Ground Cherry Lemon Jelly

Ground cherry lemon jelly is made with ground cherries (husk tomatoes) and lemon juice for a jelly that tastes like a lemon drop. Great on toast with honey.

If you happen to raise ground cherries, you may end up finding yourself swamped with an excess of the little fruits.  This recipe will help you use up a LOT of them in a hurry.  The lemon cuts the sweetness of the ground cherries, and my family prefers a jelly over a jam for ground cherries because their large number of seeds makes a jam almost gritty.

I created this recipe when I was still using standard pectin, so there is quite a bit of sugar.  I think you could successfully cut the sugar in half if you used Pomona’s Pectin or other low sugar pectin products, but I wouldn’t cut it more than that because the large amount of lemon juice.

This jelly tastes like the best old-fashioned lemon drop you ever had.  Serve it on toast with a bit of honey or almond butter and you’ve got a little slice of lemony heaven. [Read more…]

Spiced Crabapples and Honey Cinnamon Crabapples

Spiced Crabapples and Honey Cinnamon Crabapples for canning, plus how to make homemade applesauce and apple juice.

Last week I got a call from my neighbor, Betty, about crabapples being ripe at another friends’ home.  (Everyone should have a neighbor like Betty.  :-)  Never one to let produce go to waste, I warned the boys that we were going to go pick crabapples.  My eldest, wanting to get done sooner, headed out to the wild trees at the border of out field.  These are normally so bug infested as to be inedible, but this year one had a bumper crop, and we were able to pick quite a few that were in nice shape. [Read more…]

Peeling, Canning and Drying Peaches

Preparing peaches for storage via canning and drying. How to peel peaches, how to can peaches, how to dehydrate peaches.

We purchased two cases of Michigan peaches so far this year – one from a local supermarket, and one from a roadside market up in Door County.  I decided to can most of them, as the boys adore canned peaches.  I also dried some in the dehydrator and make some peach jam.  For canning peaches, use those that are ripe but still firm.  I use the softer peaches for jam or drying.  For those who are new to preserving, I put together this easy guide on peeling, canning and drying peaches. [Read more…]

Peach Jam Two Ways – Peach Vanilla and Fuzzy Navel

Low Sugar Peach Jam Recipes - Peach Vanilla Jam and Fuzzy Navel Jam - orange and vanilla enhance the naturally sweet flavor of peaches for a unique treat.

The Michigan Peaches have finally arrived, so I’ve been processing them canned in light syrup, dried and in jams. (I forgot to freeze some – whoops!  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more.)

This year I tried a couple of variations on peach jam, one with added vanilla and one with added orange.  Both were pretty darn tasty, but I think the orange is my favorite.  I think the boys like the vanilla better because it’s sweeter.  :-)

I adapted the peach vanilla jam recipe from Grow It, Cook It, Can It.  It’s on the right in the photo below.  If you look closely, you can see the flecks of vanilla bean. [Read more…]

The Natural Canning Resource Book – What your mother never told you about canning

The Natural Canning Resource Book - sugar substitutions, make your own recipes, canning safety, solar canning, canning basics.

What your mother never told you about canning…

In “The Natural Canning Resource Book:  A guide to home canning with locally-grown, sustainably-produced and fair trade goods“, Lisa Rayner has answered just about every canning question I have wondered about since I started canning.

Is it safe to eat canned foods if some of the food is sticking out above the canning liquid?  Probably, if it meets certain criteria.

Can you substitute other sweeteners for white sugar?  Yes, but you may need to check the pH of the recipe.  Be careful of using maple syrup.  (Lisa explains why.) [Read more…]