Gingery Pickled Peaches

finished pickled peaches

Last weekend, I taught a canning and preserving workshop at the Omega Institute in the Hudson Valley. On my drive up there, my car was packed to the gills with pots and pans, jars, bowls, cutting boards, jars (I brought 13 cases and ended up dashing out between sessions for two more boxes of quarter pints), and well over 100 pounds of produce.

pickled peach segments

Of the 12 preserves we made over the course of the weekend, a full five featured peaches. We canned them in quarters, made peach salsa, tossed slices in cinnamon and dehydrated them, did a batch of chunky, vanilla-laced jam, and finally made jelly out of the peach-flavored juice leftover from canning the quarters. It is, after all, the season for peach canning.

filling jars with pickled peaches

One thing we did not do was make pickled fruit (though I did consider it when building the class schedule). We were making a chutney and doing a couple of other styles of pickling as well, so there just wasn’t room. However, had we had just a little more time, I would have slipped in this recipe for pickled peaches.

full jars pickled peaches

There is something about pickled fruit that I just really like. A few slivers spooned from a jar easily serves as a sweet, bright, and tangy counterpoint to any number of meals (and is particularly welcome during the relentless cold and grey of winter). I particularly like to braise well-salted chicken thighs in a slurry of browned onions slices and pickled peach segments. Served over creamy millet, it’s a winner of a dish come November.

pickled peaches overhead

The eagle-eyed among you might look and this recipe and think that it looks familiar. If you have this thought, you are not wrong. The brine is identical to the one I use for my Gingery Pickled Blueberries and works equally well with peeled pear slices. Pickled fruit. It’s hard to go wrong.

Note: You may notice that in these pictures, the peaches are not peeled, yet in the recipe below, I tell you to peel them. I was feeling particularly lazy the day I made these and skipped the peeling step. If you don’t mind having the skins on, feel free to be like me. However, for a more refined pickled peach, remove the skins.

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Giveaway: Two Flip Cap Kits

flip caps

Friends, have you seen the Flip Cap yet? It’s the latest product from the folks who make the reCAP Pour lid and it’s pretty terrific. It’s a lid designed to fit on a regular mouth mason jar with an easy opening flip top.

flipped open flip cap

They’re great because they give you easy access to your homemade foods with just a simple flick of the lid. Pop them on your pickles, or the jam your kids reach for most often. They’re also useful if you struggle to open a screw top lids (my grandmother would have loved them).

flip cap add-ons

They also make a pair of shaker tops for the flip caps, which attach with a simple twist. I have a jar of homemade citrus salt that I plan on pairing with the fine shaker top so that I use it more (as things stand, it often gets pushed to the back of the shelf).

flip cap with wide screen

I have two of the Flip Cap Kits to give away this week. Each winner will get a Flip Cap and a set of screens to to fit. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use a Flip Cap in your kitchen.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Sunday, September 6, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Monday, September 7, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (and is void where prohibited).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: The folks at reCAP provided the sets you see pictured here and the units for giveaway. They are also Food in Jars sponsors. However, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

Canning Projects for Late August + Reminders

bowl of peaches

I am about to dash off to teach a weekend-long workshop up at the Omega Institute, but I wanted to drop in with a couple reminders as well as some suggestions for good things to can this time of year.

First up is a reminder that tomorrow is last day to get your first month of MightyNest’s MightyFix for free (it’s $10 a month after that). Make sure to use the widget in this blog post to get that deal.

Our friends over at Fillmore Container are sponsoring a couple giveaways right now and I thought you guys might like to know so you can toss your hats in the proverbial ring. On their blog, they’re offering up a Mason Jar Meal Kit to help with packing lunches and eating well. And over at Countryside Magazine, you have a chance to win a water bath canner and a Fillmore Container gift card.

Finally, the winner of last week’s Wusthof Clip Point Paring Knife giveaway is #290/Amelia.

peach mostarda

Peach Mostarda. This tangy, slightly spicy condiment is wonderful with cheese or cured meats. I’ve also used it as a component in braised chicken thighs, to very good results.

peaches in the pan

My Low Sugar Spiced Peach Jam is a winner for anyone looking to capture the flavor of summer without bogging down their jam with buckets of sugar. It’s a classic and is delicious on a nut or seed butter sandwich.

finished plum jam

This Plum Cardamom Jam works beautifully with the late summer Italian prune plums that I’m seeing in the markets these days and a jar makes a very nice holiday gift. And speaking of plums, these pickled slices are awfully good as well.

peach chutney

On the honey sweetened front, might I suggest either this chutney, a slow cooker butter, or my beloved lazy peach preserves?

So, those are my suggestions. Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’re preserving this weekend!

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Live Online Tomato Canning Class Tonight!

two crates of tomatoes

Tomato season is upon us! Join me tonight for a one-hour long tomato canning class. In this session, I’ll demonstrate how to prep tomatoes for canning and show you how build a water packed jar. We’ll talk about safety, best tomato practices, and I’ll answer all your questions!

The class starts at 8 pm eastern time and the fee is pay what you want. Join up over on Concert Window.

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Honey-Sweetened Roasted Nectarine Compote

four jars roasted nectarines

I’m back home in Philly after a week out west. I always have grand plans for blog posts while traveling, but the moment I leave home, it becomes nearly impossible to get my brain into the writing game. But now that I’m back, I’m determined to work my way through my lengthy recipe backlog before the seasons change for good.

roasted nectarines

Today, a very lightly sweetened compote of roasted nectarines. The nectarines caramelize a tiny bit as they cook in the heat of the oven and end up tasting like the pie filling that oozes out during baking. In other words, not bad at all.

nectarines in a pot

You could do this same thing with peaches, though I’d probably peel them first, as I find that peach skins never tenderize, no matter how much you cook them. It is not an issue with nectarines and for that, I am grateful.

nectarines in jars

The nectarines I used in this recipe were part of the shipment of fruit that the nice people from Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation sent out as part of their Canbassador program. Here are the many things I’ve made using their fruit in past years.

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Lightly Pickled Cucumber Salad + OXO Hand-held Spiralizer

OXO hand held spiralizer

I am not immune to kitchen trends. Over the years, I’ve succumbed in turn to the allure of no-knead bread, chia seed pudding, avocado toast (though I swear, I ate that one before it was cool), and even zucchini noodles (made with a julienne peeler).

spiralizer info

One fad that I’ve somehow managed to resist up until now has been spiralizing. Though spiral slicers have been around for a while, they’ve recently become incredibly popular, owing to the fact that they allow you turn all manner of vegetable into contiguous strips that mimic the look and feel of noodles.

clean spiralizer

My primary reason for staying away from spiralizing has been the fact that it typically requires a specialized appliance to make it happen (and with just an 80 square foot kitchen to work with, I have to be careful about how much gear I bring in).

spiralized cucumber

However, thanks to the new Hand-Held Spiralizer from OXO, even the smallest kitchen can be a spiralizing one. This tool is small in size but mighty when it comes to twisting soft vegetables into springy lengths.

spiralized in the bowl

For my first spiralizing session, I made a quick pickled cucumber salad to eat with a summery meal of corn on the cob and chicken sausages. I added some finely sliced red onion and let it mellow in the fridge for an hour before we ate.

finished spiralized salad

My thinking is that this will be a useful tool for small batches of pickles, when I want something finely and neatly shredded and don’t want to pull the food processor out in order to make it happen. For those of you who have jumped aboard the spiralizing train, what’s your favorite thing to spiralize?

Disclosure: OXO sent me this spiralizer to try and write about. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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