What to do with very large cucumbers – Cucumber Relish!

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Super large cucumbers are often hard to transform into crispy pickle spears, and are often quite seedy, but still have much potential! I recently had some very large cucumbers. My initial plan was to pickle them, but their seedy nature was making that difficult. So, we changed things up a little. After I washed and trimmed them, I used my mandolin to slice as much of each cucumber as I could until the seeds began to interfere with the crispness of the slice. All of these nice slices were transformed into Maw Maw’s Cucumber Salad which we’d shared earlier. Yum!MawMawsCucumberSaladCrackerJar

I took the remaining cucumber parts, sliced them lengthwise and scooped out the seeds. These were then cubed for relish! I like a relish in which all of the players can be identified, so removing the seedy watery parts helps to maintain more texture.Cubed Veggies for Relish

As it turns out, I knew that I’d be short on Peppers for this recipe, so I washed & cubed all of my peppers first to see what ratio of the original recipe I’d be able to make. I ended up with only half of what the recipe called for.

Cucumber Relish – a small batch or a half batch.

Based on the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving 

This recipe makes 4 Pints.  (You might notice that I only have 3 Pints and a 12oz Jar – I used a small portion as an ingredient in a crockpot chicken meal.)

Ingredients

5 cups cucumbers
2 cups green bell peppers
2 cups red /yellow bell peppers
½ cup onion
¼ to ½ cup pickling salt
1 ½ cup white vinegar
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tbsp. celery seeds
1 ½ tbsp. mustard seeds

Clean, seed (as appropriate) and finely chop the cucumbers, green & yellow bell peppers and onion.

In a non-reactive bowl, combine the cucumbers, peppers, onions, and the pickling salt and cover it. Let it set in a cool place for about 4 hours.

Transfer into a colander in the sink and rinse thoroughly with cold water for 4 minutes. Drain well, gently press more of the excess water out with your hands, set aside to drain further. Cucumber Relish Rinsed & DrainingPrepare water bath canner, jars & lids.

In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds & celery seeds. On medium heat, and while stirring, bring to a boil. ucumber Relish BrineAdd cucumber, pepper & onion mixture and while stirring, return to a boil. Reduce heat, but maintain a gentle boil for about 10 minutes.

Scoop the relish into warmed canning jars, allowing ½ inch of headspace. Cucumber Relish Up CloseRemove any air bubbles, wipe rims clean, lid the jars and apply rings only to finger-tip tightness.

Place jars into the prepared water bath canner. Adjust water level if needed (you should have at least an inch above the jars) so that the jars are completely covered throughout the process. Bring to a boil and process jars (8oz and 16oz) for 10 minutes.  When the time is up, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing them from the canner.

Place hot filled jars on a towel lined counter to cool untouched for 12 hours. When jars have completely cooled, remove rings, test the seal and store in a cool dark place. If any of your lids have not sealed, refrigerate it and enjoy right away! Cucumber Relish Sealed in Orchard Road Canning Jars

4 Tips for Crispy Pickles

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We don’t all have the space in our refrigerators to be squirrelling away “Refrigerator Pickles” to last us the year. Some recipes call for a “pickling agent”, but if you’re adverse to that, or if you really want to increase your crispy odds, here are some tips and recipes that should keep your crisp-o-meter happy!Boys&Pickles-Fillmore Container

  • Freshly Picked – pickle them as close to the harvesting as possible!Cucumber Relish in Jars
  • Smaller is Better – stick with pickling cucumbers that have not grown too much larger than your thumb. Turn those big ones into refrigerator pickles, or relish.
  • Pint or Smaller – try canning in pint jars or smaller – the larger jars will require longer processing which results in a softer end product.
  • Try Low Temperature Pasteurization Treatment as described here by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Please note that you can only use this method if the recipe indicates that it is appropriate and be sure to monitor temperature carefully!

Here’s a great collection of pickling recipes from Clemson University.

Quick Pickled Green Beans and Lemon Cucumber

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Pickled Green BeansOur CSA share has been plentiful with green beans. We’ve been enjoying them a variety of ways; sautéed with coconut oil; in one of our favorite chicken casseroles; and even crunching on them raw. However, on the eve of a weekend away I realized there was a lonely bag of green beans and a couple lemon cucumbers in the fridge beckoning to be eaten.quick pickled green beans-ingredients

I remembered a pickling recipe we made with some broccoli this past winter. It was so easy and tasty I thought I’d give it a try with green beans and lemon cucumber. The results were fantastic, and the green beans were gone before we even left for our weekend trip.

I used a quart jar for the green beans and one of Ball’s blue Heritage Collection pint jars for the lemon cucumbers. Since these quick pickles are going in the fridge, and not the water bath canner, you can use any jar you please. I choose to keep my beans and cucumbers seperate, as I thought the yellow of the lemon cucumbers looked pretty in the blue jar.

Quick Pickled Green Beans and Lemon Cucumber

2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
4 cups total of green beans and/or lemon cucumber
3-4 peeled garlic cloves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

Combine the vinegar, water, and salt together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Wash and snip the beans to your liking. Wash and slice the cucumbers to your liking.

spices in jarPut the garlic cloves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red chili flakes in the bottom of the jar(s) and pack the green beans/lemon cucumbers on top of the spices. jar and brine

Cover the beans/cucumbers with the hot vinegar brine. Cap the jar and let it cool to room temperature. Place the jar in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

Pickles will keep for 2-3 weeks.

Canning Tips from Marisa McClellan + New Orchard Road Products

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We had a blast with Marisa McClellan last week. She spent the day doing demos at Fillmore Container, Le Creuset at Tanger Outlets and Lemon Street Market.FIJ Demos

Preserving by the Pint - signedWe watched as she prepared variations of her Apricot Jam from Preserving by the Pint. We were partial to the version with red pepper! Before she left for the day she signed some of the Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint books that we have in stock, so the next few orders will get a signed copy. You can order your copies here.

For those that couldn’t attend, here are some of the canning tips Marisa shared during the demos.

  • Use a measuring cup when filling jar. If you are filling a half-pint jar and using a 1-cup measuring cup, you know that one scoop will fill the jar. This takes away the guesswork and makes filling go quicker.
  • You can use any kind of pot as a water bath canner. As long as there is about 1-2” of water covering the jars.
  • Use a cake rack to stack jars. If you are using squatty jars and you have room to stack jars in your pot, it is okay to stack them. Use a cake rack to separate the jars.
  • Screw lids till “fingertip tight”. If your lids are too tight during water bathing, there’s no way for the air to release from your jars and it could cause your lids to buckle. More on this here.
  • Consider the bounce test as a guide for determining how much pectin a fruit contains. Fruits that are high in natural pectin will have a more rigid cell structure and tend to bounce if you drop them. For example, blueberries have more pectin and tend to bounce, strawberries tend to squash easier, so they are lower in pectin.
  • Use the drip test as a way to determine if your jam is the right consistency. The longer the drips hang on your spoon or spatula the closer it is.
  • Store your jars with the rings off. Free your jars of rings when storing, this will help you identify if a canned good has gone bad.  If the contents begin to ferment and create gas, the lids will pop off.OrchardRoad

You can find more canning tips from Marisa here.

Many of our attendees walked away with samples of our newest line of jars – Orchard Road. Our far flung friends who couldn’t attend, had a chance to win a bundle of Orchard Road jars on the blog. Congratulations to Beth R. who won a case of wide mouth pint jars and regular mouth jelly jars (8 oz.). Plus, a pack of regular mouth bands and lids and a pack of wide mouth bands and lids. Beth told us she plans to fill them with apple butter and pasta sauce, yum!

OrchardRoadJarsWe’ve recently added the entire line of Orchard Road jars. Orchard Road is a new canning company that believes in celebrating all things fresh, natural and homemade. The new company told us its entire product line has been tested by an independent lab against Ball products. Orchard Road products performed just as well as Ball products did. The Orchard Road jar weights are either the same or a bit heavier than some of the other jars.orchard road jar weights

 Here’s why we like these new jars:

  • The words Orchard Road are embossed on only one side of the jar, making these great candidates for labeling or customizing for selling or gifting.
  • The lids leave a lot of room for labeling.
  • The jars come six to a case, which is great for our small batch canners.
  • The jars are packed in a sturdy box with dividers. Perfect for storing and protecting those precious canned goods.

To learn more about the jars check out Simply Canning’s review of the Orchard Road jars.

The jars are available in quart regular mouth and wide mouth; pint regular mouth and wide mouth; an 8oz regular mouth jelly jar. Jars are packed as 6 in a case. Lids and bands are available separately. You can check out the whole line here.

Food in Jars Demos + Giveaway of Orchard Road Jars

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Marisa McClellan author photoThe Food in Jars demo and book signing with Marisa McClellan is almost here. This Friday, August 8, 2014 Fillmore Container (10am – 11:30am), Le Creuset at Tanger Outlets (1pm – 3pm) and Lemon Street Market (5:30pm – 7:30pm) will host Marisa, as she demonstrates how easy it is to preserve!

Marisa will be making Yellow Plum Jam with Vanilla, a recipe from her newest cookbook Preserving by the Pint, and we can’t wait to taste test. There are still seats available, register here.

Attendees of the Fillmore Container, or Lemon Street Market demos will have the chance to win this bundle of our newest jars from Orchard Road.OrchardRoadJars

Orchard Road canning jars are a premium option for preserving, crafting, mason jar projects and events. They are designed for water canning and for pressure canning. The words Orchard Road are embossed on only one side of the jar, making these great candidates for labeling or customizing for selling or gifting.

OrchardRoadCurrently, we carry the quart regular mouth and wide mouth; pint regular mouth and wide mouth; an 8oz regular mouth jelly jar. Jars are packed as 6 in a case. Lids and bands are available separately.

The Giveaway

We know many of you live too far to travel to come to the Food in Jars demos in Lancaster, PA. But, we didn’t want you to miss out on winning some of these new jars. Here’s your chance to win the same bundle of Orchard Road jars and lids:

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Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves + a Giveaway with Pomona’s

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Pomona full size[2]The team that created Pomona’s Universal Pectin, a sugar-free, preservative-free, low-methoxyl citrus pectin, is celebrating their namesake, Pomona, this month. Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, “fruit,” specifically orchard fruit. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation.

In celebration of the Roman goddess festival day, Pomona’s is having a fun giveaway and since we love Pomona’s Pectin, we decided to join in the fun.

Two lucky winners will receive a copy of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy and a box of Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and we are throwing in a case of Orchard Road jelly jars with lids and bands, and a stainless steel funnel. You can enter to win at the end of the post.

Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin is the first official Pomona’s Universal Pectin cookbook and it explains how to use Pomona’s to create low sugar, or no sugar marmalades, preserves, conserves, jams, and jellies. The book includes many recipes, including the one we are sharing today.

Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves

Excerpted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)gingeredlemonfigpreserves

In this spectacular preserve, a touch of heat from the ginger and a little tartness from the lemons beautifully highlight the lushness of fresh, ripe figs. Try serving sandwiched between gingersnap cookies to accentuate its flavor profile. To ensure proper acidity levels, be sure to use commonly available, full-acid lemons such as Eureka or Lisbon lemons in this recipe.

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water.  To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.  Extra calcium water may be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Yield: 4 to 5 half-pint (8-ounce) jars

Ingredients

2 pounds ripe figs
2 tablespoons peeled, finely grated ginger root
7 medium lemons, divided
4 teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Directions

1. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.

2. Rinse figs, remove stems, and slice them in half lengthwise. (Cut them into smaller pieces if you prefer, or if you’re working with large figs.) Combine figs in a saucepan with grated ginger.

3. Wash lemons thoroughly. Using a vegetable peeler, slice off long pieces of the exterior of some of the lemon peels, avoiding the inner white part. Then, using a chef’s knife, slice these pieces into very thin strips about 1-inch long. Repeat this process until you have accumulated ¼ cup of thin, 1-inch long strips. Add these strips to the fig mixture.

4. Slice lemons in half and squeeze out their juice, discarding the remaining peels. Divide the juice, setting aside 1/3 cup for later use. Add the remaining quantity to the fig mixture.

5. Bring the fig mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until lemon peels are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

6. Measure 4 cups of the cooked fig mixture and return the measured quantity to the saucepan. Add the reserved 1/3 cup lemon juice and calcium water and mix well.

7. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

8. Bring fig mixture back to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil. Once the preserves return to a full boil, remove from heat.

9. Can Your Preserves: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.

Grate That Ginger!
Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, slice the thin, brown skin off a chunk of fresh, firm ginger root. Then, using a fine mesh grater, grate the ginger root. Don’t peel the whole root at once—continue to peel as you go along, so that you don’t peel more than you need. Grating the ginger will create a good bit of juice; be sure to incorporate it into your measured quantity of grated ginger.

For more great recipes from Pomona’s you’ll want to get a copy of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin, or sign-up to get their newsletter – Jam Notes.

The GiveawayPomona's Collage

Two lucky winners will receive:

From Pomona’s:

From Fillmore Container:

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The Giveaway terms and conditions are: Giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address who is 18 years or older. Giveaway runs from August 5, 2014, through August 13, 2014. Winners will be randomly chosen.

2 Fresh Summer Salad Recipes

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We have two family favorites to share with you today – Maw Maw’s Cucumber Salad and Gigi’s Copper Penny Salad. These recipes are really easy and great for a crowd.

Maw Maw’s Cucumber SaladMawMawsCucumberSaladCrackerJar

This dish is perfect for all those cucumbers that continue to populate in your garden! We suggest starting it the day before, so that it can be chilled properly for a few hours, and soak up the dressing flavors overnight. This will make a family supply, multiply as needed for larger amounts.MawMawsCucumberSalad

  • 3 medium – large cucumbers sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly

Place cucumber and onion in a bowl, cover with water, sprinkle a little salt…just to draw out juices, chill for about 3 hours then drain.

Dressing

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 T water
  • ½ t salt
  • Dillweed (liberally…as desired) You can use fresh Dill – which always adds that just picked appeal!

Put all the dressing ingredients into a Mason jar and shake, shake, shake it up. Place your cucumbers and onions in a serving jar and pour the dressing on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer this sits, the better it gets…within reason…but it usually lasts up to 10 days.

Gigi’s Copper Penny SaladSalad Serving Jar

Here’s what you need to make this fresh and colorful salad.

  • 2lbs carrots; sliced like coins, cooked ’til tender & cooled.
  • 1 pepper; sliced into strips.  We like to use a little of yellow, green & red to add some more depth of color.
  • 1 large onion; sliced into rings. We used a variety of cute little onions from my mostly failed garden…but those little rings of white & purple looked & tasted great!

While the carrots are cooking/cooling, mix the dressing:

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can tomato soup

Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake it up.

Layer these fresh and colorful veggies in a large glass bowl or serving jar.  Pour the dressing over the veggies, lid and refrigerate for 24 hours.

We always use our Heritage Hill Jar or Cracker Jar to serve these salads. They are perfect to transition from the refrigerator to the table, and easy to transport if we are bringing our dish to a gathering.  Smaller sizes of these jars are available.

Quick Pickling Recipes

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This week’s CSA share included some new plant foods for our family. I’m drawn to the heirloom botanicals and intrigued by the sometimes odd looking “fruits”.  My friend Melissa (who runs the True Vine CSA)  was amused by my excitement over the interesting items – lemon cucumbers and some very large, long white radishes.  I must admit, I planted some heirloom radishes but the odd spring weather did a number on them and they bolted, so I consider this some divine intervention.  The ride home was spent partly on how I wished to pickle these lovelies and partly on how in the world I’d have the time.  Cucumbers & Dill

Quick Pickling to the rescue – not only because of the ease of preparation and process, but also due to the crisp deliciousness!

Along with the lemon cucumbers, came some very large cucumbers who I knew wouldn’t stand a chance in the water bath, so I added them to the quick pickling docket.

There are so many versions of quick pickling out there…but the minimalist guideline is that you need enough water & vinegar (in about equal parts) to cover what you’re pickling and a little sugar (can be adjusted for taste).

Quick Pickled Lemon Cucumbers

After your cucumbers are washed & trimmed, slice them to your liking – but you may first want to consider how large they are and which containers you wish them to fit into. Super thin slices may fall apart more quickly. Consider slicing thicker strips, or slicing them in a slanted fashion to make them larger. If you have very long cucumbers, trim it to fit your jar before you slice it into spears. Remember, this jar won’t go into the canner, so it doesn’t have to be “canning safe”. I wanted something special for my lemon cucumbers, so I used one of my antique “Crown” jars with the glass lid. This is also a good time to get some use out of those “already been canned with” lids.Slices LemonCucs

Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.  Let them set for 20 – 30 minutes while they give up some of their moisture.

While they’re soaking in the salts, mix & heat your brine and prepare your jars.

BRINE:  For a large handful of cucumbers, I used 4 cups water, 5 cups vinegar, ¼ sugar for the brine. (I did have a little left over, but I can hang on to that – I might have some more things from my own garden to pickle in the next day or two.)

SPICES: I like to put these in the jar while the veggies are in their salts, and the brine is warming up. Fresh dill & garlic, dry coriander seeds, black & white peppercorns and a fresh chili pepper went into the jars.   Pickling SPices in Jars

After the jars are spiced, and the cucumbers have set long enough, you may pack the cucumbers into your jars. I like to add a few more springs of dill on top.  Packed Jars

When your brine is ready, carefully pour it into the jars over the cucumbers being sure that they are covered.  Packed Jars with Brine

Let set uncovered until they are cool, then cap them and place them in the refrigerator. I always need to sneak a taste the next day, but really, the flavors need about 3 days to really blend.

Now, what to do with those huge white radishes? Why not Vietnamese Pickles!

Vietnamese Pickles – Carrots & Daikon from White On Rice Couple.

What you need:Daikon Julienned

½ pound carrots
½ daikon radish  (After washing & trimming them, cut them into thin strips. My mandolin julienned them in a flash!)
4 cups water (Warm enough to dissolve the salt & sugar, but not too warm to wilt the veggies.)
3 T sugar
2 T salt
6 T distilled vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it)

Mix the water sugar, salt and vinegar in a large picture or saucepan, ensuring all is dissolved and mixed fully.

Place the julienned daikon and carrots into your jars and pour the vinegar solution over them. Be sure that all pieces are covered. Daikon & Carrots in Jars

Lid the jars and refrigerate. Like most quick pickled things, it’s best to let them mellow for 3 days for the best flavor distribution. Quick Pickles Finished

These will last for several week in the refrigerator – if you don’t eat them first!

Here’s another quick pickling recipe from the archives – Quick Pickled Broccoli. TIP: We’ve swapped the broccoli with fresh green beans too. It was a hit!

Seawicks Candle Company + a Giveaway

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We are consistently impressed with the creativity of our customers and their unique business stories. We always love hearing about (and testing) our customer’s products!

Today, we’re featuring one of our ingenious customers, and giving you a chance to win one of their products.Seawick logo

Seawicks Candle Company, like many, has a great story. After a move to a small town in Maine, Cara and her husband, Michael quickly fell in love with the smell of the sea, the sounds of lobster boats, and summer on the coast. However, the first winter came and they longed for summer and the scent of the sea, and Seawicks was born.

Seawicks Candles are hand poured, by Michael, in small batches using 100% Soy Wax. All of their 26 scents are a reflection of life on the coast and are available in a few different sizes.

As they looked through some old photos of Michael’s grandmother on the coast they were inspired to include them as part of Seawicks Candle Company. The company logo is a direct reflection of a photo of Michael’s grandmother. They continue to keep those family memories alive by featuring family beach photos on the tops of all their tin size candles.

Right now, we really love their limited edition candle poured in our blue Heritage Collection Mason Jars, by Ball. The white candle is beautiful in the vintage style blue Mason jar. And when your candle is all gone, wash out the jar and reuse it as a vase, for storage, or whatever Mason jar DIY idea you come up with. There are dozens of them hereSeawicks Blue Pair

We are giving away two of Seawicks Antique Replica Blue Mason Candles with the misty seaside fragrance – Summertime On the Pier. Enter below for your chance to win. If you don’t want to take your chances you can order your own online here, or find out where Seawicks Candles are sold near you. If you happen to be traveling to Damariscotta, Maine stop by the Seawicks shop, Off To The Cottage on Main Street, and be sure to tell them Fillmore Container sent you!
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Tips for Making Double Batches of Jam

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Making Multiple Batches of Plum Star Anise Jam & Tomato Basil Jam from Food in Jarsdouble batch jam

Our jamming kettles & canners were quite busy the other day as I multi-tasked, something I usually don’t recommend with preserving. However, I needed to do some testing of some new jars and lids that we may add to our line, and I needed to put up some tomato jam for our family.  While getting my tomatoes at our local orchard, some plums & white peaches jumped into my basket. So, I got busy making Marisa McClellan’s Plum Star Anise Jam and my version of her Yellow Tomato Basil Jam. (To hear more recipes from Marisa McClellan register for our meet the author and canning event on August 8th.)Plums

Sometimes, doing multiple batches of preserves isn’t a good thing  – like when you’re using pectin other than Pomona’s, when you have a very finite amount of time in which to complete your canning or when the recipe specifies “do not double”.

However, sometimes multiplying your batch is OK.  If you have the time and if you’re using Pomona’s. It also helps if you have a nice wide jam pot, as it increases your evaporation surface area. My Le Creuset kettles are perfect for this – we use them for all of our preserves. They heat evenly, and the smooth, creamy finish makes stirring and cleanup a breeze. While they are pricey, I was able to get some at a great discount at our local Le Creuset outlet – which is what triggered my discussion with the gals there about doing some canning demos.

An important note when doubling batches: It’s still important to cook your jam down in order to decrease the water content in your end product. The sugar and the evaporation work together to lower the water activity – which plays an important role in pH stability and the shelf life of your preserve. If you double your batch, you can plan on cooking (don’t forget stirring) it more than twice the time of the original recipe. Even though I put both kettles on the stove at the same time, I had my Plum with Star Anise Jam jarred, processed and cooling with time to spare before my tomato jam was ready.  I knew I had the time, so it worked for me.

We’ll be sharing the recipe with their original measurements. I did use a mix of yellow & dark plums and actually tripled the recipe. I love that Marisa uses weights! I’m not great at estimating how much fruit I have – and how much prepared (trimmed, pitted or cored) I’ll end up with.  It’s so much easier to use my kitchen scale as I prepare the fruits. Then I do the math and adjust the amounts for the other ingredients accordingly.

Italian Plum Jam with Star Anise (from Preserving by the Pint) –makes about 2 – 8oz jars

Plum Jam Ingredients

1 pound (460g) Italian Plums – Pitted & Chopped
¾ Cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 Star Anise

  1. Combine the pitted & chopped plums, sugar & star anise in a bowl and let them sit for at least an hour so flavors mingle & juices flow
  2. Gather & prepare your jars (place clean jars in your water bath for preheating) & lids (simmering in a saucepan) and your other tools–funnel, dipper, clean cloth for wiping jar rims, wand for your lids, jar lifter. Plum in kettle
  3. Cook fruit mixture in a wide skillet or kettle over med-high heat, with regular stirring. Bring it to a boil and continue until it bubbles and begins to thicken.  For single batch – about 10 – 12 minutes. If your spatula leaves a void as you stir, the cooking is complete. (I actually tripled mine, so it took about 45 minutes. I could still see the void behind my spatula as it thickened.)
  4. Remove from the heat, funnel into your clean jars leaving ½ inch of headspace, apply lids & bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.Lidding Plum Orchard Road
  5. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully remove them from the water bath, place them on the towel lined countertop.
  6. Let them cool for 24 hours, remove bands & check seals.Orchard Road 8oz Jelly jar Plum Jam

Got a big “Mmmmmmm!” from all of my taste testers!
Jam Tester

Tomato Jam & Basil    (makes about 6 pints)

For my Tomato & Basil Jam, I used the Yellow Tomato & Basil Jam from Food in Jars blog. However, we used reBasil for Tomato Jamd canning tomatoes and doubled the batch.

8 pounds tomatoes; cleaned, cored & chopped
6 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice
Zest of 2 – 4 lemons (actually only used 2)
½ cup clean, chopped basil

  1. Clean, core and chop tomatoes
  2. Combine tomatoes & sugar in a large non-reactive bowl and let set for at least an hour to allow juices to flow.
  3. Gather & prepare your jars (place clean jars in your water bath for preheating) & lids (simmering in a saucepan) and your other tools –funnel, dipper, clean cloth for wiping jar rims, wand for your lids, jar lifter.
  4. Pour tomato mixture into a large (preferable wide) kettle, add lemon juice & bring to a boil. Tomato Jam bubbling away
  5. Cook for at least 1 hour 15minutes – while stirring regularly. If you have a nice wide kettle, it will likely take another 15 – 30 minutes until it’s cooked down sufficiently.TomatoJam collage
  6. When you’re satisfied with the set, remove from the heat, stir in the basil and ½ of the lemon zest. Taste and add the rest of the zest if you feel it’s required.
  7. Funnel the jam into your clean jars leaving ½ inch of headspace, apply lids & bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  8. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully remove them from the water bath, place them on the towel lined countertop.

Let them cool for 24 hours, remove bands & check seals.

Finished Tomato Jam in Orchard Road Wide Pints

To hear more recipes from Marisa McClellan register for our meet the author and canning event on August 8th.