Honey Sweetened Gingery Peach Butter

This naturally sweetened gingery peach butter is fragrant, flavorful, and brightly hued. It’s great stirred into yogurt or eaten directly from the jar with a spoon.

close up of gingery peach butter

A couple weeks ago, the annual box of peaches and nectarines arrived from the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission. This is the seventh summer I’ve been part of their Canbassador program. I always enjoy the challenge of finding new and delicious ways to preserve all that goodness.

quartered peaches for gingery peach butter

This year, I’ve made four different preserves. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Gingery Peach Butter. Tomorrow, I’ll have a batch of Peach Habanero Hot Sauce. Next week, you’ll see recipes for Nectarine Conserve and Nectarine Ketchup.

pressure cooked peaches for gingery peach butter

I’ve got a new trick to tell you for prepping peaches. For this preserve, instead of peeling them, I gave them their initial cook in a pressure cooker (an Instant Pot, to be exact). The added heat and pressure helped break the skins down. That made it possible to blend the skins into the pulp for a perfectly smooth puree.

pureed peaches for gingery peach butter

Now, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make this preserve. But in that case, you might want to peel the peaches to ensure a lush, smooth texture.

cooked gingery peach butter

Once your peaches are pureed, you add just a little bit of honey and three heaping tablespoons of grated ginger and cook it down. Wanting to retain a softer texture and brighter color, I didn’t take this one as far down as I sometimes do. That makes it’s a lighter spread, better for drizzling over pancakes and stirring into yogurt.

five pints of gingery peach butter

How have you been preserving your peaches this summer? Continue Reading →

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Giveaway: Mason Jars from Orchard Road

Orchard Road pint jars

This week’s giveaway comes from our friends at Orchard Road. They are makers of lovely, simple mason jars in three sizes. The quarts and pints come in both regular and wide mouth versions, and the half pint jars come in just the regular mouth variety. Lids and rings are sold separately, and you can choose between traditional two-piece lids or decorative one-piece lids.

stack of Orchard Road jars

All the Orchard Road jars are sold in packs of six and come in sturdy boxes that fully contain the jars. For those of you who struggle to find closet space for your finished jars, having boxes that keep out the light is such a helpful thing.

Orchard Road lid patterns

I’ve had Orchard Road jars in my canning gear for the better part of two years now and I can report that they are as hardworking and durable as you want your jars to be. Additionally, I’m always happy when I run across an Orchard Road jar when pulling gear for various projects, because I find the minimal embossing and general hand-feel to be particularly pleasing.

peach drizzle in orchard road jars

This week, the Orchard Road giveaway consists of a six-pack of eight ounce jars, the same number of regular mouth pint jars, and sets of both regular lids and bands and decorative caps. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about something you’ve canned recently.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, August 21, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Orchard Road is a site sponsor. In the past, they sent me some jars and lids for testing and photography purposes. They are also are providing the jars for the giveaway winners at no cost to me. Still, all opinions expressed are mine alone. 

You can buy Orchard Road jars at various retail locations, or from Fillmore Container or the Orchard Road online shop.

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Upcoming Events: New York! The Berkshires! Fayetteville! Atlanta! Nashville!

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars spine

Wednesday, August 17 (Collingswood, NJ)
I’ll be at the Collingswood Library, demonstrating a recipe from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, answering canning questions, and selling/signing books.

Friday, August 19 (Amaganesett, NY)
This particular Friday, you’ll find me teaching a hands on canning class at Amber Waves Farm. We’ll make tomato jam, dilly beans, and quick pickled cucumbers. All students will go home with jars of preserves made that day. The class is from 3-6 pm. $150. Register here.

Saturday, August 20 (Great Barrington, MA)
I’ll be spending a morning at the Great Barrington Farmers Market, demonstrating how to make small batches of honey-sweetened jam, I’ll have copies of my books on hand for sale and signature and a few jars of jam ready for sampling. Look for me between the hours of 9 am – 1 pm.

Sunday, August 21 – (Hillsdale, NY)
In this demo-style canning class, I’ll feature two seriously delicious recipes from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. We’ll make Caramelized Red Onion Jam (sweetened with maple sugar) and Peach Rosemary Glaze (sweetened with honey).  at Hillsdale Home Chef. 2:30-5 pm. $65. Register here.

Wednesday, August 24 (Chestnut Hill, PA)
I’ll be back at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House with the team from Weaver’s Way Co-op for the final class in our summer preserving series. In this one, we’ll make Easy Tomato Salsa and will talk all about safely canning tomatoes. 7-9 pm. Register here.

Saturday, August 27 (Fayetteville, AR)
I’ll be offering a canning and preserving demo at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. 2 pm! More details to come!

Saturday, September 3 (Decatur and Atlanta, GA)
11:15 – 12 noon, you’ll find me at demonstrating at the Decatur Book Festival. After the demo is over, I’ll be signing books! Then, from 3 to 4:30, I’ll be at Atlanta Botanical Garden, teaching a demo-style class. Registration info here. So much fun in a single day!

Sunday, September 4 (Chattahoochee Hills, GA)
I’ll be at the Bosch Experience Center in Serenbe for a five course Prepared Pantry Dinner. Every course of the meal is based on a recipe from Naturally Sweet. Thanks go to Lyn Deardorff from Preserving Now for making this event happen! 4-7 pm. $75 (which includes a copy of my new book). Get your tickets here.

Tuesday, September 6 (Nashville, TN)
I’ll be teaching a demo-style class at Green Door Gourmet. The class is from 5-7 pm and is $35. We’ll have copies of my books on hand for sale and signature. Register here.

Saturday, September 10 (Philadelphia)
I’m returning to Greensgrow to teach a class that is focusing in on canning tomatoes. We’ll make honey sweetened tomato jam and talk about to ensure that your preserved tomatoes are safe and delicious. 12-2 pm. $35. Register here.

After that, I head to California for a handful of events. I’m still nailing down all the details, but here’s where you’ll find me!

  • September 15 – Pacific Grove, CA! Canning demo at Happy Girl Kitchen. More details to come!
  • September 17 – Healdsburg, CA! Canning class at The Shed. 1-3 pm. Details here.
  • September 18 – San Francisco! Fort Mason Farmers Market. More details to come!
  • September 19 – Fremont, CA! Canning demo and Q&A at Dale Hardware. 6:30 pm.
  • September 20 – San Francisco! Canning demo, Q&A, and book signing at the San Francisco Public Library. 6-7:30 pm. Latino/Hispanic Rooms A&B.
  • September 21 – Oakland, CA! Canning demo and book signing at Pollinate Farm & Garden. 6:30-8:30 pm. $17.50. Sign up here.
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Links: Nectarine Ketchup, Hot Fudge, and a Winner

produce from Homefields Farm

Summer is flying by. Earlier tonight, I canned up a batch of nectarine ketchup, pureed some white peaches for fruit leather, and cut up every last remaining piece of stonefruit in the the kitchen to make a final batch of jam. The coming week is going to be all about tomatoes and cucumbers, so I’ve got to clear the decks. I hope your kitchens have been equally active! Now, links!

And a couple things of mine…

Twelve ounce bbq sauce jars

The winner of last week’s Fillmore Container BBQ Sauce prize pack is Jennifer Garnette! I’ve got another terrific giveaway coming your way later this week, so stay tuned!

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Sweet Cherry Compote on Freshly Preserved Ideas

This sweet cherry compote, flavored with fresh rosemary and plenty of lemon zest, is the perfect way to extend the deliciousness of cherry season. And if cherry season is already past in your area, try it with frozen cherries! 

A gif featuring the steps of making sweet cherry compote.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve teaming up with the folks at Ball Canning (much like I did last year) this summer. The goal is to help spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning. As part of our collaboration, I developed a series of five recipes that will live on the Ball Canning Tumblr. It’s called Freshly Preserving Ideas and it’s bursting with good ideas.

So far, we’ve shared three of the recipes I developed for them. They are Blackberry Lavender Jam, Garlicky Pickled Green Beans, and Heirloom Tomato Chutney. Today, I bring you recipe number four! Sweet Cherry Compote with Rosemary and Lemon.

Now, I realize that fresh sweet cherries are a bit hard to come by this time of year. However, you could just as easily make this preserve with frozen cherries. Don’t pass it up just because the season for fresh cherries is past. These cherries are delicious with roast meat or spooned over homemade ice cream.

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. They compensated me for the development of this recipe! 

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Fig Mostarda

This fig mostarda is a delicious and unconventional way to preserve this season’s crop of fresh figs!

Vertical image of jars of fig mostarda

Sometime in the middle of July, I got an email from the folks at California Figs. They were writing to see if they could send me some fresh figs from the new crop that was just coming into the market. There were no strings attached to the offer and no blog posts were required, they just wanted to send some figs*. As it happens, one of my guiding principles in life is to simply smile and say “thank you, yes please,” any time someone wants to give me fresh figs.

Figs in their packing boxes

A box from California Figs arrived two weeks ago and contained a bounty of figs. Four flats, each containing a different variety (Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Sierra, and Tiger figs, for those of you who are curious). It took me a week to work my way through them, but through steady preserving (and a good bit of snacking), I turned those four flats into five different preserves.

A tray of black mission figs

I’m going to dole these recipes out over the next couple weeks (I’ve been doing a LOT of preserving lately, so it’s going to be mostly recipes around these parts for the next month or so). The first recipe I have to share is this one for Fig Mostarda. Mostarda is a traditional Italian preserve, typically made by candying fruit in a simple syrup that’s been spiked with potent mustard oil.

Black mission figs in an All-Clad pot

We can’t get concentrated mustard oil in the US (it’s the primary ingredient in mustard gas and so it a controlled substance) and so the preserves that I call mostarda are more like chunky jams, made pungent with a liberal application of mustard seeds, a touch of cayenne pepper to tickle your nose, and cider vinegar to lend a certain tanginess.

Adding sugar to the black mission figs

Mostardas as I make them are really great condiments to eat with cheese (I have a feeling that this one would pair really nicely with a crumbly cheddar) or dolloped alongside a platter of cold grilled vegetables (I am imagining it with charred onions and summer squash). Oh, or what about spooning it into a freshly baked gougere that’s just been torn in half? Heaven!

Adding mustard seeds to the figs

The recipe starts with two and a half pounds of figs, which isn’t an impossible amount to obtain (in the past, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for figs at Trader Joe’s. They’re often affordable enough that I can buy a few pounds without too much pain). I used black mission figs, but if you have access to a fig tree, use those. The color will be different, but the flavor will still be good.

Black mission figs with sugar and mustard seeds

One more thing about figs. It’s always important to use recipes that have added acid, as their pH is typically a bit too high for safe canning. I used a goodly amount of vinegar to ensure that this mostarda is safe, but if you’re winging your fig jam, make sure to acidify them like tomatoes and use 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice for every pint of product that you’re canning up.

Line-up of jars of fig mostarda

Continue Reading →

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