John from Eat4Fun came up with a fabulous challenge for September's Daring Cooks challenge. We were presented with two recipes, one for apple butter and one for bruschetta in a jar. The challenge was to try our hand at some canning, and include at least one of the recipes that he posted.
I grew up in Pennsylvania and apple butter is a staple for the Pennsylvania Dutch. I am not Pennsylvania Dutch, they are of German descent, but in my college cottage cheese and apple butter were always on the salad bar.
I prefer my apple butter with as few additional ingredients as possible. I used golden delicious apples, apple cider, and cinnamon. I cooked the apple until they were mush and then cooked them some more, eventually adding a little cinnamon. I ended up with a jar for the refrigerator and some bags for the freezer.
I have had my eye on a jalapeno jelly. It calls for red peppers, green peppers, jalapenos, red wine vinegar, sugar and pectin. It is a simple recipe but makes two beautiful jars of jam.
The recipe is from Chevys and Rio Bravo's Fresh Mex Cookbook. It is a real fun cookbook. Sweet Hot Jalapeno Jelly
Wear gloves while you prepare the peppers.
3/4 cup chopped red bell peppers (one large for me) 3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers 1/3 cup diced and seeded jalapenos (about three large) 2-3/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lime juice 6 tablespoons Certo liquid pectin.
Combine the peppers, jalapenos, sugar, vinegar, and lime juice in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until warm and sugar is dissolved.
Pour the mixture in a blender or food processor and blend for 5 seconds. Return the blended mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the pectin (follow the directions on the pectin for boiling time), increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. The jelly will set as it cools down. When cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
I brought this into work and put it on cream cheese and served it with crackers. It was gone in minutes.
I grew up helping my mother can. We canned whatever was available, peaches, apples, strawberries, tomatoes. It is a science, with set rules to keep everyone safe. John did a great job incorporating those rules in his post. It was a fun challenge, I wish that I had posted on time.