HearthBeats: Recipes from a Kitchen Witch

August 1st, 2011

Merry Meet and welcome to my Kitchen Hearth. Come and sit for a spell while we whip up something yummy.

This month we will be looking at some preserves. Fruit and veggie preserves. I am giving the recipes only as I have touched on the canning methods in past articles or you can look online at this link… http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

Tomato Preserve


  • 1 pound yellow pear tomatoes
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 2 ounces chopped or shredded ginger
  • 2 lemons


Peel tomatoes, cover with sugar, and let stand over night. In the morning pour off syrup and boil until quite thick; skim, then add tomatoes, ginger, and lemons which have been sliced and the seeds removed. Cook until tomatoes have a clarified appearance.

Apricot Jalapeno Jelly

1/2 cup jalapeno peppers — stems & seeds removed ( use other types if you want a hotter preserve.)
1 large red bell pepper — stem & seeds removed
2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 dried apricots — chopped
6 cups sugar
3 ounces liquid pectin
4 drops red food color ( omit if you want true color)

Put jalapenos, bell pepper, & vinegar in blender. Puree until coarsely ground and small chunks remain. Combine apricots, sugar, & jalapeno/pepper/vinegar mixture in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil rapidly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; skim off any foam that forms. Allow mixture to cool for 2 minutes. Then mix in pectin (and food coloring if you’re going to use it). Pour into sterilized jars, follow canning instructions.

Kiwi – strawberry Jam Recipe

2 cups chopped kiwi
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 package pectin
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
4 cups sugar

Combine kiwi, strawberries, pectin and apple juice in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4th inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. follow canning instructions. Yield: about 4 half-pints.

Pineapple Jelly
Makes about 2 pints

4 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 cans crushed pineapple — 8 oz cans
1 pouch (3oz) Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin — do not use powder

Add the sugar, pineapple, and lime juice to a sauce pan. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add the liquid pectin and bring back to a full rolling boil. Let cool slightly and pour into clean containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Simple Jalapeno Jelly Recipe

3 jalapeno peppers with seeds removed, chopped finely
4 medium bell peppers with seeds removed chopped coarsely
1 cup of vinegar
5 cups of sugar
3 oz. jar of pectin

cook the peppers and vinegar in a 4 quart pan until soft. Add the sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add pectin then return to heat and boil for 1 more minute. Fill jelly jars. Follow canning instruction.

Apple Pie Jam
4 cups tart apples, chopped
unsweetened apple juice
1  tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 (1 3/4 oz) box dry pectin
1 tsp. butter

Measure apples in a measuring cup, and then add in the same measuring cup applejuice to fill up to the 4 cup line (with the apples in it). Put into a heavy saucepan. Add pectin, butter, spices and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.

Add sugars and bring back to a full rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.

Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4? . Put on lids, and follow canning instructions.

Mulled Apple Jelly
Makes approximately 5 small jarfuls.

2.25 lbs of apples – a mixture of cookers and eaters works well
1 quart apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
12 cloves
1/3 cup cider vinegar
granulated sugar


Roughly chop the apples and place in pan. There is no need to peel and core. Cover with apple juicer (I used a little over 1 qt) and add spices. Bring to the boil and then simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Pour into a  jelly bag suspended over a large bowl. Leave to strain for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Don’t be tempted to prod or squeeze the jelly bag to get more juice out as this will make the jelly cloudy.

Measure out the juice and return to the pan along with 1 lb sugar for every 1 pint of juice. I found I had exactly 2 pints of juice so used 2 lbs sugar but obviously this will vary depending on how juicy your apples were, how long you strained them and how much apple juice you used.

Stir in the cider vinegar and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for approximately 10 minutes until setting point is reached.

Pour into warm, sterilized jars, follow canning instructions.  Keep in the fridge once opened and used within 3 weeks.

Summer berry and lemon verbena jelly

1 lb plus about 2 oz. berries – any or all of the following: raspberries, blackberries, red currants. This recipes used a mixture of about 70% raspberries, 25% red currants, and 5% blackberries.

1 lb white sugar

1 tsp pectin (see Notes)

1 large handful, or a couple of sprigs, of lemon verbena

Wash and sort the berries. If you are using red currants, carefully pick off all the stems.
Put the berries and sugar into the stainless steel or other non-reactive pan. Mash and let it macerate for about half an hour.
In the meantime, put a plate into the refrigerator to make it very cold.
Mix the pectin in with the fruit. Turn on the heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, and cook for at least 45 minutes, stirring up the bottom periodically to keep from burning. Skim off the scum that forms on the top.
For the last 10 minutes of cooking, drop in the lemon verbena.
Drop a bit of the jam liquid onto the cold plate. If it forms a skin almost immediately, it’s done.
Fish out the lemon verbena leaves. Pass the jam mixture a ladleful at a time through a time through a sieve or strainer, taking out all the seeds.
Can using your favorite canning method.

Notes: This recipe has used pectin, which is a natural jellifying agent. Berries in general don’t have much pectin, and it’s needed in this case to make it ‘jell’ enough. You may also be able to find something called sugar for jam making, which has pectin already mixed in. This version (with 1 teaspoon per 1lb fruit) results in a fairly runny jelly, which is great for using on yogurt and ice cream, but if you prefer a firmer jelly you will need more pectin. Follow the package directions.
If you don’t mind the seeds, especially if you don’t use red currants which have rather large seeds, you can skip the straining step. In that case you will have a jam rather than a jelly.

Grapefruit and Vanilla Marmalade

3 large grapefruits ( ruby red work best)
3 cups water
4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 tablespoons rose water or lemon juice

Set a large pot of water to boil. Cut off the peel of the grapefruits, working to get good thick slices, but leaving the inner white pith closest to the fruit still attached to the fruit. Cut the peels into strips. Blanch the peels by submersing them in boiling water for about three minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water. Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and repeat the blanching process again, to remove any bitterness. Drain and rinse again.
Place the peels in a large pot. Cut off all the white pith from the remaining fruits then, working over the pot, cut between the grapefruit membranes so that the fruit sections fall into the pot. Squeeze juice from the membranes and discard them.
Add the water and sugar to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Lower the heat to a very low simmer. Simmer until the marmalade is thick and translucent, about one hour. The marmalade may still appear a touch watery- keep in mind it will thicken as it cools.
Add the vanilla bean seeds and simmer another five minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the rose water (or lemon) and set aside to cool. Follow canning instructions or use within 3-4 weeks

And lastly .. I am not even sure where this recipe came from. I am sure if I searched my cookbooks or the web I would find it.. but yummo!!!

Onion Marmalade
4 lbs onions (sliced thin)
3 slices bacon (thick cut)
2 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cup red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Place a large, non-reactive pan over medium-low heat cook the bacon. The goal is to render the fat. Once the bacon has crisped, remove.
Turn up the heat to high to medium- high, add the onions, salt and olive oil. Stir to coat all the onions with the oil and bacon fat. Cook covered with a tight lid for about 20 minutes. Continue to cook stirring every 5 to 10 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden brown.
Add the sugar, brown sugar, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat until very thick. To test if it’s the right consistency, dribble a bit of the reduction on a plate and it still liquid, but slowly slips down the plate after it cools briefly. You can also look to for doneness by dragging a spoon against the bottom of the pot. If it leaves a long valley, then its done. WARNING: Do not walk away from this once it begins to get close. There is enough sugar in this that it can burn and forever attach to the bottom of your pan..
Remove from heat and let cool before storing.
Place in a glass or heat resistant container. Cover and refrigerate.
This is both acidic and high in sugar, so its excellent for long term storage. It keeps in the fridge well for at least 2 months.
ome of the fat may become solid at the top after cooling. I simply scrape it off and dispose of it.
Additionally, if the marmalade become too thick after cooling, simply reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will then spread very easily.

Until next month
Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating
The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here.. Please email me at  thehearthkeeper@gmail.com

Blessed be…

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