Homemade Peach Shrub Recipe

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Homemade shrub is one thing you’ll always find in my refrigerator, all year round. There are many methods and recipes for how to make shrubs (all great, I’m sure), but I share my preferred method in my cookbook, WECK Small-Batch Preserving.

Though shrub can be made in a matter of a few minutes by cooking fruit with sugar (or other sweetener of choice) and making a syrup, I prefer to make fresh fruit shrub, without applying heat. The cooked method is great for when you are in a pinch. But, cooking the fruit makes it taste completely different, giving it a cooked flavor. By macerating the fruit for 3-4 days, as I direct in my cookbook, the fruit syrup retains a fresh fruit flavor and ultimately tastes better.

My method of shrub making can be applied to any fruits or fruit and herb combinations. Some fruits make better and more flavorful shrubs than others, but I’ve never made one I wasn’t pleased with.

Peach Shrub

Yield: 2-3 cups finished shrub

1.5 cups peaches, pitted and chopped (fresh or frozen)

1.5 cups organic or non-GMO granulated sugar (or other sweetener, such as brown sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup)

1.5 cups organic apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar of choice)

Combine peaches and sugar in a quart canning jar, shake or stir to mix. Place canning lid on jar and screw ring on the jar tightly. Place the jar on a counter at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) and allow the mixture to macerate over 3-4 days, so that a thick and delicious syrup is made. Shake the jar vigorously at least once a day, or use a spoon to stir up the mixture.

After 3-4 days, when a syrup is made and the sugar is dissolved, use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the solids, reserving the syrup in a measuring cup. Once strained, measure the amount of syrup made and add in the same amount of vinegar (about 1-1.5 cups) and stir to mix well. Store in a clean airtight jar and refrigerate.

To serve, I mix about 2 ounces of shrub with 6 ounces of water (or carbonated water), and drink over ice. Shrubs can also be used as a zingy and unique cocktail mixer. And don’t toss those solids! They are great to mix with plain yogurt for a quick smoothie or poured into popsicle molds for an easy, homemade popsicle.

 

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For more stone fruit inspiration, follow:

Facebook: @WAStoneFruit

Twitter: @WAStoneFruit

Instagram: @wastatestonefruitgrowers

Website: https://wastatefruit.com/

Canning Recipe: Drunken Peach Jam (No Added Liquid or Powdered Pectin)

Drunken Peaches minnesotafromscratch.com recipe

I have been so fortunate to receive fresh peaches from the Washington State Fruit Commission this month. When they were delivered, it was an unseasonably cold September day in Minnesota, that felt like the onset of winter was near. So, it really brightened up the kitchen when we tore open the box of fresh yellow peaches.

I went straight to work by washing, chopping and simmering the peaches, making small batches of different flavored jams. I did have a few “OK” outcomes and a few winners that dazzled our tongues.  I spent eight hours straight in the kitchen, preserving all but 10 peaches that I kept aside for fermented recipes. I’ll be keeping a couple recipes a secret for now. But I had to share a couple of the winning recipes with you, and I’m starting with this drunken peach jam recipe.

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits to preserve with because they don’t require much prep work and they boil down to a jam consistency in a timely manner, which means it’s a quick and easy fruit to preserve – and that makes them favorable to me. I’ve seen tons of peach jam recipes that require added pectin to set, but that is totally not the case with this recipe… no need to take the extra step by adding pectin, this will set perfectly without.

I leave the skins on the peaches in this recipe because leaving them on makes the prep work even that much easier. I do not mind the skins in my jams, in fact I hardly notice them. And if anything, I think they offer a prettier colored jam in the end.

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Drunken Peach Jam

Yield: 3 – 8 ounce jelly jars

4 cups diced yellow peaches, pitted, skins on (or off if you prefer it that way)

1 1/4 cups granulated organic or non-GMO sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup whiskey (you will taste the flavor, so pick one you like)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup finely chopped apple, peeled (optional – I like the additional crunch, but they are not required)

Wash peaches, remove any bruised or flawed areas from fruit. Remove pits and rough chop into chunks (bite-sized). Add peaches to a large heavy-bottomed nonreactive pot and use a potato masher to carefully breakdown the peaches somewhat. Add sugar, vanilla, whisky, apple chunks (optional) and lemon juice and bring the fruit to a medium-high simmer. Simmer until the peaches breakdown and the mixture begins to thicken (about 20-30 mins). Stir often to avoid burning, especially as the mixture thickens and is close to being done. If you aren’t sure how to determine when your jam is set, click here.

TO WATER BATH CAN: Ladle the hot peach jam into warm prepared jars. Use a funnel to safely transfer the mixture, leaving ½” of head space. Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place the canning lid over the rim of the jar, and screw the ring on until just-snug on the jar. Process in the water bath canner for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water bath with canning tons and place them on a towel-covered surface for 12 hours without touching. Once completely cooled, remove the ring and test that the lid has securely sealed onto each jar. Refrigerate after breaking the seal.

SKIP WATER BATH CANNING: Allow the jam to cool, add the lid and ring and store in the refrigerator. The jam will keep for several months refrigerated.

For more stone fruit inspiration, follow:

Facebook: @WAStoneFruit

Twitter: @WAStoneFruit

Instagram: @wastatestonefruitgrowers

Website: https://wastatefruit.com/

Candied Jalapenos AKA Cowboy Candy RECIPE (Water Bath Canned or Refrigerated)

Sweet with spice, and everything nice. This condiment has it all. It is one of the most high-in-demand canned goods that I make (the other being pickled jalapeno slices). You can pop the candied jalapenos right into the refrigerator if you intend to gobble them up quickly, or water bath can them for shelf stability – I provide directions for both options below. I do not include this recipe in either of my cookbooks (Can It & Ferment It or WECK Small-Batch Preserving), so I’m sharing my version here.

I first made this recipe about 6 years ago and of course I cannot find the recipe I used anywhere. I have scanned all my preserving cookbooks and looked all over the internet, and the closest recipe I found to the original I made is written by Rebecca Lindamood. I tweaked her recipe quite a bit, so I am sharing the recipe with my adjustments incorporated. Enjoy!

Candied Jalapenos AKA Cowboy Candy

Yield: about 6-7 jelly jars (8 oz jars)

Ingredients:

16 cups sliced jalapenos (about 3 pounds whole jalapenos)

Syrup:

1.5 cups apple cider vinegar (organic)

4 cups organic or non-GMO sugar

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric powder

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1 tbsp. granulated garlic powder

Directions:

Wash jalapenos, remove stems (discard). Slice jalapeno peppers 1/4-1/8″ thick, and collect them in a large bowl. In a nonreactive pot, bring the syrup ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Carefully add all jalapeno slices to the syrup, stir together, and turn heat back up to a boil. Boil for a minimum of 5 minutes. I prefer to “over-cook” my jalapenos until they begin to shrivel (this can take 15+ minutes). Determine length of cook time based upon your personal preference. I like the jalapenos shriveled a bit because I prefer the texture that way.

IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH WATER BATH CANNING, FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS: Ladle the hot syrup and pepper slices into warm, prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. I find it easiest to attempt to scoop mostly jalapeno slices into the jars (a slotted spoon can be useful here), and then go back and top off syrup where needed (that way you avoid a jar of syrup with few slices). Use a stainless steel butter knife or other clean tool to remove any air bubbles trapped within the peppers and the side of the jar. As the syrup settles, you may need to add in more syrup.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place the lid with sealing compound side down, in place over the rim of each jar and carefully twist the canning ring on the jar until it’s just-snug on the jar. Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes if using pint jars instead). Carefully remove the jars from the water bath with the canning tongs and place jars on a towel-lined surface for 12 hours without touching.

Store in the refrigerator after breaking the seal.

**If you do not have experience with canning, I fully explain the method in Can It & Ferment It. Or, you can skip the hot water bath canning step and fill jars with the jalapenos and syrup, cover with lid and ring and allow the jars to cool on a towel-lined surface. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator and eat within 2 months.

I serve this condiment with crackers and goat cheese. Though, these jalapenos are a good addition to just about anything you can dream up. 🙂

Feel free to message me with any questions.

 

 

 

It’s Fresh Cranberry Season in Minnesota!

Fermented Cranberry Relish from Can It & Ferment It, by Stephanie Thurow

Cranberry season in Minnesota is almost as exciting to me as apple season is for most home cooks. Why? Because they are so incredibly versatile. Most people initially think “cranberry sauce” or, if you were really lucky growing up (like me!), you’ll think of that canned cranberry sauce that falls out of the can, molded into the shape of the can — mmmm, appetizing 😉 . But, cranberries can be used for so much more than just the traditional cranberry sauce. They are delicious dehydrated, juiced, used in holiday cocktails (or mocktails), made into chutney, jams, jellies and salsas, or even a relish. Cranberries are also healthy! They are high in antioxidants, low in calories, good for the urinary system and they are high in vitamins C, A and K.

Plus, when you live right next to the state that produces the largest crop of cranberries in the country, and supplies nearly half the world with them — thank you, Wisconsin –, you may as well embrace the beautiful, vibrant, red gems.

Beginning in October, us Minnesotans start to see fresh cranberries trickle in at the markets. Yay! Lakewinds Food Co-op in Richfield offers them seasonally as well as the Downtown St. Paul –  Lowertown Farmers’ Market. They are inexpensive and incredibly delicious.

I already purchased my first box of 10 pounds and have made a double batch of cranberry sauce for the holiday season, as well as a new recipe I’m working on for Cranberry Coulis.

Here is a recipe that I developed for FERMENTED CRANBERRY-ORANGE RELISH, published in Can It & Ferment It (2017), Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. I hope you give it a try!

This sweet and citrusy cranberry ferment is full of flavor. The deep red color of the finished fermented relish will surely brighten up any plate!

Yield: 1 pint jar

Ingredients:

3 cups whole fresh cranberries

½ tsp. organic orange zest

2 tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice

2 tbsp. raw honey

Directions:

Pick through the cranberries and discard any damaged, soft or unripe berries (pink or green colored). Rinse thoroughly and strain. Use a food processor to chop the cranberries; it will only take 2-3 seconds. Transfer the berries into a pint jar and add in the orange zest, juice and honey. Mix together well. Use a canning jar lid and ring to tightly shut the jar.

Keep the relish on the counter at room temperature, preferably between 68-75°F to ferment. Once a day, open the jar, stir the ingredients, pat them back down and tightly shut the jar. This is a 3-day ferment. Once complete, refrigerate relish for up to two weeks. Enjoy!

I have many more recipes for cranberries in Can It & Ferment It as well as WECK Small-Batch Preserving.

7 Days Until Release of: WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling and More

The countdown is on! My second book will officially be published in just one week from today. I am so excited to share it with everyone. I know many of you have questions about how to can with WECK jars and I hope that I have successfully answered all your questions with my step-by-step guide. In addition to canning with WECK jars, I have also included recipes on how to ferment, pickle and infuse with them. I even breakdown the variety of jars and explain which style is best for what method of preservation and include a quick reference guide to help you translate your standard canning jar recipes over to WECK jar sizing.

I started using WECK jars over a decade ago because I liked the fact that they have a glass lid. The only material touching my food is glass, no questionable toxic lining to worry about, as with other canning jars. A huge part of why I enjoy preserving food at home is because I have control of what ingredients I include in my preserves, so knowing that there are no toxic chemicals leaching into my preserve is incredibly important to me. Plus, with the lid being glass, I can reuse them over and over.

Last week I processed 20 pounds of tomatoes and turned them into homemade Bloody Mary Mix, one of my favorite recipes included in the new book. It’s hard to pick just one favorite because I included so many, such as fermented escabeche, homemade fruit shrub recipes, homemade alcohol infusions (you won’t be buying flavored vodka [or any infused liquor] ever again) and there are also 5 delicious guest recipes, contributed by amazing women, ranging from Canada to Florida.

If you haven’t reserved your copy yet, click here.

Also, my first book, Can It & Ferment It is still in a price war with other online retailers, and is available at the low price of just $11.55, it’s a great opportunity to stock up on a few copies for the holidays. You can order it here.

Be sure to use hashtags #CanItandFermentIt and #WECKSmallBatch when posting on social media so I can find your cookbook posts.

Can It & Ferment It – A Year in Review and Look Ahead

July 18th, 2018 marks the one year anniversary of when my first cookbook, Can It & Ferment It was published. Never having written a book before, I had no idea what to expect when I signed my first book deal. The time spent writing, cooking, recipe developing, taking photos, editing, etc… is impossible for me to measure. It took hundreds upon hundreds of hours of work and thousands of dollars to create. I never really thought about how much work went into a cookbook before writing one.

When it was time for my book to finally release, I was nearly petrified at what everyone would think. Would it be well-received? Did I forget an ingredient or direction? Were my photos good enough? The night before release I was almost sick with nerves over it, I wished I could some how make it stop. Then, the day of release, the book didn’t even ship out to all my pre-orderers because it sold out upon release! Had all my wishing for it not to release come true? My editor said she hadn’t experienced that with a book before. Suddenly, I was more eager than ever for my book to get into everyone’s hands… I needed to end the suspense already! Within a couple weeks, reviews of my book started to trickle in. Bloggers posted reviews, messages popped up in my inbox with praise and I started to receive feedback – and you know what? It was good! Why had I been so afraid? I suppose that’s a normal reaction to the unknown.

Now a year later, I have hundreds of photos that people have posted, of recipes from my book that they have made and liked, or even LOVED! I have made so many friends all over the world, online and in person. The best feedback is that people feel I have written an easy to understand cookbook that explains the methods of water bath canning and fermentation without being too wordy, too technical or too overwhelming and that was my goal. Food preservation is something that everyone that has a desire to do, should have a chance to learn – and I’m happy to teach. I get messages almost daily, most days multiple messages, of people asking questions or wanting advice and I LOVE THAT! I am happy to be a resource, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am most easily reachable on Instagram FYI (@minnesotafromscratch).

Here are some pictures my readers have posted online of recipes they have made from Can It & Ferment It!

Anyway, reaching the one year mark of my release has me thinking a lot about the past year and all that has happened.

Here are some highlights from the last year:

Our local newspaper put my interview on the front page of the paper! 🙂

 

Reminisce Magazine added Can It & Ferment It to the SPOTLIGHT section of their magazine!

 

Make It Minnesota invited me to guest contribute to the kitchen section of their DRIVEN magazine. Full digital copy here: https://issuu.com/makeitminnesota/docs/mim-vol2-no2-digital-edition

I had an awesome book release party with family, close friends and some new friends too. Read my blog post about the launch party here: https://minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/can-it-ferment-it-release-and-book-launch-party/

 

I hung out at the St Paul Farmer’s Market – Lowertown, met some readers and gave away some books!

 

I had a meet-and-greet at Lakewinds Co op in Richfield and got to meet friends from social media!

 

Harris Farmer’s Almanac chose Can It & Ferment It to turn into a magazine as their annual special “canning” magazine!

 

The owner of Golden Fig brought Can It & Ferment It on her pickling segment of Twin Cities Live! Full video here: http://twincitieslive.com/article/stories/s4986749.shtml?cat=10692

 

I had the opportunity to become a Certified Master Food Preserver in Kona, Hawaii

Here are a list of other media and blogs that wrote about Can It & Ferment It:

Also, within the last year, I also managed to write my second book, WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling and More. My new book is currently on pre-sale and will release on Sept 4th, 2018. In this book, I teach you all about the beautiful variety of WECK jars and different ways to utilize them. The WECK company has been around for nearly 120 years and their jars are wildly used all over the world, but especially in Europe. Being that the jar and lid are both glass, it makes them completely non-toxic (no chemicals leach into your preserves) and that’s what initially drew me to them over 10 years ago. In this book I have written water bath canned recipes, fermented recipes and even some infusion recipes. I included lots of colorful photos and “notes sections” on nearly every recipes and in the back of the book, as I did in Can It & Ferment It. Fortunately, I am not experiencing the nerves I did with my first book release; I am eager and excited for this one the hit the market! I definitely don’t want summer to end, but Sept 4th can’t come soon enough.

Throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall, I will be doing several meet-and-greets around the Twin Cities as well as teaching some classes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Keep an eye on my social media for updates and class notifications.

Connect with me:

Twitter: @StephLovestoCan

Facebook: Minnesota from Scratch Blog Page

Instagram: @minnesotafromscratch

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the publication of Can It & Ferment It, I’ve collaborated with my favorite fermentation crock shop, Stone Creek Trading to giveaway a gorgeous, handmade 5L crock! The giveaway is posted over on my Instagram account and ends today (7/19/18), so hurry over and get entered to win.

Thanks for a wonderful year!

Buy Can It and Ferment It for only $1.99! e-Book Sale Ends 5/19/18.

Now is the time to snag Can It & Ferment It (electronic version) for a heck of a deal. My publisher and Bookbub have selected my book to receive a special flash-sale price of only $1.99! Keep all my delicious canned and fermented recipes at your fingertips.

Hurry, sale ends soon. Spread the news!

Purchase from amazon, here.

Purchase from B&N, here.

Sneak Peak Recipe: Pineapple-Strawberry Jam (from WECK Small-Batch Preserving Cookbook – 9/18 Release)

This recipe is one of over one hundred that I have included in my new cookbook, WECK Small-Batch Preserving. The book is designed specifically to teach you to preserve with WECK jars, but I have included alternate directions at the end of this post for those using standard mason jars.

A couple years ago, my grandma gave me a stack of recipes that were collected and written by my great great grandmother and her daughter, my great grandmother – both of which I got to know in my life. My great, great grandmother passed away when I was 10 years old and my great grandma passed in my early twenties. By the time I was born, neither of them really cooked anymore. I can’t recall one time either of them cooked, actually. But I’ve been told many stories about life before my time, and what great cooks both of them were. So I’m honored to have these precious recipes at my fingertips and I love to adapt them to my liking, which is what I have done here with this pineapple-strawberry jam recipe.

PINEAPPLE-STRAWBERRY JAM

from WECK Small-Batch Preserving, by Stephanie Thurow

Yield: 3 WECK jam jars (about 3-4 cups of jam)

Ingredients:

3 cups strawberries, quartered

1.5 cups fresh pineapple, grated

2.5 cups organic or non-GMO granulated sugar

Directions:

Clean and prepare strawberries by cutting off the stems and any flawed/bruised areas. Use a potato masher to mash the quartered berries into a chunky consistency.

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed pot and mix well. Bring ingredients to a medium-high simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. Once mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has cooked away, the jam is ready to be canned.

Ladle the hot fruit mixture into warm prepared jars. Use a funnel to safely transfer the mixture, leaving ½ inch of head space. Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place a glass lid with rubber ring in place over the rim of the jar and carefully clip the two metal clamps on the jar directly across from one another.

Process in the water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water bath with canning tongs and place them on a towel-covered surface for 12 hours without touching. Remove metal clamps and test that the lid has securely sealed onto the jar. Refrigerate after breaking the seal.

That’s it!

If you are using 1/2 pint mason jars instead of WECK brand, follow the directions as I’ve written them but adjust the head space to 1/4″ instead of 1/2″.

This recipe is from WECK Small-Batch Preserving, now available for pre-order here and set for worldwide release on Sept. 4th, 2018. Can It & Ferment It is now on sale on Amazon, grab it at a discount while you can!

PRE-SALE: WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling and More

MY SECOND BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-SALE

I teamed up with the canning experts at WECK to show readers how to preserve throughout the year with WECK jars. The J. WECK Company has made aesthetically beautiful all-glass home canning jars for over one hundred years. Never before offered, I have created a step-by-step guide to preserving with WECK jars and have developed over one hundred delicious, small-batch recipes to can, ferment, and infuse with them.

Recipes in this helpful guide include Bloody Mary mix, pineapple and strawberry jam, escabeche, kimchi, various sauerkraut recipes, a variety of kvass recipes, numerous infused spirit concoctions including pineapple and mango vodka, orange, clove, and cinnamon whiskey, and so much more!

Recipes are paired with colorful, stunning photos and written in an easy, approachable format. Perfect for new preservationists and delicious enough for even seasoned pros to appreciate, WECK Small-Batch Preserving is every preservation enthusiast’s go-to resource for year-round preservation.

Amazon offers the “Best Price Guarantee” which means that if you order now and the price gets lower during pre-sale, they will charge you the lowest price offered once it ships as long as you order before the release.

PRE-Order: WECK Small-Batch Preserving: here and while you’re ordering, pick up a copy of Can It & Ferment It while it’s still on sale: here

 

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