Thoughts about canning and a couple of recipes.
It’s peach season in Fredericksburg! Actually, we are getting towards the end, unfortunately. I was just thankful that, after THE FREEZE we did have a crop. Every year, I swear that I am not going to by as many peaches to can. Guess what? I break that promise because the peaches are so beautiful. I cannot resist canning them.
I literally grew up canning. My mother was putting up pickles with my grandmother the day before I was born. My grandmothers both canned, as did my mother. When I was in my 50’s, I started canning in earnest. I learned a lot. Such as, when you can cherries, by the end it looks like you have been slaughtering something. It took me a week to get the stains off of my hands. Canning jars are hot. Imagine that. And, if you want to see someone’s face light up, present her or him with homemade jam. It is the gift everyone loves to get.
I want to share a couple of recipes with you. Let me know what you think. If you try them, send photos!
The first is my basic peach jam recipe. While it is somewhat labor intensive, it is well worth the effort.
Go to the peach stand and see if they have number two peaches. These are the over ripes and what I call “scratch and dent” peaches. They aren’t perfect, but they work just fine. You’re just going to squash them up anyway.
To peel the peaches, put a pot of water on the stove and get it boiling. While you wait on the pot to boil, put cold water and ice cubes in the sink.
Once the water boils, put the peaches in. Leave them in the water about 5 minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon and put them in the cold water. Let them sit a couple of minutes then slip the skin off.
If the peaches are ripe enough, I squash them with my fingers rather than cut them in neat slices. They are going to get squashed anyway, so why both with slices?
Combine one quart (4 cups) of peaches, 7 ½ cups of sugar and ¼ cup of lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
Bring it to a boil that you cannot stir down.
Add 1- 3 oz envelope of liquid pectin
Boil for one more minute
Pour into hot jars. Top with hot lids and rings. Water bath process for 10 minutes.
This makes about 8 half pints. I always add a couple of extra jars just in case I have a bit more.
If your peaches are super juicy, put them in a colander to drain. Take the juice, mix it with the sugar and boil it down to about 1/3 of the original volume. Then, add the peaches and lemon juice and boil it as usual.
If you want ginger peach jam, add about ¼ cup of chopped crystalized ginger.
I tried a new recipe this year which everyone loved! It’s easy and a great dessert.
You will need an 8” round or square pan.
Preheat your oven to 400.
Combine in a bowl:
½ cup of chilled, sliced butter
2 cups of flour
2 tbsp of sugar
¼ tsp of baking soda
Cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want it to look to gravel. It will be dry and “sandy.” Dump the crust into the pan. Press it into the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides.
Slice about 6-8 peaches (this will depend on the size of your peaches). You want to cover the crust well. Don’t have any gaps.
Mix together 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of cardamom. Sift over the peaches.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and pour 1 cup of sour cream mixed with 2 egg yolks over the peaches. Bake for 30 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and serve warm with ice cream.
That's all for now. I am hoping to have weekly posts, but we'll see how that goes. Comments are welcome!