Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fruit Spread


I didn't want the delicious, ripe fruit I recently picked at Alstede Farms to develop mold so I decided to make two quick fruit spreads- sweet raspberry and vanilla peach. Fruit spread (whether in the form of preserves, marmalade, jelly or jam) is so simple to make and yields sweet results that can be enjoyed well after the fruit itself would have gone to waste. My two pieces of advice for undertaking this task are as follows: (1)sterilize the canning jars before you begin making the fruit spread; and (2)wear an apron if you don't think colorful fruit splashes will add character to your attire (my shirt fell victim to plenty of hot, sticky raspberry chunks).

Sterilize the canning jars first


Sweet Raspberry Spread (yield, approx. 1 1/4 cups)
Ingredients:
1 lb red and black raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Preparation:
1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Continue to cook over high heat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Skim any foam that may develop on top of the fruit spread.
3. Fill hot, sterilized jars with fruit spread and cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Process jars in a pot of boiling water properly set up for canning for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool and ensure jars are securely sealed.

3 quick ingredients- raspberries, lemon juice and sugar

Stir constantly over high heat until the fruit spread thickens

Testing the results on a toasted English muffin


Vanilla Peach Spread (yield, approx. 2 cups)
Ingredients:
2 lbs peaches
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Preparation:
1. Score peaches with an X on the bottom. Blanch peaches in boiling water for approximately 1 minute and submerge in an ice bath. Remove and discard peach skins. Remove pits and dice peaches.
2. Split vanilla bean and place in a sauce pan over high heat with the diced peaches, lemon juice and sugar.
3. Bring to a boil and continue to cook over high heat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Skim any foam that may develop on top of the fruit spread.
4. Fill hot, sterilized jars with fruit spread adding a piece of the vanilla bean to each of the jars. Cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Process jars in a pot of boiling water properly set up for canning for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool and ensure jars are securely sealed.

Scoring and blanching the peaches allows you to easily peel off the skins

4 quick ingredients- peaches, lemon juice, sugar, and 1/2 vanilla bean

After stirring over high heat for approx. 15 min.

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