29 July

Brandied Cherries

I enjoy preserving the “fruits” of the season…drying, canning, freezing. My favorite is canning. There is something so special about preparing the fruits and  vegetables, the hot water steaming, filling the jars, and knowing in the middle of winter you have saved some of the summer. Here is a recipe for Brandied Cherries.

BRANDIED CHERRIES
4 pounds of dark sweet cherries (about 9 cups after pitting)
2 ¼ cups of sugar
¼ cup of lemon juice
¾ cup of seven year old apple brandy

1. Stem rinse and pit the cherries
2. Combine cherries and their juice with the sugar and lemon juice in a nonreactive large pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar is dissolved into a smooth syrup and the cherries are hot throughout. Do not boil the mixture. Remove from heat and stir in brandy.
3. Pack cherries in hot sterilized jars with a slotted spoon. Ladle hot syrup over cherries leaving about ¼” headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece cap. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Let set 12 hours then check the seal.
4. Cool and label. Store in a cool cupboard for at least 2 weeks before opening.

Adapted from: “Ball Blue Book of Preserving” First published in 1909 and “The Good Stuff Cookbook” by Helen Witty, 1997.

Cherries 1

 

 

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13 July

July – Blueberry Season

July is “Blueberry Month” and this is a big deal in New Jersey. This is the time to pick blueberries, eat blueberries, cook with blueberries, bake with blueberries and preserve blueberries for the long winter months. Blueberries can be dried, frozen or made into jams, jellies and conserves. Here are two Blueberry Conserve recipes. Get cooking!
Blueberry Conserve
2 cups of water
4 cups of sugar
½ lemon thinly sliced
½ orange thinly sliced
½ cup of seedless raisins
1 quart of stemmed New Jersey Blueberries

Bring water and sugar to boiling. Add lemon, orange and raisins;
Simmer 5 minutes. Add blueberries and cook rapidly until thick,
about 30 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
Pour, boiling hot, into sterilized Ball jars (sterilize jars for 10 minutes) leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath.
Yield;. About 4 half-pints

Blueberry-Pineapple Conserve

1 quart of stemmed New Jersey Blueberries
2 cups of finely chopped, cored, pared fresh pineapple (one small)
5 cups of sugar.

Combine fruit and sugar; slowly bringing to boiling,
stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick,
about 30 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour boiling hot, into sterilized Ball jars (sterilize jars for 10 minutes) leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath. Yield abut 4 half pints.

Adapted from Ball Blue Book, 1969.

blueberries 1

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