Monthly Archives: November 2011

Strawberry Maple Banana Bread

I’m always looking for new ways to use what I’ve preserved, especially when it comes to fruit spreads!  Cookies made with jam are nothing new for me, but bread-baked preserves were something I’ve yet to try!

Strawberry Maple Banana Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup strawberry jam

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 flax egg

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.  Grease a loaf pan and set aside.  Over medium heat, toast walnuts ’til warm and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Be sure to keep the nuts moving so they do not burn.  Set walnuts aside.

In a large bowl, combine jam, butter, flax egg, maple syrup, and almond extract.  Add mashed bananas, stir thoroughly.

In a small bowl, sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Slowly begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well each time.  Stir in toasted walnuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.  Allow bread to sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.

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Vanilla Pear Jam

Over the Labor Day holiday I took a roadtrip with my mom, this also happens to be the same trip where I acquired Harvest.  While out and about we stopped at several local orchards to pick up an assortment of apples, pears, and peaches.  My original plan was to make an apple-pear sauce, then I found the following recipe by Marisa, from Food in Jars!

Vanilla Pear Jam – yields seven half-pints

8 cups chopped pears, I used red bartlett  (there is no need to peel thin-skinned pears)

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

4 cups sugar

1 packet liquid pectin

In a large pot, combine pears, sugar, vanilla seeds, and beans; cook over medium heat until the pears are soft enough to be mashed with the backside of a wooden spoon.  Remove the vanilla beans and mash with a potato masher.  You can also use an immersion blender, just be careful to not purée the jam, unless that is the desired consistency you want to achieve.  I like my jam to have pieces of fruit in it!

Add the liquid pectin and bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes to activate the pectin.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars; wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals (refrigerate any that did not set) and store in a cool, dry, dark place, for up to a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Jam & Jelly, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam

I’m guilty of having a draft box full of unfinished posts.  There are times during the year where I have too much going on to sit down and write!  Other times, I’m just too darn tired!  And it’s usually the latter! ;)  Now that the crush-window of my harvest preservation has passed, I’ve found myself reviewing those neglected (but not forgotten) posts.

I try to keep my posts as seasonally appropriate as possible.  Since it is Spring in Australia, cherries will soon be in season.  Forever the optimist, it’s always Summer somewhere!

Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam - yields approximately 5 half-pints

4 cups pitted cherries (I use and prefer sour cherries, but sweet will work just the same.)

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 cup cherry juice

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice **only if you are using sweet cherries**

2 Madagascar vanilla beans

1 tsp pure almond extract

3 Tbsp flex-batch pectin

Pit cherries over a bowl to catch all that wonderfully delicious juice!  If you want to prevent oxidation where the pit was removed, sprinkle on a bit of Fruit Fresh.

Place pitted cherries in a food processor and pulse several times to chop them up; do not purée them.  I first tried to mash them with a potato masher, but found that method to work best with softer fruits, like strawberries and peaches.

Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  In a large stainless steel sauce pot, combine cherries, cherry juice, lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and vanilla seeds.  Reserve 1/4 cup sugar to mix with the pectin (this helps to prevent pectin from clumping when added to the hot fruit), add the remaining 1-1/4 cups to the fruit mixture and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir in almond extract.  Add sugar-pectin mix to fruit and stir to incorporate.  Bring jam to a hard boil, one that cannot be stirred away, and cook for one minute.  Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint jars; wipe rims, adjust 2-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals, remove rings, and store in a cool, dry place for one year.

Be sure to give this jam a good stir before using, since most of the vanilla seeds tend to settle on the bottom of the jar!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Jam & Jelly, Vegan, Vegetarian

Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

Early October I paid a visit to Nissleys, a favorite local vineyard.  While taking the self-guided tour of the grounds and winery, I ended up getting into a conversation with one of the horticulturists; it was bound to happen, he was wearing a tie-dye shirt and I had on a patchwork skirt.  We talked about stink bugs, a new species of fruit fly, and of course, food preservation.  Turns out he knew a jam guru that puts up thousands of jars a year.  Wow!  While trading insider tips, we ended up on the subject of quince.  I had never seen a quince, let alone worked with one, but it just so happened they were about to go into season!

Quince are a green fruit with a flavor combination similar to an apple and a pear.

Ten minutes after arriving home I was on the phone with my local orchards.  Jack pot!  Cherry Hill had them and they would be ready for harvest in about a week.  This gave me plenty of time for a bit of recipe research!

Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

2 lbs quince, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1″ pieces.  THAT was the biggest pain in my a$$!  Of course, the very next day I happened upon this tutorial.  Thank you Murphy.  You and your law can suck it!  :/

4 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped  (I used a mix of Winesap and Honey Crisp.)

3/4 cup water

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp mustard seeds

2 Tbsp cracked black pepper  (I used whole peppercorns and my mortar and pestle for this task.)

1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tsp turmeric

half bulb of garlic, minced

3″ piece of ginger, grated

5 Chinese 5-color peppers, seeded and minced  (They are a very small, hot pepper I grew this year.)

2 purple beauty peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cups cider vinegar

1 Tbsp pickling salt

2-1/3 cups light brown sugar

Place quince and water into a medium pot and bring to a simmer; cook covered until soft.  This took me about 40 minutes, but may take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 90, so don’t wonder too far!  Strain and set aside.

While your quince are cooking, begin to prep your remaining ingredients.  Once your ginger is grated, garlic is minced, etc, add the oil to a large sauce pot and turn the heat to med.  Add the mustard seeds and cook ’til they begin to pop.  Add the remaining spices (except for the salt) and stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Important PSA: Keep your face AWAY from the spicy steam unless you enjoy lung-burning, tear-induced, coughing fits, that hinder one’s ability to to breathe for the next 2 minutes.  I’m just sayin’.

Add garlic, ginger, and peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the apples and mix well, then add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and quince.

Stir the chutney, combining all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  If your chutney is thickening too fast, add a bit of water.

When you have about 30 minutes remaining on your chutney, begin preparing your jars.  Keep hot, sterilized jars in a warm oven (200°F) until you are ready to ladle in your chutney, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, add two-piece adjustable lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, or for your recommended altitude processing time.

H2H’s recipe yielded her 8 half-pints, I ended up with 14!  I did not change any quantities; however, I used an apple peeler which resulted in a less chunky 4 lbs of apples.  The end result was delicious and I’ve been enjoying it paired up with pan-fried crispy tofu!!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Hitchhiking to Heaven.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Chutney, Vegan, Vegetarian