Monthly Archives: October 2010

november can jam!

how honored i was to be asked by the tigress herself to choose the secret ingredient for the november can jam. what a great month/time of year for canning – such transition! here in texas, we can be slightly ahead of much of the country due to our, ahem, warmer weather. today a few jackets and sweaters have come out of summer’s hiding due to a ‘cold’ front that blew through last night: it is 78 degrees today and it’s got me dreaming of chili. go ahead and laugh – we’re used to it. just remember that when you take a trip to texas in august and it’s 95 degrees with 99 percent humidity, there may be a snicker or two if you complain about it.

but today it’s a chilly 78 degrees and i’ve got fall fruit on my mind. mostly fall pie-type fruit. namely………..

apples, pears, and quinces!

yes, ladies and gents, the november pick for the can jam includes these three beauties, anyway you like ’em! with herbs or warm fall spices, all jellied up, au natural or even pickled (gasp!). these three fruit are related, kinda like second cousins really, in that they all produce fruit called a pome. if you want to know more about the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp of this type of fruit, feel free to click here. it’s very interesting reading, but after awhile my eyes started glazing over. there has always been some confusion or another between whether the quince was an apple or vice versa. like the apple and pear, quince has been used for centuries in the making of wine and other liquors, for medicinal purposes, and for just plain ol’ eating out of hand.

remember the rules, folks and be sure to post your november can jam recipe between sunday november 14th and friday november 19th at midnight. i am so looking forward to each and every post to expand my canning repertoire.

good luck!

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apple hatch pepper chutney

i love, love, love the sweet and heat that happens when fruit and chiles meet. and since chiles are on the menu for this month’s tigress can jam, they simply had to go the way of sweet and heat as far as i’m concerned. we don’t grow hatch chiles in austin, or even texas for that matter. they can only be grown in a place called hatch, new mexico. think of it like true champagne which only comes from…well, the champagne region of france. otherwise it’s contraband champagne, otherwise known as, sparkling wine. but we have adopted the hatch chile as one of our own here in texas. we just love chiles!

but we do grow ourselves some apples here in texas, which may surprise you. this chutney is made from the cameo variety picked in medina, texas at love creek orchards. i came up with this recipe with influences from so many sources i couldn’t even begin to give credit where it’s due. i guess that means it’s mine now. and dude, you have to have this with a big chunk of excellent aged cheddar or a thick cut pork chop if you’re so inclined.

apple hatch pepper chutney (makes about 8 or 9-8 ounce jars)

6 c peeled, cored, chopped tart sweet local apple (i used cameos)

2 c roasted, peeled and diced hatch chile peppers

1 c chopped onion

1 cup peeled, diced tomatoes (no need to seed them)

1 1/2 c golden raisins

1 clove garlic, minced

2 1/2 c white distilled or cider vinegar (just make sure it’s at least 5% acidity)

2 c light brown sugar (sweeten to taste)

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

put all ingredients in a big ol’ pot and simmer, reducing liquid and softening fruits and veggies until desired consistency. there’s really no wrong way to this, folks. place in sterilized jars and water bath process for 15 minutes.

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