Chocolate Raspberry Sundae Topper

Raspberries are, in the view of many people I know, so precious that it’s hard to even want to preserve them; it’s best to just gorge on them until your tongue hurts, and eat them fresh while they are in season. I can totally understand that perspective since it’s hard to preserve the delicate texture and the amazing fresh taste of raspberries, but since I picked few buckets full two weekends in a row, I wanted to preserve some of them. I made some homemade raspberry ice cream following this recipe from the blog the view from great island, and made this chocolate raspberry sundae topper from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving to go on top. It is deeeeelish and a great treat for chocolate lovers.

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 package regular fruit pectin
4 1/2 cups crushed raspberries
4 tbsp lemon juice
6 3/4 cups sugar

Here’s how it’s made:

Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. This recipe yields 6-7 half pints. Combine the cocoa powder and pectin in a bowl and set aside.

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Mash the berries and measure into a large pot. Add the lemon juice and stir.

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Whisk in the pectin/cocoa mixture.

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Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Once at a full boil, add the sugar all at once, return to a boil, and boil hard for one minute.

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So lovely, and delicious.

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Fill your hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands, and tighten finger tip tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner, covered by at least an inch or two of water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, remove jars, cool, and store.

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This sundae topper makes a delightful gift for the ice cream lover in your life. I bet it would also be really good on a light cake – I think I need to try it. The only thing I may change if I did this again would be to potentially reduce the pectin. It sets pretty firmly, which for a “sundae topper” seemed sort of unnecessary. Next time I might halve it for a less firm set.

Have any raspberries you’re wanting to preserve in a unique and interesting way? Try this out and let me know what you think!

 

 

Blackberry Cabernet Jam

Last weekend after picking a ton of blackberries I was thinking about what delicious blackberry creation I could come up with, and was reminded of the strawberry Pinot Noir jam that I made two summers ago. Blackberries and wine? Yes please! That sounds like a great idea. Blackberries are bold though, I thought to myself, they need a bolder wine, thus was born the blackberry Cabernet jam. This jam is a real time commitment, as it is pectin free, and has an entire bottle of wine in it. However, if you’re feeling slightly more impatient the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving does have a berry wine jelly using liquid pectin that you could whip up faster. Alternatively, make a half batch and drink the other half of the wine.

Ingredients:
15 cups blackberries
2.5 cups sugar
One bottle of your favourite Cabernet Sauvignon or other bold wine
1 tbsp of lemon juice

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Here’s what I did:

Prepare the canner, jars, and lids (and by prepare I really mean start pondering it, because you actually won’t need to prepare for like 4 more hours). Depending on how long you cook this jam, it will yield about 6-8 pints. Mash the berries to your preferred level of mashiness in a large pot, and add the sugar, wine, and lemon juice. Leave a small amount of wine in the bottom of the bottle to sip on while you bring the jam to a boil.

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Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce and maintain a gentle boil for a good many hours, stirring occasionally. I think I ended up cooking this for nearly 5 hours. Be patient, or play with adding some liquid pectin of you want a firmer set. Near the end of the cook time, pay close attention to avoid any burning on the bottom of the pot.

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Fill hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids, and tighten bands finger tip tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

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Deeeeelicious. And oh so pretty. Now who wants to host a cocktail party or wine night so that I can bring some of this jam? 😉

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Inferno Wine Jelly

The other pepper jelly we tried out from Ball the same night as the habanero jelly was this inferno wine jelly. I think with the combo of jalapeno peppers and red bell peppers in it, it will make a perfect jelly to have a a Christmas wine and cheese party. So pretty.

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 dried chopped hot chili peppers
1.5 cups sweet white wine (ball suggests Sauternes but anything will work)
3 tbsp lemon juice
3.5 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin

And here’s how we made it:

Prepare the canner, jars and lids. This recipe yields about 7 4oz. jars.

Combine the peppers, wine and lemon juice. Feel free to use milder peppers if you don’t want an “inferno.” You can also decide whether to seeded the dried chilies, or omit them altogether. Make sure you use a deep pot for this. This pot barely cuts it because the jelly boils very vigorously and can easily boil over if your pot is too shallow.

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Stir in the sugar. So lovely! Bring the jelly to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. If you have a fan, have it on. If you have an assistant, have them ready to fan. Boy does this go crazy. Once at the rolling boil stir in the pectin. Boil hard for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

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Quickly skim off any foam and fill your hot jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, covered by at least an inch of water. After the 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel.

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As with the habanero jelly, you can gently twist or tilt the jars after they are sealed to get a nice particle suspension. Just no shaking or inverting the jars, that can affect your seal, so just be very gentle. I didn’t do as nice of a job here, but oh well, still a lovely jelly. Cool the jars 12-24 hours, remove the bands, check the seals, wipe, label and store.

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Habanero Jelly

Pepper jellies are an awesome addition to any pantry, adding the savory to the sweet in your jam and jelly collection. Lately, I’ve been delving into a few of the intriguing ones in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and I am quite happy with them so far. This habanero jelly is gorgeous and dangerously hot! But oh so delicious. Sub in milder peppers if you’re scared of the heat.

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Ingredients:
1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded habanero pepper
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

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Combine the apricots and vinegar and let them sit to rehydrate the apricots. Ball suggests a minimum of 4 hours to overnight but I think as long as they are plumped up a couple hours is sufficient. Can something else in the meantime while you wait. Chop the rest of the ingredients finely, and in nice even pieces for an attractive jelly. Wear gloves for the habaneros! Then prepare the canner, jars and lids. This yields about 3 half pints.

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Most pepper jellies are chocked full of sugar, which is probably not that bad since you really don’t eat very much of it when you really consider it, but I still wanted to attempt reducing it and see if I could still get it to set. So I reduced it to two cups from three and added 3 tablespoons of low sugar pectin in addition to the liquid to compensate. Good news – it still set! Anyways, tangent… at this point add the sugar and stir to dissolve it. Bring the jelly to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the pectin, return to a boil, and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam, and fill your jars.

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Quickly fill the jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, place the lids on the jars and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Place the jars in the canner covered by at least an inch of water. Process at a full rolling boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat ,remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Ball offers a fun tip at this stage. In order to get a beautiful suspension of the chunks in the jelly, you can carefully swirl the jar around as it’s setting, once the jar is sealed. Don’t invert it, but you can gently tilt it or try to swirl it.

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Cool the jars for 12-24 hours, remove bands, wipe, label, and store. Deeeeelish. Serve at a classy dinner party, with some real classy cheeses and crackers and wow your guests when you tell them that it’s all home made.

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Watermelon Jelly

Watermelons are a classic summer treat that we usually only get to enjoy for a few months while they are in season. These two delightful jelly recipes will allow you to preserve that taste of summer so that you can enjoy it all year long.

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I made two versions of this recipe, one is the zesty watermelon jelly from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and the other is my own creation, where I simply subbed lemon juice in for the vinegar and omitted the lemongrass. Remember, lemon and lime juice are both better acidifiers than vinegar, which is why it is safe to sub it here. However, that extra acid is mandatory, watermelon is not acidic enough, and therefore not safe to waterbath can without it.

Ingredients:
6 cups crushed watermelon (enough to make 2 cups juice)
1/2 cup vinegar (use white balsamic, white wine or apple cider – I used apple cider here)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 stem lemongrass, finely chopped
2 pouches liquid pectin

or

6 cups crushed watermelon (enough to make 2 cups juice)
3/4 cups lemon juice
5 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin

Here’s how to make it:

Crush up the watermelon and heat it gently for about 5 minutes.

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Mash it up some more and strain through a dampened jelly bag, or cheesecloth/muslin with some sort of strainer or funnel like below. I don’t have a legit jelly bag setup, so I just used the hopper from the Victorio strainer and some muslin and strained it into a half gallon jar. This actually strained amazingly quickly, unlike some other juice for jellies. I guess they are called watermelons for a good reason.

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Measure out two cups of the juice. If it’s been sitting a while and some of the sediment has settled out, you can stir it up a bit if you like, so that you get that pink colour. If you pour off the top with a lot of the sediment settled out your jelly will be much lighter.

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Prepare the canner, jars and lids. This recipe yields about 5-6 half pints.

Combine all the ingredients except for the pectin in a deep stainless steel pot. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. When the boil is reached, stir in the two packets of pectin quickly and return to a boil. Maintain a hard boil for 1 minute.

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Remove from heat and quickly skim any foam.

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This jelly starts to set up really quickly, so you need to work fast filling the jars. If you have a helper when you are making this, have them get the hot jars ready as you are stirring so you can fill quick like a bunny. Fill the jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight.

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Process the jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes, ensuring the jars are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water, and beginning the time when a full rolling boil is acheived. After the ten minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Cool 12-24 hours, remove bands, check seals, wipe down, label and store.

Pictured here is the zesty watermelon jelly on the left, and on the right is the version with just lemon juice. I think the colour difference is in part due to the cider vinegar, but also because I made the right one second and I think had more of the sediment in that batch. They are both pretty, but I was hoping for pinker, and think I might need to experiment with using less sugar to achieve that. But the flavour is certainly delicious!

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Watermelon Jelly on Punk Domestics

Blueberry Lime Jam

I do love blueberries on their own, but sometimes you just need a little something extra to really bring out the flavour of a berry. If you are looking for a jam that really kicks it up a notch, you’ve come to the right place. Adding the juice and zest of a lime or two really enhances the flavour of the blueberries and makes a delicious jam. This recipe is from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The only change that I make is to use a lower sugar pectin and less sugar, and two limes rather than one, but here it’s written as in Ball.

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Ingredients:
4.5 cups crushed blueberries
5 cups sugar
Zest and juice of 1-2 large limes
1 package of regular pectin (or use low sugar pectin and adjust sugar accordingly)

Here’s what we did:

Prepare the canner, jars and lids. This yields around 6 half pints unless you reduce the sugar.

In a stainless steel pot, combine the crushed berries, lime juice, lime zest, and pectin. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

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Bring the jam to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add the sugar all at once when the boil is reached, and return to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, then remove from heat and skim off any foam.

Fill the hot jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight.

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Process the jars in a boiling water bath canner, covered by at least 1-2 inches of water for 10 minutes, starting the time when the water reaches a full rolling boil. After the 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Cool the jars 12-24 hours, remove bands, check seals, wipe clean, label and store.

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Kiwi Daiquiri Jam

The other day they had local kiwis for sale at one of my favourite farm stands just outside of town. “Local Kiwis! Whaaat. Don’t mind if I do,” I thought to myself. So of course, despite having any idea what I might do with them, other then eat a few, I bought a box. Luckily, I found this recipe for Kiwi Daiquiri Jam in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

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Kiwis are so pretty! Doesn’t it look like eyes with really long lashes?

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Ingredients:
2 cups crushed, peeled kiwifruit
2/3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 package regular powdered pectin
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup rum (plus a shot for yourself)

Here’s how we made it:
Prepare the canner, jars and lids. This yields about 4-5 half pint jars.

Peel and crush the kiwi. Combine in a stainless steal pot with the pineapple juice, lime juice and pectin. Premeasure the sugar into another bowl for later, the rum into a measuring cup, and a shot for yourself into a shot glass (and one for your helper if you have one).

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Heat the jam to a boil over high heat, while stirring frequently. Once you reach a boil that can’t be stirred down, add the sugar all at once. Return to a boil, and boil for one minute, starting the time once a full boil is reached. After the one minute, pour the 1/4 cup of rum into the jam, and take your shot. Stir it in, and remove from heat.

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Fill the jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids, and tighten bands finger tip tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes covered by at least 1-2 inches of water, starting the time when a full rolling boil is reached.

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After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Cool 12-24 hours, check seals, remove bands, and wipe clean. Label and store.

Gosh dang that’s a pretty jam. This one would make a really pretty gift. And the combo of pineapple, lime and kiwifruit makes for a lovely, tropical flavour.

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Kiwi Daiquiri Jam on Punk Domestics

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