Category Archives: Canning & Preserves

Beer and other mustards

Homemade Honey Mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup honey (you can cut to 1/2 cup if you want)

Soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water, making sure the seeds are covered by the liquid. Leave soaking overnight.

Add the sugar and honey to the seeds mixture. Blend mixture until it reaches desired consistency, adding water if needed.

Ladle into quarter pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace and process in water bath for 15 minutes. The mustard will at first seem extremely spicy, but will mellow out after about a week.

Basic Mustard

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried spice (basil & lemon, or cardamom & fennel, or allspice & tumeric)

Soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water making sure the seeds are covered by the liquid. Leave soaking for 2 days.

Add the salt and spices to the seeds mixture. Start by adding about 1 tsp. of each spice. Blend mixture until it reaches desired consistency, adding water if needed. When you do a tasting, if you need more spice, add it by 1/2 teaspoons.

When you are satisfied with the taste, ladle into quarter pint jars and process in water bath for 15 minutes.

Cranberry Mustard

Makes about 7 40-ounce jars

1 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (can be omitted for gluten issues)
2 3/4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen; or substitute cherries)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

In a medium stainless steel saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add mustard seeds. Cover and let stand at room temperature until seeds have absorbed most of the moisture, about 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine marinated mustard with liquid, water and Worcestershire sauce. Process until blended and most seeds are well chopped. You want to retain a slightly grainy texture. Add cranberries and blend until chopped.

Transfer mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, dry mustard and allspice. Continue to boil gently over low heat, until volume is reduced by a third, about 15 minutes. Ladle hot mustard into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air, wipe rims. Add hot lids/rings and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes once the water has come back to a full boil.

English Mustard (with cherries)

Adapted from Homemade Mustards – Martha Stewart Recipes

1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup dark beer or cider or wine
1 1/4 cups white-wine vinegar (make sure its 5% acidity)
1 cup mustard powder, combined with 1 cup water (let sit 20 minutes)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 cup cherries

In a nonreactive container, combine mustard seeds with alcohol (beer, wine, or sherry; according to recipe) and vinegar. Let sit 48 hours. Check periodically to make sure seeds are covered by liquid; add more if necessary.

Transfer seeds and liquid to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Process until seeds become creamy, 4 to 6 minutes. Ladle into hot jars and leave 1/2″ headspace. Process in water bath for 15 minutes. Wait 5 days before using.

Spicy German Mustard

1/4 cup yellow mustard seed
2 tablespoons black or brown mustard seed, heaping
1/4 cup dry mustard powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

In a small bowl, combine mustard seed and dry mustard. In a 1- to 2-quart stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat until reduced by half, 10-15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the mustard mixture. Let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours, adding additional vinegar if necessary in order to maintain enough liquid to cover seeds.

Process the seeds and mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed to the texture you like; this can take at least 3 or 4 minutes. Some prefer whole seeds remaining, others a smooth paste. The mixture will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick after a few days, stir in additional vinegar.

Scrape mustard into clean, dry jars; cover tightly and age at least 3 days in the refrigerator before using. To water bath, ladle jars, leave 1/2″ headspace and process 15 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 -2 cups.

Spicy Guinness Mustard

1 12-oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1 1/2 cups brown mustard seeds (10 oz.) (can use a combination of yellow and brown seeds)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and the flavors meld.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, uritil the seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a jar and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.

Grainy Porter Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/8 cup yellow mustard seed
1/8 cup brown mustard seed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (and 1 1/2 teaspoon for later in process)
1/8 cup porter beer
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Transfer mustard mixture to a small food processor and process until mostly smooth. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar along with the honey, salt and process until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Transfer to jar. Process 15 minutes 1/2 inch headspace.

Spicy Smooth Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/2 cups mustard powder
1/4 cup cold water
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar (to taste)

Place mustard powder in a small bowl. Add the cold water all at once and use a small whisk to stir together until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually add the vinegar, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Stir in the tumeric, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Add the brown sugar to taste,

Spoon into jars. 1/2 inch headspace. Process 15 minutes.

Honey Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/2 cup mustard powder
1/4 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon honey

Place the mustard powder in a small bowl. Add the boiling water, using a spoon or small spatula, to stir the mustard and water into a smooth paste. Stir in the vinegar. Switch to a small whisk and whisk in the tumeric, salt, paprika, and garlic powder until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the honey.

Spoon into jars. 1/2 inch headspace. Process 15 minutes.

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Wine & beer, jam & jelly

These recipes come courtesy of Christina Ward of Kick Out The Jams. I took a great class in wine and beer jellies from her through Milwaukee Recreation.

Wine Jelly

3 cups wine (about 1 full bottle)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add Wine and turn the heat on high to get the wine simmering. Measure the sugar and add the sugar all at once. Add lemon juice and bring contents up to a boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 4-5 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

Beer Jelly

4 cups Beer (your choice)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add Beer, heat on high until beer is simmering. Measure and add the sugar all at once. Add lemon juice and bring contents up to a boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 5-6 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

Blueberry Guinness Jam

4 cups blueberries
4 cups Guinness Stout (With spirits, use this amount or reduce by half)
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add blueberries.Cook until simmering. Puree blueberries with immersion blender. Add the Guinness and Lemon Juice; return to boil. Measure and add the sugar all at once. Return to boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 10-12 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 8 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

No-sugar jam

I got this recipe from my canning teacher, Christina Ward of Kick Out The Jams.

Ingredients:
4 cups of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
2 cups Splenda
2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup (or 2 boxes) low-sugar pectin

If you use berries, mush them to make sure you have four solid cups.

Combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot. Bring the contents to a boil. Add the pectin. Stir. Return the jam to a boil, and boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

This will not keep as long as regular jam because there’s no sugar to act as a preservative.

Pickled corn; it’s better than you might think

This is a good recipe for preserving corn that can be used in a grain salad.

This is a good recipe for preserving corn that can be used in a grain salad.

I pickled two quarts of corn this summer. It’s better than you might think, and it goes nicely in a grain salad.

It’s also really easy. Here’s the recipe:

Pickled Corn (This is a 1-quart recipe from Bon Appetit, but you can double it and make two quarts)

PickledCorn2
1 seeded thinly sliced jalapeno pepper
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup water

Combine the jalapeno pepper, onion, corn, cilantro, lime juice and pepper in a bowl. Toss. Pack into a 1-quart canning jar.

Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Pour it over the corn.

Screw a cap on the jar, let it cool and put it in the refrigerator. It will keep about a month.

Wordless Wednesday: Sour gherkin pickles

Mexican sour gherkin pickles

I pickled some of the Mexican sour gherkins that I posted a photo of last week. They need a few weeks to absorb the flavors, and then we’ll try them out.

Homemade pizza sauce

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Pizza sauce made from more than 20 pounds of tomatoes sits on our stove in Wisconsin.

After getting little from our garden all summer, I’ve been suddenly confronted with pounds and pounds of tomatoes. I made pasta sauce first, and then decided to make a big batch of pizza sauce to preserve.

I generally use a pizza sauce recipe from Martha Rose Schulman and multiply it out depending on how many pounds of tomatoes I have on hand. I handle the ingredients much differently than she does though, because her way takes too long when working in big batches.

In a nutshell, her recipe calls for peeling and seeding the tomatoes before you make the sauce. That’s not a bad job with 3 pounds of tomatoes. It can take hours when you’re working with more than 20.

I now wash and core the tomatoes, cut them in half and put them in a big pot. I cook them until they are soft and then run them through a food mill with a fine grate to get rid of the seeds and skins.

Then I pour the sauce back into a pan, add the garlic, some onion and herbs and boil it until it is reduced by at least a third. Then, to make the sauce smoother, I purée it with an immersion blender before canning.

Here’s Martha’s basic recipe:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 pounds tomatoes
Pinch sugar
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil

She sautés the garlic in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.

I made the recipe with about 21 pounds of tomatoes. To do that, I increased the dried oregano to 4 tablespoons, added 3 roughly chopped onions and 9 cloves of elephant garlic, and boosted the basil to 11/2 cups chopped, or about 1.6 ounces.

Once the sauce had boiled down, I puréed it and canned it. For those who can, I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar, filled the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space, and processed them in a rolling water bath for 35 minutes.

Drought makes delicious applesauce

Drought makes good applesauce. This year’s apples have a high concentration of sugar and flavor.

If you garden, you know there’s a drought this year. It’s a big one, stretching from Ohio west to California. Wisconsin isn’t in quite as bad of shape as some other states, but the southeast corner where G. lives is in a severe drought. All summer, we’ve been watching thunderstorms slide just south and hit Chicago or just north and hit Milwaukee, while not a drop falls at his place.

You’ve heard me lament the effect on our garden. Our carrots never came up. We had to plant beets three times. The pumpkins and melons perished in the middle of the summer. Our cauliflower is at least a month late, and just this week, heads began to form on it.

And every night, G. waters.

But, there is as silver lining: I just made my best applesauce yet.

G., Biggie B. and I were coming back from the vet last week, and we saw a sign for apples by the road. We never noticed an orchard there before, but we turned into what looked liked a driveway, drove back a bit, and sure enough, tucked behind some houses was an apple orchard.

It’s a small business with picking by appointment, but you also can buy “off the truck.” We got a half-bushel, which is just over 20 pounds, for $15.

Most of the apples were small, and G. noted that they were probably ones that people would pass over at a farmers market. But their size was an indicator of their taste. Fruit is almost always smaller in drought because trees receive less water. Much of a fruit’s weight is essentially water weight. Without the extra water, the sugar and flavors in the fruit become concentrated. So, it’s a great year to make applesauce, wine or other foods that depend heavily on fruit flavor.

Our apples were so good that I only used half of my usual amount of cinnamon and nutmeg in making applesauce. It didn’t need more spice, and I figured I should let the apples’ natural flavor shine.

If you’re now thinking that you want to make applesauce and experience the drought effect yourself, a word of caution: Most apples in grocery stores come from Washington state, which has not had a major drought this year. If you live in a drought area in the Midwest, go to a farmers market or orchard to buy apples that are locally grown.

You should go soon too. We had a warm spring that made the trees bud early, followed by a cold snap that killed the buds. Some orchards in Michigan reported losing as much as 90 percent of their fruit. The Wisconsin orchard we went to last year lost half of its apples. Also, the apples are coming on two to three weeks earlier than usual because of the warm spring. In a lot of places, picking started about two weeks ago, and if you delay until what we normally think of as apple season in late September or October, there may be few apples left.

Back 40 Applesauce

5 pounds apples
1 cup water (or apple juice)
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg

Wash and core the apples and place them in a big pot with the water or juice. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, and cook the apples until they are soft. Don’t worry if they start to fall apart.

Run the apples through a food mill with a fine grate (most come with fine, medium and corse grates that can be switched out.).
Stir the sugar and spices into applesauce. Eat!

Or, if you want to can the applesauce, add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint. Pack pints with 1/2-inch head space and process in a rolling boil water bath for 20 minutes.