Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sneak Peek from Vegan Food Gifts: Jalapeño Jam

Canning.  I would have never-ever guessed that this would be something I was so in love with.  My mom and I are both city girls gone country (She was first, and I followed her into the woods!) who have straight up become Little-Suzy-Homemakers and haven't looked back.

If you are already getting ready to click away from this post because you don't have the "specialty" equipment necessary to do home canning, or are too afraid of the process...DON'T!  Keep reading.  I shall dispel all of your fears!

Up until recently, I would have to trek out to Mom's ranch to use her equipment, or I would use my own "hacked" equipment at home, which I made using THIS METHOD which worked out fine for small batches.  Well today I finally bought myself a proper waterbath canner.  It was only $22 at the hardware store.  But you can easily make the recipe below with what you have around the house, as long as you have the jars, lids, and rings, which can be picked up at any supermarket or hardware store.

The method is described below, but if you would like to read more about home canning, check out this amazing free download from Ball.

Peppered Tofurkey sandwich on sourdough with Jalapeño Jam, mixed greens and Vegenaise
Jalapeño Jam 
from my upcoming book Vegan Food Gifts: More than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and other Edible Gifts Everyone will Love

Growing up, I would always say, "Gross! Who on earth would want to eat jalapeño jelly?" I know there are many who still have this opinion (my husband included), but as I have grown up, and my tastebuds have matured, I simply can't get enough of the stuff. The main problem, however, is that most jalapeño jellies are a very unnatural hue of neon green, so I now make my own, leaving it chunky with pieces of jalapeño in it, making it more of a jam then a jelly.

How do I enjoy this sweet and spicy treat?  Most often, I enjoy it on a toasted bagel or on crackers with some vegan cream cheese, but it also yummy as a sandwich spread (see above) or as a glaze for tofu!

12 whole fresh jalapeños
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 package (1.75 ounces) SureJell pectin
1/2 teaspoon nondairy butter (to help prevent foaming)
4 cups evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar

For canning, you will also need:
6 (8 ounce) jars
6 rings and lids
12 quart pot
Jar rack
Canning tongs
Magnetic lid lifter
Wide mouth funnel

Remove the stems from the jalapeños. If you like it spicy, leave in the seeds and core. Leave some in for a medium jam, or remove all seeds for a milder jam.
Using a food processor, chop jalapeños into a pulp.
Add jalapeno pulp, vinegar, juice, pectin, and butter (if using) to a pot.

Bring to a boil, stirring consistently.

Once the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, stir in the sugar.

Return to a boil, and boil hard for one full minute.

Ladle into sterilized jars, allowing 1/2-inch of space below the top, wipe off any excess jam from the top of the jar with a clean towel, seat the lid on top, and tighten the rings.

Using the canning tongs, place sealed jars onto the rack in the boiling water bath in the canning pot making sure that the jars are covered by at least 2 inches of water.

Boil for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove each jar and place it in a safe place to cool overnight.

Once cool, check to make sure the lids have sealed by pressing the top of the center of the lid. If it makes a popping sound, then it is not sealed.
Once you verify the lids are sealed, loosen the rings and dry off any excess moisture caught in the threads.
Replace rings and apply a label or tie on a gift tag.
Any jars that did not seal need to be placed into the refrigerator to be used within a week.
This jam can take up to a week to fully set.
If you do not plan to can this, you can make it, and place it in the refrigerator and then it will set much more quickly.

Yield: 6 cups, or 6 (8 ounce) jars
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni