Thursday, July 29, 2010

We're jammin, jammin...

I haven't posted in several days because I have been elbows deep in produce and spending lots of time with my canner.  My poor hubby is beginning to think he has been replaced by the steamy, hot dates I have had with my Presto.  In the last few days I have canned beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and thanks to the season's bounty at the farmer's market and some beautiful blueberries (on sale!) at the local natural foods grocery, I have have begun experimenting with jams and conserves. 

So over the next few posts I figure I will update ya'll on what jam/conserve recipes I've been experimenting with!  Starting with....

Maple Blueberry Conserve with Walnuts from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving
 (this book is great for someone who is new to canning, or for someone who routinely gets small batches of produce!)  The recipe below is for a single batch.  I doubled the recipe and got about four 8oz jelly jars out of the recipe.

  *Make sure you get all of your ingredients together before you start working.
2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins (I left these out)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp each: ground allspice and ginger

Combine blueberries, water, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a medium stainless steel saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes or until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in sugar and raisins.  Return to boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until mixture will form a light gel, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I heated it to 220 degrees F.

Remove from heat and stir in walnuts, allspice and ginger.

Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner (follow your canner's instructions for canning jams and conserves) 

Makes about 1 1/2 cups if using the recipe above.

I tasted the conserve before canning it and it tasted so yummy!  This particular recipe has a little too much sugar for me, but hubby will love it and I think it will make great gifts!  We have not broken open a jar yet, but hubby can't wait to make pancakes this weekend and use this as a topping!  Yum! 

Who can blame me for having Bob Marley's "Jammin'" stuck in my head for the last few days....