This week, I’m concentrating on canning local food … quite literally from my own backyard.
It Harvest, such as it is here at the RV homestead. Our neighbor has apples and things that he wouldn’t bother with anyway, so much is coming from next door. However, I don’t feel totally useless in the Usable Produce department – I have one apple tree. Combined with the neighbor’s apple trees, I’ll figure have a decent enough haul to can some applesauce, jam, and make a few pies.
So, yesterday was rose hip and apple day. Rose hips are those bulby things that look like tomatoes or apples that grow on your roses late in the season. They can be picked after the first frost when they are bright orange or red. Rugosa Roses seem to have particularly large hips, and that’s what I was harvesting yesterday. I wouldn’t say it’s a completely pleasant job, but I didn’t really get too stuck – just a few nuisance thorns. Other than on the big tree, the apples came down pretty easily too.
I had been very curious about what rose hips might taste like. It’s loaded with viatmin C, but the recipes generally call for a lot of sugar. Hmm. And will it taste faintly of roses? I’ll be sure to let you know how it comes out. Raw, the rose hips have a scent that’s like tomatoes and apple combined.
Interested? Got a prolific rose bush? Want to adventure a little further than Rose Hip Tea? Got a swell apple tree? C’mon, give it a try!
I’ve collected these recipes this week – low pressure, very simple easy canning recipes. If you’re new to canning or jellies and jams in general, these are really great. For me, since I’m trying something new, I thought it would be nice to stick to super easy recipes. Have fun, and please let me know if you give it a shot!
Rose Hip Jelly
2 quarts water
4 quarts rose hips
1 package pectin crystals (or sub 1/2 apples for rose hips)
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Simmer rose hips in water until soft. Crush to mash, and strain through a jelly bag. Should make about 4 cups of rose hip juice. Add to juice, lemon juice and pectin crystals and stir until mixture comes to a hard boil. Stir sugar in at once. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove jelly from heat and skim off foam with metal spoon. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. . Yields about 3 pints.
Apple Caramel Jam
6 cups diced peeled apples (1/8 inch cubes)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
3 cups sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large kettle, combine the apples, water and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until apples are soft. Stir in pectin and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg and return to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.