Today was a peach day because I made two peach recipes.
But first was a food demo at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market. Sorry no pictures! But we did have an awesome awesome recipe. Watermelon and Feta salad. Mmmmmmm.
- Cut the rind away from the melon and cut the melon into bite-sized squares. Remove any seeds from the watermelon
- Peel the onion and cut it into thin slivers.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar (or lime juice), salt, pepper, and then whisk in the olive oil. Add the chopped mint and mix.
- In a large bowl, mix together the watermelon, onion slices, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon and mix together. Add some whole leaves of mint to garnish.
Soooo the Columbia Heights Farmers Market was on NPR and guess who was in the picture???? Me?! Check it out. I’m wearing a red shirt with a green bag on my shoulder. Yes I know not a big deal (or at least enough to get me famous), but still awesome!
Anyway (sorry just got a little excited) I went on a hike with the two pups at Rock Creek Park.
Dempsey wanted water during the hike.
Rizzy wanted a nap after the hike
I have an issue with peaches. Not the flavor (definitely not), but the storage. Every time I purchase them and bring them home they are bruised. I guess I need to be more careful when I put them into my bag/basket. When they get bruised they have to be eaten right away because they will spoil quickly and attract a lot of fruit flies. Grrrrr. Today I purchased some peaches at the Columbia Heights Market, and they got crushed in my bike basket I knew I had to use them today so they all don’t get soggy.
I was going to make the individual peach pies, but I wanted to try something different. Since the peaches weren’t that ripe, I knew I would have to add a little bit of sugar and a little bit of loving. I followed this recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker.
Since I was only going to make 4 small peach pies, I used 2 peaches.
My best friend assisted me.
I got my mise en place ready.
A bowl of boiling water.
Ice Bath, buttered ramekins and rolled out pie crust.
I had some pie crust left over from my last peach dessert recipe. I think I used this recipe.
To prepare the peaches, I put them in the boiling water for 45 seconds and them immediately in the ice bath. I let them sit in the ice bath for several minutes then I peeled and chopped the peaches.
To the peaches I added some lemon juice (about 2 T), white and brown sugar (1/2 cup total) and a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg.
I majorly heart cinnamon.
The next step was to add the peach mixture to the pie crust which I previously assemebled into my ramekins.
I closed the individual pies as best as I could around the peach mixture.
Brushed them with an egg wash and some granulated sugar.
In the oven at 450 for 30 minutes.
This was my dinner. Please don’t tell the Dietitian police.
I still had 4 peaches left.
So I canned.
I canned once before, a success and failure. A success in that all my cans properly sealed. A failure in that I was not aware that you were supposed to follow specific recipes. That day, I made a salsa which consisted of just tomatoes, cilantro, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. Of course I was paranoid about my canned salsa so during lunch at work the next day I researched it a bit. I read that you are supposed to follow specific recipes. Say what?! I always heard of people making homemade tomato sauce and canning it themselves. So I reached out to one of the blogs I like to read, Savvy Eats and asked her about my dilemma. Canning recipes have been tested and approved for botulism and homemade recipes obviously have not. If you are familiar with canning (which I am not) you can experiment a bit with the ingredients, but a newbe (like me) should follow recipes. Julie said I was probably safe based on my ingredients, but instead of taking a chance, I put the salsa immediately into my refrigerator and used 2 cans withing 2 days. The rest of the cans I will throw out, which makes me sad, but I don’t want to risk botulism. The whole point of following specific recipes is because if you use a water bath (which I did) your recipe has to be at a specific pH. High pH foods (alkali) have to be processed through a pressure cooker. Tomatoes are on the border line of being acidic.
Soooo today I actually read the recipe from Ball.
The recipe was for peach jam. I did not want to use as much sugar as they suggested, so I read up on it before I made the recipe. The important part of the recipe is the lemon juice, the sugar is just for flavor.
I peeled and chopped the remaining 4 peaches which made 4 cups.
Then I added 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 2 1/2 cups of white sugar and brought it to a boil for 20 minutes. I also added 2 cinnamon sticks.
While that was cooking I sanitized the cans, lids and bands in boiling water. Then I laid them on a clean tea towel to dry.
Once the jam was cooked I poured them into the cans.
They only filled 2, I was hoping for 3…. O well. It also did not come out as ‘jamy’ as I was hoping, but I did not have a masher and just let them cook. I bet they are going to taste great with pancakes or on top of ice cream!
When pouring your mixture into the cans be sure to leave 1/4 inch of jar space so the lid can seal properly. Also wipe the rim of the can so that there is nothing getting in the way of the lid.
Then process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Once the timer went off, I took the cans out and leave them on the counter top overnight without touching them. The ‘popping’ is normal, it meas it is sealing!
There are certain supplies that are necessary to can and some that are extremely extremely helpful. Please see the Ball guide to preserving for further instructions.
Have a peachy night!