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Honey Cinnamon Pear Sorbet

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Yesterday, I showed you how to make Honey Cinnamon Pears. A building block of the homemade pantry, these pears are great at breakfast (in oatmeal! over pancakes!), lunch (with yogurt! in a smoothie!), or dinner (sliced over salad! as dessert!).

In addition to being something that you can serve straight from the jar, home canned pears can also be a really useful ingredient in other dishes and recipes. I often puree them and use them in baked goods (the same way you would use applesauce) and I love to turn them into homemade sorbet.

With the arrival of the hot weather, I’ve got my ice cream maker out for the season and have been turning any fruit I can get my hands on into heat-beating desserts. Because the primary ingredient in this sorbet is just fruit, the finished product is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without overdoing it. Sorbet is also a really thoughtful treat to make for dinner guests who can’t eat dairy.

You start with one quart or two pints of canned fruit. In this case, I canned my pears in Ball® Sharing Jars. and so I opened up two jars (you should have approximately three cups of fruit and one cup of canning liquid). The contents of these jars goes into the blender with 1/4 cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and you puree it until really smooth (really work them so that the skin gets fully pureed).

Then taste the puree to ensure that the flavors are well balanced. Add more lemon if you find that the flavor is a little flat. If you can’t taste the cinnamon as much as you’d like, add a pinch of ground. Remember also that the puree should be a little sweeter than you’d like if you were eating it at room temperature. Freezing mutes the sweetness and if you want it to taste satisfyingly sweet once frozen, the base needs to be a little extra.

Chill the sorbet base until it is quite cold. Once it is well-chilled, you pour it into an ice cream maker and freeze it until firm. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also pour it into a loaf pan and freeze it granita-style, scraping it with a fork several times during the freezing process to help aerate and break up the mixture.

The end result is a frozen dessert that is surprisingly creamy for something that doesn’t contain any dairy. It has pleasingly mild flavor that is really refreshing and cooling. I hope you try it!

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Honey Cinnamon Pears from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Last month, I teamed up with my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands to share their recipe for Mixed Berry Jam and the Jammy Baked Oatmeal that I made with it. This month, we’re talking pears.

Honey Cinnamon Pears, to be precise. In this recipe, quartered pears are briefly simmered in a syrup made from apple juice and honey before being packed into Ball® Pint Jars with a cinnamon stick, topped with the syrup, and processed in a boiling water bath. It’s a really easy and approachable recipe (no peeling!) that produces perfectly sweet pears kissed with a hint of cinnamon.

To make these pears, start by getting your jars warming in the canning pot (for this project, I used the Ball® Sharing Jars). Fit your canning pot with a rack, place the jars on top and fill both the jars and the pot halfway with water. Bring it to a simmer over low heat and keep it around 180F until you are ready to fill the jars. Wash lids and rings in hot, soapy water and set them aside.

Once your canning gear is all set, you turn your attention to the pears. Wash them well (make sure to remove any stickers!), cut them into quarters, and cut away the cores.

As you work, place the cut pears into a bowl of acidulated water (that’s a fancy word for water spiked with either lemon juice or Fruit Fresh) to prevent the pears from browning.

Once the pears are prepped, make the syrup. Combine water, apple juice, and honey in a large saucepan (you want to use something large enough to eventually hold all the pears.

When the syrup comes to a simmer, add the pears to the pot and let them stay in the syrup just until they’re heated through (too much time in the syrup will lead them to overcook and fall apart, so stay attentive).

As soon as the pears are warm, it’s time to fill the jars. Remove a single jar from the canning pot and place it on a folded towel or cutting board. Place a cinnamon stick in the bottom of the jar and funnel the warm pear quarters into the jars. Use a chopstick to help settle them into place (I found that I could get 6-7 pear quarters into each jar).

Top the pears with the syrup and remove any trapped air bubbles, taking care to maintain a headspace of 1/2 inch. Wipe the rim of the jar, place a lid on top, secure it with a ring (finger tip tight, please), get that jar in the canner, and repeat with the next jar.

These pears are good to eat with yogurt or cottage cheese. You can warm them and serve them over pancakes or waffles. Or you could turn them into sorbet. Check back tomorrow to learn how to do just that!

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Mixed Berry Jam from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Nearly every summer since 2012, I’ve been issued a preserving challenge by my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands. Some years, they’ve asked me to develop a few new canning recipes. Other years, I’ve trekked to New York or Indiana to offer canning demos. This year, I’m really excited because they’ve given me a handful of their most popular recipes and asked me to create new ways to use them (a concept that’s much like my upcoming book!).

So from now until September, once a month I’ll be sharing my process for making the preserve and then unveiling a recipe that transforms it into something new and delicious. For this first month, the preserve was Mixed Berry Jam (I preserved it in some of the Ball® Smooth Sided Half-Pint Jars pictured above and available for purchase here. These are the best jars for labeling!).

Right off the bat, I was delighted with their pick of recipe. It’s a relatively small batch, with a short, simple ingredient list. I also know berry jams to be really versatile, so I knew I’d be able to make something interesting with it.

You start by washing and mashing enough fruit to yield 4 cups. For me, this wound up being about 1 3/4 pounds fruit (I used single 1 pound package of strawberries, and 1 1/2 clamshells of blueberries).

You want to make sure you have your jars warming and the lids washed before you start cooking the jam, because the cook time is quite short and you do want the jars to be ready for you when you’re ready for them.

Once the berries are well-mashed, they get scraped into a large pan. You add the pectin powder (4 1/2 tablespoons), stir well to combine and bring the fruit to a boil, stirring constantly.

Always take care when moving pots of hot jam!

Once the fruit is boiling madly, you stream in the sugar and stir to combine. Bring that to a rapid boil and cook for just a minute longer. Once the time is up, you pull the pot from the stove. As it starts to cool from the boiling point, you should see visible signs of set, both on the spatula and the walls of the pot.

Then, working one at a time, fill each jar to 1/4 inch headspace, wipe the rim clean with a damp cloth, and apply a new, clean lid and ring. When all jars are full, process them in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes (adjusting your processing time for altitude, if necessary).

The finished jam is well-set, brightly flavored, and gorgeously colored. Click here to see the Jammy Baked Oatmeal I made with this jam!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Newell Brands as part of a compensated partnership. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

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Turkey Party Meatballs with Habanero Apricot Jelly Glaze

This recipe for turkey meatballs features the Habanero Apricot Jelly from Ball® Canning. This sweet and spicy jelly is the perfect condiment for all manner of holiday cheese boards, relish trays, and buffets.

Sweet and spicy glazed meatballs are a classic component of a holiday party spread. They’re reliable, easy to prepare, and are generally a crowd favorite. They’re also an excellent recipe to keep in mind if you’re a home canner. A half pint of pepper jelly, a couple tablespoons of butter, and a little lime juice is all you need to make a killer meatball glaze.

I often bring homemade party meatballs to gatherings when I’m asked to bring a dish. I know that they’ll typically be well-received and they satisfy one of my mother’s essential rules of potlucking*. That rule states that you should always bring a dish that can serve as the backbone of your own meal, just in case everyone else defaulted to bread, wine, and dessert. On more than one occasion, I have made a very pleasant meal out of these meatballs.

In general meatballs aren’t hard to make, but they do take a bit of time. I sometimes make a double batch on a weekend afternoon, bake them off, and freeze some for the busy holiday season. With a jar of homemade sauce and a big salad, they also make a terrific meal for new parents and neighbors who need a little extra care.

Now, for a equipment plug. If you make meatballs in any kind of quantity, get yourself a one tablespoon meatball scoop. I’ve had this one for the last decade (Amazon tells me I ordered it in 2007) and it is still going strong. It has scooped many thousands of meatballs with it and I believe it will continue to do so for many more years to come.

One thing that all meatballs need is a good sauce or glaze. It can be a simple dish of ketchup set alongside your platter or slow cooker, a jar of smoky tomato jam, a tasty oven-roasted tomato sauce, or a sweet, spicy, and sticky homemade glaze.

Lately, one of my favorite glaze builders has been the Habanero-Apricot Jelly from Ball® Canning. It’s a sweet, tangy, spicy jelly that is made with dried apricots, so it can be made any time of year (it’s also a good one for holiday gift baskets for just that reason).

I first encountered this jelly last summer while in Fishers, Indiana for the Ball® Can-It Forward festivities (you can see me making it here). In that demo, we shared how the jelly can be transformed into a glaze for wings, but I’ve kept it in the back of my head for meatball dressing ever since.

Whatever else you’re making for holiday gatherings, I bet these turkey party meatballs with the habanero-apricot glaze will charm your guests!

*My mother’s other potlucking rules are that you should always bring a serving utensil and your dish should be able to stand at room temperature for at least an hour without food safety concerns.

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Triple Bean and Rice Soup Mix

This recipe is part of my Secret Santa partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products.

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Red Lentil and Orzo Soup Mix

This recipe is part of my Secret Santa partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products.

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