September is here and along with “back to school” season comes the start of a scrumptious harvest season. This is a time of year when the morning air has a bite to it and a lot of tummies start grumbling for those comfort foods that used to come out of cellars and pantries in jars and crocks, and we start to think about that age old project of putting food by for the winter.
There are still spots available for Saturday’s Small Pantry Canning workshop! Check it out and register here.
Minga is super stoked to be kicking off the season with a canning workshop; Small Pantry Canning is the perfect introduction to water bath canning for anyone who is hankering to try it out, or ease themselves back into an old practice. Our fearless leader for this workshop is Joanne Backman. She has been canning since she was knee-high to a grasshopper and has already spent a couple of weekends elbow-deep in peaches (did you know you can make spicy peach salsa?! Yum!) and practicing for this Saturday’s workshop.
She has whipped up a batch of the amazing peach jam that will be just one of three different recipes made on Saturday (not all peach-related). Here is a little sneak peek at what participants will be taking home with them, along with inspiration for how to make use of the fruits of their labour through the winter (yes, toast and jam is traditional, but have you ever thought of putting peach jam in a pork tenderloin?!)
We’ll see some of you industrious folks on Saturday. For the rest of you, keep an eye on Minga’s website, more workshops will be posted for the fall and winter soon!
Here is the Peach Jam recipe we’ll be working with:
PEACH JAM (LONG BOIL)
Yield: Makes about 9 x 250 ml jars (18x175ml)
Prep Time: 120 minutes
Processing Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking fruit-sugar mixtures concentrates the naturally occurring pectin. To enhance natural pectin content in long-boil jams (no added pectin), prepare recipe using a mixture of 3/4 fully ripe and 1/4 slightly under-ripe fruit. These “long boil” soft spreads require longer cooking periods and a gel test.
8 cups (2000 ml) finely chopped, peeled and pitted peaches
1/2 cup (125ml) water
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
6 cups (1500 ml) granulated sugar
- Heat jars
- put a plate for testing gel in the freezer
- Combine peaches, water, lemon juice in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan; cook gently 10 minutes. Add sugar. To reduce foaming, add 1/2tsp(2ml) butter or vegetable oil to mixture if desired.
- Bring mixture to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat, boil vigorously for until mixture reaches gel stage – about 15 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to avoid over-cooking or scorching.
- Gel Stage Tests (Remove pot from heat while conducting selected gel test)
Place spoonful of hot jam on chilled plate; place plate in freezer until cooled. Gel is achieved when product does not run together when separated with spoon.
- Remove from heat; skim foam and ladle jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Do not over tighten.
- Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water.
- Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
- When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface.
- Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
- Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
© 2003 Bernardin Guide to Home Canning-3rd edition
Keep calm and make pancakes folks!