Tomato Time

100_0366

Tomato season will be here soon. I just want to remind you to please use bottle lemon juice to ensure safe water-bath canning. Because the pH level of fresh lemons can vary,this is why I recommend you using bottled lemon juice. The required amount of lemon juice for pint jars is one tablespoon directly in the jar before the tomatoes and for quart jars two tablespoons of bottle lemon juice directly in the jar before the tomatoes.  This will ensure you have the proper acid in each jar.

Here is a tip on how to peel a tomato easily.

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow  x  into the bottom of each tomatoes.
  2. Working in batches, immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or until tomato skins start to split open.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, use your fingers or a pairing knife to peel off skin.

I do have a few tomato classes coming up if you are interested.

May 28 at 11:00am. at “The Farm”  All In A Jar’s place.
We will be making Puttanesca Pasta Sauce. This sauce has a lot going on with kalamata olives, capers, fresh oregano, and anchovies; it’s packed with layered flavors. Serve it with your favorite pasta shape, grilled fish, sautéed shrimp or steamed mussels.
Peach Bellini Drizzle is a cocktail-inspired dessert drizzle. Drizzle on Ice cream, Pound cake, Belgian Waffles or French toast. Think fancy syrup.
We will be sitting down for lunch, enjoying the Puttanesca sauce over some pasta with a salad adorned with one of All In A Jar condiment. We also will be making a pound cake to have with the Peach Bellini on top. You’ll go home with a jar from each recipe.

July 30 11:00am at “The Farm”  All In A Jar’s place.
We will be making Fire Roasted Chunky Tomato Salsa. This Roasted Chunky Salsa can be used with chips, eggs, tacos, or in a cheese quesadillas. Endless possibilities.
Apricot-Nectarine Pie Filling. Apricot pie is wonderful but add some nectarines and you have a pie that is just magical. You can use it to make a crisp, cobbler, put in crepes or on top your favorite ice cream.
You will be going home with a jar from each recipe. We will be sitting down for lunch enjoying tacos with the Fire Roasted Chunky Tomato Salsa, salad with one of All In A Jar condiment and Apricot-Nectarine Pie.

Happy Canning.

See you in class

 

Helpful Tips For Jam and Jellies

100_0350

 
Some fruits contain a natural pectin, some posses a great deal of acid and a few have both. Here is a list of fruit that contain pectin and acid (both of which are necessary to make the product gel):

Cranberries, quinces, green apples, blackberries, concord grapes, plums, gooseberries, orange and lemon rind all contain pectin and acid. Peaches, pear, cherries, strawberries, pineapples, and rhubarb contain practically no pectin when ripe, so pectin or some other gel substance must be added. Pears and sweet apples, although high in pectin, contain practically no acid and so require the addition of bottle lemon juice in place of an acid. Some fruit like pear have more pectin in them when not ripe. So when I make pear jam I always use a few pears that are not yet ripe and one granny smith apple. This ensures I do not need extra pectin.

A jelly bag is a convenient tool to use when straining juice to make jelly. If one is not available, a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth works well. When using a jelly bag or cheesecloth, it is important to dampen the cloth with warm water and wring it out before squeezing fruit through it. This helps to avoid absorption of juice by the cloth. Squeezing the jelly bag or pushing the fruit through will yield more juice but yields a cloudy product. If you choose to squeeze or push, you might try filtering the juice a second time for a more clear product. After each use, scrupulously clean the jelly bag before storing; any remaining juice or pulp will sour and ruin your jelly bag. Remember to wipe the jar rim with a clean, damp cloth to remove any spilled food which could prevent the jar from sealing.

See you in class