Tag Archive | Vegetarian

Brown Sugar Peach Pie Filling

This last weekend I was lucky enough to find some beautiful peaches at one of the local farms up here. I bought a half bushel (abt 22 pounds) and brought it home to a happy household. Naturally we had to do some taste testing so several of the peaches were immediately devoured, they were scrumptious, then I got down to some serious canning.

My first goal was some peach jam as I was all out from last year, but I wanted something a little different. So I made my jam with Jam in a Jiffy, but I added 2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to each 2 pound batch. OH MY GOODNESS, so much yum! It’s a perfect fall flavor and delicious on toast, or waffles, or french toast, or crepes, or cake or on a spoon. So if you like peach, make sure you pick up a bag or three of Jam in a Jiffy and get your peaches jammed! (This is a particularly good way to save your fruit if you have peaches that have a little bruising or are a little old.)

Now, the rest of the box I turned into bottled Peach Pie Filling, but again I wanted something a little…richer, because really how can pie filling ever be too much? Don’t answer that question please. But I used our Thick Gel thickened Peach Pie Filling, which is approved for canning, and swapped out part of the regular sugar for brown sugar. Oh my holy pie! This stuff is gonna make me very very popular come Thanksgiving! For one bottle I was a little short on fruit, so I added some thawed blueberries and adjusted my thickness a little. So I’m thinking a peach blueberry tart is on the schedule too.

I use Thick Gel in my pie fillings, even though both Thick Gel and Ultra Gel WILL work. Thick Gel has a little bit smoother final set, which I prefer for pies and by the pound it’s a little cheaper. Since my pie filling is done in large batches and must be cooked anyway this means it’s a little more economical to use Thick Gel as well. Just remember that the two are not always interchangeable. Thick Gel MUST be cooked and Ultra Gel CAN be cooked, but will also thicken cold liquids.

So what’s your peachy delight?

Brown Sugar Peach Pie Filling

For seven quarts:

6 qts. (24-26 cups) peeled sliced fresh peaches/apricots or nectarines

1 c. lemon juice (Do not use fresh lemons. Bottled lemon juice has a consistent pH which is what we are looking for here)

water as needed

3 cups brown sugar

3 cups white sugar

1 1/2 c. Thick Gel (2-2 1/2 c Ultra Gel)

2 t. nutmeg (opt)

Combine peaches and lemon juice in large bowl. Sprinkle 3 cups sugar over peaches and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain accumulated juice, reserving peaches, and add water to equal 5 cups. Combine remaining sugar with Thick Gel. Add to juice and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in nutmeg and gelatin. Fold in reserved peach slices and continue to cook until thick and bubbly. Immediately fill jars with mixture, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 35 minutes (sea level).

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Pear Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

I’ve mentioned before that we’re big fans of out local Bountiful Baskets. For those who haven’t heard of this it’s a produce share program where you get a basket of various seasonal fruits and vegetables each week for a donation. One of our goals this year was to make sure we were using everything in our basket and making sure to get to it before it went bad. This week we had some late winter apples and pears and decided to make a wonderfully fresh salad with it.

One of the best parts of this salad is the vinaigrette that goes with it. It’s a lemon poppy seed dressing which is sweetened with honey, and uses Ultra Gel in order to help hold the emulsification. I use 1-3 tsp of Ultra Gel in all of my vinaigrette because it helps to keep the oil and the vinegar, or lemon juice in this case, together and holds the dressing longer in the fridge, provided it doesn’t get eaten!

Give it a try and let us know what you think. This is a great meal in itself, or as a side to round a meal out.

 

Pear Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1 pear, cored and diced

1 asian pear, peeled cored and diced

1 pear, peeled cored and diced

1 head romaine lettuce, torn (spinach is really good too)

1/3 cup craisins

1/2 cup chopped almonds (opt)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (opt)

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. The almonds and mozzarella can be held until service so the cheese doesn’t go soft and for aesthetic appeal.

Dressing:

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Dijon mustard (homemade is the bomb!)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

In the carafe of a blender or a food processor combine honey, lemon juice, onion powder, mustard, salt and Ultra Gel until well mixed.  With motor running, slowly add olive oil until thick and well mixed.  Add poppy seeds and pulse to combine. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes for all flavors to combine. Serve over Pear Salad, refrigerate remaining dressing.

Frozen Peach Brains

Somedays I just amuse myself, it’s true.

Lately there’s been a lot of produce flowing through my kitchen between Bountiful Baskets and farmer’s markets and I’ve been doing my best to freeze, can and otherwise preserve the bounty.  The other thing going on is that I have a 7 month old who looves to eat solid foods and I’m trying to provide some healthy options for her.  These two things collided in the creation of peach brains, fun food for any of my kids.

Peach brains started with ripe peaches which I skinned, cooked briefly and mashed.  Then I added just a little bit of Ultra Gel, about a Tablespoon per four cups of puree.  From there I poured the puree into a silicone mold for tiny little brains and put the whole thing in my deep freeze overnight.  The next day out pops 12 beautiful brains.  🙂  Now this could be done with any silicone mold for various shapes.  I don’t add any sugar so I can thaw my brains and feed them to my daughter, or they’re lots of fun to float in soda or use in fruit salads to add both flavor and help to keep things cold.

The Ultra Gel in this use helps the puree to freeze without a lot of ice chunks so it stays smooth and helps the thaw to be gradual and consistent.

I’ve done this with both peaches and pears with beautiful results.  I’m pondering what to brainify next!

peach brains

Jana

 

Fresh Peach Raspberry Jam

Today’s fresh jam flavor is peach raspberry jam, though we’ll talk a little about plain peach too.

This one is one of my kids’ favorite flavors and it’s the perfect time of year to start stocking up as fresh peaches have started appearing in local farmers’ markets.  Even if the fruit on my poor tree is a long way from ripe.   I like a half and half mix, so 2 cups crushed peaches + 2 cups crushed raspberries and the jam in a jiffy mix.  My kids are also very fond of doing a mix that is half strawberries and half peaches, but since I can get raspberries from the family farm we put up more of that than the strawberry.

Now, a word on fresh peach.  Some people love the flavor of fresh peach jam, and in that case 4 cups of crushed fruit + one pack of jam in a jiffy and you’re in business.  For other folks the peach is a little too mild raw and they prefer the slightly caramel flavor of a cooked peach.  You can still get this with jam in a jiffy.  Just crush your peaches and pop the bowl in the microwave (yes, this requires a microwave safe bowl) for about five minutes.  Give the whole thing a stir and taste.  One you get the flavor you want, then add the jam in a jiffy mix and get to business.

Fresh peach jam, fresh raspberry peach jam, fresh peach strawberry jam…  You just have to love peach season!  These jams are great on toast, or to fill your favorite thumb print cookie or add to a smoothie for a pop of omething special.

How do you Jam in a Jiffy?

Jana

Cornaby’s LLC – Bringing You Nature’s Best

Fresh Blackberry Raspberry Jam

As I’ve mentioned before I get to answer most of the email questions that come into Cornaby’s.  Some questions are fantastic and, I admit, some make me laugh a little.  One from the other day got me thinking and I thought I’d address it here.

Here’s the question:  “What flavor is jam in a jiffy?”

As we’ve talked about before Jam in a Jiffy is a dry mix for making fresh jam.  This jam can then be served immediately, put in the fridge for a few weeks or frozen for a few months.  You can process it into bottles too, but that’s another post.  When it comes to flavor Jam in a Jiffy doesn’t have one.  You can make any flavor of fresh jam you want based on what fruit you choose.  Jam in a Jiffy works best with soft fruits like berries, peaches, mangoes, pears, etc, but can also be used for apricots, rhubarb, kiwi and other such fruits.  I do cook some of these combinations, like apricot, because I like the flavor better, but you never have to cook your fruit for it to work with Jam in a Jiffy.  Sooo…over the next few months we’re going to share some of our favorite fruit combinations, and we’re going to highlight some other cool things you can do with your Jam in a Jiffy mix…like pie filling and shortcake topping!

Today’s fresh jam flavor is blackberry raspberry.  This one seems like a no brainer to me because I like the flavor of these wild berries together.  As well, Bunneh went to California and came back with some blackberries which got a little squished in transit.  So we had blackberries that needed a slightly smushy application and raspberries which had just come from the farm.  I wanted a chunky jam so I crushed them together with a fork in a half and half mixture (2 cups of each type of berry), added my Jam in a Jiffy mix and waited to check the thickness.  For this fresh jam I wanted a thicker end product because I intend to use it in stuffed breads, thumbprint cookies and other cooked applications as well as just to spread on toast, so I didn’t add any other liquid.   This made a lovely almost chutney consistency which was perfect for what I want.  I got about 5.5 cups of finished product, five for the freezer and one that we ate within the next couple of days.  🙂 Mmm…berries…

fresh blackberry raspberry jam blackrasp bowl

Homemade apple chips

In the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of apples in our Bountiful Baskets.  While I like apples very much it gets to a point that I’ve started getting creative in trying to figure out what to do with them.  Today it occurred to me that I had yet to just dehydrate some of the lovely fruit and make it into healthy fruit chips.  Since I had a few hours at home that’s exactly what I did.  It was oh so easy and the results highly tasty just for snacking, or for use in things like oatmeal.

However, I also learned a few things.  The first thing I learned is that the thin slices on my mandolin are a little TOO thin for my liking.  On the next batch I’m going to go up by one level.  The second thing I learned was not to forget to use a little pan spray on my cookie racks before tossing everything in the oven.  I got some stickage which meant some of my chips are more crumbles.  Other than that…yum.

Apple Chips

2-3 large apples in thin slices – You will want to use a fairly firm apple such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Fujis.  If the apples are too soft they just fall apart as you are slicing them and don’t dehydrate as well

cinnamon or nutmeg as desired, or a little cinnamon sugar

2 half sheet pans

2 metal cooling racks which can withstand going into the oven

pan spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Place cooling racks onto half sheet pans and spray lightly with pan spray.  Layer with apple slices.  Spice as desired.  Place racks in oven for one hour.  Switch rack placement and leave in oven for another hour.  Turn off heat and leave racks in oven until cool.  Remove and package chips in zip lock bags.  Munch away!

Local Utah Saffron

First things first!  We had a great time on KUTV channel 2’s Fresh Living today!  Thank you!

Tomorrow we’ll be on with Big Buddah and Fox 13 for the morning news, and Wednesday we’re visiting with the folks from KSL!  It’s a busy media week, and means I have to be up with the raspberries at 5 am!  I may die.  🙂

Anyway…we have more exciting things to talk about.  Mainly…Saffron!

Saffron is a very cool little spice, renown for being the most expensive spice (by weight) in the world.  Saffron comes from the crocus flower and each flower will give two to three strands and that’s about it.  So to get up to even an ounce of saffron you are looking at harvesting a LOT of flowers which explains some of the price per pound issues.  The flavor of saffron is a little musty and a must in many Spanish influenced and Indian influenced foods.  It also gives many foods a bright yellow color as in saffron rices and curries.

One of the cool things that Bunneh and I discovered a few years ago was that saffron grows well in Utah.  However…it is hard to get the bulbs and a bit expensive, as well as requiring a little more garden prep than we’ve had time for.  Not for a lack of desire, but life just keeps getting in the way.  So we’ve had desire for local saffron, but been left picking it up a bit at a time at local specialty shops.

Knowing all of this imagine my surprise when I found a booth at the SLC Downtown Farmer’s Market selling locally grown saffron!  I met the most wonderful older gentleman who explained that this was a retirement project for he and his wife.  They grow the flowers, harvest the saffron and sell it at markets.  His wife even comes up with recipes which they hand out with each purchase!  And the price…amazing…$5.00 for a half ounce container of beautiful whole strands.  The very first day Bunneh made a batch of Saffron rice for us, borrowing the recipe from Alton Brown, and it was amazing.  The only problem we had was that the saffron was so fresh that the flavor got much stronger in the following days and we got to the point the rice was just too strong, but that’s easily corrected in the future.

saffron rice

Are you a saffron lover? Any suggestions for other recipes we should try?

And if you’re in Utah, have you seen the Saffron man!?!  If not get thee to the Farmer’s Market!

Jana