Tag Archives | peach week 2018

Peach Pie Filling with Ginger

It’s finally day five of Peach Week 2018 (oops! I’m a week late with this post)! On the first day, I shared a tiny batch of Peach Cardamom Jam. Tuesday was all about the Peach Walnut Conserve! On Wednesday, we moved on to Peach Chutney with Toasted Whole Spices. Next came Peach Mustard. And finally, here’s the promised Peach Pie Filling!

Pie filling. If you’ve never made it, the first time through can be sort of weird (thanks to the Clear Jel, takes on a consistency unlike any other preserve). But if you’re into making things that fall into the category of pantry filling, convenience foods, pie filling should definitely be on your list.

Sure, you can make pie from it (just add a crust), but it’s also a great addition to baked oatmeal, cobbler bars, and it makes the really great hand pies.

Pie fillings require a specialized ingredient called Clear Jel. It’s a modified cornstarch that’s been designed to hold up to the heat of the canning process. It produces a thick, stable gel that holds its consistency for the duration of the product’s shelf life. If you live in a city, you might have to order Clear Jel, but if you live in a more rural, canning friendly area, you should be able to get it at your local farm store (I can’t find it in Philadelphia, so I make sure to stock up whenever I’m in Lancaster County).

Also, know that you don’t want Instant Clear Jel (that one is for thickening pie fillings that you aren’t going to can), you want the conventional, heat activated version.

Once you have the Clear Jel in hand, the process of making pie filling is straightforward. You gather up your peaches and peel them (for a batch sized like this one, I use the peeling technique described in this post), and then cut each peach into eight segments.

Once your peaches are ready, you combine some water and lemon juice and bring it to a boil (make sure to use a pot that’s large enough to hold all the peaches). While the liquid heats, you whisk the sugar and Clear Jel together. When the liquid is bubbling away, you add the sugar/Clear Jel in a slow and steady manner, whisking constantly as you stream it in. As soon as the Clear Jel hits the hot liquid, it activates and begins to thicken.

Then, you tip the peaches and any juice that’s collected in the bowl into the pot and gently fold them into the goo. This is also when I add the freshly grated ginger. Pie fillings can also be flavored with dried spices or extracts. Add the dry spices with the sugar and Clear Jel, and the extracts to the liquid just before adding the dry ingredients.

Once you have your peaches in the goo, it’s just a matter of filling the jars. Make sure to bubble the jars well (pie filling is dense!) and leave a generous inch of headspace. Pie filling expands during processing and really loves to ooze out of the jars when they’re cooling. Proper headspace can help prevent that, though it may happen even if you left a generous amount of headspace. As long as the jars seal, a little leakage is okay. Just make sure to clean the jars well after they’ve cooled.

Other things to remember. Tighten the rings just a little bit more firmly than you do for most other preserves and leave the jars in the canner for a full ten minutes after the processing time is up. Turn the heat off, slide the pot to a cooler burner, remove the lid and let the jars sit. This slower cooling processing will help prevent product loss.

This blog post was written in partnership with the good people at the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers as part of my role as official Canbassador. They sent me 18 pounds of peaches and asked me to preserve them. I’ll be posting peach recipes all week long, so check back tomorrow for the next installment. For more about Washington State Fruit, follow them on social media!

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Peach Mustard

It’s day four of Peach Week 2018! Monday, I shared a tiny batch of Peach Cardamom Jam. Tuesday was all about the Peach Walnut Conserve! On Wednesday, we moved on to Peach Chutney with Toasted Whole Spices. Today is Peach Mustard day. 

Homemade mustards are great. Easy to make and super delicious, they are a fun way to bring a little extra magic to your next sandwich. The primary trick I’ve learned over the years of making mustards is that they taste better when you grind or crush the seeds rather than blitzing them in a blender or food processor. It’s more work, but the flavor payoff is really great. The best way to do it is to double up some resealable food storage bags and then bash them with a rolling pin or sturdy bottle.

This blog post was written in partnership with the good people at the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers as part of my role as official Canbassador. They sent me 18 pounds of peaches and asked me to preserve them. I’ll be posting peach recipes all week long, so check back tomorrow for the next installment. For more about Washington State Fruit, follow them on social media!

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Peach Chutney with Toasted Whole Spices

It’s day three of Peach Week 2018! Monday, I shared a tiny batch of Peach Cardamom Jam. Yesterday was all about the Peach Walnut Conserve! Today, we’re moving on to chutney. 

I’ve been making versions of this chutney for more than eight years now. I originally devised it using tomatoes and have since made it with plums, pears, and now, peaches. It’s got a seriously assertive flavor, thanks to a healthy dose of vinegar and all those spices.

Often I will tell you that it doesn’t matter how you cut your fruit, but when it comes to this preserve, I advise you to be thoughtful with your cuts so that they are of mostly uniform size. It helps the chutney cook evenly and makes for a really beautiful finished product.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have spotted this photo, in which I called this my Indian spiced peach chutney. I’ve decided to let that title go, because this preserve is an invention built on things I’ve read and experienced. It has no right to claim any kind of authenticity.

This blog post was written in partnership with the good people at the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers as part of my role as official Canbassador. They sent me 18 pounds of peaches and asked me to preserve them. I’ll be posting peach recipes all week long, so check back tomorrow for the next installment. For more about Washington State Fruit, follow them on social media!

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Peach Walnut Conserve

It’s day two of Peach Week 2018! Monday, I shared a tiny batch of Peach Cardamom Jam. Today, it’s Peach Walnut Conserve!

A conserve is essentially a compote with extra bling. It typically consists of larger pieces or slices of fruit, spiced liberally, simmered until tender (but not falling apart), and then studded with dried fruit or toasted nuts (occasionally even both!).

I tend to make conserves towards the end of summer, when I’ve realized that my yearly jam needs have mostly been met (this year, it was 25 pounds of apricots that pushed me over that line).

I like these less ordinary preserves because they are nice to things to take to potlucks and they make nice gifts (particularly if you know someone who likes to build a good cheese board).

One of the jars I processed over the weekend didn’t seal (you can see in the picture above that one of the jars had been in the fridge) and I ate half the jar for lunch with a scoop of cottage cheese. It sounds like a lunch counter diet plate, but I promise you, it’s the pinnacle of satisfaction.

This blog post was written in partnership with the good people at the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers as part of my role as official Canbassador. They sent me 18 pounds of peaches and asked me to preserve them. I’ll be posting peach recipes all week long, so check back tomorrow for the next installment. For more about Washington State Fruit, follow them on social media!

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Peach Cardamom Jam

 

Every summer for the last nine years, I’ve teamed up with the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission. As one of their Canbassadors, they send me boxes of fruit. I take those cherries, peaches, and plums into my kitchen, turn them into various preserves and then share what I’ve done here.

Earlier in the summer, they sent me some cherries, which became Sweet Cherry Butter and Cherry Balsamic Jam. More recently, they sent me 18 pounds of the most glorious, fragrant peaches. I’ve turned them into five different preserves and over the course of this week, I’ll share those recipes right here.

For this first recipe, I’ve made a relatively small batch of peach cardamom jam. This is made without added pectin and requires constant stirring and a bit of bravery at the end of cooking for it to thicken sufficiently. Use a wide pot, turn the heat down a little, and trust your judgment. I have no doubt you can do it.

I use ground cardamom for this preserve and I love both the intense flavor and speckled appearance that it gives the finished jam. You could also try using lightly crushed whole cardamom pods, but take care to count how many you put in so that you can pull them out when the jam is finished (I imagine 5 or 6 pods should do it).

If you want to see what some of the other Canbassadors have done this year, make sure to follow the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers and Northwest Cherries folks on social media, as they’ve been sharing the posts. Here’s where you can find them.

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