As promised, here are recipes that are featured in our 2013 holiday issue.
6 lbs (2.7 kg) Pears
2 lemons, zest and juice
1 -1/2 cups (375 ml) water (approximate)
2 -1/2 cups (625 ml) sugar
1- 3 inch (7.5 cm) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) brandy
• Place 6 clean 500 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.
• Peel, halve and core pears. Place in a colour protection solution
made of 4 tbsp (60 ml) Fruit-Fresh® dissolved in 8 cups (2000 ml)
water, if desired. Set aside.
• With vegetable peeler remove the zest from lemons in a continuous
spiral. Squeeze juice from lemons into measuring cup; add sufficient
water to make 2 cups (500 ml).
• In a large stainless steel saucepan combine rind, juice/water
mixture, sugar and gingerroot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer
for 10 minutes.
• Drain pears and add to syrup. Return to a boil.
• Pack hot pears snugly into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top
rim. Pour 1/4 cup (50 ml) of brandy over pears. Add hot syrup to cover
pears to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using
nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if
required, by adding more pears, brandy and hot syrup. Wipe jar rim
removing any food residue. Centre 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. Repeat for remaining pears,
brandy and hot syrup.
• 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 – 20 minutes.*
• When processing time is complete, 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 RETIGHTEN
• 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 homecanned foods within one year.
This delicious coffee liqueur can be added to mixed drinks, reduced to make an ice cream sauce, or served in mini espresso cups with biscotti.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 4 cups water, 3 cups sugar, ¼ cup instant coffee granules, 3 tablespoons vanilla, 2 ½ cups vodka, 1 to 2 vanilla beans (optional), dark glass container with tight-fitting lid.
STEP BY STEP:
ONE: In a large saucepan, dissolve sugar into water over medium-high heat. Add instant coffee and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes for 1½ to 2 hours until mixture reduces to a liquid syrup. Remove from heat and let cool just for 5 minutes.
TWO: Stir in vanilla and let cool another 15 minutes. If it hardens, reheat until it returns to a liquid.
THREE: Stir in vodka. When cooled completely, decant into glass bottles. Store out of direct light. Makes two 16 oz bottles.