Spiced Apple Butter

I came home with 12 lbs. of apples (a variety of pink ladies, granny smith, roma beauties, and fuji) that were, “cosmetically off.” Meaning they were fine apples but didn’t look perfect. I had intended on making apple butter so appearances didn’t matter. I’m still going through Canning For a New Generation’s seasonally recipes so that’s been my staple when canning + my own take on spice editions etc. Apple Butter is pretty labor intensive (especially when you don’t have an apple peeler/corer and a crock pot) but I enjoy the different steps which include using my food mill that doesn’t get pulled out very often. Here’s an online version of the recipe. Full disclosure: I pretty much ate a whole jar by the spoonful.

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Persimmon Picking

In an attempt to go apple picking, we ended up picking persimmons instead. All of the apples at Gabriel’s Farm were already off of the trees since it was late in the season. I happen to love persimmons so we picked away and also bought 12 lbs of “cosmetically off” apples for $1/lb. Unlike our experience in Oregon, u-pick farms in California are not necessarily less expensive than buying the fruit already picked. In this case, it was actually more expensive since they make you buy a year membership for $35 if you want to pick your own fruit.  It was still nice to roam the farm, inspiring future food projects. Persimmon and apple everything for the days to come.

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Golden Raspberry Jam

I will be sad when summer berries and stone fruit disappear from the farmer’s market in the coming weeks so I’m doing all I can to preserve them for the winter months. Golden raspberries are a quick and easy berry to preserve. It gels up in no time. I made a small batch of jam consisting of 2 lbs. golden raspberries, 1 c. sugar, zest of 1 lemon, 2 Tbs. lemon juice. Let’s be honest, it probably won’t last through the winter.

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Blackberry Cinnamon Jam

Blackberries have been exceptionally delicious this season. The magical addition of cinnamon makes them even more delicious so I decided to make jam based on this recent discovery. Since they aren’t naturally “seedless” and I don’t mind the added texture of the seeds I kept them in. I don’t use commercial pectin, and I add less sugar (2 parts fruit 1 part sugar instead of 1:1) so the addition of lemon juice and zest help congeal the jam. T’was a success.

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Heart-Shaped Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

It was a good friend’s going away party and I wanted to make something that he didn’t have to pack, so cookies seemed like the natural choice. Party + me having a lot of jam on hand = thumbprint cookies.  I heart this friend so I made heart-shaped cookies and told him that he would have to leave these hearts in San Francisco. (Not cheesy at all).  I also heart pistachios and thought they would add nice color, taste, and texture so I rolled the dough in ground pistachios.  Here’s the recipe I based them off of and instructions to make them heart shape (no cookie cutter needed).  I used three different jams: strawberry, pluot cardamom, and a triple citrus marmalade. Yum!

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Tomato Jam

I’ve made ketchup, tomato sauce, and pizza sauce, but this was my first time making tomato jam. It is sweet, savory and delicious. I went off of these two recipes but modified the spices to my liking. I could eat it by the spoonful, but I’ll refrain and spread it on toast with an egg on top.

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Yum!

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