Good things come in small jars

‘The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes’ makes it eas­ier to cre­ate sweet, savoury treats

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE -

‘The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes’ makes it eas­ier to cre­ate sweet, savoury treats.

When Amy Bronee was writ­ing “The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes,” she dreamed up a jam that com­bines juicy ripe pears and amaretto, an al­mond-flavoured Ital­ian liqueur.

When she made it, she found the taste “out of this world.”

But she couldn’t get the mix­ture to set. Per­haps the al­co­hol was interfering with the pectin and af­fect­ing the gel set point. She made it seven times. “The sev­enth time I de­cided that the first batch was just so good. This is not a jam. This is a dessert sauce and I thought I just need to let it be what it is be­cause it was so de­li­cious.”

Bronee’s recipe for Pear Amaretto Sauce is be­low along with a few other sweet and savoury favourites from her new book, pub­lished ear­lier this month.

PEAR AMARETTO SAUCE

Amaretto liqueur lifts pear pre­serves from sim­ple to so­phis­ti­cated.

To get the best flavour from pears, al­low them to ripen be­fore us­ing. A ripe pear should be juicy and soft in­stead of crunchy. To ripen hard pears, leave them at room tem­per­a­ture for a few days and check them again for a ten­der neck.

1.5 kg (3 lb) ripe pears 750 mL (3 cups) gran­u­lated sugar 125 mL (1/2 cup) amaretto liqueur Rinse pears un­der cool run­ning wa­ter. Re­move and dis­card peels, stems and cores. Coarsely chop pears, adding them to a large, heavy-bot­tomed pot. Crush with a masher into a chunky con­sis­tency. Stir in sugar. Bring to a full boil over high­est heat, stir­ring fre­quently. Main­tain a full boil for 3 to 4 min­utes, un­til bits of pear are ten­der. Stir in amaretto. Re­turn to a full boil for 1 minute. Re­move from heat. La­dle into 5 clean 250-ml (1-cup) jars, leav­ing a 5-mm (1/4-inch) headspace. Fill can­ner with wa­ter and place it over high heat at least 20 min­utes be­fore you need it so it will be boiling when jars are ready to be pro­cessed. Fol­low man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions on pack­ag­ing for pre­par­ing lids for pro­cess­ing. Po­si­tion new flat lids over clean jar rims and se­cure in place by twist­ing on screw bands just un­til fin­ger­tip tight. Not too tight - some air will need to es­cape dur­ing pro­cess­ing. Place jars in wa­ter bath can­ner, cov­ered by at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) boiling wa­ter. Cover can­ner and process for 15 min­utes. Start tim­ing when wa­ter in can­ner re­turns to full boil. When pro­cess­ing time is up, turn off heat and re­move lid. Leave jars in can­ner for 5 more min­utes. Re­move pro­cessed jars from can­ner and leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten screw bands while

jars are cool­ing. Once jars are fully cooled, press mid­dle of each lid to check for a vac­uum seal. If cen­tre of lid is suc­tioned down, jar has fully sealed. Makes 5 250-ml (1-cup) jars.

HOT-AND-SOUR PICK­LED GREEN BEANS

Per­son­al­ize your Cae­sar or Bloody Mary cock­tail by slid­ing one of these spicy and tangy pick­led green beans into the glass. They’re also fan­tas­tic chopped in sal­ads and added to pasta dishes and omelettes.

This is a sim­ple can­ning pro­ject, ideal for first-time pick­lers.

Qual­ity fresh green beans should make a sat­is­fy­ing snap sound when bro­ken. To sim­plify pack­ing, use wide-mouth in­stead of stan­dard-mouth can­ning jars. For even hot­ter flavour, add pep­per­corns or some brown mus­tard seeds to your jars. For best flavour, wait two to three weeks be­fore open­ing. 1.5 kg (3 lb) green beans 12 mL (2 1/2 tsp) dried chili flakes 5 gar­lic cloves, peeled 750 mL (3 cups) wa­ter 550 mL (2 1/4 cups) pick­ling vine­gar (7 per cent acetic acid) 50 mL (1/4 cup) pick­ling salt Rinse beans un­der cool run­ning wa­ter. Trim off and dis­card tips at both ends. Line up 5 clean 500-ml (2-cup) jars. Put 2 ml (1/2 tsp) chili flakes and 1 gar­lic clove into each jar. Pack each jar with the green beans, en­sur­ing they are at least 2 cm (3/4 inch) be­low jar rim. Pre­pare brine by com­bin­ing wa­ter, vine­gar and salt in a large saucepan. Stir over high heat un­til salt dis­solves com­pletely and liq­uid turns from cloudy to clear. La­dle hot brine into jars, leav­ing a 1-cm (1/2-inch) headspace. Poke a non-me­tal­lic uten­sil in­side each jar a few times to re­move any air bub­bles, top­ping up brine if nec­es­sary. Fill can­ner with wa­ter and place it over high heat at least 20 min­utes be­fore needed so it will be boiling when jars are ready to be pro­cessed. Fol­low man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions on pack­ag­ing for pre­par­ing lids for pro­cess­ing. Po­si­tion new flat lids over clean jar rims and se­cure in place by twist­ing on the screw bands just un­til fin­ger­tip tight. Not too tight - some air will need to es­cape dur­ing pro­cess­ing. Place jars in wa­ter bath can­ner, cov­ered by at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) boiling wa­ter. Cover can­ner and process for 15 min­utes. Start tim­ing when wa­ter in can­ner re­turns to full boil. When pro­cess­ing time is up, turn off heat and re­move lid. Leave jars in the can­ner for 5 more min­utes. Re­move pro­cessed jars from can­ner and leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten screw bands while the jars are cool­ing. Once jars are fully cooled, press mid­dle of each lid to check for a vac­uum seal. If cen­tre of lid is suc­tioned down, jar has fully sealed. Makes 5 500- mL (2-cup) jars.

GAR­LIC ROSE­MARY AP­PLE JELLY

A jar of this dra­matic jelly adds a spe­cial touch to a cheese and crack­ers plat­ter or char­cu­terie board.

“It’s got the sweet­ness from the ap­ples, it’s got the sour­ness from white vine­gar, then it’s got the rose­mary and the gar­lic. You would use it any­where you would use pep­per jelly, and it’s so good. That’s a favourite of a lot of my neigh­bours. They all want a jar of that,” says Bronee.

Use the fresh­est rose­mary and gar­lic you can find. Your fin­ished jelly is as good as the in­gre­di­ents you add to it. 1.6 kg (3 1/2 lb) ap­ples (any va­ri­ety) 1.25 l (5 cups) wa­ter 875 mL (3 1/2 cups) gran­u­lated sugar 150 mL (2/3 cup) white vine­gar 30 mL (2 tbsp) chopped fresh rose­mary 15 mL (1 tbsp) minced gar­lic Rinse ap­ples un­der cool run­ning wa­ter. Chop into chunks, in­clud­ing pectin-rich skins, cores and seeds, and place in a large, heavy-bot­tomed pot. Pour in wa­ter. Bring to a boil over high heat. Re­duce heat to medium, cover and con­tinue cook­ing for 30 min­utes, un­til mushy, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Scoop hot ap­ple mix­ture into a jelly bag (or a colan­der lined with a dou­ble layer of damp­ened cheese­cloth) sus­pended over a large bowl. Let it drip un­til you have 875 mL (3 1/2 cups) juice. (This can take a few hours.) Pour juice into rinsed pot. Stir in sugar, vine­gar, rose­mary and gar­lic. Bring to a full boil over high­est heat. Main­tain a full foamy boil, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til it reaches the gel stage, about 10 min­utes. Re­move from heat and skim off any foamy scum. La­dle into 3 clean 250- mL (1-cup) jars, leav­ing a 5-mm (1/4-inch) headspace. Fill can­ner with wa­ter and place it over high heat at least 20 min­utes be­fore you need it so it will be boiling when jars are ready to be pro­cessed. Fol­low man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions on the pack­ag­ing for pre­par­ing lids for pro­cess­ing. Po­si­tion new flat lids over clean jar rims and se­cure in place by twist­ing on screw bands just un­til fin­ger­tip tight. Not too tight - some air will need to es­cape dur­ing pro­cess­ing. Place jars in wa­ter bath can­ner, cov­ered by at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) boiling wa­ter. Cover can­ner and process for 15 min­utes. Start tim­ing when wa­ter in can­ner re­turns to full boil. When pro­cess­ing time is up, turn off the heat and re­move lid. Leave jars in can­ner for 5 more min­utes. Re­move pro­cessed jars from can­ner and leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten screw bands while jars are cool­ing. Once jars are fully cooled, press mid­dle of each lid to check for a vac­uum seal. If cen­tre of lid is suc­tioned down, jar has fully sealed. Makes 3 250- mL (1 cup) jars.

RASP­BERRY CO­COA JAM

Clas­sic rasp­berry jam gets a sin­ful twist with pure co­coa pow­der in this un­usual jam that’s de­li­cious on toast, brownie bites with whipped cream, ice cream, cheese­cake, tarts and thumbprint cook­ies.

Milk prod­ucts aren’t safe for wa­ter bath can­ning, so it’s im­por­tant to use a pure co­coa pow­der that has no added milk solids. Look for one that lists only co­coa power in the in­gre­di­ents.

1.125 kg (2 1/2 lb) rasp­ber­ries 15 mL (1 tbsp) le­mon juice 50 mL (1/4 cup) pure co­coa pow­der 1 pkg (57 g) reg­u­lar pectin pow­der 1.5 l (6 cups) gran­u­lated sugar Rinse rasp­ber­ries un­der cool run­ning wa­ter and drain well. Crush berries in a large, heavy-bot­tomed pot with a masher (you should have just about 1.25 l/5 cups crushed berries). Stir in le­mon juice, co­coa pow­der and pectin pow­der. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stir­ring fre­quently. Stir in sugar. Re­turn to a full boil, stir­ring con­stantly. Main­tain a full boil for 1 minute. Re­move from heat. Skim off and dis­card any foamy scum. La­dle into 7 clean 250- mL (1-cup) jars, leav­ing a 5 mm (1/4 inch) headspace. Fill can­ner with wa­ter and place it over high heat at least 20 min­utes be­fore you need it so it will be boiling when jars are ready to be pro­cessed. Fol­low man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions on pack­ag­ing for pre­par­ing lids for pro­cess­ing. Po­si­tion new flat lids over clean jar rims and se­cure in place by twist­ing on screw bands just un­til fin­ger­tip tight. Not too tight - some air will need to es­cape dur­ing pro­cess­ing. Place jars in wa­ter bath can­ner, cov­ered by at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) boiling wa­ter. Cover can­ner and process for 15 min­utes. Start tim­ing when wa­ter in can­ner re­turns to a full boil. When pro­cess­ing time is up, turn off heat and re­move lid. Leave jars in can­ner for 5 more min­utes. Re­move pro­cessed jars from can­ner and leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten screw bands while jars are cool­ing. Once jars are fully cooled, press mid­dle of each lid to check for a vac­uum seal. If cen­tre of lid is suc­tioned down, jar has fully sealed. Makes 7 250- mL (1-cup) jars.

Source: “The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes” by Amy Bronee (Pen­guin, 2015).

CANA­DIAN PRESS PHOTO

Peo­ple who love the com­bi­na­tion of rasp­berry and cho­co­late will love this rasp­berry co­coa jam. It’s de­li­cious on toast, brownie bites, ice cream, cheese­cake, tarts and thumbprint cook­ies, says Amy Bronee, au­thor of ‘The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes’.

CANA­DIAN PRESS PHOTO

Zip up a cae­sar with a tangy pick­led green bean, an easy can­ning recipe for be­gin­ners. You’ll never go back to a cel­ery stick, says Amy Bronee, au­thor of ‘The Can­ning Kitchen: 101 Sim­ple Small Batch Recipes’.

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