I can, can you? Sure you can! Canning is not hard to do at all, especially if you pick a really easy project like canning fruit. This year I received a box of luscious peaches from Washington state. They were perfectly ripe, but a bit crushed in spots due to poor handling in transit. Instead of canning slices or halves, I used the fruit—some perfect and some not so perfect—to make peach ketchup!
Peach ketchup is a lovely peachy color, but it tastes very much like tomato ketchup. Taste it before you can it, and adjust the spices and sugar to suit yourself. Use really great tasting fruit, it should not be brown or overripe, but if it is soft in spots, that's ok. Use the tangy sweet and sour ketchup just as you would regular tomato ketchup. It’s particularly great on potatoes.
As in years past I am proud to be a “Canbassador” for the Washington State Fruit Commission and to tell you about the Can-It-Forward event, sponsored by Ball Brand.
Check out this site for a live webcast of canning demonstrations with chefs, as well as recipes and tips
A go-to resource for canning and freezing stone fruits, offering how-to-tips, recipes, health information, customizable canning jar labels and more
Here are more of my picks for great canning resources:
A community site with recipes and tutorials for canning, preserving, cheese making, foraging, drying and dehydrating and pretty much anything that is culinary DIY
This is kind of the “bible” for learning how to safely preserve food at home, there’s even a self study course
AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY!
This year Ball Brand is offering one lucky reader a fabulous prize package of:
· New Limited Edition Spring Green Heritage Collection Jars, these limited edition jars commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Ball brothers’ “Perfection” Jar and come in a beautiful green tint. These are being produced only in 2014 and are available in both pint and quart varieties. (Pint retail value: $9.99 per case/ Quart retail value $12.99 per case)
· Fresh Herb Keeper is an ingenious container to keep herbs fresh for up to two weeks. (Retail value: $12.99)
· Dry Herb Jars are a perfectly-sized solution for storing your dried herbs. Great for storing seasonings, spices and rubs too! Stackable, low-profile design makes pantry or drawer storage more efficient than old, mis-matched containers. (Retail value: $4.99)
· Frozen Herb Starters preserve your fresh seasonings in ready to use cubes filled with butter, oil or other liquid for easy and flavorful meal starters. (Retail value: $11.99)
· 5 Blade Herb Scissors with stainless steel blades to gently cut and evenly slice herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro. (Retail value: $9.99)
· Ball Blue Book with 125 pages that will guide you while you learn about preserving, this book provides information on equipment, instructions for the preserving method and recipes! (Retail value: $6.49)
Makes 8 1/2 pint jars
5 lbs fresh ripe peaches, pitted and peeled and cut into chunks*
2 - 3 cups brown sugar (start with 2 cups and add more to taste)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
In a large pot, bring peaches, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, seasonings to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer about until peaches are very soft about 15 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a blender or food processor. Process until pureed and return the peach puree to the pot. Gently simmer and reduce for hour and mixture is thickened.
Transfer peach ketchup to hot sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims and seal with clean lids and rings. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath or according to manufacturers' instructions. Let cool to room temperature and store. Open jars should be stored in the refrigerator, just like tomato ketchup.
*To peel the peaches you can score, blanch, and shock the fruit, but I find a very sharp vegetable peeler also works great and is much less bother.
Disclaimer: My thanks to Washington State Fruit Commission for the fruit and Ball Brand for the canning and preserving supplies.