Tag Archives: citrus

Strawberry Fields Part 1: Compote

Two weeks ago I ventured across the river to my friend’s farm.  There, I spent my Sunday morning alone in the quiet fields picking the essence of Summer: sun-ripened, perfectly sweetened strawberries.  Last Sunday I did the exact same thing.  In total my efforts yielded 50 quarts, which translated into hours and hours of washing, hulling, and preserving Summer’s most sought after fruit!

quart containers

In preparation for the harvest I was planning on bringing home, I started formulating my plan of action.  I had already decided that half of my fruitage would end up frozen to be enjoyed in the off-season, and there was definitely going to be a lot of shortcake baking taking place, which eliminated several more quarts.  Now, what to do with the rest?  After flipping through my collection of food preservation books, I finally narrowed it down to three mouth-watering recipes.  First up: strawberry orange compote.  Oh yes!

strawberry compote jar-spoonStrawberry Orange Compote – yields 8 half-pint jars

4 quarts of strawberries, hulled and quartered

grated zest and juice of one lemon

grated zest and juice of one orange

2 cups granulated sugar

In a large pot combine strawberries, sugar, orange and lemon juices and their zest; bring to a simmer over med-high heat, stirring often.  Lower the heat to a minimum and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.  You will end up with a slightly reduced, but still runny mixture.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace; remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, adjust for elevation.

strawberries & sauce

So far my favorite way to enjoy this slightly sweetened sauce is drizzled over a bowl of creamy vanilla bean ice cream.  Absolute heaven if you ask me!

ice cream & sauce

I also canned a batch where I excluded the zest, therefore reducing the pectin content, which resulted in a slightly looser, but equally delicious sauce.

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Tart and Sweet – 101 canning and pickling recipes for the modern kitchen by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.

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Super Citrus Marmalade

citrus bowl

I love the bright, vibrant flavor of fresh citrus; a true spirit lifter when the doldrums of winter creep in.  Wanting to maximize the season, I put up several recipes this year including a double batch of this favorite from last year’s citrus season.  But the end is coming near and this is so bitter-sweet, just like taste of this delicious multifruit marmalade.

4 citrus marm

Super Citrus Marmalade – yields 5 half-pint jars

4 lbs assorted citrus fruit: I selected 2 lemons, 1 pink grapefruit, 2 tangelos, and 3 blood oranges.

6 cups granulated sugar

Wash the fruit in warm, soapy water and pat dry.  Remove the zest from the fruit with a serrated-edge peeler.  Be careful to not remove too much pith or your marm will end up bitter.

skinned citrus

Stack the zest peels and chop into small pieces; in a large pot combine zest and 2 qts of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Supreme fruit by cutting away the pith, and then segment to remove from membranes.  Be sure to do this over a large bowl so you can collect the juice.  Remove seeds and set aside.

peeled citrus

Bundle seeds in cheesecloth and securely tie the ends so they cannot escape.  Drain zest in a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the cooking liquid.  Combine zest, segmented citrus and juice, 4 cups of the cooking liquid, sugar, and bundled seeds.  Bring to a hard boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220°F, approximately 35-40 minutes.  Be sure to stir regularly to prevent contents from scorching.

Once the marmalade has reached your desired set, turn off the heat and remove the cheesecloth bundle.  Ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan.

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Plain-Jane Gets A Makeover

Every January the blogosphere is buzzing with citrus inspired recipes and various preservation techniques.  Like any good food-enthusiast, I too shared a post, as well as embarked on a few new adventures.

I’m no stranger to using salt as a method of preservation for herbs, but fruit is something entirely new for me!  When stepping onto new ground I like to explore various recipes; typically, I start off down the plain-Jane path and then detour trying something with a little more zip.  This is exactly what happened when I preserved lemons.

Feel free to try these recipes with your favorite citrus fruit, I just happened to have a bunch of lemons on hand.  Next time I think I’ll give it a go with limes… or maybe a mix!


Plain-Jane Salted Lemons

8-10 lemons, scrubbed clean and dried.  (You can use any variety available, most people tend to use Meyer since they are more mild.)

1/2 cup sea salt

sterilized quart jar  and metal ring

coffee filter or tightly knit cloth, such as muslin

glass fermenting weights (optional)

Cover the bottom of your jar with a layer of salt.  Cut off each end of the lemon and quarter.  I’ve seen a lot of people only cut off the blossom-end and then “almost quarter” the lemon, keeping it whole.  Either way will work, I’ve found that wedges pack into a jar better than a whole lemon.

With each layer of lemon, add another layer of salt; continue with this pattern until you have filled the jar.  Press down on your lemons to extract the juice.  Make sure your lemons are completely submerged; you may need to use the juice of an additional lemon or two to accomplish this.

Place glass weights on top the fruit to keep it submerged in the juice; wipe the rim and cover with a coffee filter and adjust screw-on band to hold it firmly in place.  Allow to lemons to cure for 5 weeks, then transfer to the refrigerator.

If you do not have glass weights, using clean hands, press down on the lemons each day to keep them submerged in juice.

Fancy Schmancy Salted Lemons

2 lbs lemons, scrubbed clean, dried, and quartered

9 Tbsp sea salt

1/2 Tsp brown cardamom seeds

1 Tsp black peppercorns

1/2 Tsp paprika

1 Tsp cayenne

16 cloves

1-1/2 Tsp sugar

Grind cardamom seeds, peppercorns, and cloves in a mortar and pestle, add to remaining spices; mix well.  Cover the bottom of your jar with a layer of spiced salt and add a layer of lemons.  With each layer of lemon, add another layer of spiced salt; continue with this pattern until you have filled the jar.  Press down on your lemons to extract the juice.  Make sure your lemons are completely submerged; you may need to use the juice of an additional lemon or two to accomplish this.

Place glass weights on top the fruit to keep it submerged in the juice; wipe the rim and cover with a coffee filter and adjust screw-on band to hold it firmly in place.  Allow to lemons to cure for 5 weeks, then transfer to the refrigerator.

If you do not have glass weights, using clean hands, press down on the lemons each day to keep them submerged in juice.

I ended up making a delicious lemon couscous over the weekend, so be sure to check back for that post!!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Spiced Lemon recipe adapted from Hungry Tigress.

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Childhood Flashbacks

When I was young, one of my favorite store-bought treats were mandarin oranges packed in light syrup. There was something so special about those tiny slices of citrus that made me smile!  As an (ahem) adult, I still receive the same amount of joy when cracking open a jar, only this time around they’re available in pint sized packaging!

Mandarin Orange Slices in Light Syrup

5 lbs Mandarin oranges

6 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and peel oranges (reserve peels for making a delicious candied treat), remove any pith or membranes on the fruit and section into slices.  If desired (or feeling a bit lazy), they can be kept whole or split into halves.

In a medium sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Fill hot, sterilized jars with orange segments (raw pack) and fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.

Process pints for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure in a weighted-gauge steam-pressure canner.  For a dial-gauge, process pints for 8 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure in a steam-pressure canner.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  All processing times are for sea level altitude only.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Recipe yields 7 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe from USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

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It’s citrus season!! What are you putting up?

During the frigid season of winter I look forward to two things: seed catalogs and citrus fruit!  Clementines may just be nature’s perfect fruit.  Underneath their thin-skinned peel lies a juicy-sweet, seedless burst of delicious sunshine!  Of all the citrus, clementines are my favorite!

Having never made marmalade, I felt the time had come to embark on that adventure.  Since citrus peels are naturally high in pectin, I decided to rely on this fruit’s own ability to achieve a semi-firm set and added just a touch of clear jel.  The consistency that resulted was perfect!

Clementine Marmalade – yields 4 half-pints

1.75 pounds of clementines

3-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

3 Tbsp Clear Jel – cook type

Day 1  Wash clementines and place in the fridge to chill; this helps to firm them up.  Cut fruit into halves then slice very thin.  Cut each slice in half to create small thin triangles.  Combine clementines, 3 cups of sugar, and lemon juice in a thick-bottomed pot and bring to a simmer.  Remove fruit mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl; cover, cool, and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2  Place fruit mixture back into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a light simmer.  Mix clear jel with 1/4 cup sugar, then add to the hot fruit mixture stirring well to incorporate.  Bring to a boil while gently stirring.  Once mixture begins to thicken (5 minutes) ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.  Wipe jars and store in a cool, dark place for a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from What Julie Ate

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Marmalade