Baking and Jam Making

Baking and Jam Making

This week, one of the local markets had cherries for a decent price. I got cherry preserves in my mind. I rolled the idea around in my head for several days because I knew I didn’t have time to do anything with them. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law brought a small box of peaches from her tree. So yesterday, I broke down and bought cherries.

The peaches were small so i decided to boil them and then strain the fruit rather than peel and pit them. While they boiled, I pitted the 8 pounds of beautiful, yummy cherries. The cherries were then put in another pot to boil with sugar and cinnamon.

The cherries finished first. The first thing I did was to take 2 cups of cherry juice and add it to the peaches. Next,I put the cherries into 7 quart jars. 6 of the jars were sealed up and prepared to process through the canner. The last jar I set aside for a cherry pie.

Meanwhile, the peaches had softened. I strained the peach pulp into the juice and threw away the skins and pits, although I noticed that one jar has a pit in it. I added 3 cups of sugar, 2 packages of pectin and brought the mix to a boil. When the jam was ready, I filled 6 pint jars of cherry-peach jam.

Then  I loaded the canner and processed my jars. I love the way the finished jars look!

While the jars were processing, I made a cherry pie!

In a bowl I mixed 2 cups of flour and a tsp of salt. i then cut in 1/2 cup of cold butter. Before I started, I took a stick of butter and cut it into small pieces. Those pieces are what I cut into the flour. Once the mixture resembled small crumbs, I drizzled a couple tablespoons of ice water over the flour and mixed it in. I continued until I had a dough that could be formed into a ball. I then covered it with plastic wrap and refrigerated it for a half hour.

At the end of the half hour, I rolled the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness and placed it into the pie crust. I poured the cherries I had saved into the crust and sprinkled a 1/4 cup of flour over them. I rolled out the rest of the dough to form a top crust and sealed the edges. the pie baked at 425 for a half hour and then at 350 for another 20 minutes.

This morning, I decided I needed biscuits for the jam. I found this recipe online and then changed it a little (as always…lol!)

Granny’s Homemade Biscuits

2 cups flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs honey

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup milk

1. Combine the dry ingredients.

2. Add honey and shortening. Cut in until mix resmbles coarse crumbs.

3. Add milk. Mix well.

4. Make a dough ball and knead for a minute on a floured surface.

5. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness and cut biscuits.

6. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. They become really fluffy and golden brown.

Christmas Chutney

2 cups orange juice
3 cups cranberries
1 orange chopped finely (peel included)
1 apple cored and chopped finely
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar

Put orange juice and cranberries into a pot. Cook on medium heat. Bring to light boil. Add all other ingredients. Stir constantly as the honey will burn. Cook down for 20 minutes. Unless you will be eating quickly, put into 4 prepared pint jars and waterbath for 15 minutes.