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Posts Tagged ‘jam’

Crepes with Strawberry Preserves

Yes, I know what you may be thinking…”Strawberry season?  I thought that was in the summer…?”  You are right, strawberry season is in the summer around here.  However, when a friend of mine got an ad in the mail for our local grocery store, strawberries were listed at $0.97 a pound!!  She discovered that this year Florida’s strawberry season has been very late, and is coinciding with California’s strawberry season…good news for us canners!! 

Ideally, I would have loved to have gotten these strawberries more locally, maybe even from my farmer’s market, but the lure of the deal I would be getting got the best of me.  At least the strawberries are from this country. 

I used the recipe for Strawberry Jam by Food In Jars to process my strawberries.  I loved the idea of using vanilla beans and lemon zest for a warmer, more interesting flavor.  Additionally, many other recipes that I saw used much more sugar, sometimes twice as much.  I like my preserves to taste more like the fruit itself then like candy.

Preserving for the first time this year showed me how much I had already learned in canning, as well as how much I have yet to learn.  I know the process well, sterilize, cook, fill, process, cool.  But I have so much more to learn about the art of canning.  It takes so much intuition and experience.  My jam turned out delicious, but a bit on the loose side.  I know that as I can more and more fruits and vegetables, I will be able to tell when a recipe is not going exactly as planned, and hopefully will know how to fix the problem.

Not all was lost for this “jam”, however.  Last night I threw together one of the tastiest desserts I have had in a long time…crepes with strawberry syrup and powdered sugar!

CrepesAdapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter (plus more for oiling the pan)
  • dash of salt
  • dash of vanilla or a bit of vanilla bean
  1. Mix flour and eggs as well as you can.  Slowly add 1 cup of milk, whisking to eliminate lumps of flour.  Add butter, salt, and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.
  2. With a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt a small bit of butter to coat.  Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of crepe batter, and tilt the pan to coat the bottom.  Cook until golden, then flip.  When the second side is done, spread a small bit of butter over the crepe.  Fold or roll crepe and place on plate.  Repeat with remainder of batter.
  3. Lightly dust the crepes with powdered sugar, and drizzle with warm strawberry syrup (or your favorite topping).  Eat all of them!!

It was so great to start the season with a big canning adventure!  How do you feel about canning with food bought from the grocery store vs. local food?

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Cherry Season

Cherry season is going strong out here, so I have been spending lots of time, waiting in line at the farmer’s market, canning and drying, and of course, eating cherries!  This summer I am trying to be a bit more conscientious about eating with the seasons, so I am getting all the cherries I can before the Colorado season is up.

I used to think the idea of a cherry pitter was kinda dumb…one of those one use kitchen items that you can get by just as easily without.  Now I know why people get those things…I was using a paperclip to pit the cherries and it took me about an hour to do 4 pounds.  Yikes!  Have any of you used a cherry pitter?  Does it save any time?

Probably the most sucessful of my cherry recipes was a cherry compote, made of cherries, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice (unfortunately I don’t have a picture).  The cool thing about cherries is you don’t really need to add extra pectin to get a good jam…after cooking the compote for about 10-15 min, I did a test on a cold plate and it had set just as well as any store-bought jam, and it tastes a hundred times better!  Even Mike, who has never been a cherry cheerleader, absolutely loved this!  The recipe I used: Cherry Preserves via Martha Stewart.  I only made half of the recipe, and it turned out well.  Also, watch the timing for the preserves…the recipe says it will gel after 30-40 minutes, but it only took me about 10 minutes.

The dried cherries went pretty well too.  The only problem is they have to be dried more than store-bought dried cherries because there are no additives to keep them from going bad.  This is kind of a double edged sword…its nice to have dried fruit without the preservatives, but they are a little more tough.

Just a reminder: Projects for the contest are due next Thursday!  Also, I should probably clarify…you can pick any color/color combo that you don’t normally use for the contest.  I picked hot pink, but you don’t have to.

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