Apple Cranberry Compote

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I know exactly what’s going to happen.  All nine jars of my canned compote will be on display Saturday at the market, and everyone will ask what they are supposed to do with it.  This is what happened earlier in the year when I had jarred cherries jubilee for sale.  My typical response  was to suggest that customers warm it up and put it over ice cream.  Then a lady who stopped by our booth said she thought it should be used on waffles.  Great idea.  I started using it when someone would ask.

Compote won’t be so easy.  What will I tell them?  Put it over vanilla ice cream?  I guess so.  Maybe.  But this flavor combo I would use the same way I would serve apple or cranberry sauce, since it is basically apple/cranberry sauce.  Perfect with poultry or pork.

Maybe I’ll just wait for a suggestion from another customer.  I learn so much every week at the market from them and the other vendors.  But I think my favorite way to eat it will always be in a bowl with a spoon, warm.  I just sampled it this way and it made the perfect midnight snack.  Sweet and tart, spicy and warm. Really nice on what was a drizzly fall day.

When I had the idea to make my holiday compote, I was hoping it would end up a beautiful, ruby red color from the cranberries.  Mission accomplished.  It was really fun to watch the color deepen as it cooked.

A printable gift set that includes this recipe, beautifully printed on a fall themed recipe card, a dozen mason jar lid labels that fit perfectly between a mason jar lid and its ring, and the large gift tag pictured below, great for tying to a gift basket full of jars, apples, and cranberries for a friend, is available in my Edible Tapestry Etsy shop. Just click on the sample gift tag below to be redirected to the shop listing.

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Ingredients:

8 cups firm apples, peeled, cored, cubed

1 (12 oz.) bag of fresh cranberries

2 c. granulated sugar

2 c. water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

Zest of one lemon

1/2 c. German Gluhwein (spiced red wine)

1 tsp. vanilla

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.

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Bring them to a boil.

Reduce the temperature to a simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes.

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Preserve using proper canning procedures or keep refrigerated for up to three weeks.

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Yield: 9 half pint jars

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter | October 10, 2013 | By

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It’s fall!  I wasn’t ready.  I rebelled, as usual, when I felt it coming on because we did nothing summer-y this year.  Then there was a whirlwind trip to Florida and the blazing sun on my back while I stood in the center of St. George Street in St. Augustine.

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As it turns out, that was all I needed.  Though I never even got my toes wet this summer, unless you count inadvertently splashing through puddles from our area’s incessant rains, when I reached home I dove head first into the autumn season.

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The very best way to welcome the cool season, in my opinion, is to roast a great big pumpkin.  So that’s what I did.  With the silky pulp I made pumpkin cakes, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin cookies.  I used half of the pumpkin, raw, to make my pumpkin butter.

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I’m hoping I haven’t overdone it so much on the pumpkin cooking that I balk at the slice of pumpkin pie on my plate come Thanksgiving Day.  Somehow I just don’t think that’s possible.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 gallons of seeded, peeled, and cut pumpkin.  1 to 2 ” cubes.

1/2 c. Braggs’s apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. white distilled vinegar

2 c. water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 T ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

The juice and zest of one lemon

Granulated sugar

Method:

In a very large stock pot, place the pumpkin, water, and vinegars.

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Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is tender.

Puree with the liquid.  You can use a food processor or blender, but I just used a potato masher.

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Measure the pulp.  Return it to the pot.

Add 1/2 c. sugar per cup of pulp to the pumpkin.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

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Cook, uncovered, over a low simmer for 2 hours.

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Process in canning jars according to the standard canning practice of your choice, or keep refrigerated and use within 3 weeks.

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Polka dotted pumpkin butter jars pictured with my apple butter jars. I use cupcake paper liners over the sealed jar lids, under the jar rings to decorate. Much less expensive than the fabric squares I was using.

I was able to get 9 half pint jars from this batch.  I believe the amount will vary on the water content of the pumpkin used, however.

Note: A reader has brought it to my attention that canning pumpkin butter may not be safeThis recipe has a lot of acid added, but you’ll need to decide if you feel comfortable canning it.  I probably will not can it any longer, just to be on the safe side.

 

 

 

 

Peach Chutney

Peach Chutney | September 23, 2013 | By

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Whole wheat naan spread with whatever kind of chutney I have on hand, wrapped around strips of grilled chicken.  That has been our staple meal this summer.  I sell lots and lots of chutney and naan at our Saturday morning market, so I usually have some made for our meals too.

I developed my chutney recipe when our little nectarine tree produced in the spring.

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He tries hard every year, but freezes just when his little fruits are starting to expand.  This year was different.  We had a late freeze, but somehow the little guy was spared from the chill.  My first batch of chutney this year was made with the surplus of nectarines we were able to harvest from that one tree.

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When the nectarines were all gone, I used the same recipe to make mango chutney.  After the mango I switched to peach and have made maybe three big batches this summer.

Here is how I do it.

Ingredients:

6 cups of peaches pitted and cut into wedges, skin and all

2 T lemon zest

2 T lemon juice

1 c. turbinado sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

6 T apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Method:

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium to large saucepan.

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Cook over low to medium heat for 2 hrs., stirring occasionally.

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Crush the fruit with a potato masher every once in a while to smooth out the chutney as it cooks.

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Keep refrigerated and use for up to three weeks, or process in canning jars for a one year shelf life.  It also freezes beautifully.

Note:  If substituting mangoes, water must be added throughout the cooking process.  They just don’t have the liquid content of peaches and nectarines.

Yield: app. 3 pints