Two weekends ago, we had a cooking weekend @ Sur la Table in Huntersville, North Carolina. Our teacher for both days was Chef Lane Kurylo and while the Saturday Macaron class was just a group of 5 (including mum and I) the second day it was just us, the Chef and her assistant, Dawn. (We couldn’t have been happier to have the class to ourselves!)
For the class we learned all about making preserves, something which I’d never done before and mum had only done in Home Education during her high school days. I was quite excited about what we were going to learn to make.
- Classic Raspberry Jam
- Bread and Butter Pickles
- Spiced Apricot Chutney
We started with the Classic Raspberry Jam, which smelled absolutely scrumptious while we making it, and it tasted even better.
Classic Raspberry Jam
- 2 lbs (6 1/2 cups) raspberries
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup peeled and shredded Granny Smith apple (1 apple)
- 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
Place 2 small plates in the freezer to chill. Set canning rack in large pot, place four 1 cup jars in rack, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium heat, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.
In Dutch oven, bring raspberries, sugar, apple, and lemon juice to boil, stirring often, over medium-high heat. Once sugar is completely dissolved, boil mixture, stirring and adjusting heat as needed, until thickened and registers 217-220 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
To test consistency, place 1 tsp jam on chilled plate and freeze for 2 minutes. Drag your finger through jam on plate; jam has correct consistency when your finger leaves distinct trail. If runny, return pot to heat and simmer for 1 to 3 minutes longer before retesting. Skim any foam from surface of jam using spoon.
Place dish towel flat on counter. Using jar lifter, remove jars from pot, draining water back into pot. Place jars upside down on towel and let dry for 1 minute. Using funnel and ladle, portion hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Slide wooden skewer along inside edge of jar and drag upward to remove air bubbles.
For short-term storage: Let jam cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until jam is set, 12 to 24 hours. Jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.
For long-term storage: While jars are hot, wipe rims clean, add lids, and screw on rings until fingertip-tight; do not over tighten. Return pot of water with canning rack to boil. Lower jars into water, cover, bring water back to boil, then start timer. Cooking time will depend on your altitude: Boil 10 minutes for up to 1,00 feet, 15 minutes for 1,0001-3,000 feet. Turn off heat and let jars sit in pot for 5 minutes. Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, check seal, and clean rims. Sealed jars can be stored for up to 1 year.)
Double It: Do not try to make a double batch of this jam in a large pot; it will not work. Rather, make two single batches in separate pots.
Now for the Bread and Butter Pickles…
Note: You don’t want to get your slices too thin, otherwise they’ll end up being soggy. And nobody likes a soggy pickle!
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 2 lbs. pickling cucumbers, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 onion, quarters and sliced thin
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2 inch matchsticks
- 2 tbsp canning and pickling salt
- 3 cups apple sider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp Ball Pickle Crisp
Toss cucumbers, onion, and bell pepper with salt in large bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. Drain vegetables in colander (do not rinse,) then pat dry with paper towels.
Meanwhile, set canning rack in large pot, place four 1 pint jars in rack, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.
Bring vinegar, sugar, water, mustard sees, turmeric, celery seeds, and cloves to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat; cover and remove from heat.
Place dish towel flat on counter. Using jar lifter, remove jars from pot, draining water back into pot. Place jars upside down on towel and let dry for 1 minute. Add 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisp to each hot jar, then pack tightly with vegetables.
Return brine to brief boil. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over cucumbers to cover, distributing spices evenly leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Slide wooden skewer along inside of jar, pressing slightly on vegetables to remove air bubbles, and add extra brine as needed.
For short-term storage: Let jars cool to room temperature, cover with lids, and refrigerate for 1 day before serving. Pickles can be refrigerated for up to 3 months; flavor will continue to mature over time.)
For long-term storage: While jars are warm, wipe rims clean, add lids, and screw on rings until fingertip-tight; do not over tighten. Before processing jars, heat water in canning pot to temperature between 120 and 140 degrees. Lower jars into water, bring water to 180 to 185 degrees, the cook for 30 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain water between 180 and 185 degrees. Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, check seal, and clean rims. (Sealed jars can be stored for up to 1 year.)
Double It: Double all ingredients and use large pot when making brine; processing time will remain the same.
Last but not least… Spiced Apricot Chutney.
Spiced Apricot Chutney
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp water
- 1 shallot, chopped fine
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 lb ripe but firm apricots, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 3 tbsp sugar, plus extra as needed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tbsp bottled lemon juice
Combine 2 tbsp water, shallot, and 1/2 tsp slat in large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until shallot begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Uncover, stir in garam masala and 1/8 tsp pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in fresh and dried apricots, sugar and remaining 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apricots are just softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium high and simmer uncovered until mixture is thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste, and let cool slightly.
Using funnel and spoon, portion chutney into two 1 cups jars. Let cool to room temperature and serve. Chutney can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.)
How To Use:
- Use as a glaze for poultry or pork
- Serve with lamb patties
- Stir into plain yogurt
- Spoon over rice pudding or vanilla or ginger ice cream
Note: The recipes used in this class were from America’s Test Kitchen Foolproof Preserving.