canning

Jam roly poly recipe

Posted on February 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

A new word for a lot of Americans will be “stodge”. It’s a word with many negative connotations, but in the case of Jam Roly Poly that’s what it’s supposed to be – a stodgy comfort food designed to deliver calories straight to your waistline. Enjoy!

  • 300g / 10.5oz / 2 cups AP flour or GF flour blend
  • 130g / 4.5oz shredded suet OR butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 200ml / about 6.75oz water (or more if needed)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of jam, slightly warmed with a little water
  • custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160c / 315f.

    Blend the first 4 ingredients thoroughly. Add the lemon juice to the water and stir into the flour blend until the dough just comes together – it should be slightly sticky, but not wet. With GF flour blends you may need to add a little more water – if so, add it a tablespoon at a time.

    Roll the dough out to a half inch / one cm thickness. Try to get it as close to a rectangle as you can. If you’re me, a rough potato shape is the best I can do!

    Spread the jam thinly over the surface, leaving an edge about the thickness of the width of your thumb at a long edge. Slowly and gently roll the dough towards the exposed edge, without trying to get it super tight. You want a rough cylinder with a little internal room for expansion. Pinch the cylinder closed at the jamless edge and leave the join up for the moment.

    Butter up some baking paper and roll the dough log onto it, join side down. Wrap the dough log loosely with the baking paper, making sure the log is completely surrounded, and tie off the ends with string. Wrap the log up in a tea towel or foil to create a sealed cylinder.

    Place the wrapped roly poly in a loaf pan or other convenient heat resistant receptacle, then place the receptacle on a trivet or other support (such as old jam jar lids) into a baking pan. Place the baking pan in the oven and pour boiling water into the baking pan – you want plenty of water in there, but not so much it splashes out of the baking pan. You also don’t want any water entering the loaf pan with the pudding in it.

    Bake for 1 hour. Serve cut into slices so that you can see the internal swirl. Cover generously with custard and serve with a nice cuppa tea.

    One note, this is not a super sweet pudding. The dough is meant to be fairly plain to allow the jam and the custard to take central stage.

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    Red Hamburger Relish

    Posted on July 17, 2020 at 11:50 am

    As a child I frequently had Bick’s Hamburger Relish. The availability of this product in the USA is spotty at best, so as usual I made it myself. This recipe is really, really close to what I remember, and you can easily make a half batch.

  • 7 cups ground cucumbers (approximately 7 medium sized cucumbers, weight roughly 3.5lb/ 1.6kg), any liquid drained
  • 5 cups ground onions (approximately 1.25lb / 570g), any liquid drained
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml / 72g pickling salt (substitute by weight with any non-iodine salt such as sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 3 to 4 large red and green peppers, ground
  • one 28oz/795g can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups / 720 to 780ml white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice, ground
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 to 4 cups / 720 to 960ml white sugar
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml flour (or GF substitute such as xanthan gum)
  • Makes about 10 to 12 pints
    Mix ground cucumbers, onions, and peppers with salt in a large bowl. Let stand overnight and then drain.
    Cook all other ingredients in a large pot and boil for about 5 minutes.
    Add cucumber mixture and bring back to a boil.
    *May add extra sugar, spices, vinegar to get desired taste.
    Boil for 15 minutes and pour into sterilized jars and seal.

    I know the recipe says hamburger relish, but this is equally lovely with sausages or other grilled meats. And yes, I increased the mustard seed to 2 tablespoons because I like mustard seeds. Why else make it yourself if you don’t customise it?

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    Balsamic-grape jelly

    Posted on June 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Our home city recently lost a culinary institution. One of their specials was to serve their grilled cheese sandwich with what they called “balsamic jam”. I never had their grilled cheese, and their “balsamic jam” was actually “balsamic jelly” made by adding balsamic vinegar to grape jelly in a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to jelly.

    This is my tribute to that. It’s not the same, but it is absolutely delicious paired with grilled cheese, poured over cream cheese, or on toast!

  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar (700ml / 24fl oz)
  • 2 cups grape juice (16fl oz / 475ml)
  • 1 cup water (240ml / 8fl oz)
  • 1lb / 450g sugar, reserve about 1/2 cup
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 2tsp vanilla flavour
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp calcium water
  • 2tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin Powder
  • Put the first 9 ingredients in a pot. Bring it to an active simmer, not boiling. Switch it off and come back to the mix the next day.

    Strain out the spices. Add the 2tsp calcium water to the mix. Bring to a boil. Stir the pectin into the reserved sugar and stir vigorously to incorporate.

    Makes about 7 cups of jelly.

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    Queen of Puddings

    Posted on May 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    For Mother’s Day, I asked my wife to choose a pudding we’d never had before. To be extra mean I handed her a book with over 140 classic British Pudding recipes – how horrible I am!

    She chose Queen of Puddings. I have had this once before in my whole life. It’s one I felt nervous about making, because… well, I’m not sure why. I just was.

    Thankfully the nerves were unnecessary. It’s actually quite easy to make, as pudding should be. And as a bonus, it’s easy to make gluten free!

  • 180g / 6.5oz breadcrumbs OR an equal mix of corn flakes and oats
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar (take granulated sugar and pulse in food processor till fine but not powder)
  • 600ml / 20oz / 2.5 cups milk
  • 60g / 2oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 100g / 3.5oz berry jam
  • Optional: zest of 1 lemon
  • Stir the breadcrumbs (or GF option) to mix with the zest and 30g/1oz of the sugar.

    Combine the milk, butter, and vanilla in a pan and heat gently until the butter is just melted. The mix should be slightly more than blood warm. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm milk then stir into the crumbs. Leave the mix to stand and soak for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 180c/350f. Make sure they soak for at least 10 minutes.

    Pour the mixture into a buttered pie pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it is cooked through and set – although it’s technically a custard, you want it to set fully.

    Warm the jam in a small pan or in the microwave until it’s liquid. Spread the jam over the baked base – it should make a generous coating.

    Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold the sugar in to make the meringue. Pile over the jam, spreading to the edge of the pie dish.

    Bake the meringue for 10 minutes or so until it’s lightly golden brown and slightly crunchy. Let the pudding cool down until it’s room temperature.

    Serve at room temperature or cold. Be prepared for some slight cognitive dissonance – it looks like pie, but it eats like pudding!

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    Low Sugar Jam

    Posted on July 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Here in Alabama, u-pick is really coming into its own. Today we picked nearly 2 gallons of blueberries at an awesome local farm (Bear Mountain) that grows its berries according to organic principles (that means, they haven’t paid the federal government for the privilege of the “certified organic” label!)

    But you only really get the benefit of the full awesome flavour and colour of fresh, seasonal fruit if you avoid cooking them into oblivion, which you will with conventional pectin.

    This is why I always, and only, recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin (Amazon link). Unlike conventional pectin you can make jam with NO added sugar, or with alternative sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

    Once you go Pomona’s you will never go back to adding more sugar than fruit to your preserves!

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    Reduced Sugar Cherry Jam

    Posted on July 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I am loving the results I get with Pomona’s Pectin. The jam tastes like fruit gently stewed in honey. Wonderful.

    4 cups, mashed or chopped, pitted cherries
    1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
    4 tsp calcium water

    Place these ingredients in a large saucepan and start to gently heat.

    1 cup honey (or, if you must, 3/4 to 2 cups sugar)
    3 tsp Pomona’s pectin mixed thoroughly into the honey (or, yuck, sugar)

    Bring the fruit/juice/calcium water to a BOIL. Pour the honey/pectin mix into the saucepan and stir while bringing the mix back to the boil. Pour cherry jam into heated jam jars, lid up, and stick into your boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes is up, take off the heat, remove lid from the canner, leave for 5 minutes, then place jars onto a cookie sheet to cool over night. Enjoy!

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    Low added sugar blackberry jam

    Posted on May 29, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Having picked a lot of delicious blackberries at Holmestead Farm as part of my fun U-Pick experience, I set out to create some awesome low added sugar blackberry jam, using Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

    Yield: about 5 cups (5 jelly jars)
    Thoroughly rinse and pick through your blackberries

    • 4 cups blackberries
    • 1 cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin
    • 2 teaspoons calcium water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice

    1. Prepare jars by washing and rinsing. I leave the jars in the hot water bath canner while I bring it up to a boil.

    2. Measure fruit into pan with lemon juice (you can use lime juice instead if you prefer).

    3. Add calcium water into pan and stir well.

    4. Measure room temperature honey into separate bowl. Thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into honey (if you prefer to use sugar, you can use 3/4 to 2 cups of it instead of honey).

    5. Bring fruit to boil. If you prefer a chunky texture just stir the fruit mix – if you want something a bit smoother, you can mash the fruit or even feed it through a food mill to remove seeds. If you want seedless, add an extra cup of fruit to correct for the loss of bulk in the milling process. Add pectin and honey mix and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat.

    6. Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 min. (add 1 min. more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals–lids should be sucked down. Lasts about a hypothetical 3 weeks once opened, but if you’re anything like me it’s doubtful the jar will last more than 3 days 😉

    The most awesome part about the Pomona’s Pectin is that you can scale the recipes either way – you can double it or halve it without in any way affecting the quality of the finished product. You cannot do this with conventional pectin, hence my preference for Pomona’s.

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    Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam

    Posted on April 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Pomona’s Pectin is an alternative to conventional pectin, which allows you to make jams with reduced, or no, sugar.

    Due to the very mild winter we have had this year, strawberries have come into season early and very sweet. What else could I do apart from make some jam? And as I have Pomona’s Pectin, and some local honey, well… that’s pretty much a match made in heaven!

    Prepare your boiling water bath canner along with 7 jam jars, lids, and rings.

  • 8 cups of crushed or sliced strawberries
  • 2 tsp calcium water
  • 1.5 cups of honey
  • 2 tsp Pomona’s Pectin
  • Put the strawberries and calcium water into a large cooking pot. Mix the pectin into the honey very thoroughly. Bring the strawberries and calcium water to a full boil, stir in the blended honey and pectin while returning the strawberries to a full boil. Once the jam has returned to a full boil, allow it to stand for a couple of minutes then stir thoroughly – this short rest should make sure that the fruit gets distributed evenly throughout the jam.

    This will make a jam that is semi-solid with a nice juicy texture. For a thicker jam, try a sliding scale of up to double the pectin and the calcium water. If you double the pectin and calcium the jam should set almost solid.

    Put the jam into the jars, boil for 10 minutes, allow to cool for at least 12 hours, label, and store in a cool, dark place. Jam!

    Check this ingredients list against commercially made jams. What do you notice? No preservatives, no High Fructose Corn Syrup, no artificial colouring. Just fruit, pectin, honey, calcium, and a little water. In other words… food.

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    What to do with canned foods?

    Posted on February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

    The whole reason I make canned/preserved foods is to be able to eat them when they are out of season and thus expensive and shipped in over long distances. But once you’ve got them, what do you do with them?

    Last year I made a couple of different pie fillings while the fruits were in season and cheap: blueberry pie and cherry pie.

    For Pancake Day I decided to go in a slightly different direction and made a clafoutis with canned cherry pie filling. It didn’t last very long!

    BATTER

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup flour

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Place the batter ingredients in your food processor and blend at top speed for about 1 minute to make a very wet batter (if you don’t have a food processor, beat gently to mix all the ingredients and pass batter through a fine sieve to make a very smooth, no-lumps batter).

    Lightly butter your skillet and set over moderate heat on the stove. Pour in just enough of the batter to make a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet and heat until the batter is just set. Remove from the heat, gently spread your pie filling over the set batter and top with the rest of the batter. Put into the heated oven and bake for about an hour or until the batter is golden brown and delicious. Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar, hot tea or coffee, and enjoy!

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    Pressure Canning – basic principles

    Posted on September 14, 2011 at 7:20 am

    If you want to know how to preserve food by pressure canning, this article is what you need. You may want to check out my boiling water bath article as well.

    First, what foods must you pressure can? Low-acid foods. In this context, low acid is defined as “pH 4.7 or higher”. Vegetables, meat, fish, stocks, and finished foods like stews or soups all need to be pressure canned. Tomatoes are a special case as they are right on the cusp of pH 4.6, so they can be canned using either the boiling water bath method (with added acid like lemon juice or citric acid) or by using pressure.

    Second, what is a pressure canner? Can I just use my pressure cooker?

    Pressure canner and jiggle weight

    Pressure canner and jiggle weight ( jiggle weight is the column to right of pressure gauge with ring either side)

    The simple answer is “no”. Most domestic pressure cookers are not rated or constructed to take the sustained pressures for which a pressure canner is designed. When processing beans with my easy prepare method, for example, I am canning at 10psi for 90 minutes. Unless your pressure cooker specifically states it is rated for pressure canning, it is not suited to this task. Canners like the Presto 23qt canner I have (see picture) cost around $80 and are a worthwhile investment – you can use it as a pressure cooker, pressure canner, AND as a boiling water bath canner.

    A note on pressure canner gauges. If you intend using the pressure gauge, you must get the gauge checked for accuracy every year. This is a free service by most county extension services in the USA. I use a jiggle weight because I can always tell when the canner is at the right pressure – I listen for the “pshht pshht” noise of the jiggle.

    Third, you need lids and bands. New jars come with lids and bands, but you should pick up extra lids when you can get them at a good price. The bands are reusable for many canning sessions – they only need to be discarded if they show signs of rust or corrosion.

    And finally, you need something to put in the jars – the “jar contents”.

    PREPARATION STEPS

    If you’ve already read my article on boiling water canning you already know the first few preparation steps, and can skip down to Putting on the squeeze.

    JARS
    To start a pressure canning session, first clean the jars you are going to use. Running them through the dishwasher works well; if you don’t have a dishwasher you can wash them in the sink. Once they have been cleaned, put them in the canner, fill the canner with hot tap water to the appropriate fill line marked on the inside of the canner (see your canner’s instruction sheet) and put a little hot tap water into the jars to keep them from falling over. Once the jars are resting in the hot tap water, put the lid on the canner to retain heat, put the canner on the hob, and set it to a medium-low temperature.

    This is all before you do anything to the “jar contents”. You are aiming to have the jars at a good hot temperature before filling them with the “jar contents” – too much of a temperature difference between the jar and the contents leads to thermal shock, also known as “glass shrapnel and incendiary contents spread across the kitchen”. Thermal shock is generally considered A Bad Thing(TM) and is definitely to be avoided.

    Once the “jar contents” are starting to cook, increase the heat under the canner with the aim of getting it to a boil once the “jar contents” are ready. It’ll take you a little practice to know exactly when to turn the heat up, but don’t sweat it too much – you can keep the “jar contents” nicely hot for a few extra minutes if needed, and it doesn’t really matter if the empty jars are heating for longer than needed.

    LIDS
    Give the lids a good clean with plenty of soap and hot tap water and then rinse thoroughly. I have seen many people saying to boil the lids and then keep them in the hot water straight after boiling, but according to the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (which I cannot recommend strongly enough – it is absolutely essential for a home canner), all that is needed is to keep them to a simmer – 180F/82C.

    Once your lids and jars are ready, you can ladle in your jar contents (the soup, stock, stew, beans, etc.) and then seal the jars.

    SEALING THE JARS
    Once each jar is filled to the appropriate level (usually within 1/2 to 1 inch of the top of the jar depending on the recipe) you should wipe off the rim of the jar to make sure that there is nothing on the rim to interfere with a proper seal. Use a paper towel sprayed with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water to wipe off the rim. Lift lids out one by one and place on the rim. Screw down the bands to “finger tight”: use your fingertips to screw the lid down until you can’t tighten it any more, but do not tighten the lid as tight as you possibly can. The purpose of this step is to secure the lid on, not to seal it completely – there needs to be a little looseness in the band to allow air to escape, but equally you don’t want water to get into the jar. The jar seal comes from the vacuum you will create in the water bath stage.

    PUTTING ON THE SQUEEZE
    Once your jars, lids, and “jar contents” are ready, it’s time to put them into the canner on the rack at the bottom.

    Place the lid on the canner, bring the canner to a full boil, and vent the canner for 10 minutes. Count the 10 minutes from when the stream of steam is running full blast – on my canner I get a whistling noise at this point. You can tell that the appropriate point is reached when the steam is a solid column – this is when you start your timer.

    Once the 10 minute vent is completed, put the weight on the vent and process for the amount of time specified in the recipe. Once the processing time is up, take the pot off the heat and walk away. You need to let the pressure canner return to normal pressure. This will take a variable amount of time, but you cannot hurry this step – remember thermal shock! Once the pressure gauge has dropped to normal, leave the canner for an additional 10 minutes then take the lid off the canner. Use your jar lifter or tongs to take the jars out of the hot water to cool.

    COOLING THE JARS WITHOUT THERMAL SHOCK
    The best way I have found to cool jars without having any danger of thermal shock (hot jars and cool countertops do not mix) is to use a cookie rack. This allows free air circulation around the jars without putting them onto any surface which could turn them into bombs.

    Leave the jars overnight; the next day you can take the screw bands off and test the seal.

    TESTING THE SEAL
    Testing the seal is easy. If you can lift the jar up by the lid, the seal is good. If you can’t, the seal is bad! If a jar didn’t seal properly, treat it as an eating jar and just finish the contents within a few days or freeze the jar and its contents for later use.

    RULE OF THUMB
    The rule of thumb when calculating how long to pressure can for: look up each ingredient on the USDA list separately. Note the longest time any single ingredient requires. Pressure can for that amount of time – the longest amount of time required by any single ingredient.

    You were waiting for me to say what the jar contents are? Well… that’s up to you. Go for it!

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