Archive for the ‘jams’ Category

Well as summer arrives so the does the fifth instalment of the  2010 Can Jam! We decided to squeeze this session in on a Sunday afternoon, with the weather being outstanding that day we also decided to do this session OUTSIDE on the patio. We would use the burner on our new Weber grill to do the heavy lifting. Plus what goes great with patios and Sunday afternoons you ask? CEASARS for our American readers it is basically a Bloody Mary made with Clamato juice. Plus we also had a guest canner with us this session in our new and fabulous neighbour Lisa.

We counldn’t decide between two great ingredients so we went for both! We did some Pickled Asparagus and some Ginger Rhubarb Jam.

Here are some shots from this months session…

Here are the recipes…

Ginger Rhubarb Jam
8 c. Fresh Rhubarb – diced
6 c. Sugar
6 tbsp Candied Ginger – finely chopped
4 tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Star Anise
Red Food Coloring – optional
4 Ceasars w/ horseradish & dill bean

Take a sip of the tasty Ceasar then combine rhubarb, sugar, ginger, star anise and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Let stand until sugar is moistened by juices, about 20 minutes. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring between sips of Ceasar, until thick and clear, about 15 minutes.

Skim off foam and add red food colouring for colour if you decide to, this avoids the jam from going a more red/grey colour. Ladle into hot sterilized canning jars and seal immediately. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes while finishing up the end of your drink and motion for another.

Makes 7 250ml jars.
And now for the asparagus…

Pickled Asparagus
2 lbs Fresh Asaparagus
8 Garlic Cloves – peeled
8 Fresh Dill Weed Sprigs
4 tsp Salt
2.5 cups white vinegar
2.5 cups water
4 more Ceasars w/ horseradish & dill bean

Cut asparagus to fit the 500ml canning jars with working on Ceasar #2, we decidied to do some spears and some with pieces. Pack the asparagus into five hot processed 500ml jars. Place 2 cloves garlic and 2 sprigs dill weed in each jar, against the glass.

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Pour over beans. Fit the jars with lids and rings and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes 5 500ml jars.


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The 3 Canners were looking forward to this edition of the 2010 Can Jam, we had experimented with some pickled onions a few months ago and the results were great. This time around we decided to up the challenge and we decided to do Onions Two Ways. The first being Spicy English Style Pickled Onions and then we decided to do a small batch of Caramelized Onion Jam.

We have added a two new features to our Can Jam blog entries. First, we think every good Can Jam Session needs music so as a new added feature, we also thought we would toss out some exerts from each Jam Session Playlist. Drop us a comment and let us know yours…

Onion Jam Session Playlist
Cryin’ Over You – Platinum Blonde
Don’t Dry From Me Argentina – Madonna
Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
Don’t Cry – Guns’n’Roses
Who’s Cryin’ Now – Journey
All I Could Do Was Cry – Etta James

Second, we always plan at least one afternoon and evening for our jam sessions. After a few hours of cutting, chopping and canning, the Canners get hungry, so we take turns making something in the slow cooker to celebrate our final product with. We have now added the Dinner Feature, that will let you in on what’s on the menu for each session. If you’re interested in the recipe for it drop us a comment as well.

Now on with the rest of the ‘Battle Onion’…here are some shots from Onions Two Ways, Two Days.

For those of you that want to try these ones out…the recipes are below as well.

Spicy English Style Pickled Onions

5 lbs Sweet Small Onions
5L Brown Malt Vinegar
5 tbsp Black & White Peppercorns
5 tbsp Red Chili Flakes
5 tbsp Coriander Seeds
5 tbsp Mustard Seeds
15 Whole Cloves
12 Large Green Chili Peppers

Night One
Open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass for yourself and anyone else who is helping. Boil a large pot of water and add a generous amount of salt. Once the salt is dissolved, take it off the heat and let it cool right down. We put it outside.

Trim and peel the onions. You can keep a small bit of the stem on the onion, this stops the onions from separating. Add the onions to the cold salt water and leave overnight, holding the onions underwater with a heavy plate. This process will make for a more crunchy final product. Finish the bottle of wine and enjoy the rest of your night smelling like onions.

Day Two
Pour yourself a nice Bloody Ceasar, then put the vinegar and spices into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes – no longer, otherwise the vinegar will evaporate. Take the saucepan off the heat and leave it, covered, to cool right down. If you add hot brine to the jars it will make for a much softer onion.

Strain the vinegar to remove the spices.

Rinse off the onions and pack the onions into clean jars and pour in enough of the spiced vinegar to cover them. You can put one or two of the chilis in the jar with the onions if you like them VERY fiery!

Seal the jars in a hot water bath as directed.

Store the jars of onions in a cool dark place and leave for at least 30 days.

Caramelized Shallot Jam

1/8 cup Butter
1 lb of  Shallots – sliced
1 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Brown Malt Vinegar
1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped

Take a sip of your wine, if you don’t have one…get one.

Melt butter in a large pan, add onion, cook, stirring about 20 minutes or until onions are very soft and lightly browned.

Add brown sugar, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. 
Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and caramelised.

Add vinegar, simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes (a half glass of wine), or until mixture is thickened slightly.

Stir in rosemary. Finish off the wine.

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So here is our first real post and also our first recipe as part of the 2010 Can Jam. This month’s ingredient was ‘citrus’ so after a long discussion and a few bottles of wine, we decided that we would do a nice marmalade with a twist. We thought it would taste delicious on a fresh piece of crusty bread or as a glaze on meat or fish. We thought about doing something with Seville oranges that come into season in Canada around now but eventually decided we liked the flavor profile of the blood orange more.

Here are some shots from our marmalade ‘jam session’.

For those of you who want to give it a try, the recipe is below. Enjoy!

Blood Orange Port Ginger Marmalade
12 Blood Oranges
6 Lemon
6 cups Water
3 cups Port Wine (we used W.J. Graham’s 2003 Late Bottled Vintage Port)
2 Tb Ginger (fine grind)
7.5 cups Granulated Sugar
1 bottle of Red Wine w/ 3 glasses
Open wine, pour glass and sip. Then remove outer rind from oranges with a vegetable peeler and cut into fine strips. Squeeze juice from oranges, toss out the white inner rind and seeds. Add the juice and any pulp to your saucepan. Take sip of red wine.

Squeeze juice from lemons and slice rind into fine strips. Add lemon juice, rind, water, ginger and port wine to saucepan. Bring it all to boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 30 minutes. Take sip of red wine.

Add sugar bring to boil and boil rapidly, uncovered until the mixture forms a gel, about 15 minutes should do it, stirring frequently while drinking wine. Remove from heat.
Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes.
Finish rest of red wine.
Makes 12 – 250ml jars.

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