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Posts Tagged ‘peaches’

Yesterday was the first day I harvested something from our garden this season.image

Zucchini!!!

Peppers!! Serranos, anaheims, and banana. Sorry, I forgot to get a photo of those.

I also picked three peaches in hopes that they will ripen off the tree. The squirrels are already competing for those. Grrrrr.

What is growing in you garden??

Sincerely, Emily

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SPICY!!

Quick addition after the original posting of this. Two things I forgot. 1) When making this…stir, stir, stir and 2) Regularly calibrate your thermometer(s) before beginning by dipping it in boiling water to see if it actually reads 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If not…either calibrate it by it’s dial/button etc or just remember which way it is off and add that to, or subtract it from, the temperature you are aiming for. Sorry for forgetting this!

We love spicy food. Not the set your tonsils on fire spicy but a bit warmer than most people consume.

So…with the season of canning upon us I mixed up a nice batch of Peach Jalapeño Jelly the other afternoon.

Now I am going to share my basic version with you though there are lots and lots (and lots) of other versions on line.

Hopefully you haven’t read this far and are now thinking that it sound icky. Or yucky? Gross even??

Maybe your thinking why the heck you would spend time making this because your kids are NOT going to eat THAT on their pb & j sandwiches.

I say hog wash! Don’t even think those things.

This jelly is for the big kids.

The ones at the party.

Slap it on top of some fresh mild cheese (cream cheese is usually good), add some tortilla chips, bagel chips ….you name it…. and dig in. Yum. Fabulous. No wait! Super Fabulous!

There are other ways to use this but that is the most common ways and the one people seem to really connect with, especially if they have never tried a hot style jelly.

Speaking of hot…yep it’s spicy. However…something about the sugar in it keeps it from lingering like a pepper normally does. Yes it will bite at first, depending on the amount of chilies added to the recipe, but it will not burn your throat or hang around for more than a second ….or maybe two. Promise.

So get out your jelly jars and prepare to make a fabulous easy to can treat for you and others.

First, cut up and pit about 4 or 5 lbs of peaches. No need to skin (My peaches are small so I have more “pit” to the pound than most peaches many of you will use. Your goal is for about 4 cups of peach nectar). Put the chunks in a pan and add a bit of water to cover the bottom —just so the peaches will not burn at first. Start with the burner on a lower temp until your peaches start to juice then you can simmer them gently. How long? Until they break down completely because then you will put them in a jelly bag or in a fine metal sieve over a bowl and allow them to fully drain.

While the peaches are draining you can prepare your jalapeños.BTW…it could take just an hour or up to overnight to get your peaches fully drained/juiced. I leave mine on the counter overnight if for some reason they are taking an exorbinant amount of time however most often I have at least the amount I need to make my gift recipe within an hour or so and usually my peaches…those from our trees…are fully drained by then and at most I will get another 1/4cup no matter how long I leave them.. I am sure it also depends on the variety of peach too. Take any where from 1 jalapeño (makes a mildly spicy version) to 8 jalapeños (the hotter than heck version), cut off stem(s), and then seed or don’t seed. Your choice. Of course leaving seeds will make it hotter and taking them out will reduce the heat level. Put them into a blender with ¼ cup to ½ cup of vinegar. The amount is a personal choice. It will not affect the end product and the flavor change is really unnoticable. The reason for using the higher amount would be if you used the maximum peppers. If you seed the peppers, or have very mild peppers the higher amount is difficult to grind and remove from the blender with just ¼ cup vinegar.

I use plain white when making this —though you can use any that you like. You could use raspberry for an added boost of flavor. Peach vinegar if you have it (which would be awesome of course). How about a wine vinegar? I have even heard of some throwing in a dash (or two) of tequila or other “additions”.

Anyway….as with pickles you can vary your vinegar to suit the flavor you are trying to create. And since this is not a pickle per se you don’t have to worry about keeping the acid level up to 5%.

After your peaches are finished juicing put them in a sauce pan with 6 cups of sugar, the jalapeño/vinegar liquid and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Bring the whole of it to a boil and take it up to the temperature of 220 degrees. This will usually need to boil hard for a while to achieve 220 so use a pot that is more than double the amount of product you have to leave space for the foaming and heavy boiling that will occur. Over flowing sticky sugar and fruit is a pain to clean when too small of a pot is use. This is true when making all jams and jellies.

I also highly recommend that you purchase a digital thermometer from some place like Target for making jellies and jams with. They cost about $10, but can be more expensive depending on model, and are much much better than the glass bulb type candy thermometers. You will be much more successful making many things with the addition of a thermometer to your repertoire of kitchen items.

Finally when the temperature hits 220 you can remove the jelly from the heat and proceed to put it into clean jelly jars. Wipe the rim, cap and place in boiling water bath for 10 minutes for half pints. Remove and cool. Makes about 6 half pints.

I like half pints best because I consider them a single serving. You could those extra small jars too if you would prefer slightly less or like that size for gift giving. Can for the recommended amount of time whichever you choose.

And so voila…without much work (really) … you have a fabulous gift or spur of the moment “bring a side dish” item.

Oh yes…don’t make the 8 jalapeño version for gifts or for taking as a side dish. Many people are very skeptical of pepper jellies until they try them for the first time. The 2 jalapeño version with seeds is more than enough spice to serve other people in my opinion. The jalapenos I grow are very very hot though so my thought is sample just a bit of your peppers to make your choice with. In addition if want a more fruity and super hot version….try a habanero instead 😀

jelly

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