Congratulations to blog reader Dana (comment #30), who has won a copy of Southern Living’s “Little Jars, Big Flavors: Small-batch jams, jellies, pickles, and preserves from the South’s most trusted kitchen.”
Dana, please email me at email@example.com with your shipping information so I can send your prize!
Thank you to everyone who entered to win this book. It got my tummy growling for some home-canned produce. I’m going to share a couple of recipes from the book. One is a microwave recipe for balsamic-plum preserves that can be made by even the most inept cook. They do not require hot water bath canning, only a little chopping and nuking before storing in the refrigerator.
The other recipe is for double onion marmalade, which does require knowledge of hot water bath canning. If you do not know how to can, please be sure to read up on it before you attempt this recipe.
Stay tuned to this blog today because I’ve got some pretty interesting restaurant news coming later.
Microwave Balsamic-Plum Preserves
Makes 3 (1/2-pint) jars
5 cups diced unpeeled red plums (2 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 (1 3/4-oz.) packaged powdered pectin
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (optional)
1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a 4-qt. microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 8 minutes (mixture will boil). Stir.
2. Microwave on high 10 to 12 minutes, or until liquid is the viscosity of pancake syrup (mixture will thicken to soft-set preserves after it cools and chills.) Stir in basil, if using. Cool completely (about 2 hours).
3. Serve immediately or spoon into clean canning jars or other airtight containers with lids. Cover and chill. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Double Onion Marmalade
Makes 6 (1/2-pint) jars
Try this sweet onion marmalade with roasted quail, pan-seared duck, grilled pork chops or “wherever caramalized onions are welcome,” the book suggests.
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onions
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup raisins
1 (1 3/4-oz.) package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a 6-quart stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat 13 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
2. Sterilize jars and prepare lids.
3. While jars are boiling, place peppercorns and bay leaves on a 5-inch square of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen string and add to onion mixture. Add apple juice and raisins; stir in pectin. Bring to a boil. Hold spice bag to one side of Dutch oven with tongs and stir in sugar. Release spice bag. Bring mix to a rolling boil; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; remove and discard spice bag. Let foam settle (about 1 minute). Skim off and discard any foam.
4. Fill, seal and process jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space and processing 15 minutes.
5. Remove jars from water and let stand, undisturbed, at room temperature 24 hours. To check seals, remove the bands and press down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn’t move, the jar is sealed. If the lid depresses and pops up again, the jar is not sealed. Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
Recipes from Southern Living’s “Little Jars, Big Flavors.”