I recently joined a really fun group of fellow canners on Facebook in my area, and I've been so lucky to have met two of them already! I think we all though, might need an intervention. My sister keeps threatening to give me one and warns me to put down the bucket and step away from the fruit and produce. I can't help it, I love harvesting and picking the amazing goodies and turning them into things I will love all winter.
I did three new ones this weekend, one of them I wasn't sure how the flavors would meld, but they are amazing together. I've been wanting to do a fig jam for a while now as I love figs, and I finally found some locally grown and plump and delicious.
Of course coming from New Mexico, I do love things with chilies. But I am not into the thermonuclear heat of some of them, I love the ones that give you that wonderful earthiness and subtle heat. So when I came across a recipe for a sweet chile sauce, I had to modify it for a jelly to enjoy.
The third recipe was another onion jam, a bit different though, but equally as tasty, it's going to be great to serve at parties.
Ok, I'll quit blathering and get to the recipes.
Let's go with the fig jam, very very tasty!
Fig Jam with Rosemary
6 cups of diced fresh mission figs, stem removed. Dice fine
3/4 cup of sugar
zest and juice of one large lemon
2/3 cup of good port or full red wine
1 Tbl dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 tsp of sea salt
Toss diced figs and sugar in your sauce pot and let stand, stirring occasionally to let the fruit macerate and most of the sugar is dissolved.
Get your water bath canner ready and 4 1/2 pint jars ready to sterilize
Add the remaining ingredients to the figs, bring to a boil, let boil one minute, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid sheets off your spoon.
Ladle the mixture into your hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace, wipe the rims clean and seal with the hot sterile lids. (yes you might have a little left to put in the fridge and enjoy with breakfast).
Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool on a towel. Store out of the light in a cool place.
Sweet Chile Jelly
10 good sized red jalapenos, coarsely chopped, with seeds
2 red serranos, chopped with seeds
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used two huge cloves of elephant garlic)
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/4 cup water
6 tsp sea salt
3 Tbl arrowroot starch
6 Tbl water
Puree the jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, sugar and 1 cup water in food processor or blender. You'd like it to be as smooth as possible. Transfer this mixture to a non-reactive stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low boil and let it cook until it thickens a bit.
Combine the arrowroot and 6 Tbl of water and whisk until smooth. Add this to the pepper mixture and simmer until thickened, adding the last 1/4 cup of water if you like. This only takes a couple of minutes. It gets thick pretty fast.
Ladle into sterilized hot jars (3, half pint jars). Wipe the rims, seal with hot lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let them cool on a towel on the counter.
This is a sweetish jelly with a nice subtle warmth to it. Very nice.....
Onion and Rosemary Jam (small jar on the right)
3 pounds of sweet onions, like Walla Walla or Vidalia (equals 8 to 10 onions approximately)
1 large shallot
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or olive oil
2 - 3 Tbl dried crushed rosemary
2 Tbl dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp chile flakes
3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup good red wine
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
Peel, halve and slice the onions and shallot fairly thin, about 1/4" thick. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add the onions and stir to coat them then add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, chile flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to mix and cover the pot and let the onions cook down until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
When the onions have lost most of their liquid, remove the lid and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow boil then reduce the heat slightly and let it simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced by half. This is about 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and discard them. Let the jam simmer a bit longer, about 10 more minutes.
Ladle into sterilized hot half pint jars, (takes 5), wipe the rims and seal with hot lids. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars and allow them to cool on a towel.
That about covers what I've done this weekend, what about you? Maybe next weekend, I'll try my hand at Hawthorne Jelly! Who knows, maybe my friend and I can corroborate on a new type of jellies that can have added health benefits. :)
Enjoy! And if there is a recipe you want to try and I haven't posted it here yet, I will be happy to do so if you let me know what you're looking for!