preserving: peach, plum & ginger compote
Last summer I was playing around in my kitchen, learning about small-batch canning and attempting to fill my shelves with jars. BUT some preserves quickly moved beyond 'playing around', and jumped to the category of 'must make every year.' We got used to tucking into a particular preserve and found ourselves reaching for it time and again. This summer, I started with a list of 'must-make' preserves: 1. strawberry jam, 2. peach plum ginger compote (pictured), 3. brandied fig jam and 4. red pepper jelly.
There is something I love about discovering new indulgences I 'cannot live without.'
I just finished making my batch of Peach Plum Ginger Preserves. We would feel cheated if we didn't have some to ladle onto vanilla rice pudding.
Peach-Plum Ginger Preserves makes approximately 3 pints
5 cups peaches, peeled and mashed 2 cups plums, mashed 3 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup ginger juice*
In a large, non-reactive pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 - 30 minutes. When compote (which to me translates roughly: too thin for jelly, too thick for syrup) is sufficiently cooked, fill jars. Remember to wipe the jar rims (I use a rag from a bucket of bleach water; 1 tsp. per gallon cold water); apply new lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to cool on towel-lined counter top. Two tests for sealing: the middle lid should 'pop' and/or: when jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals by grasping the outside edge of lid and lifting the jar carefully off the counter top. The lid should stay firmly in place on the jar.
Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
*Chop approximately 4 ounces of ginger. Combine with 1/4 cup water in food processor, puree, then strain through a piece of cheesecloth (squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible).
... I have a hunch my must-make preserve list will grow each year. All this 'playing around' is just a bit too fun. Yesterday I made tomato jam, today I plan to make brandied cherries and have you seen those blackberries that are the size of golf balls?!??