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November 2016

Kitchen Hack: Super easy 10 minute "canned" flavored salt

Use this simple and quick tactic to spice up your life, or to make an easy homemade gift . I have seen other blogs that first dehydrate the herbs before adding the salt, but this is not necessary, and it decreases flavor.  Salt does a great job of dehydration all by itself and locks in flavor and aroma.

 

 

Flavored salts: lime, hot chili pepper, and rosemary
Flavored salts: lime, hot chili pepper, and rosemary

I will show you three easy flavored salts, lime, hot chili pepper, and rosemary, but you could use any strong or distinctively flavored herb, spice, or fruit.  One can also flavor salt by smoking it. Some folks even dehydrate wine to make a wine salt, but I don't want to go to that much effort today - you may feel differently if wine is your thing.

 

Best Little Jam House

Ingredients:

Canning jars - I would suggest 4 ounce jars for making quick presents, but I am demonstrating with 8 ounce jars because that is what I had on hand.

Herb, or fruit of your choice

Salt - I used fine canning salt because it has no additives and is readily available, but coarse salt makes a very nice presentation. Just remember that fine salt is about twice as dense as coarse salt, so one would need to use about twice as much herb or fruit if using fine salt.

 

Instructions:

Herbs

Thyme - ends bend easily
Rosemary - bends easily

1.  Pick your fresh herbs. You are looking for ends that bend easily, not stiff sticks. Wash herbs and dry with paper towel. 

2.  Separate leaves from stems. It is okay to include very supple stem parts, but remove any stiff stems.

Remove stiff stems
Remove stiff stems

3.  Finally chop leaves. You may use a food processor if that is easier for you, but use the pulse option so you don't over chop and turn everything mushy.  Personally, I find hand chopping easiest.

Rosemary chopped
Rosemary chopped

4.  Filling your jars: It using coarse salt, you will want to fill your jars 1/4 to 1/3 full with herbs. If using fine salt, fill your jars about 1/2 full.

5.  Fill your jar with salt up to the start of the neck area (you want room to shake the jar).

Fill your jar to neck
Fill your jar to neck

6.  Shake your jar well to evenly distribute contents.

 

Rosemary Salt
Rosemary Salt

7.  Shake jar ever other day for about two weeks. If contents shrink below the neck area, add more salt.

Variations:

Citrus

Lime zest
Lime zest

Follow above directions, but use microplane, fine grater, or zestier to remove just the outer colored area of the rind, leaving the bitter pith behind. I used the zest of 4 limes in an 8 ounce jar. 

Hot Chili Pepper

Habaneros (very hot chili)
Habaneros (very hot chili)

First choose a truly HOT pepper, something hotter than a jalapeño.  If you are adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a recipe you will need a very hot pepper to be able to taste anything. I used 5 Habaneros (very hot chili) in an 8 ounce jar (it was not quite 1/2 full - using fine salt). I used disposable gloves to protect myself. I did remove the seeds, but I would not have removed the seeds if I was working with a chili that was not quite as strong.

Habanero Salt
Habanero Salt

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The Jam Scientist

I have been counting my blessings today. I would like to share some of my list this Thanksgiving:

Count Your Blessings

...Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!...

Count Your Blessings | Johnson Oatman, Jr.
 
  1. The Fellowship of the Mystery - That's what Pastor David Guzik calls God's intervention in our lives to change us; yes, it is a great mystery, and I am most thankful for this!
  2. I find it almost miraculous to have found contentment in my marriage of over ten years. My brilliant, loving, geeky, helpful, husband, The Professor, who values and cares for me. He takes care of me and even cleans out the house gutters! He also comes from a wonderful caring family that have embraced me as a member.
  3. My children - I was/am blessed to have been able to give birth to three wonderful people that I love, and love me in return. You see, there were times I wondered if I would ever have children, and I am so grateful I was blessed with them.
  4. My grandchildren - wonderful to see little ones growing up, and to be part of their lives.
  5. My extended family - as I grow older I see more clearly how remarkable they are, and were.
  6. My church - a place to know and be known and hear God's word. blessed Thanksgiving
  7. A home with room for my Dad and a yard filled with my favorite plants. A storage building that is just the right size. A house panted a color that I like. A neighborhood with many nice and safe places to walk.
  8. Visiting birds that entertain in the garden.
  9. Appliances to make life easier, a good dishwasher, a microwave that heats food in moments, older Maytag washer and dryer that are reliable and easy to fix, ceiling fans that work, and a knife sharpener that keeps my knives sharp.
  10. Sewing machines that work well and are easy to work with.
  11. Nice reading lights, ceiling light, and task lights.
  12. Some lovely art work that reminds me of people and places that I care about.
  13. A reliable and comfortable car.
  14. Many of you know I have a learning disability. I am a certified terrible speller. I am grateful for my computer that helps to mitigated my issues, and grateful for help in keeping it working.
  15. Dad's and our dog, Spot, my Editorial and Procurement Assistant, and good companion.
  16. Proximity to an excellent local library
  17. Adult diapers for those that need them.
THOU that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more,—a grateful heart...
Gratefulness
By George Herbert

 

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The Jam Scientist

Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to turn any pancake or waffle recipe into gingerbread

Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to turn any pancake or waffle recipe into gingerbread
Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to turn any pancake or waffle recipe into gingerbread.

Why settle for ordinary? Use this simple and quick tactic that works with any pancake or waffle recipe, be it homemade, mix from a box, or gluten-free to taste just like gingerbread. Have them every week, or save them for Christmas, however you like.

Ingredients:

2-3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and/or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup molasses (unsulfured)  

 

Instructions:

turn any pancake or waffle recipe into gingerbreadAdd the above ingredients to any single batch of pancakes or waffles that uses about two cups of flour per batch. Just add these spices to the dry ingredients. Note that no sugar is added. Any sweetness will come from the syrup, but some people do eat them plain.

Taking pancakes and waffles up to an even higher plane:

  • To take your pancakes or waffles to an even higher level, add whipped cream. take your pancakes or waffles to an even higher level
  • To really hit breakfast out of the ball park, lace the whipped cream with finely minced candied ginger.

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The Jam Scientist

The flavor of freshly baked gingerbread in a jar - Easy Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly

Gingerbread Spice Jelly made with rich spices and molasses - the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread.
Gingerbread Spice Jelly made with rich spices and molasses - the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread.

It is easy to make, can be done in less than an hour, and has the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread! This recipe turned out sooo good I thought twice about releasing it on the internet. Maybe I should keep this recipe for myself. In the end I decided to share. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family does.

Gingerbread is a wonderful seasonal treat; even Starbucks releases a limited edition Gingerbread Latte.  Most gingerbread flavored products are, like gingerbread, delicious.  But some are.... well...sad. 

I ran into a jelly made with gingerbread flavored tisane. It sounded intriguing, but I was a little shocked by the thought of making a jelly with just sugared and flavored water. I thought I could do better. After all, the ingredients and spices in gingerbread are no secret, and using the full gallery of gingerbread spices and molasses in an apple jelly foundation should give a nice rich taste. I thought the only trick would be getting the spice amounts correct.

There was another problem though. I also needed to tackle how to use apples juice as the fruit base. Buying apple juice by the jug is notoriously difficult to work with because pectin destroying enzymes are added during the juice manufacturing process, and those enzymes would also inactivate the boxed pectin I would add to make the jelly. I needed this process to be easy enough for beginners. Extracting clear juice from fresh apples is difficult. Unprocessed apple juice is not available in many areas, so that wouldn't work. I wondered if using apple juice from frozen concentrate might work.  I was absolutely thrilled to find that juice made from frozen concentrate jells easily!!! After some experimentation I believe I got this new recipe spot-on. It is easy to make, can be done in less than an hour, and has the full fledged flavor of gingerbread!

First, I will be sharing just the recipe for making the jelly.  If you need information about the basic canning process please click here for Canning Instructions from Virginia Tech.

If you would like to print this recipe without all the pictures please click Download Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly Recipe

 

Golden acorn logo TM 

Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly

 Author: A Best Little Jam House Exclusive

Recipe type:

Jelly

 

Serves:

10, 8-oz jars or half- pints

Prep time: 

10 minutes

 

Headspace:

1/4 inch

Cook time: 

20 minutes

 

Processing:

10 minutes

Total time: 

40 minutes

     

 

 

made with rich spices and molasses

 

Ingredients:

16 ounce frozen concentrated apple juice (the type that calls for addition of 3 cans water)

1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 Tablespoons molasses (unsulfured)  

2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 small lemon)

 2 packages (1 3/4 ounces each pack) fruit pectin

8 cups sugar 

 

Instructions:

  1. Sterilize jars and prepare lids per manufacture's instruction.
  2. Add apple juice and 2 1/2 cans (not 3 cans) water into a wide-bottomed pan, or a preserving kettle. Add spices, molasses, lemon juice, and dry pectin. Stir frequently while bring contents to a boil.
  3. Add sugar all at once and stir well.
    Add sugar all at once
    Add sugar all at once
    Bring contents to a full rolling boil.
    Boil for one minute
    Boil for one minute
    Boil for one minute and check the set. When jelly mixture sheets from a spoon. Remove from heat; skim off foam after cooling one minute.
  4. Ladle hot jelly mixture immediately into hot,
    1/4 inch headspace
    ¼ inch headspace
    sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; add two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
  5. Jelly will last at least one year.

Note: Processing time given is for 1000 foot elevation and below. If you are working at a higher elevation click here for information about needed time adjustments.

I suggest you label your jam jars. One may simply write on the lid, or you may download my personal Christmas labels by clicking Download Gingerbread Spice Jelly Christmas Label. My labels have a larger label for the lid and a smaller label for the front of jar. One just needs to write in the canning date, cut out, and glue the label on the jar.

 

gingerbread Spice Jelly Label

 

The Professor's Rating

The Professor gave it 5 stars. " This makes my mouth happy.... This is good! We could sell this!... Are you sure you want to put this recipe on the web? I don't know if I remember what gingerbread tastes like... This is as good as the blueberry grape jelly" (one of his favorites).

 

Gingerbread spice jelly on hot biscuits
Gingerbread spice jelly on hot biscuits

 

Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly Demystified

How do I know this recipe is safe? pH and Heat

pH  - To be safe from botulism bacteria growth and its food poisoning toxins, the pH of canned goods must be below 4.6 (one wants to stay below pH 4.4. to be on the safe side). The pH of apple juice ranges from 3.35 to 4.0. We also added Lime juice with pH of 2.0 - 2.35. Testing the pH of this jelly it was pH 3.1 - well within the safety zone. However, low pH does not affect yeasts and molds.

Heat - Processing the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes is enough heat to kill actively growing bacteria and prevent yeast and mold growth under normal sanitary circumstances. This is how we control the yeasts and molds that were not affected by the lower pH.

Why did the recipe call for frozen apple juice?

Enzymes -When consumers buy apple juice in a jug they do not want the juice to turn into apple jelly in the container; they want a nice clear, thin juice instead of a viscous, cloudy liquid. To accomplish this one of the things manufacturers do is add enzymes that destroy the pectin. Most enzymes can be inactivated by heat. Therefore, we used concentrated apple juice that was heated in order to evaporate water, and thus the pectin destroying enzymes were inactivated by the heating process. If you live in an area where truly fresh pressed apple juice (that has had no enzymes added) is available one could use 7 cups of fresh pressed cider instead if you prefer.

 

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The Jam Scientist

My advice: Put a rub on it (for turkey or that pork loan), but skip all those expensive store bought concoctions - fresh and easy is best!

My advice: Put a rub on it (that is... turkey or that pork loan), but skip all those expensive store bought concoctions - fresh and easy is best!
My advice: Put a rub on it (for turkey or that pork loan), but skip all those expensive store bought concoctions - fresh and easy is best!

Super easy 15 minute tactic to remarkably increase flavor and appearance of your fowl or pork! Rubs are easy, easy, easy, so don't stress about this.  Feel free to add or subtract spices and herbs as you like, and make this your own.

Part of the reason I don't bother with spices when brining is because herbs and spices are much more effective as a rub. This rub will work with any poultry, or pork, whether smoked, barbecued, or roasted. I will use all, or almost all, of this rub recipe with one large turkey. However, I would generally use more rub when barbecuing and use some restraint with roasting.

I would also freeze any leftover rub I might have in a baggy for future use. Feel free to increase or decrease ingredient amounts to suit your tastes. Fresh herbs are best, but you can use dry herbs if that is what you have, but if at all possible use fresh rosemary (it makes a huge difference).

Ingredients

2 tablespoons paprika (smoked paprika is also very nice)

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoons ground sage, rubbed

2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Freshly chopped sage, thyme, and rosemary
Freshly chopped sage, thyme, and rosemary

 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1 tablespoons dried basil leaves

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons salt (use only if you did not brine the meat)

Directions

Use ends that bend easy
Use ends that bend easily
  1. Pick you fresh herbs. You are looking for ends that bend easily, not stiff sticks. Wash herbs and dry with paper towel.
  2. Separate leaves from stems. It is okay to include very supple stem parts, but remove any stiff stems.
    Remove any stiff stems
    Remove any stiff stems
  3. Finally chop leaves. You may use a food processor if that is easier for you, but use the pulse option so you don't over chop and turn everything mushy.  Personally, I find hand chopping easiest.
Finally chop leaves
Finally chop leaves

4. Mix dry ingredients with freshly chopped leaves.

5. Coat your poultry, or pork with melted butter.

6. Spread your rub evenly over outside and inside of bird, or evenly coat pork.

Spread your rub evenly
Spread your rub evenly

7. Roast or barbecue as you prefer.

Remarkably flavorful golden brown turkey
Remarkably flavorful golden brown juicy turkey

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The Jam Scientist

My advice: brine your turkey (or that pork loan), but skip all those complicated recipes - easy is best!

My advice: brine your turkey, but skip all those complicated recipes - easy is best!
My advice: brine your turkey, but skip all those complicated recipes - easy is best!

Brining makes an enormous difference in succulence - no exaggeration!

Disclaimer - I have an opinion!

This does not need to be a big production or a big expense. You know me, I will write 1500 words about all the ways you can get apple sauce just the way you want it. I am not afraid of extra steps if it delivers a better product, but all things being equal, simple is best. Some people would consider it heresy to say this, but I do not recommend brining with anything but a salt solution. All the additives and spices I see recommended on the web just add cost, time, and stress with little benefit. Spices add little in a quick brining. Spices are best added later as a rub. Also, a salt solution discourages growth or microorganisms, so I don't want to dilute my solution with things like apple juice. I want the protection of the salt solution working for me without interference.  Also, I am not afraid to use sugar, but I don't want sugar where it is not needed. I want succulence not sweetness in my turkey, so I add no sugar.

Did I mention I don't bother with anything but salt in my brine?

Where are you going to brine that turkey?

One problem in brining a turkey is that it takes up a lot of fridge space. I use my canning pot to hold my turkey upright (breast first facing down), but I line the pot with a large food safe heavy duty plastic bag (such as turkey oven roasting bag) that I pull tight around the bird to cover as much of the bird as possible with brine.  You could use just a brine bag, but I would double the bag it for your protection. As long as the breast portion is covered in brine you will be in good shape, because the dark meat has more fat to protect it during cooking.

If you don't have room in your fridge you can brine your turkey in a cooler generously filled with ice so the bird is covered top and bottom. If you live in a cold location (think Denver), and you have a cold garage (40°F or below), you could just brine the turkey in the garage.

 

Golden acorn logo!!! copy

 

Ingredients for brine:

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups course salt without additives (kosher or sea), or 1 cup fine salt.  I use 1 cup fine canning salt. It has no additives and is more economical than kosher, but use what you have. One may also use regular table salt if needed.
  • If you feel you want to use sugar, one can add 1 cup sugar

 

Instructions:

  1. Plan ahead thaw your turkey, or buy a fresh bird.
  2. Before brining, remove the giblets and turkey neck etc. Your parts to be used for gravy need to be removed now so they don't get too salty. You can make gravy ahead of time if you like.
  3. Mix the brine solution: Heat 1 quart of water with half your salt (and sugar if using) in the microwave until warmed enough to dissolve the salt. Stir warm solution until the salt has dissolved. Then repeat with a second quart of warm water and the other half of the salt.
  4. Add 6 quarts (1 1/2 gallons) ice water (or water with ice cubes) to the warm brine solution in a large container to dilute it to the proper strength and chill it. I don't want warm brine encouraging microbiological growth. Also, brine should be cold before adding the turkey, or the meat will absorb too much salt.
  5. Pour the cold brine over the turkey and make especially sure the breast of the turkey is completely submerged. 
  6. Pull the food-grade plastic bag, or brining bag, around the bird to envelop it in brine and refrigerate or chill for 6 to 24 hours. As a rule of thumb, you should brine your turkey 30 to 60 minutes per pound. If you don't overdue the brining time you can brine a Butterball type of bird (self basting type). Notes about self basting type turkeys: Butterball type birds have been injected with a salt solution already. Less time is best with this type so you don't get them too salty. Stick with 30 - 45 minutes per pound. I will add that one of my best turkeys ever was a brined self basting type bird.
  7. When time is up rinse your bird and towel dry. To get a crunchy skin you need to start with dry skin. America's Test Kitchen suggests drying the skin further by leaving the uncovered bird in the fridge overnight to air dry.

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The Jam Scientist

Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to take your ham up a notch

Kitchen Hack: Super easy three minute tactic to take your ham up a notch
Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to take your ham up a notch.

 

Why settle for ordinary? Use this simple and quick tactic that works on any ham, be it spiral, canned, or bone-in to intensify flavor, add moisture, and presence to any ham.

  Golden acorn logo!

 

Ingredients:

Ham

Whole cloves (around 30)

(2) 8 ounce cans sliced pineapple

Toothpicks

 

Instructions:

  1. Open your cans of pineapple and reserve syrup. Arrange the pineapple over the ham somewhat evenly and secure them with toothpicks (leave them poking out so you can easily remove them).
    Arrange the pineapple and cloves over the ham somewhat evenly
    Arrange the pineapple and cloves over the ham somewhat evenly
  2. Poke the whole cloves into the ham even intervals (resist the temptation to over think this - no one will notice in the end).
    Poke the whole cloves into the ham somewhat even intervals
    Poke the whole cloves into the ham somewhat even intervals
  3. Bake ham per your package instructions.
  4. Make your glaze subsisting reserved pineapple syrup for liquid, add glaze and finish baking.
    Add glaze and finish baking.
    Add glaze and finish baking.

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The Jam Scientist

Easy three-step, gloriously rich and thick, do-ahead turkey gravy recipe that makes everything easier...

Easy three-step, gloriously rich and thick, do-ahead turkey gravy recipe makes everything easer...
Easy three-step, gloriously rich and thick, do-ahead turkey gravy recipe makes everything easier...

This gravy makes Thanksgiving day a breeze by making gloriously rich and thick gravy ahead of time by using turkey parts. This recipe is adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen, so you know its good! One may also add drippings from the roasted turkey on Thanksgiving Day if desired. It can be refrigerated up to three days, or frozen up to 3 months.

It all starts with a plan. When will you make the gravy? Here is my bare-bones Thanksgiving plan:

  • Up to a week before (if it is a large bird), or the weekend before Thanksgiving - defrost the turkey. If I am making fresh cranberry relish I do it now.
  • Tuesday - Make Gravy, remove the turkey giblets, neck, and wings and make stock. I often also add the backbone if I am butterflying the turkey. Many side dishes may be made now or Wednesday. 
  • Wednesday - Brine the turkey. I brine in a heave duty trash bag, pulled tight. If I don't have room in my fridge I use a cooler fill it with ice. Make pies.
  • Thursday - Roast or smoke turkey

For more timeline strategies see Cooks Illustrated Thanksgiving Cooking Timeline.

 

Okay we have our plan - now it's gravy making day!

  Golden acorn logo!!! copy

 

MAKES ABOUT 6 CUPS

Author: Adapted from The best of America's Test Kitchen a production of A La Carte Communications

Ingredients:

Reserved giblets, neck, tailpiece, wings, trimmed fat from turkey, and backbone (if butterflying turkey)

3 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces

2 rib celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 medium onions, chopped coarse

6 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons light oil (such as canola)

8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth (Did I mention it needs to be low sodium?)

2 cups dry white wine or sherry (if you object to the wine replace with an equal amount of chicken broth with the addition of white wine vinegar at the rate of 1 tablespoon per cup of broth).

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 small bunch fresh parley

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and ground black pepper

 

Instructions in Three Easy Steps

First let's make the stock.

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place turkey trimmings, trimmed fat from turkey, and giblets, carrot, celery, onions, and garlic in plastic bag and add 2 tablespoons oil. Close bag and shake contents to coat.
  3. Turn out bag contents onto a large heavy roasting pan or broiler pan bottom.
  4. Roast, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until browned and crispy, 40 to 50 minutes.
    Browned and crispy
    Browned and crispy
  5. Remove pan from oven, and place over burners on high heat; add chicken stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan with wooden spoon or spatula. 
    Simmer until reduced
    Simmer until reduced
  6. Transfer contents of pan to large saucepan. Remove liver, and discard (Spot, my Editorial and Procurement Assistant,  insists this need to be edited to read "cool and give to the home's loyal companion"). Add wine, 3 cups water, parley, and thyme; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Strain stock with colander into large heat safe container. Cool to room temperature; cover, and refrigerate until fat congeals on surface, about 2 hours.

Next make the roux and gravy (this could be done the next day if you are busy)

  1.  Skim fat from stock; reserve fat for making the roux. Pour stock through fine-mesh strainer to remove remaining bits and discard. Bring stock to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. In second medium saucepan, heat reserved approximately 1/2 to 2/3 cup turkey fat over medium-high heat until bubbling; whisk in flour and cook, stirring continually, until combined and dark caramel-colored, about 2 minutes.
  3. Continuing to whisk constantly, gradually add hot stock; bring to boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring intermittently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Gravy can be refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months).
    Gravy can be refrigerated up to 3 days
    Gravy can be refrigerated up to 3 days

On the Celebration Day

After turkey comes out of oven, rejoice that most of your work is already done! Heat gravy over medium heat until hot and assess its thickness. If gravy is thick one may add some pan drippings to thin out.

 

 

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The Jam Scientist

Press Release - Best Little Jam House Announces New Staff Position

I have some wonderful news to share! Best Little Jam House is doing so well I have decided to open a new full time staff position even at this early stage in my business. Our new staffer has already joined our team. In fact, without her interest and enthusiasm, this blog would not be thriving as it is! Therefore, without any further ado I will introduce her to you! The new staff member is dad's our faithful companion, Spot! She is being promoted from status of family member to the position of Editorial and Procurement Assistant.    

Editorial and Procurement Assistant
Spot - Editorial and Procurement Assistant

Spot knows she will need to earn her keep.  Her main responsibility is to support me as I write. She will also accompany me on procurement errands.

Spot supporting me as I write
Spot by my side supporting me as I write

Spot is a somewhat shy older lady who prefers to remain in the background out of the spotlight. In fact she absolutely HATES the flash of the camera and is quite shy of it. She is, however, very observant. She alerts me to any strange noises or odd goings on around the house. She came to live with us last year when my dad moved in with us. She loves to sit or lie near me. In fact, I can hardly sit down without having her insist on imparting a few moments of encouragement to me.

Shy Spot
Shy Spot

And that’s the news about our new staff here at Best Little Jam House! Thanks so much for taking the time to find out a few things about her!  I know you will support her as she adjusts to her new role. Spot appreciates it.

Spot Appreciates Your Support
Spot Appreciates Your Support

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The Jam Scientist

Apricot-Almond Chutney (Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Relish Continued)

Apricot-Almond Chutney
Apricot-Almond Chutney

This is great chutney without the smoked addition, but with smoked fruit and veg it will knock your socks off!  Yes, smoking adds that much flavor and complexity. This is absolutely my, and The Professor's, favorite chutney!!!  Either way, straight or smoked, everyone will consider you to be a domestic goddess.

 

Time out!  What is a CHUTNEY?

Chutney is a sauce or relish that often has both sweet and sour ingredients, such as fruits and herbs, often with spices or other seasoning.
 

This is a continuation of my first post about Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Relish, if you would like to see my first post click here.

This is not a canning recipe. In the future I would like to develop it further with an eye toward canning, but it was designed for a fresh batch.

If you would like to print the recipe without all the pictures please click Download Apricot-Almond Chutney

 

Golden acorn logo!!! copy

Apricot-Almond Chutney

Source: Adapted from Chef Stephen Pyles, Star Canyon, Dallas, Texas

 

Servings: 12

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour soaking wood chips if smoking

Cooking time: 35 minutes, plus 30 minutes if smoking

 

Ingredients:

11 ounces dried apricots, diced 1 1/2 cup (if at all possible smoke them - optional)

1 small onion, thinly sliced or chopped (if at all possible smoke it - optional)

1  1/4 cup water

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled and diced very finely)

1 fresh ripe pear (peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (add at end)

1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (add at end)

 

Instructions:

Optional smoking
Optional smoking- lower heat
  1. Optional smoking, place your apricots and onion in a pie tin with holes poked in the bottom to
    Smoking apricots after a BBQ.  Roll wood chips in aluminum foil.
    Smoking apricots after a BBQ. Roll wood chips in aluminum foil.
    allow the smoke to pass through and put it on the grill. Soak any flavor of wood chips (I used hickory wood chips) in cold water for at least an hour, and then roll them on a sheet of aluminum foil with multiple larger holes poked in the foil and put to the side of low charcoals on the bottom of the grill. I like to smoke ingredients after a BBQ so the coals will be manageable.  Just be sure to lower heat. Smoke the dried apricots and onion for 20-30 minutes.
  2. After smoking, Bring apricots and water to a boil in a small saucepan over Medium-High heat. Boil about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until apricots soften and 2 tablespoons liquid remain.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except almonds and cilantro to the pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly toast your almonds on a cookie sheet in a 350˚ degree oven for 3-4 minutes (watching all the while like a hawk). When slightly brown remove almonds quickly from heat.
  5. After simmering mixture, remove from heat and stir in almonds and cilantro. Serve as an accompaniment to sliced pork, beef roasts or poultry (especially if smoked). Extra chutney may be safely stored, covered, in the refrigerator for two weeks, or freeze.

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The Jam Scientist

Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Relish

Kick the cranberry sauce in the tin can to the side. I never like it anyway. Here are few of my favorite alternatives...

To see the second post about alternatives to tin can cranberry sauce, click Apricot-Almond Chutney.

 

Author: Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish from Ocean Spray®

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish

Ingredients:

1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
1 12-ounce package cranberries, rinsed and drained
3/4-1 cup sugar

Directions:

Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 3 cups.

NOTE: May also be prepared in a food grinder.

 

I think I will go a little English this year and also add a conserve to the table:

Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve (click for recipe)

Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays
Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays


Cranberries have a rather strong flavor for children's sensitive tastes. This one is kid friendly, but does introduce a sophisticated combination:

Canned Cranberry Spiced Applesauce (click for recipe)

http://www.bestlittlejamhouse.com/.a/6a01b8d2238f49970c01b8d2346b20970c-pi
Canned Cranberry Spiced Applesauce - hands down absolutely the best applesauce I have ever eaten

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The Jam Scientist

Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays

Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays
Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays

But wait... What is a conserve?

The French would call it a jam with nuts.  However we are speaking English, and the English call jam with nuts a "conserve". It is traditionally made in the fall or winter, so it may contain some tried fruit too.  Our tart little conserve would work well as a condiment for meat or cheese; it could also be an alternative to cranberry sauce, (think Thanksgiving) or work as jelly (good as a topping for muffins).

First, I will be sharing just the recipe for making jam.  If you need information about the basic canning process please click here for Canning Instructions from Virginia Tech.

If you would like to print this recipe without all the pictures please click   Download Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry Conserve

 

Golden acorn logo!!! copy

 

Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve

Author: Adapted from Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry Conserve Recipe from Little Jars, Big Flavors by Southern Living

Recipe type:

Conserve (jam with nuts)

 

Serves:

6, 8-oz jars or half- pints

Prep time: 

1 hour

 

Headspace:

1/4 inch

Cook time: 

1 hour

 

Processing:

5 minutes

Total time: 

2 hours

     

Ingredients:

3 cups apple juice (fresh pressed is best) 

3 cups cored and finely chopped Honeycrisp apples (unpeeled, about 3 large apples)

1/2 cup (lightly pressed) dried cranberries

1/2 cup (lightly pressed) dried cherries (tart)

2 sticks cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Chop pecans
Chop pecans

2 packages (1 3/4 ounces each pack) fruit pectin (If you live in an area where truly fresh pressed apple juice is available, and are using that type, just use one box of pectin).

5 cups sugar                                   

Mix pectin with sugar and add sugar and pectin all at once
Mix pectin with sugar and add sugar and pectin all at once
Core and chop apples
Core and chop apples

 

Instructions:

  1. Sterilize jars and prepare lids per manufacture's instruction. 
    Ingredients ready to cook
    Ingredients ready to cook
  2. Measure apple juice and add to kettle. Add chopped apple, dried cranberries, dried cherries, and cinnamon sticks. Stirring constantly bring to a full rolling boil.
  3. Mix pectin with sugar. Add sugar and pectin all at once and stir well. Add nuts. Return mixture to a boil. Boil for one minute and check the set. (Do not skip this checking step - you may need to boil a second minute). When jelly mixture sheets from a spoon. Remove from heat; remove cinnamon sticks, skim off foam after cooling five minutes (cooling time prevents the berries from floating in the jar).
  4. Full boil - just smell the apples cooking
    Full boil - just smell the apples cooking
    4.  Ladle hot conserve mixture immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; add two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner for 5 minutes.
    Into the water bath for 5 minuts
    Into the water bath for 5 minutes

Note: Processing time given is for 1000 foot elevation and below. If you are working at a higher elevation click here for information about needed time adjustments.

Jam will last at least one year at peak quality.

I suggest you label your jam jars. One may simply write on the lid, or you may download my personal labels by clicking Download Honeycrisp Apple Conserve label My labels have a larger round label for the lid and a smaller oval label for the front of jar. One just needs to write in the canning date, cut out, and glue the label on the jar. If the jam will be used as Christmas gifts, The Graphics Fairy has some nice ideas for holiday labels  http://thegraphicsfairy.com/homemade-gifts-jelly-holiday-labels-reader-feature/.

Hors d'oeuvres of Canadian bacon, our conserve, and feta cheese on top of crackers
Hors d'oeuvres of Canadian bacon, our conserve, and feta cheese on top of crackers

The Professor's Rating

The Professor gave it 3 stars. It has a nice tart flavor that could take the place of cranberry sauce. Wonderful hors d'oeuvres (pictured above). FYI, The Professor is more of a fan of sweets rather than tart/sweet.

 

 Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve Demystified

 

Jam scientist's notebook coloredHow do I know this recipe is safe? pH and Heat

pH  - To be safe from botulism bacteria growth and its food poisoning toxins, the pH of canned goods must be below 4.6 (one wants to stay below pH 4.4. to be on the safe side). The pH of apple juice ranges from 3.35 to 4.0. The pH of dried cranberries has a pH of 2.8-3.0. The pH of sweet cherries is 3.8-4, but I used tart cherries, that should be on the low end, or a little lower. The end product should be between 2.8 and 3.4 - well within the safety zone. Low pH does not affect yeasts and molds.

Heat - Processing the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes is enough heat to kill actively growing bacteria and prevent yeast and mold growth under normal sanitary circumstances. This is how we control the yeasts and molds that were not affected by the low pH.

 

Why did I mix the pectin with the sugar? or Why apple juice from store is hard to set into apple jelly:

Enzymes -When consumers buy apple juice they do not want the juice to turn into apple jelly in the container; they want a nice clear, thin juice instead of a viscous, cloudy liquid. To  accomplish this one of the things manufacturers do is add enzymes that destroy the pectin. Most enzymes can be inactivated by heat. Therefore, we attempted to inactivate the pectin destroying enzymes by bring our mixture to a boil before adding our boxed pectin, and we added two boxes of pectin to be on the safe side. If you live in an area where truly fresh pressed apple juice is available, and are using that type, just use one box of pectin because pectin destroying enzymes were not added to your juice.

pH and Gelling

pH is an important factor in the gelling of pectin. I had difficulty getting the original conserve recipe to gel.  I checked the pH of the conserve and found it to be 2.7. On the edge of being too low to gel. A pH range of 2.8 to 3.3 is needed to set the gel depending on the type of pectin. The most common cause of gel failure is not enough acid, but it is important to remember that too much acid also causes gel failure. The original recipe called for the addition of lemon juice, I have removed the lemon juice in the current recipe to moderate the pH. Cranberries are similar to citrus fruits in their tartness due to the natural fruit acids they contain, so we have enough acid from the cranberries without the addition of lemon juice.

Conditions for Gelling

pH of mixture

3.6 – no gel (pH too high)

3.4 – weak gel

3.2 - good gel

3.0 – good firm gel

2.8 - good gel

2.6 – weak gel –syneresis (liquid separated from the gel) may occur

2.4 – no gel (pH too low)

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The Jam Scientist

Best Little Jam House - HOME

Welcome to Best Little Jam House a blog committed to safe home canning, pickling, and preserving of food in jars, and involved in all things "home."  Written by a certified food scientist for your peace of mind.


Most Recent Posts (Links to posts in blue)

The Jam Scientist

Who is The Jam Scientist?

  • About The Jam Scientist and The Professor - When Life Gives You Lemons - Make Marmalade (more)
  • Family Album - I met and fell in love with this brainy yet fun loving physics professor at a bible study. He is one of the kindest men I have ever met, and a true southern gentleman! Our grandchildren adore him! I love his southern accent, his mind, humor, and all the rest of him!(more)
  • Press Release - Best Little Jam House Announces New Staff Position - Best Little Jam House is doing so well I have decided to open a new full time staff position even at this early stage in my business. Our new staffer has already joined our team. In fact, without her interest and enthusiasm, this blog would not be thriving as it is! (more)
  • I have been counting my blessings today. I would like to share some of my list this Thanksgiving - My list starts with The Fellowship of the Mystery - That's what Pastor David Guzik calls God's intervention in our lives to change us; yes, it is a great mystery, and I am most thankful for this! My list ends with thankfulness for adult diapers for those that need them. (more)
  • Diet Help from My Pal - My dietician suggested I try My Fitness Pal, a free online program to help me track what I eat and how much I exercises. I have found it to be a great help during this convalescence period, and I think I will continue to use it once I am better. (more)

 

Apricot-Almond Chutney

Apricots

  • Apricot-Almond Chutney - This is great chutney. This is absolutely my, and The Professor's, favorite chutney!!! If you have time to smoke the dried apricots and onion everyone will consider you to be a domestic goddess. Yes, smoking adds that much flavor and complexity! (more)

  Home Canned Applesauce - What apples. in what ratios, with what amazing ingredients, in what style, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Apples

  • Home Canned Applesauce - What apples, in what ratios, with what amazing ingredients, in what style, and what pitfalls to avoid - Creating your own signature blend is simple by using unexpected ingredients and regional apple varieties. (more)
  • Canned Cranberry Spiced Applesauce - hands down absolutely the best applesauce I have ever eaten - This lovely pink applesauce has subtle complexity that will be appreciated by adults, but is still enjoyable to children. (more)
  • Home Canned Spiced Applesauce - Low Sugar, Tall Taste - My go-to applesauce, sweetened with concentrated apple juice and less sugar. This recipe is a staple. I made over 40 pints and it will not last the year. (more)
  • Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays - This tart little conserve would work well as a condiment for meat or cheese; it could also be an alternative to cranberry sauce, (think Thanksgiving) or work as jelly (good as a topping for muffins). (more)
  • The flavor of freshly baked gingerbread in a jar - Easy Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly - I believe I got this new recipe spot-on. It is easy to make, can be done in less than an hour, and has the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread! This recipe turned out sooo good I thought twice about releasing it on the internet. In the end I decided to share. (more)

 Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread

Bread

Healthy Whole Grain Southern Style Skillet Cornbread - Now is the time for a nice pot of soup with a piece of warm cornbread. My favorite cornbread recipe from Ruth Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook uses 100% whole grain stone ground cornmeal, and a hot skillet. (more)

 

Flavored salts 

 

 

 

 

Condiments

  • Kitchen Hack: Super easy 10 minute "canned" flavored salt - Use this simple and quick tactic to spice up your life, or to make an easy homemade gift. (more)
  • It's not too late! There is still time to make homemade mustard - Home mustard making is easy to do. Look at The Jam Scientist's Notebook section of this post to learn tips for controlling and utilizing mustard's natural kick. A set of mustards would make a wonderful gift.(more)

Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve

 Cranberries  

  • Tart Honeycrisp Apple Cranberry/Cherry Conserve - Just in time for the holidays - This tart little conserve would work well as a condiment for meat or cheese; it could also be an alternative to cranberry sauce, (think Thanksgiving) or work as jelly (good as a topping for muffins). (more)
  • Canned Cranberry Spiced Applesauce - hands down absolutely the best applesauce I have ever eaten - This lovely pink applesauce has subtle complexity that will be appreciated by adults, but is still enjoyable to children. (more)
  • Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Relish - Kick the cranberry sauce in the tin can to the side. I never like it anyway. Here are few of my favorite alternatives... (more)

  Brisket in a food safe plastic bag with brine

Curing Meat

Corning, or Pickling, a Beef Brisket All By Myself - Really, It's Not Hard! This year I am actually corning, or pickling, my own beef before Saint Patrick's Day (more)

 

Ham Dinner

Dinner

  • Easy three-step, gloriously rich and thick, do-ahead turkey gravy recipe that makes everything easier...This gravy makes Thanksgiving day a breeze by making gloriously rich and thick gravy ahead of time by using turkey parts. This recipe is adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen, so you know its good!(more)
  • Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to take your ham up a notch - This simple and quick tactic works on any ham, be it spiral, canned, or bone-in to intensify flavor, add moisture, and presence to an ordinary ham. (more)
  • My advice: brine your turkey (or that pork loan), but skip all those complicated recipes - easy is best! Brining makes an enormous difference in succulence - no exaggeration! However, this does not need to be a big production or expense. All things being equal, simple is best! (more)
  • My advice: Put a rub on it (for turkey or that pork loan), but skip all those expensive store bought concoctions - fresh and easy is best! Super easy 15 minute tactic to remarkably increase flavor and appearance of your fowl or pork! Rubs are easy, easy, easy, so don't stress about this. Feel free to add or subtract spices and herbs as you like, and make this your own. (more)
  • Oh boy that's good soup... Easy Posole, or Chicken and Hominy Soup The weather is perfect for this easier version of a classic Mexican dish. This soup is quick, easy, and good for you. (more)

 

Garden

 

 

 

 

Garden

  • If you've always wanted to plant a vine or two,  build and grow an extensive grape arbor, or start your own vineyard, January's the month to get it started with bare root plants from the nursery center, or starting your own cuttings using (often free) grape cuttings!(more)

 

Gingerbread Spice

Gingerbread Spice

  • The flavor of freshly baked gingerbread in a jar - Easy Apple Gingerbread Spice Jelly - I believe I got this new recipe spot-on. It is easy to make, can be done in less than an hour, and has the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread! This recipe turned out sooo good I thought twice about releasing it on the internet. In the end I decided to share. (more)
  • Kitchen Hack: Super easy five minute tactic to turn any pancake or waffle recipe into gingerbread - Why settle for ordinary? Use this simple and quick tactic that works with any pancake or waffle recipe, be it homemade, mix from a box, or gluten-free to taste just like gingerbread. Have them every week, or save them for Christmas, however you like. (more)
  • Gingerbread Spice Quick Drop Cookies - all the rich spices of gingerbread without all the work!- soft, chewy, quick drop cookies, loaded with ginger and cinnamon. (more)

pomegranate's arils

Pomegranates

  • How do I seed and juice pomegranates? -This is my personal method for making wonderfully clear juice. (more)
  • Pomegranate Jelly with Blended Habanero Chili - Hot and Sweet (It's Addicting) -If you like your jelly hot and sweet - this one's for you. (more)

 

Albion Strawberry Jam

Strawberries

  • Strawberry Jam: It Isn't Just for June Anymore - Inaugural Issue of Best Little Jam House - Albion Strawberry Jam is the stuff that dreams are made from. I have been waiting all year to make some of this fall jam. (more)
  • Strawberry Jam with Fresh Mint and Black Pepper - Adapted from Christine Ferber's Strawberry Jam Recipe - French Style Strawberry Jam (more)

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The Jam Scientist

Home Canned Spiced Applesauce - Low Sugar, Tall Taste

Home Canned Spiced Applesauce - Low Sugar, Tall Taste
Home Canned Spiced Applesauce - Low Sugar, Tall Taste

A Best Little Jam House Exclusive

My go-to applesauce, sweetened with concentrated apple juice and less sugar. I generally make my applesauce using whatever apples are on sale. This week the produce market had Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples on special, but we could use any blend of sweet and tart apples that we like. This recipe is a staple. I made over 40 pints and it will not last the year.

Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples
Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith Apples

"I always have applesauce in my fridge...my go-to snack."
  Professional Tennis Player and Author: Sloane Stephens

 

 

If you would like to print the recipe without all the pictures please click Download Low Sugar Homemade Canned Applesauce

First, I will be sharing just the recipe for making applesauce.  If you need information about the basic canning process please click here for Virginia Tech's excellent booklet Boiling Water Bath Canning.

 

Golden acorn logo!!! copy

 

Home Canned Spiced Applesauce - Low Sugar

Recipe type: 

Sauce

 

Produces:

 8 pints or 4 quart jars

Prep time: 

2 hours

 

Headspace:

1/2 inch

Cook time: 

1 hours

 

Processing:

20 minutes in pint and half pint jars, 25 for quart jars

Total time: 

3 hours plus 30 minutes

     

Ingredients:

  • 12 pounds apples (half sweet, and half tart apples)
  • 3 inch cinnamon sticks (2)
  • 3 inches fresh ginger (sliced)
  • 1 cup water or apple juice (to keep apples from scorching while cooking)  
  • Zest and juice of two lemons 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large can of frozen concentrated apple juice (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Core and quarter apples. Dip apples as they are quartered into a lemon/water solution of 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons) in 4 cups water to prevent browning. After dipping transfer apples to cooking pot. One stock pot will easily hold 12 pounds of apples.
    Core and quarter apples
    Core and Quarter Apples
     
  1. Add cinnamon sticks, 3 inches fresh ginger (sliced thinly and in spice bag), water or apple juice, and zest of two lemons (chopped finely) to cooking pot.
  2. Let fruit cook for approximately 20-35 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare jars in boiling water bath, and prepare lids per manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Remove cinnamon sticks and spice bag before puréeing or mashing.
  5. Use a food mill, potato masher (will produce chunkier sauce but you will need to take out skins), or fruit/vegetable strainer to mash or purée the fruit. I use a KitchenAid™ strainer attachment.
    Assembly order of KitchenAid strainer attachment.
    Assembly order of KitchenAid™ strainer attachment.
    KitchenAid Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Setup
    KitchenAid™ Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Setup
                                                         
    KitchenAid Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Top View
    KitchenAid™ Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Top View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KitchenAid strainer removes peels and seeds.
KitchenAid™ strainer removes peels and seeds.

6.  After puréeing, return pot with sauce to the stove and simmer.

7.  Add lemon juice, salt, almond extract, concentrated apple juice (if using), half the sugar and stir well.

8.  Taste and adjust sweetness to your taste. You may want to add more lemon juice at this point to adjust sweet-tart balance.

9.  Ladle hot applesauce into your prepared jars to 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by sliding a small spatula or plastic knife, between jar and sauce; pressing gently on sauce to release trapped air. Repeat procedure two or three times around jar. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes for both half pints and pints, 25 minutes for quarts.

I suggest you label your jars. One may simply write on the lid, or you may download my labels click Download Spiced Applesauce Low Sugar round label 2. My labels have a larger round label for the lid and a smaller oval label for the front of jar. One just needs to write in the canning date, cut out, and glue the label on the jar.

 

For further information about making applesauce, and suggestions about how to customize your batch and avoid pitfalls click Home Canned Applesauce - What apples, in what ratios, with what amazing ingredients, in what style, and what pitfalls to avoid.

If you are looking for something a little different in applesauce click Canned Cranberry Spiced Applesauce - hands down absolutely the best applesauce I have ever eaten 

 

The Professor's Rating

The Professor gave it 4 stars.  "... Nice blend of flavors - I don't think it is too sweet."  

Just FYI - The Professor likes a sweet applesauce (so you may want to adjust). This recipe has a permanent place in the pantry.

 

Spiced Applesauce Low Sugar Demystified

 

How do I know this recipe is safe? pH and Heat

pH  - To be safe from botulism bacteria growth and its food poisoning toxins, the pH of canned goods must be below 4.6 (one wants to stay below pH 4.4. to be on the safe side). Sweet eating Apples generally have a pH of about 4.0.  Tart apples generally have a lower pH, typically a pH between 3.3 and 3.9. We also added some lemon juice to the recipe, so the sauce should be between pH 3.1-3.6, well within the safety zone.

Heat - Processing the jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes is enough heat to kill actively growing bacteria and prevent yeast and mold growth under normal sanitary circumstances in this thick sauce.

Why should I use 2 lemons?

One normally adds a tablespoon of lemon juice for each quart of sauce to prevent color changes from enzymes and to brighten the flavor.

Why work so hard to remove a few air bubbles?

Air left in the apple purée expands during processing and may cause the applesauce in the jar to overflow into the water bath, called siphoning. This is not dangerous, but this increases the risk of a jar not sealing, so one should be aware of this issue. You can reduce the chances of siphoning by applesauce, leaving ½ inch head space to make room for expansion during processing, and waiting 5 - 10 minutes with the heat off at the end of processing before removing jars from the water bath to allow pressure inside the jars to decrease.

Disclosure:

I received no compensation for appliances mentioned or shown in this blog.

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The Jam Scientist