Friday, September 17, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

You need:

* Quart Mason jar
* Lid and screw down ring
* 2 cups vodka
* 6 vanilla beans

1. Cut the beans in half lengthwise.
2. Add the beans to the jar.
3. Cover with the Vodka.
4. Store in a cool, dark place and shake every couple of days for at least a month. The longer you let it stand the more intense the flavor will be. I like mine to go at least six weeks. When it is just how you like it, strain it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into dark bottles and seal tightly.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wine Jelly

Makes about 6 x 250 ml jars.

1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine (3 - 1/4 cups) (I use Italian Red Montepulciano d' Abrusso Wine or White

1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice

1 pkg (57 g) BERNARDINE Original Fruit Pectin

4 - 1/2 cups (1125 ml) granulated sugar

• Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

• Pour wine and lemon juice into a large, deep stainless steel saucepan.

• Measure sugar; set aside.

• Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Add all the sugar. Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim foam if necessary.

• Quickly ladle hot jelly into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (.5 cm) of top rim (head space). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner ensuring jars are covered by water. Repeat for remaining jelly.

• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 10 minutes.

• When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RE-TIGHTEN screw bands.

• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.