Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cranberry Relish and some fun appetizers

I have 3 quick and easy canning projects for you today. These are fun little goodies that you can put on your shelves or give to friends as a gift. Here is the skinny on each:

I love the Thanksgiving meal. I love turkey and stuffing and the yams, rolls and pies that traditionally go with it. I like all the trimmings, but I must say maybe my favorite is the fresh cranberry orange relish we have every year. I love this stuff and could eat it on almost anything. I usually make a pretty large batch and freeze the leftovers for use throughout the year.

I love the leftovers and even more than going for the leftover pie, my first choice would be leftover rolls, turkey and yes the relish. I have always made the fresh relish and it is hard to beat but this year I decided to try canning it. It worked great. I can't wait to try it with this yummy "leftover turkey pot pie" which is also good made with chicken from the pioneer woman.

The texture is a little different and the color is not as bright as the fresh but it tastes good. I like the idea of being able to open it at any time during the year and have cranberry relish all made and ready to go.

This is the same consistency of the filling that I use in raisin or date filled cookies. I want to try some of this cranberry sauce in a filled cookie. I have a couple of entree recipes that call for cranberries that I want to try the relish in. I’ll tell you another discovery I made about using this relish in a minute.

Here is the recipe for the Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish which is quick and easy to make and delicious to eat. The canned version follows.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
4 c. fresh cranberries (sort, remove stems and bruised cranberries and rinse well)
2 fresh thin skinned oranges washed, (slice off ends but do not peel) and cut in eighths and remove any seeds
1 ½ c. sugar
Put berries and oranges through a food chopper or use your food processor to chop well. Add sugar (more or less to taste). Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Freeze leftovers. Y: 1 quart

Home canned Cranberry Orange Relish
4 c. Cranberries washed and sorted, removing any unripe or overly soft berries
2 oranges, cut in 8 pieces (do not peel, cut off ends of oranges and remove any seeds)
1 ½ c. sugar
Using a food processor, chop cranberries and oranges until no large chunks remain. Put in a kettle and heat until mixture starts to cook. Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Mixture will start to simmer and will thicken. Stir often to prevent burning. When it starts to bubble in is heated through, put in half-pint jars. Wipe jar rims, put on new flat lids and screw on bands. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Y: about 4 half pints. (I doubled this and got 9 half pint jars.)

Now here are some fun things I canned this last week. The last few years we have enjoyed snacking on cream cheese with different topping and crackers. We would buy the raspberry chipotle sauce during the holiday season at Costco. This is very good but sometimes it’s too hot for me, sometimes it’s okay but it has just enough heat in it that I can only eat so much and then I’m done. Another problem was that it comes in quart jars so you have to eat a lot quickly so it doesn’t spoil.

I’d been hearing a lot of talk about pepper jelly and looked at a lot of different recipes. I knew my daughter canned it so I asked for her recipe. To be honest I didn’t really think I’d like to that much. I don’t love green peppers and I’m a wimp with jalapenos but decided to give it a try. It is delicious and I can’t seem to get enough so I did another batch last week.

Some people eat the jelly on eggs or toast or with different kinds of meat. We like to spread softened cream cheese on a serving dish and top it with the jelly and serve it with crackers, like a dip. I’ve even found myself spreading the cream cheese on crackers and topping with a little jelly and making lunch out of it.

I decided to try another topping this week. I love the Kraft brand cheese spreads that come in a little jar that are so popular at Thanksgiving time. My favorite being the pineapple spread. Love this on Ranch Doritos or in stuffed celery or just on appetizers. When I saw this recipe for pineapple jam I knew it would be great on the cream cheese with crackers just like the pepper jelly. And it is! I also discovered that the cranberry relish I canned yesterday is awesome that way too. Here is the recipe for the pepper jelly and the pineapple jam. For some quick appetizers, spread some cream cheese on some serving dishes, top with the pepper jelly, pineapple jam or cranberry relish and serve with crackers. It’s quick and delicious. Here are the recipes to can:

Jody’s Green Pepper Jelly
6 large green peppers
1 jalapeno pepper
¾ c. apple juice
¾ c. cider vinegar
6 c. sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin (Certo Brand works best)
Core and seed peppers. Puree half the peppers with half the juice and half the vinegar. Repeat with rest of peppers. Strain; measure 3 ½ c. juice. Put in large pan and add the entire measure of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in entire amount of Liquid Pectin. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Fill jars and add lids and bands. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let set at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Y: 8 half-pints

Pineapple Jam
1 can (20 oz.) Crushed Pineapple
Pineapple Juice
1 t. butter
1 box pectin
3 c. sugar
Empty can of crushed pineapple and empty it into a 4 cup measuring cup. Add enough pineapple juice to equal a total of 3 ¼ c. Put pineapple mixture into a pot with the butter and pectin. Stir well. Bring to a full boil, then add sugar all at once, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When this has reached a full rolling boil, time it for 1 full minute, then turn off heat. Ladle jam into hot jars. Place lids and rings on. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath, then leave them in the pot for 5 minutes. Remove from water and cool. Y: 5 half-pints

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