My dear friend Renee came over the other day ~ We made a lovely Spiced Plum-Pear Butter, laced with vanilla bean and a Vanilla Strawberry Jam ~ oh, my!
For any of you that are interested in trying these or any other canning recipe, I’ve added a couple of links to help with any questions. And as always, I’m available to help you along your food adventure ~ enjoy!
*note: please follow guidelines for heating/sterilizing jars ~ this will help prevent any unwanted bacteria tagging along!
Spiced Plum-Pear Butter
- 5 lbs Italian plums, washed, halved and pitted
- 3 lbs thin-skinned pears (these were beautiful, I couldn’t help myself!), coarsely chopped
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 package fruit pectin
- Juice of 1 lemon
In a rather large pot (either stainless or enamel-ware), combine the fruit, sugar, lemon juice vanilla bean and cinnamon; bring to a rapid boil, stirring frequently; turn down heat to medium and continue to cook until fruit starts to soften, about 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon and vanilla pod from pot (make sure you scrape it for any yummy beans left behind). Run fruit through a food mill to separate skins from pulp ~ add puree back to pot adding the fruit pectin, bring back to a boil; turn down the heat slightly so that puree remains at a low boil, stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for about an hour ~ ladle into hot, prepared jars. Wipe lids and rims, and process.
Vanilla Strawberry Jam
- 4 lbs strawberries, hulled and halved
- 7 cups sugar, divided
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from 2 lemons
- 1/2 vanilla pod, split and scraped
- 1-2 pkgs liquid pectin
Place strawberries and 2 cups of sugar in a large bowl, add vanilla bean and stir well. Cover and let sit for at least an hour (can be put in the fridge overnight if you can’t get to canning same day).
Pour the berries and all liquid into a large saucepan along with remaining sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until the jam reaches 220 degrees F, stirring regularly. Add the lemon juice in the final 5 minutes of cooking. Remove vanilla bean and puree lightly by using a potato masher or immersion blender. Bring back to a boil adding pectin. Cook for additional 20-30 minutes, or until desired set occurs.
You can test the gel of the jam by placing a spoonful on a chilled plate. Return to the freezer for 1 to 2 minutes, then check for doneness. If you want a firmer gel, cook for a few minutes longer.
When jam has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat and skim off foam. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.
“The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” –Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825