Canned Spiced Cherry Jam (without pectin)

theveganfarmer.com spicedcherryjamYou guyyyyysssss. This jam. It’s everything. We have a sour cherry tree in our yard. It is sour cherry season. I’ve spent the last several days arguing with the birds over how many I’m allowed to have. Seriously. An Oriole almost took my eye out this morning. Anyway, if you’ve never had jam made from sour cherries, I suggest you RUN to the nearest pick your own farm and get some. It was super easy to make.

What You’ll Need

lots of cherries. LOTS. I used about 2.5 quarts

4 cups white sugar

3 cups brown sugar

4 TBSP lemon juice

cinnamon

nutmeg

ground clove

Remove stems and pits from the cherries. This is much quicker to do if you have a cherry pitter. Throw them in a big pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the sugars, lemon juice, and spices. I don’t have measurements for the spices. Just add them in small amounts until you find the flavor you like best. At this point I took a potato masher and mashed some of the cherries. My next batch I’ll puree half before adding to the pot. Bring it back to a full boil and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. Sterilize your jars and lids. Once the jam has thickened a little, go ahead and pour it into the sterilized jars. Leave about 1/4 inch space at the top. Place lids and bands on until just tight. Lower the jars into a water bath, cover, and bring to a boil for 8 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and let sit for 24 hours. Test the lids to make sure they’ve sealed. Enjoy this cherry deliciousness on toast, ice cream, in oatmeal or straight from the spoon.

Carrot Cake for One

theveganfarmer.com carrot1It’s 10pm on a Saturday night and I’m frantically making a carrot cake for one.  Why?  So glad you asked.  I have this condition where I think I’m special and will somehow be granted more hours in a day than the allotted 24.  At the end of each day, I’m always wrong.  I spent the day at an amusement park with Emme, my brother, and his two kids.  I don’t regret it as it was awesome fun.  But now it’s 10pm and I’m just getting around to making a birthday cake for my mother.  Whose birthday is tomorrow.  See?  No more hours than the allotted 24.  Anyhoo, here’s the not vegan recipe I whipped up.  I’m hoping she finds it delicious.

 

What You’ll Need-

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For the cake-

1/4 C flour

pinch of cinnamon

1/4 TSP baking powder

1/8 TSP basking soda

1 egg

2 TBSP sugar

1/4 C canned carrots (I used carrots we canned from our garden)

1.5 TBSP milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as it’s all I have on hand)

1/4 TSP vanilla

Grease a ramekin and set aside.  Mix all the dry ingredients together.  In a blender (I used my small, 1 cup Farberware), blend the wet ingredients.  Microwave for 1 minute 40 seconds, give or take a few seconds.  You could also bake this in the oven on 350 for approximately 15 minutes, but who has time for that??

While that’s doing its thing, whip up some cream cheese frosting with approximately 1/4 C cream cheese, 3 TBSP powdered sugar, 1 TBSP of unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 TSP vanilla. Blend it all up, pour on top of a very cooled carrot cake, garnish with a few pieces of shredded carrot, and store in the fridge.  Unless you’re making this for yourself, then go ahead and dive right in.

 

Canning Homemade Applesauce

IMG_9647Let’s talk apples. One medium apple contains about 4 grams of soluble fiber, half the daily fruit quota, and a fair amount of vitamin C.   This makes for quite a satisfying sweet snack. All for only 100 calories!

Even though we’re not quite in apple season, our trees are bursting with ripe ones.  As in, oh, 60 pounds.  We spent a good chunk of this week harvesting, chopping, freezing, and canning apples.  One of our favorite forms of apple is applesauce.  Not only is it a tasty snack on its own, it’s awesome in baked goods.  Here is how I turned 30 pounds (16 pints) of apples into applesauce-

What You’ll Need

30 pounds of apples, chopped – adjust the amount  for  your lifestyle, of course

4-6 C sugar – this is totally optional. depending on how sweetened you’d like it

cinnamon – also optional

water

6 TBSP lemon juice

16 pint jars

Chop as many apples as you can stand.  Apparently 30 pounds is my limit. My partner in crime was more than happy to amuse me while I chopped.

IMG_9631  IMG_9643  Here’s the next apple, mom.  There are a bajiliion more in here.  Keep chopping.

Sterilize your jars and lids in simmering water.  Combine the apples and just enough water to keep them from sticking in a pan. Bring them to a medium boil, reduce to a light boil and stir occasionally, until they are tender.  Remove them from the heat and let cool a few minutes.  Transfer them in batches to a food processor and puree to desired smoothness. We made this batch smooth for ease.  We have reusable pouches we fill and the chunkier the sauce, the harder it is to squeeze out.  I also prefer smooth applesauce in my baking.

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Pour the sauce back into the pan.  Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.  Bring the sauce to a medium boil, stirring often.  Spoon the hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Put the lids on the jars and process in a boiling water canner for roughly 20 minutes.  Check the lids in a few hours.  There shouldn’t be any flexing.

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Allow to cool completely before storing. Enjoy!

Beet Sorbet

DSC03661And the beet goes on!  Sorry.  I had to.

There’s still no shortage of beets around here.  In my quest to get crafty with them, I’ve discovered beet sorbet.  Oh, yeah.  So good.  This is the highlight of my summer and will surely be yours too.

What You’ll Need

IMG_8746

5-6 baby beets

1 rounded C sugar

1/2 C water

3/4 TBSP lemon juice

dash of cinnamon

Put the beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring them to a boil, then reduce to a simmer uncovered until they’re done. This should take 25-30 minutes or until a fork slides out easily. If necessary, add a little more water to keep the beets partially submerged. Once they’re done, pour the beets and cooking water in a blender and puree. Pour the pureed beets into a bowl and chill in the fridge about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan and bringing to a boil.  Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, pour into a bowl and chill in the fridge 45 minutes.  In a bowl, whisk together the beet puree, simple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process per manufacturers instructions.  Pour the sorbet into a bowl, cover and freeze until firm.  Enjoy!