Sunday, July 3, 2011

it's officially canning season!

well at least at our house!  I know some die hards have been at it for months but I had electric fence to string and patios to rip up.  While waiting for my crushed limestone I decided it was time to break out the canning stuff.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble......... the season is on!  I walked out back to check the gardens after a good soaking rain last night and found rhubarb the size of elephant ears!  I was opting out of the traditional strawberry rhubarb jam and instead went for a lovely rhubarb onion chutney.  I mixed up the recipe like I mix glazes and hoped for the best, not floating blue.

Here is the result: 

Rhubarb Onion Chutney
8 cups chopped rhubarb stalks
4 cups sliced onions
4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons canning salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups apple cider vinegar
5 garlic buds peeled and chopped fine
2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spices

In a large heavy kettle, combine all except the pickling spice.  Tie the pickling spice in a baby sock and add to the pot.  Bring to boiling and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until half the liquid is gone, about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove the spice bag, ladle the hot chutney into hot sterilized jars, adjust the lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Made 18 half pints, just right for gift giving :)

I just love the little lids popping!!  So far all have sealed! 

I had a half jar left and we tried it on whole wheat toast point and fresh che'vre.  Even the finicky one loved it!  Think it might go on my grass fed burger tomorrow too! 

While waiting for the the jars to process I tried this:  Kind of made it up as I went along too..... 

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

 Butter crust
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup all purpose flour

Key Lime Filling
3/4 cup 1% low fat cottage cheese 
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 1/3 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Beat the first four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add 1 cup flour, beating at speed until well blended.  Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8" square baking pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile back at the ranch prep the filling.  Process the cottage cheese in the food processor until smooth, took about 2 minutes.  Add the greek yogurt, and sugar, process again, about 20 seconds.  Add the next 6 ingredients and process another 30 seconds.  Pour into the partially baked crust and bake another 30 minutes.  Edges should be slightly browned. 
Cover and chill 8 hours, cut in to bars and serve.    

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