Posted on 05 August 2012 by noelskitchen
Don’t these look yummy? We’re on our last two full quart-size freezer bags of blueberries. I can’t believe how fast we went through them!
A few weeks ago we took a short drive down our road to our favorite blueberry pickin’ spot here in Penn Valley. We’ve already made some of our favorite recipes like Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream, Blueberry Crumb Pie and added them to our favorite smoothies. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to get back to Lazy Valley Blueberry Ranch before school starts.
I mentioned on my facebook page the other day that I picked up a brand new 21 qt. canner with basket at our local thrift shop. They are normally close to $30. I purchased mine for only $8. What a deal! So yesterday, I made a batch of Homemade Crock Pot Blueberry Butter.
I’ve had great success in making fruit butters and jams in the crock pot and since this is my first attempt at making Crock Pot Blueberry Butter, I went with a very simple recipe flavor profile of lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon. While they were slow cooking in the crock pot, the whole kitchen was filled with the sweetest fragrance of blueberries.
Homemade Crock Pot Blueberry Butter
Makes approximately 2 1/2 pints of blueberry butter
- 8 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- In a blender or food processor, puree the blueberries. Pour blueberry puree into the crock pot. Place a lid on the crock pot and turn it on to low. After about an hour, give it a quick stir. (It will have a slight thick consistency.) At this point, you want to use something to prop the crock pot lid just a bit. I used a small wooden spoon and just rested the wooden spoon across the rim of crock pot and and then place the lid back on. This allows just enough room to let the steam evaporate from the crock pot.
- Cook blueberries down for no more than 6 hours. When it got to 4 hours, I added the lemon zest, lemon juice, water, spices and the sugar, removed the lid completely and turned the heat up on the crock pot to high. This speeds up the cooking down process and makes the blueberry butter a thick consistency.
- When the cooking process is done, you can puree with an immersion blender or (carefully) in a regular blender, for a smoother product. I wanted a smoother butter.
- Once it’s cooked down sufficiently, pour into sterile jars, leaving a good 1/2 inch of head space, wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Label and store unopened jars in a cool, dark place.
- Eat on fresh scones, toast or even pancakes.
Posted on 03 September 2011 by noelskitchen
With the abundance of tomatoes growing in our garden this year, I started thinking about how I could preserve them so we could enjoy them without the worry of them going rotten and mushy so quickly. I immediately thought about home canning.
Not all of my tomatoes are ready for picking, so I won’t have a huge batch for a red sauce. Right now, I’m working on canning tomato soup, then with next ripe batch, I’ll start on a red sauce for pasta, pizza and stews. I’ll discuss how this turns out when I’m finished.
Home canning not only preserves the foods you eat most often but it saves you money. Home canning is a great way to help your family be more self-sufficient. Through home canning, you know exactly what ingredients are in the food that your family eats. I believe many home canning families agree, the flavor of the home canned beats the flavor of the store bought.
I had a pressure cooker awhile back that was given to me and I never used it so I got rid of it. Little did I know, I would be in the interest of canning. So now, I’m starting from scratch using a Boiling Water Bath method by using a large stockpot. My kitchen is already stocked with most of the utensils needed to process with this method. If I still need to purchase items for canning, I found the hardware stores have the best deals on canning supplies and right now is the perfect time to buy them.
Just the other day, I picked up 2 cases of quart-sized jars at 2 for$20 the other day and our other local hardware store has pint-sized jars at 2 cases for $11. This hardware store also has canning classes available in which I may find the time to sign up for a few.
Here’s a list of the basic list of canning equipment needed to start…
- Wooden Spoons – you’ll need them for stirring, mixing and measuring
- Knives – for peeling and cutting
- Food Brushes – gotta get all the dirt, soil and insects off before hand
- Sauce Pan – to heat the lids
- Measuring Cups – for both dry and liquid measuring
- Colander or Strainer – pretty self-explanatory
- Timer – needed to accurately measure all processing times
- Scale – measure exact amount of ingredients
- Boiling Water Bath…aka Big ol’ Stock Pot – tall enough to allow for 4 inches above your jars
- Jar Funnels – ’cause this stuff is extremely hot!
- Jar Lifter or heavy duty tongs – see above, really hot!
- Bubble Freer – anything wooden or plastic small enough to reach along the sides of the jars (I use my skinny silicone scraper
- jars – buy new or use older ones that are free of cracks or chips
- Lids – use new only
This is the beginning of my how I’m starting to stock my pantry by home canning.
How many of you are “canners”?? What do you love to can? Feel free to leave helpful tips and comments in the comment section to help us newbies!