Today I made something that I had not made before with pears and cranberries and that was a conserve. A conserve is a type of jam but instead of crushing the fruit they are cooked whole or cut up and nuts are generally added. This recipe did not have nuts like my previous ones but it had allspice that is a nut right? Anyway I wanted to try this out. I have another one that I will make with more firm pears, nuts, and crystallized ginger. That will be a blog for another day.
I am interested to see what this tastes like. This is Cranberry and Pear Conserve from Better Homes & Gardens. Enjoy.
Today after work I started making my jams using the Anjou pears and cranberries I purchased last week. For jams, compotes, and conserves I like for my pears to age get soft and mushy. They are sweeter to me and break down better in the product. When I make chutneys I like the pears hard and firm because I enjoy a little crunch.
So I started with making some Spiced Cranberry Jam which I got from Marisa McClellan’s Blog Food in Jars. I have made this several times. This really is a perfect holiday gift and the smell is amazing. It is tasty on ham, chicken, and pork loin… so tasty.
The best thing about this recipe is that it is so quick to make. The cranberries don’t take long to break down and with the natural pectin in the product it gels fairly quickly!
Well I made the last of the berry jams for the year not counting the cranberries. I previously made Cinnamon-Spiced Triple Berry Jam from Better Homes & Gardens that I got out of one of my magazines. This time I decided to used some frozen berries and continue my experimentation with flash frozen no preservative organic and non-organic berries. The key for me is that they are individually frozen or flash frozen and that no preservatives were added. The store had a quad berry mixture which I liked blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry and I figured what the hell.
One batch had fresh berries and the mixture of the thawed frozen and one was all thawed frozen. I followed the instructions but I did add a little more berries in the frozen because of the concerns of it jelling (having enough pectin in it as I did not want to add pectin). I let them slow boil to let everything break down naturally and increased the heat once they started to thicken. I added 1/2 cup more lemon juice to the batches as well as a teaspoon of allspice, fresh grated nutmeg, and ground cloves. I added 1/2 cup more sugar to the batch as well.
The frozen berries took longer to thicken but they did sheet and there were not any issues with the canning process either. I was happy with the outcome of the final product.
This week will be focused on cranberries.
So as I stated in my previous blog post Friday was the continuation of the very berry madness. I use a lot of Marisa McClellan’s ideas from her books or her blog Food in Jars Blueberry Jam recipe and added tweaked it a little based on her Ginger Blueberry Jam.
This batch was from the frozen organic no-preservative kosher (yep kosher) blueberries. I previously made Blueberry Buttah with them (see previous blog) but wanted to see how they held up in a jam.
For this I used crystalized ginger and diced them up. I also used two foil packs instead of the pectin power since I had concerns about the frozen blueberries having too much liquid in them and not setting properly. I did add a little bit more lemon juice for safe measure in this batch. I also used an immersion hand blender to make break up the blueberries and ginger a little more.
Friday was the continuation of Berry Madness and I have plenty of berries! I have been experimenting with frozen no preservative flash frozen berries (some were organic and kosher) in addition to the fresh berries. This batch was from fresh blueberries.
I got this from one of my canning magazines which is on Better Homes & Gardens website at Spiced Blueberry Jam. It is a quick jam making process and I was a little taken aback by having to add two pouches of pectin but I followed the recipe as instructed. I did add some fresh ground nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon, ground allspice, and cloves. Also I tend to not like my blueberry jams chunky so I use my immersion hand blender to break of the crushed berries.