Preserving the Season

In my last post you saw my new shelves and on the 3rd row are all of my preserves.

I wanted to provide links with my alterations in case anyone wants to try these. Some (depending on where you live) may need to wait for next year due to the fruit in them.

The first two were from my Ball Canning book. This book is AWESOME! I know there are a lot of nifty, trendy canning books out now, but you can’t hate on a classic. It’s a classic for a reason. Sure, I don’t want to try everything in it, but it has a lot of great recipes and tips.

I used some Roma tomatoes and made Bruschetta in a Jar. I followed this one to the letter. I used one jar already as a pizza topping and it was good, but be warned…it’s very acidic. There’s wine and white wine vinegar in the recipe and it is necessary for the canning process but also gives it a more complex flavor. If you don’t want to deviate from a standard bruschetta topping, I would suggest just making it fresh each time while tomatoes are in season. Now I just need to make more mozz to enjoy another jar.

Second, was their recipe for Jalapeno Jelly. I love, love, love spicy jellies. For this I only used about 2.5 cups of sugar instead of 6 and omitted the green food coloring. I’m pretty sure that because I used less than half of the sugar that I got fewer jars out of this than the recipe stated. I’m ok with that though, I’d rather have less sugar.

Next up I made a Blueberry Jam with Cherry Balsamic Vinegar and some black pepper. I was inspired by this recipe from Coconut & Lime. I got some Cherry Balsamic from Saratoga Olive Oil Co. and thought that would be great in place of the regular balsamic. Again, I about halved the sugar, but kept the pectin the same. It actually got a little too gelled for my liking, so next time I’d use less pectic, but that’s just a personal preference. This is a jelly that goes awesome with brie and crackers.

After we went peach picking I wanted to make a peach jam but something a little different than just regular jam. I found this recipe which uses habaneros and basil. I have serranos in my garden so I used those and was going to use Thai basil from my garden but it was late when I was making this and I honestly didn’t feel like foraging with a flashlight. I added a couple leftover jalapenos to the mix as well, and also reduced the sugar. It’s a mostly sweet jam with a nice hint of spice.

Lastly, I made tomato paste. I used Pick Your Own’s recipe and honestly it only made a pint’s worth. For all that work, I don’t think I’ll bother again in the future since organic tomato paste is easy to get. I’m glad I did it, because it was interesting to learn and if it made more I’d definitely do it again, but I was really bummed with how little tomato was left when all the juice is squeezed out.

So there you have it! I’m not sure what other things I’ll do before the season is over. Probably just salsa mostly and maybe some hot sauce with my serranos. If I get a chance to get some raspberries I may do something with them as well.

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