My love for mason jars is a very public obsession.  I think my second post on this blog was about all the ways I use them.  The funny thing is, I've never been a "canning" person who used them for maybe their most natural purpose.  I like using them as storage for bulk foods, leftovers, bringing tea and coffee to work, etc.  Only until recently did I get bit by the canning bug, and I have a new appreciation for my favorite vessels.

I recently discovered Marisa's Food in Jars, the most comprehensive canning blog and one with so much mason jar eye-candy, I knew I was bitten.  The best part about these two recipes is their "urban canning" aspect, alluding to the smaller quantity.  Most canning requires pounds and pounds of fruit and a cauldron size canning pot, but not these.  Maybe these are canning recipes for the more timid canner, or maybe just one who lives in New York and doesn't have space for 8 jars of apple butter.  Either way, these are the quickest, most delicious and rewarding canning combinations that only require 1 beloved mason jar each.   Don't think I stopped at "sweet" either, quick pickles and homemade whole-grain mustard are a-comin.  Stay tuned.


BLUEBERRY JAM WITH LEMON + GINGER   (From Food in Jars)  Makes 1 pint

3 cups blueberries (1 pint approximately)

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup candied ginger

3 inches ginger, slices

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1. Add blueberries, sugar and ginger into a large bowl and let sit for 1-2 hours.  For stronger ginger flavor, keep bowl in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

2. Add fruit to a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine with lemon juice, zest and agave.  Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until it passes the "plate test".

3. When the jam has thickened, stir in candied ginger and pour into prepared pint jar.  Apply lid and ring before processing in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to let cool and wait for seal to pop! Once cooled, refridgerate!


4-5 persimmons, chopped

4 honeycrisp apples, chopped and peeled

1 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 lemon (optional)

1. Add chopped apple and persimmonos to a saucepan with approximately 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours or until fruit cooks down into a butter.  Stiring occasionally.

2.  Once fruit mixture starts to thicken, add cinnamon, maple syrup, sugar and nutmeg.  You may also add the juice of one lemon for added tanginess. 

3.  Once butter is thick, pour into clean jars.  Apply lid and rings before processing in boiling water for 15 minutes.  Remove jar and let cool.  Let butter cool and listen for seal to pop.  Once cooled, refridgerate!



Now that it's finally getting colder, I'm finally feeling like using my oven is pleasurable again.  The idea of making something warm, dense and oat-y is somehow appealing again after months of barely wanting to be in my kitchen.  As much as I spend many days testing recipes, successfully or otherwise, there are times where I do want something simple.  After buying fresh raspberries and sour cherry preserves (yes, random purchases), I decided to try this very traditional recipe.


Many things I make never make it on to this blog.  Sometimes I don't feel it's fancy or original enough, but there's something to be said about simplicity.  One of my favorite restaurants, Franny's, seems to make dishes with three ingredients taste unlike anything I've ever had.  Just like I said never underestimate the classic and satisfying quality of a peach pie, the same goes for this recipe.  It's simple, classic and when done with quality ingredients, can taste very fancy.



Adapted from Bob's Red Mill:

1 cup oat flour

1 cup gluten-free oats

1/2 cup butter (or Earth Balance/coconut oil), melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup fresh raspberries, macerated

1/3 cup sour cherry preserves

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, xanthum gum, baking powder and salt.  Combine melted butter, zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together before combining with flour mixture.
2.  In a separate bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of vanilla with preserves and macerated cherries.  Combine well and set aside.
2. In 8x8 pyrex pan, layer parchment paper (or grease well).  Press 1 cup of oat mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Layer chopped walnuts reserving a handful for topping.  Spread the preserves and raspberries evenly to coat the pressed oat mixture.  Layer with remaining oat mixture and remaining walnuts.  Dust with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes of until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.