Saturday, August 1 is the fifth annual Can-It-Forward day. This yearly event is organized and hosted by Jarden Home Brands, the company that makes all of our beloved Ball and Kerr products. In the past, they’ve offered a day of live streaming canning and jar usage demonstrations from New York City. This year, they’re bringing the festivities home to their new headquarters in Fishers, Indiana.
Last year, I hopped a train up to New York and joined the fun in Brooklyn. This year, I’m really excited to be heading to Indiana for the weekend to demonstrate my recipe for Sweet and Tangy Pickled Blueberries. I’ll have that recipe for you all in a couple weeks. Today, I want to talk about an entirely different preserve.
As we were planning ways to get the word out about this year’s Can-It-Forward day, the nice folks from Ball Home Preserving suggested that I could pick out a couple of recipes from the Ball Blue Book to share with you guys. I went flipping through and picked out a handful of options. One that we settled on was the Curried Fruit Compote on page 134 of the newest edition of the book.
I chose this one because I’ve been digging compotes lately (they’re so easy! And such a good way to capture fleeting summer fruit) and I was intrigued by the idea of an assortment of adding a savory spice blend like curry to a heap of sweet fruit.
So, after a busy week of photo shoots and book edits, I went to my local product market to round up a ripe pineapple, a not too ripe cantaloupe (so that it would hold its shape after cutting), three pounds of peaches, and a lime (I already had the necessary apricots from last weekend’s half bushel).
With products like this, the bulk of the work is in the preparation. Once you’ve peeled the peaches, pitted the apricots, seeded the cantaloupe, and tackled the pineapple, the cooking happens in a snap. I brought my curry-spiked syrup to a boil as I was finishing up removing all those pesky eyes from the pineapple and then once it was bubbling, heaped the fruit into the pot.
Once the fruit seemed to be heated through, I used a slotted spoon to portion out the fruit into a two-cup measuring cup and filled up the jars. The recipe in the book called for quart jars, but I opted for pints instead, because I knew that it would be a better, more usable portion for my household (and I kept the processing time the same, just to be safe).
Once all the jars were filled, I had a few bobbing bits of fruit in the pot. I tasted a hunk of pineapple and the curry flavor was pleasantly mild. I think that come winter, I’ll be pairing this compote with scoops of cottage cheese for easy workday lunches.
- 3 pounds peaches (about 12)
- 2 pounds apricots (about 16)
- Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector
- 1 fresh pineapple (about 5 pounds)
- 1 cantaloupe (about 4 pounds)
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced lime (about 1 small)
- Wash peaches, apricots, pineapple, and lime under cold running water; drain.
- To peel peaches and apricots*, blanch in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Immediately transfer to cold water. cut off peels.
- Cut peaches and apricots in half lengthwise, remove pits and fibrous flesh. Slice peaches; leave apricots cut in half. Treat with Fruit-Fresh to prevent darkening.
- Cut off top and bottom ends of pineapple; core and peel. Cut pineapple into 1-inch pieces.
- Peel and seed cantaloupe; cut cantaloupe into 1-inch
- Combine sugar, curry powder, water, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer (180F).
- Drain peaches and apricots. Add peaches, apricots, pineapple, and cantaloupe to syrup.
- Simmer until fruit is hot throughout.
- Pack hot fruit into a hot jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
- Put on lime slice into jar.
- Ladle hot syrup over fruit, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles.
- Clean jar rim.
- Center lid on jar and adjust band to fingertip-tight.
- Place jar on the rack elevated over simmering water (180F) in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Lower the rack into simmering water. Water must cover jars by 1 inch.
- Adjust the heat to medium-high, cover canner and bring water to a rolling boil.
- Process quart jars 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat and remove cover
- Let jars cool 5 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner; do not retighten bands if loose.
- Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.
*I did not peel my apricots. I find their skins entirely inoffensive and so always skip that step when it is listed.