You’ve patiently listened to me yammer on about food safety, canning tools and other tips. If you’re still around, I’ve got two wonderful recipes for you. One is my very own standard Raspberry Jam recipe which I’ve developed over a few years. The other is a Zucchini Pickle recipe I’ve adapted from Food in Jars. A note about the raspberry jam: I have not added commercial pectin to this recipe, as there is enough pectin in raspberries to make a nice set. I use a tiny bit more sugar instead of adding extra pectin. Both the jam and the pickles can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to a year. I like to keep mine in my cellar.
Hilary’s Raspberry Jam
Makes 4-5 half-pint jars, depending on the juiciness of the berries
2 pounds Red Raspberries
4 1/2 cups Granulated Cane Sugar, warmed
1 lemon, juiced
1. Prepare a water bath, and sterilize six jars, lids, and rings (or use Weck rubber seals). Sterilize any other equipment you plan to use- like funnel, measuring cup, etc.
2. Pour the raspberries in a large non-reactive pot (I use a 10 quart stainless steel jam pan). Gently heat the fruit on low, pressing the fruit against the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the raspberries are very tender and have released their juices.
3. Take 1 full cup of the mixture and pour it through a fine mesh sieve. This filters out some of the seeds- so the jam is lightly seeded. Add the deseeded mixture back into the pan.
4. Add the sugar and stir over low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil rapidly for about 10-15 minutes, or until the jam passes the wrinkle test or reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
5. Allow the mixture to rest two-three minutes off the heat. (Wait until the jam stops bubbling. You want the jam to be hot when jarred, but not boiling). Divide mixture into the sterilized jars. Place the lids and screw on the rings. Process in a water bath, at a gentle boil, for 10 minutes. Make sure to start the time when the water returns to a boil, not when you place the jars in the bath.
Garlic & Dill Zucchini Pickles
Zucchini Pickles are made in the exact same way as cucumber pickles. You can make Bread & Butter zucchini pickles as well as dill pickles, like in this recipe.
Adapted from Marisa McLellan, http://www.foodinjars.com
Yields about 8 Pints
8 1/2 cups (2 quarts) of Zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch coins (you can used whatever variety of zucchini- green, striped, yellow)
4 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups Water
5 tablespoons Kosher Salt (Diamond Brand, please!)
16 cloves of garlic, peeled*
2 teaspoons of Red Pepper flake, about 1/4 a teaspoon a jar
9 teaspoons of Dill seeds, 1 heaping teaspoon per jar
4 teaspoons Black Peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon per jar
1. Wash the zucchini very thoroughly. I like to wash them in a bath of water with about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar added in, to remove any dust or pesticides that might be lurking on the outside of the zucchini.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a simmer.
3. Get 8 pint size jars, and place two cloves of garlic, a heaping teaspoon of Dill, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flake and 1/2 teaspoon of Black Peppercorns in each jar.
4. Place the zucchini slices inside the jars. Arrange them so that the zucchini coins are packed tightly, but are not damaged.
5. Pour the vinegar brine into each jar, make sure the zucchini are covered, but leave about 1/2 an inch of head space.Wipe the rims, top of with the lids and tighten the jars. (Not too tight, though or the jars will crack in the water bath!)
6. Process at a gentle boil in the water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and allow them to cool. Make sure to check the seals before moving them to a cool, dark place for storage.
*To remove garlic skins, place garlic cloves in boiling water for about 1 minute. The skins should remove easily without damaging the clove.