SATURDAYS + SPICED JAMS

Saturdays are for some slow home cookin' and art projects.  Well at least my saturdays usually  are.  However, this particular Saturday ( the 14th ) I am doing none of these things.  I am preparing for an art show that I am a part of tonight ! How fun ( and slightly stressful ) is that ?!  I have been wanting to show my work for a while now and I figure there's no better time to just rip the bandaid off.  So instead of baking, crafting or just hanging home with my little grey, I have been running around town prep-ing.  

 So I am sharing with you what I wish I spent today doing.  Making jam.  I LOVE homemade jam. There is just something so magical about a fresh piece of toast smothered with homemade warm preserves and chutneys.  My mouth literally waters at me even writing this right now.   This week I ventured in trying out a new jam, or some may say "butter", which is Spiced Pear !  It really encompasses the fall vibes.  I also am sharing with you one of my all time favorite parts of this season, which is  my sister's cranberry sauce.  It is perfect a top of so many different things.  I decided to make it early this year, so not to only enough it on thanksgiving day.  

So check them out, jar them up and wish me luck on my show tonight!

Happy Saturdays!  


SPICED PEAR CHUTNEY

7 lbs. pears, peeled, cored, and coarsley chopped
1/2 cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the pears, water, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 8 cups of pear puree (I used the excess as Pearsauce).

In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine pear puree, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape to a spoon and liquid does not separate.

 

SPICED CRANBERRY - ORANGE SAUCE 

2 bags of cranberries
1 cup of sucanat sugar
2 large oranges or 1 cup of orange juice ( use the zest from one orange as well ) 
2 cloves or 1/4 teaspoon powder
 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon powder

       *or simply spice to your liking!

In a medium stainless steel saucepan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer , stirring occasionally until the berries soften and begin to gel for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, you will know when it is done. 

How to Jar

How to prepare canner, jars and lids: Wash and rinse the jars in hot soapy water. Drain the jars well of any excess water. Set the screw bands aside - they don't require sterilizing. Place the lids - the flat round portion of the two-piece closures - in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Don't boil. Keep lids hot until you're ready to use them.

Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if needed, but adding more butter. Wipe rim. Center the lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is med, then increase to fingertip tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.