Canning, canning, and did I mention canning! That is what I did today and if I hadn’t run out of sugar, I’d probably still be doing it. Plus my feet feel like they are on fire, my back is aching, and I’m tired, but heck, if I had sugar I’d probably never have stopped. So much to can and I haven’t even gone strawberry picking yet.
This morning I spent six hours making another batch of Pina Colada Concentrate without the pulp this time, a batch of Pineapple-Kiwi Jam, and a batch of Lemon-Pineapple Preserves. Any normal person would have called it quits after this, but I wasn’t tired of canning, just tired of canning pineapple. So I set my remaining seven pineapples aside for another day and decided to start working with raspberries.
Last week my favorite grocery store, Meijer’s had raspberries on sale for $1.00 per 6 oz. package. I picked up ten packages and stuck them right in the freezer. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything with them right then, so seeing that raspberries freeze quick and easy, they went in the chest freezer until I could get to them.
Taking the berries from the freezer I spent the next couple hours making Raspberry-Lemonade Concentrate and Raspberry-Lime Jam. I hadn’t worked with raspberries in a few years, but knew I didn’t like the seeds. This meant using my food mill to strain out most of the seeds. A few I can stand, all is just too much.
Following are the recipes with photos. The Pina Colada Concentrate update can be found in my prior post: Frozen Pina Coladas the rest are new. All of my jam/preserve recipes today used Clear Jel as the setting agent. This is only the second time I’ve used this for something other than pie filling. I am still learning how much to use. Any changes that I’d suggest based on the final consistency are noted at the end of the recipe. I hope you try some of these, all turned out very tasty.
3 Cups Chopped and Peeled Kiwi (about 9)
2 Cups Fresh Crushed Pineapple with Juice (1 pineapple)
1/3 Cup Water
7 Tbsp. Clear Jel
3 Cups Sugar
Peel and chop kiwi.
***This jam turned out much thicker than I like it. Clear Jel does leave it still spreadable, but I prefer a softer set jam and would suggest decreasing the Clear Jel to 4 Tbsp. next time.
3 Large or 5 Medium lemons, squeezed of all juice, strained (shells reserved)
3 Pounds Fresh pineapple, cleaned, cored, and pureed (about 2 whole)
2 3/4 Cups Water
4 Tbsp. Clear Jel
6 3/4 Cups Sugar
Combine lemon shells and seeds in a cheesecloth bag or jelly bag.
***The consistency was perfect, however, although tart, I could not taste “lemon” in this preserve. I might consider adding the zest of one lemon to see if it would make it more lemony next time.
5 Cups Raspberries
1/2 Cup Water
4 Tbsp. Clear Jel
1/4 Cup Water
5 Cups Sugar
Combine raspberries and 1/2 cup water in stock pot. Bring to boil. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes to release juices. With immersion blender puree raspberries.
Run berries through food mill. This should give you approximately 2.5 cups of strained pulp.
Zest one lime and juice two.
***The consistency was good for this jam. The lime flavor however was very slight. I would use the zest of two limes rather than just one next time.
6 Cups Raspberries
4 Cups Lemon Juice, fresh or bottled
6 Cups Sugar
Combine all ingredients in large stock pot and bring to boil.
With an immersion blender/stick blender puree the liquid till smooth.
Heat to 190° over medium-heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Put the concentrate though food mill to remove seeds.
To reconstitute: Mix one part concentrate with 1 1/2 cups water. Or for a more refreshing alternative, try making a Frozen Raspberry-Lemonade Smoothie (recipe follows).
Frozen Raspberry-Lemonade Smoothie
1 3/4 Cup Raspberry-Lemonade Concentrate
5 Cups Ice
1 Cup Water
Combine all ingredients in blender.
Blend until smooth.
Serve in a tall glass. Could garnish with fresh raspberries and a wedge of lemon.
The canning went fast and by 3:00 this afternoon I was done canning and on my way to making dinner. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get out of the kitchen. Thankfully, dinner is done, I’m out of sugar, and tomorrow is another day, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.