Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September Daring Cook Challenge - Food Presevation, Canning, Apple Butter & Tangelo Marmalade

Thank you John from Eat4Fun, I indeed had great fun doing this challenge... My first ever Daring Kitchen challenge.

I had all the intention of trying out canning whilst watching Italian Food Safari, but this challenge really got my lazy butt out and moving...

I made Apple Butter as challenge called - it's a new name in Australia and here we call it paste.  Anyway, it's really nice with savory - pork or using as a spread on crackers and breads.

The original Canning or Freezing instruction and recipe can be found on The Daring Kitchen Website.  I encourage all to try out, even you are not interested in becoming a Daring Cook!

I made marmalade using Tangelos and they are just soooo much better than shop ones, now that they are nicely canned, they will last for quite a while without me trying to find fridge space....  I've made jams, but never tried canning....

Now, this is my apple butter:

7 Small Pink Lady Apples – they are sweet crisp and very juicy and very very much Australian – a cross between Lady Williams and Golden Delicious. I use them in apple pies, crumbles, and tarts than Granny Smith, and my family gets fresh apple juice every day, mostly Pink Lady ones these several weeks. I guess the main reason to use Pink Lady is that I have got them on hand.

125ml Cider
1 tsp Mixed Spice (clove, nutmeg, etc)
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
½ tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup – I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners and would rather take the calories.

I peeled and cut apples in cubes, so they will break down quicker.

Cook with cider till they break down, and I simply mashed them with a potato masher – I suppose I could’ve used my potato ricer if I didn’t peel them first.

Add in sugar, golden syrup and the spices, keep mashing….

And cook further – I halved the original recipe, because I wasn’t sure of the outcome, so the same pot can be used again I suppose? I used the diffuser when I’m not stirring…
It’s only a small quantity so it was pretty easy to reduce, and I turned around the spoon, it’s not dropping…

It tastes quite nice on my sourdough bread, and I’m pretty sure hubby would love it with the chops or roast pork.

I’ve been doing a bit of researching about the preserving jars and unfortunately preserving is no longer popular in Australia and jars are hard to find, unless I order on line, and buy in bulks. I have made jams and chutneys etc, and made pickles with mum, but never preserved them in jars, we just made enough to go around until we need them again, or put them in freezer. So it’s a first time for me, and I’d like to try the canning option, even though it’s hard to get jars. Some forums on the internet here mentioned that you can use old jars, so I found this jam jar that was in perfect order with pop top lid, and the apple butter I made just fit into that 500g jam jar. Of course, the recommendation is always use new lids, but finding lids are not easy…
As I only have one jar, I said to myself, just try it and see how it goes, the jar was checked not leaking, and it was boiled and cleaned before I put the hot apple butter in again.
Put a tea towel at the bottom of the deepest pot I can find, and fill up with warm water – fingers crossed!

Set the timer for 30 minutes and waited until it cooled a bit before I took out my first “baby”… Pressed down the pop top, and it stayed down…

It worked, I couldn’t believe my eyes, but hubby said, what if I want it tomorrow? I guess we will just have to open the jar again very soon….

And I’m sure that I will be collecting jars from now on, we might get a good crop from our apricot tree again and this time when I make apricot jam, I don’t need to give them away to anyone I can find who would take them of me!

And for marmalade, this is the recipe I used.

I bought a bag of tangelos from shop for 99C, quite a lot of them, so I varied the quantity a bit and voila!

Cook the peels first...

Lovely Jam!

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