Preserving Summer

by | Jul 9, 2015 | Life & Style

Red and Green Pepper Jelly

This attractive jelly has suspended bits of red and green bell pepper (it can also
be made with all red or all green peppers). Hot pepper jellies are very popular and make great holiday or host/hostess gifts.

1 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers

1 or 2  jalapeño peppers, minced (optional)

1 1⁄2 cups cider vinegar

1⁄2 tsp hot pepper sauce (or 1⁄4 tsp/hot pepper flakes)

6 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar

2 pouches (3 oz each) liquid pectin

In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine red peppers, green peppers, jalapeño peppers (if using), vinegar, hot pepper sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in pectin; return to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating peppers.

Ladle into prepared jars to within 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about five 8-ounce jars.

Tip: To test for floating peppers, fill one jar; let rest for 1 minute. If peppers start to float upward, pour jelly back into pot and keep stirring; begin again with a new sterilized jar.

Bumbleberry Jam

Bumbleberry, or jumbleberry, is a mix of berries and other fruits, such as rhubarb
or apples. Wonderful in pies and crisps, it’s also a great jam combo.

1 cup crushed strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1 cup chopped rhubarb (1⁄2-inch pieces)

5 cups granulated sugar

1 pouch (3 oz/85 mL) liquid pectin

In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine berries and rhubarb. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until rhubarb is softened. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Increase heat to high and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Immediately stir in pectin; return to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit

Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄4 inch of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about five 8-ounce jars.

Tip: Freeze premeasured amounts of chopped rhubarb and in-season berries so you have them on hand when you have more time to make jam in the winter.

Black Bean Tomato Salsa

When you’re ready to venture beyond classic tomato salsa, this is great combination
to try — it’s sure to become a favorite.

2 tsp cumin seeds

12 cups chopped peeled plum (Roma) tomatoes

1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1⁄4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño peppers

2 tbsp minced garlic

1⁄4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp pickling or canning salt

2 cups cider vinegar

2 cups drained rinsed canned or cooked black beans

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or oregano

In a small dry skillet, over medium heat, toast cumin, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until fragrant and slightly darker but not yet popping. Immediately transfer to a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add tomatoes, onions, red and green peppers, jalapeños, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 1 hour or until salsa is reduced by about half and is thick enough to mound on a spoon. Stir beans into salsa and boil gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until beans are very hot. Stir in cilantro.

Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about ten 8-ounce or five pint jars.

Tip: If using canned black beans, you’ll need one 19-oz can. If you have smaller cans, you’ll need two. Don’t be tempted to add the extra beans to the salsa — it will alter the acid balance. Add them to a salad, mash them with some salsa to make burritos or freeze them for later use.

All recipes Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

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