Why Can

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There are many reasons why people can. Everyone has a different reason. Here are a few reasons why I can.

Health is a big one. I feel that people are slowly killing them selves with all the processed food they are eating. People ask me all the time why I can and I tell them, I know what is in the jar and I can pronounce each ingredient. There are no harmful additives, and a lot less sugar and salt.

Eco-Friendly is an other reason. If you grow your own food you are not having trucks bring your produce to the store and pollute the air. If you can’t grow your own food buy local.  You are reducing the waste of pre-packaged foods and the mason jars are reusable.

Finance is an other reason. When produce is in season it is at it lowest price. This is the perfect time to start preserving food and stock up your pantry. Those upscale kitchen stores with the fancy jams, chutney and mustard that you drool over can be made for a lot less money. When friends and family members know you can  they will start to bring you produce so be ready have jars on hand!

Passion is an other reason I can. I love food and sharing. I have been blessed to come from a family of foodies that are Portuguese. The Portuguese people I know want to show you how much they love you by cooking you a meal, handing you produce from their yard or a jar of homemade jam. Canning is a connection to my culture, family and heritage. I have to admit I love handing someone a jar and seeing them smile. The other thing I love is hearing the “POP” sound from the jars as they seal.

Gifts, What a wonderful thing to hand to someone. In my family we decided many years ago we would give consumable gifts during the holidays. For years I gave wine, but then I realized it’s not as special since they can go buy a bottle any where. So the last few years my family and friend have received jars from me. Now they are starting to make requests. When it comes to the holidays us canners have the upper hand on gift giving with our full pantry to shop in.

Quality and taste is far better homemade that any store-bought. Find the best produce at its peak and can it. Is going to taste better than anything you can get from the store.

One last thing, I’m highly addicted to canning and my personal goal is to get you addicted too.  I love it, it makes me happy. Happy Canning!

Share with me your reasons for canning.

P.S. Check out the class calendar. I have change a few things.  Please let me know what you would like to learn.

See you in class

What is Curd

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What is Curd
I think of curd as if it is pudding in a jar. With the citrus season here, it’s  time to make curd. Fruit curd is a delicious dessert spread.
Curd is a fruit based dessert spread and topping, usually made with lemon. Specific types of fruit curd are named after the central curd in them. For example,  made with lemons is known as ” Lemon Curd”. The basic ingredients are eggs ( sometimes yolks only or whites only or whole eggs  ), sugar, unsalted butter, fruit juice and zest, which are gently cooked together until thick ( trying not to make scrambled eggs) and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely-flavored spread.  In the late 19th and early 20th century,in England home-made lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, and as a filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts.
Homemade lemon curd was usually made in relatively small amounts as it did not keep as well as jam. In more modern times, larger quantities are feasible because of the use of refrigeration. Commercially manufactured curds often contain additional preservatives and thickening agents. This is why I can.
Modern commercially made curds are still a popular spread for bread, scones, toast, waffles, crumpets, pancakes, or muffins. They can also be used as a flavoring for desserts or yogurt. Lemon-meringue pie, made with lemon curd and topped with meringue has been a favorite dessert in Britain and the United States since the nineteenth century.
Curds are different from pie fillings or custards in that they contain a higher proportion of fruit  juice and zest, which gives them a more intense flavor.  Also, curds containing butter have a smoother and creamier texture than both pie filling and custards; both contain little or no butter and use cornstarch or flour for thickening.  Never use flour or cornstarch when canning. If you need a thickener use Clear Jel. Clear Jel is a modified cornstarch used in canning, like for pie filling.  Never use salted butter, it has iodine and it will make the curd an ugly color.
Additionally, unlike custard, curds are not usually eaten on their own. Fruit curds can be made using lemons,  limes, tangerines, passion fruit, mangoes, blackberries, oranges ( I like using vanilla bean in my Orange Curd) and cranberries.
If you are planing to make homemade curd for Holidays gifts, put the date you made it, and the date it needs to be eaten by. Homemade curd  is good for three months in the jars.   Happy Holidays and Happy Canning.

See you in class

Private Class: Citrus Curd

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I like to think of curd as if it were pudding in a jar.Since Citrus season is here, it’s  time to make curd. Fruit curd makes a delicious dessert spread.

The basic ingredients are eggs, sugar, butter, fruit juice and zest – which are gently cooked together until thick. The toughest part is trying not to make scramble eggs as you temper the ingredients. If done right, you will have a soft, smooth, intensely flavored spread. Some recipes use only the yolk and others use the whole egg. In the 19th and early 20th century, in England, homemade lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam and as a filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts. Homemade lemon curd was usually made in small amounts as it did not keep as well as jam. In more modern times larger quantities are feasible because of modern canning methods and the use of refrigeration. Commercially manufactured curds often contain additional preservatives and thickening agents. Curds are different from pie filling or custards in that they contain a higher proportion of juice and zest, which gives them a brighter, more intense flavor. Also, curds containing  butter have a smoother and creamier texture than both pie fillings and custards which contain little or no butter and use cornstarch or flour for thickening. Additionally, unlike custards, curds are not usually eaten on their own. All In A Jar uses only the freshest ingredients, no preservatives, no cornstarch or flour.  If you or someone you know has a lemon, lime or orange tree with a lot of juicy fruit waiting to be picked then book a private canning class and go home with all the jars you make.

My favorite way to eat curd is spread on a tart with some fresh fruit placed around the out side.

See you in class