Pat Crocker, the multiple award-winning creator of the Riversong Herbal Handbook series, shows us how we can enjoy fresh seasonal produce all year long by Preserving.
Pat Crocker, the multiple award-winning creator of the Riversong Herbal Handbook series, shows us how we can enjoy fresh seasonal produce all year long by Preserving. Already a bestseller in Canada, this beautifully photographed cookbook and resource guide is filled with comprehensive instructions for canning and freezing, and more than 200 recipes for delicious pickles, chutneys, jams, sauces, curds, relishes, and much more.
A comprehensive guide to canning and freezing
Home canning and freezing are time-honored kitchen skills that are being rediscovered by a new generation of Americans—both for the pleasure of performing these simple activities and for their inherent economy. Now home cooks can take advantage of their local farmer’s markets to buy fresh, inexpensive and seasonal produce to enjoy all year round. In Preserving, Pat Crocker offers practical, easy-to-follow information on home canning and freezing to get novices started and inspire experienced hands.
More than 200 recipes for pickles, chutneys, jams, sauces, curds, relishes and so much more
Organized by season and focused on simple but effective concepts, this practical guide offers thorough information on preserving a diverse range of foods for the pantry, from asparagus and blueberries to peaches and winter squash. Here are techniques on canning, jamming and freezing everything from the most basic hot-packed fruit recipes to gorgeous, internationally flavored chutneys and relishes. Filled with safe and detailed instructions, step-by-step photography and more than two hundred recipes, Preserving is a kitchen essential that is sure to become a classic.
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Recipe: Blueberry Conserve
This soft conserve is just an all-round beautiful preserve. The apples and orange slices with rind add pectin, shortening the time this conserve takes to set (about 1/2 hour). If you wish to shorten the time more, use commercial fruit pectin and follow package directions.
MAKES 8 CUPS (2 L)
6 cups (1.5 L) granulated sugar
3 cups (750 mL) unsweetened apple juice or water
2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 apples, shredded
1 orange, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) seedless golden raisins, coarsely chopped
6 cups (1.5 L) blueberries
1. Heat eight 1-cup (250 mL) jars in boiling water, and scald the lids, lifter, funnel and tongs.
2. In a Maslin pan or canning kettle, combine sugar, apple juice and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add apples, orange slices and raisins. Reduce heat and boil gently for 7 minutes. Add blueberries, increase heat to high and return to a boil. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and test gel (see Setting Point, below).
3. Skim off and discard any foam. Fill hot jars, leaving a 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Run a thin nonmetallic utensil around the inside of the jar to allow air to escape. Add more hot conserve, if necessary, to leave a 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Wipe rims, top with flat lids and screw on metal rings. Return jars to the hot water bath, topping up with hot water if necessary. Bring to a full rolling boil and process jars for 15 minutes.
4. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars to a towel or rack to cool completely. Check seals, label and store in a cool place for up to 1 year.
Use: With the bits of orange floating in it, this sweet condiment is perfect with smoked meats like duck, ham or bacon. For a double whammy, I like to spoon it over blueberry scones or muffins.
Setting Point—Blueberry Conserve has reached the setting point when a candy thermometer reads 212°F (100°C). If you don’t have a thermometer: To test for setting point, remove the conserve from the heat. Place a plate in the freezer for 2 minutes. Drop a spoonful of hot conserve onto the chilled plate. Return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute. Push the spot of conserve with a fork. If the surface wrinkles, the conserve is set and ready to pack into hot, sterilized jars. If the conserve is not set, return to a boil and test at 3-minute intervals, using a new chilled plate each time.
BLUEBERRY CONSERVE, a recipe from PRESERVING—reprinted with permission from William Morrow Books, copyright © 2012 by Pat Crocker