Fourth Of July – Recipe Catch-Up

Happy Fourth of July!

After years of hosting large family/neighbor gatherings for the Fourth, the past couple of years has been just the kids, hubby, and me. At first I missed the hustle and frenzy of cooking for days before the event, washing my Fourth of July dishes (yes, I have a whole set of dishes specifically for the Fourth), decorating the backyard, patio and house with red, white and blue decorations, and making sure everything was just perfect for fireworks. Now I enjoy the quiet, peaceful, relaxing time with just the four of us. Our lives have evolved and I don’t mind the change.

Grace and Zeb will still enjoy a sparkler or two before we set off a few bottle rockets and fountains to maintain some semblance of tradition. I’ll be on the edge of my seat watching closely so they don’t burn themselves (some things you never stop worrying about), and hubby will sit back and enjoy.

Today’s post is to bring me up-to-date on all the recipes I promised to share from my strawberry, rhubarb, and pineapple canning a few weeks ago. It seems so long ago already, especially because there’s more and more canning every day to do. Before I get too far behind in sharing my recipes though, I thought I’d take a moment while relaxing on the back patio to play recipe catch-up.

Strawberry-Raspberry Lime Marmalade

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1/4 Cup Lime Zest (from 3 limes)
4 Cups Strawberries, crushed
1 Cup Raspberries, (See preparation directions below)
Fresh Lime Juice from 3 Limes
4 Cups Sugar
4 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/4 Cup Water

  • Zest limes.

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  • Clean strawberries. Measure 4 cups and crush on layer at a time.
  • For the Raspberries:  Combine raspberries, 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of sugar in small pan. Bring to boil and simmer five minutes. Remove from heat and run through food mill to remove seeds. Set aside.
  • Fill small pan with water and add lime zest. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

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  • Drain, discarding liquid.
  • In a large stock pot combine strawberries, lime zest, raspberry juice, lime juice, and sugar. Add Clear Jel slurry and stir to combine.

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  • Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  • Ladle hot marmalade into jars, seal and boil in water bath 10 minutes.

The lime flavor in this marmalade is very dominant, almost bitter. If I were to make this again, I would cut the lime content down to the zest and juice of 2 limes. Alternately, you could add another cup of sugar to sweeten it. The texture was also a bit loose. I would increase the Clear Jel to 5 Tbsp.

I came up with this next jam recipe because I found a container of apricot pulp in the freezer from last summer that I never got to over the winter. Combining it with pineapple and mango gave it an exotic flavor, but still very mild.

Tropical Paradise Jam

2 Cups Apricot Puree
1 Whole Pineapple, Pureed
1 Mango, Pureed
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
4 Cups Sugar
5 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/3 Cup Water

  • Add all pureed fruit, lemon juice, sugar, and Clear Jel slurry to large stock pot.
  • Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil hard for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and let stand five minutes.
  • Ladle into hot jars, seal, and boil in water bath canner 15 minutes.

Hubby absolutely loved this combination. He went through an entire 8 oz. jar the morning after I made it on his pancakes. Since then he’s eaten it on toast, crepes, and even slathered a little on French toast. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Another combination I came up with while trying to figure out what to do with all the strawberries we’d picked was a blackberry-strawberry spread. What I think makes this spread so tasty is the fruit juice has not been watered down. I run the fruit through the food processor to release the juices, bring it to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, and then run it through the food mill. This spread has a wonderful consistency perfect for a bagel with cream cheese or an English muffin. Zeb finished off a 4 oz. jar by himself one breakfast eating it on toast. This is one I will be making again, I’m sure.

Blackberry-Strawberry Seedless Spread

2 Cups Blackberry Juice
2 Cups Strawberry Juice
3 Cups Sugar
4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
5 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/3 Cup Water

  • Run blackberries through food processor or puree using a stick blender in a large stock pot.
  • Slowly bring fruit puree to a boil over medium heat, simmering five minutes.
  • Run hot puree through food mill, removing all seeds.

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  • Repeat this with strawberries.

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  • Combine fruit juices, sugar, lemon juice, and Clear Jel slurry in large stock pot and bring to boil.

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  • Boil hard for one minute.
  • Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.
  • Ladle into hot jars, seal, and boil in water bath 10 minutes.

What is really nice about this spread is that neither the berries have a dominate flavor. All you taste is the combined flavors which gives it a unique taste. The consistency is thick but spreadable. It definitely won’t soak into your bread.

Wow, I still have several recipes that I need to share, but hubby and I want to frame the new garden space and spray the RoundUp before calling it a night and doing a few fireworks. Hope your Fourth was fun-filled and just how you like it, be it quiet or busy. For us, the evolution of time has brought us to a plateau where we can sit back and enjoy the calm, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Clear Jel is the Clear Winner | Simply Grateful Housewife

  2. You’re such an inspiration. I can’t get over the idea of dishes just for the 4th! I’d like to come to one of your parties, if you decide to have them again ;).

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