1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it).

In a large bowl, stir together the rhubarb and sugar until well coated. Let stand for 3-4 hours in a cool place.

Place the mixture in a large pot. Bring slowly to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Pack the hot rhubarb and syrup in hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Using your preferred method, can and preserve jam in sterilized jars, processing pints and quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Image

Here is to continue my rhubarb obsession for this season. This jam is amazing. I mean, really, anything strawberry rhubarb is bound to be delicious. I was super pumped to make this. I even doubled the batch so I could have plenty throughout the year in my pantry. It is a lovely balance between strawberry and rhubarb flavor. It is perfect on toast, scones, or my favorite snack; ritz crackers, cream cheese and jam.

Image

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Yield: about 6 half-pints

  • 2 cups crushed strawberries
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Directions

In a large saucepot, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, powdered pectin and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and skim foam off the top if necessary.

Using your preferred method, can and preserve jam in sterilized jars, processing 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Alternatively, store jam in jars and keep refrigerated.

 

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Peach Jam

Image

Lately, I have been hoarding the last of summer fruit as much as I can. My favorite way to preserve summer fruit (other than consuming immediately), is to can it. Preferably as jam. We use a lot of jam in our house (mainly several sandwiches a day for my husband’s lunch). My favorite type of lunch is good ol’ PB&J with a large slather of jam.

Moving onto this jam. It is delicious, spoon-licking good. Like, I could seriously eat an entire jar of jam with a spoon. It is that good. Peaches are something I don’t particularly like to eat, but this jam was out of this world. Even my husband, who claims to not like peaches, loved this jam. It goes with everything! I have made sandwiches with it, smeared it on croissants, mixed it in with vanilla ice cream…you name it!

This recipe is probably one of the easiest canning recipes I have ever used. This would be great for beginners.

Peach Jam

  • 1 quart (about 5-6 large) peaches (yellow or white flesh colored) peeled, pitted and finely chopped
  • 7 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin

Directions

Prepare canner and sterilize 7 half-pint jars with rings and lids. Keep jars hot in canner until ready to use.

In a large saucepan, combine the fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. When the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the liquid pectin. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary.

Ladle the hot jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims clean with a damp cloth. Place the tops on the jars and lightly screw on the rings. Place the jars back in the canner, cover, bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the canner and place on a wire rack or cloth. Let sit until completely cool. Test the seal of each jar by very gently pulling on the tops. If they don’t come off, then they are sealed! Label and store in a cool, dry place for 1-2 years.

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Triple Berry Preserves

Image

For the past couple of years, I have really looked forward to the bounty of fruit and vegetables summer brings. Well, I have always enjoyed it, but now that I have gotten into canning, I enjoy it even more! To me, there is nothing more satisfying than going to my pantry shelves and seeing rows upon rows of canned goods that I have made myself. Especially jam.

I don’t think we have had to buy jam for a couple of years! And that is saying quite a lot, because my husband takes two to three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily in the spring, summer and fall. Not including what the kids and I eat, and maybe what I eat with a spoon. I mean.. what!?

Oh my word, my all-time favorite guilty pleasure snack is ritz crackers with cream cheese and jelly spread on top. Has anyone else ever had that? Be careful, it’s dangerous! You won’t be able to stop at one. Or five.

Okay, back to the main topic. This jam is something I sort of threw together. I picked tons of black berries, but didn’t have quite enough to double the recipe. So, to make up the amount needed, I added blueberries and raspberries. It turned out pretty well in my opinion! You can certainly chose to do the same, as long as you have a total amount of 2 pounds (or 4 pounds if you want to double the recipe)

canning

A few years ago I purchased the Ball utensil set, and it has been the most helpful set yet! I would definitely recommend it. I took a few pictures of the process for those who are new to canning.I apologize for the poor quality. My kitchen is very dark. Happy canning!

Triple Berry Preserves

Yield: about 4 half-pints

  • 2 pounds of berries, your choice combination or all one kind
  • 4 cups sugar

Supplies for canning

  • half-pint jars with two-piece lids (always make sure the lids are new, but the bands don’t have to be)
  • canning rack
  • ladle
  • two clean dish towels, one slightly damp
  • metal tongs or jar lifter
  • optional: magnet for picking up lids, funnel, headspace guide

Directions

In a large, heavy bottom pot, combine berries and sugar over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring until the juices begin to flow, about 10 minutes. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook at a boil, until almost to gelling point*, 30-45 minutes. When mixture starts to thicken, stir more frequently to prevent sticking.

Triple Berry Preserves

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water. Place canning rack and half-pint jars without two-piece lids in the water, making sure the water covers the jars by 2 inches. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Keep warm while making jam. Place the two-piece lids in a smaller pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil to sterilize. Set aside.

To transfer the jam to the jars, I like to set up a little station. (Of course, do whatever feels easiest to you!) I put a hot mat on my counter, and place the pot with preserves on it. Then, I set up a clean dish towel next to the pot. Take out one jar, place funnel on top (if using) and ladle hot preserves in the jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. With the damp dishtowel, clean the top of the jar. Place two-piece lids on the jar, only very lightly tightening down. Set on other end of the dish towel. (You will tighten the lids down after they are cool.) Repeat the process with the remaining jars until the preserves are gone.

Triple Berry Preserves

Place the prepared jars back into the canning pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Immediately remove the jars gently from the pot. Place the jars on the dish towel and let sit until completely cool.

Triple Berry Preserves

To check if the lids sealed properly, unscrew the lids and very gently try to pry open the top. If it doesn’t come off easily, then it is sealed! Tighten all bands down. Label and store for up to one year.

labels

*To check gelling point: place a small amount of preserves on a plate, place in freezer until cool (about 5-10 minutes). Run finger through the jam, if it separates then slowly returns to original form, it is ready to process.

Source: Adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving