For Sunday Supper this week the associated bloggers in this group have put together a selection of recipes to preserve the summer harvest.
One of the things I like to do is some measure of canning, although I don’t do it in great volume since I have a small family. I like to put up small batches of pickles (generally just a few jars at a time in the fridge) or a jar or two of jam or apple butter. I don’t have large amounts of produce since I don’t grow melons or apples, and the amount of cukes I grow serves really just for the refrigerator. But I have a few recipes on the blog if you care to peek at those:
I am a bit picky about the kind of apples I use in my butter, and that season starts early (July) and is already past, even though the mountain of harvested apples is still coming in. I might be caught making some with a mix of apples in the late season of mid-September into October, depending on what the orchards have but my apples standards for that are usually Lodi and Transparent apples, not great for either eating or pies, but they make great sauce and butter.
Besides the handful of cukes (I usually just plant one plant) I also grow a boatload of hot peppers since I like really spicy food. Off and on I will have lots of jalapenos to put up and go through those pretty quickly. I also like making jalapeno jelly although I don’t have the recipe up for that, and make my own hot sauces (no recipes up yet for that either unfortunately). If I run out I often will make some with peppers bought at the market. The recipe I use keeps them nicely solid and not squishy like some over processed peppers I occasionally find in jars and cans at the store. Same for pickles. I like them crisp.
This watermelon butter recipe I came up with recycling the pulp leftover from one of my favorites-
I like buying the big old-fashioned seeded watermelons as the seedless still have those yucky white seeds. It’s easier for me to get rid of the black seeds. Plus I think those cultivars have much better flavor. Sort of like heirloom melons, if you will. But again, we are back to small families just cannot consume that much melon. This recipe in fact uses the leftovers from about 3/4 of a large one. But you need not worry about that part too much. You can freeze up juice or pulp from any amounts you happen to have leftover. The juice is marvelous in lemonade and I also make wine coolers with it. And beyond that, just freezing the fruit makes for all sorts of great frozen smoothies and cocktails.
Measuring out the pulp
The pulp should be quite thick
But for purposes of this recipe, all the leftover fruit I had, I removed the seeds (both black and white seeds) and pureed it in a food processor (blenders do the job too). Then I placed that mix into a strainer to siphon off all the juice, which I used elsewhere. You could probably cook the melon butter with juice intact since this recipe does include a little apple juice. While the flavor of melon will be slightly stronger though, there is pectin in the apple juice and it does help act as a sort of preservative. So if you are canning for shelf stable/ water bath canning, you will probably want to keep that apple juice in there to keep the quality of the product from degrading over time as quickly. But for purposes of this recipe, it will just get you about one small jar, so you don’t have to worry about that.
The pulp ready to cook
Watermelon butter bubbling away
But anyway, after the juice is taken away from the pureed fruit, the pulp will remain, And this is good stuff- gold in fact if you want to use every bit of it. Once it cooks down, you can just refrigerate it and not worry about the canning part, the same way you would treat partial jars while canning or canning that do not effectively seal: off to the refrigerator it goes! And being one small jar, that’s just fine.
Very thick when finished cooking
Here is the watermelon butter cooling in the jar
The whole operation is quite easy, if you don’t mind seeding the melon. I recruited help from others and made quick work of it. I do hope you enjoy it as something a little different. Be sure to check out the rest of the recipes in this week’s edition of Sunday Supper, and don’t forget to pin all your favorite recipes to save for later.
Saving Summer Harvest
As part of the Sunday Supper Movement, I and a host of other food bloggers are pleased to present to you some of our favorite recipes to preserve and keep the produce of the summer harvest.
Special thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love and Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks for graciously hosting this event and working so hard to make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. It’s a big group and a ton of work to keep all together! Thanks so much.
- Blackberry Chia Seed Jam from Books -n- Cooks
- Cherry Lemon Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Blackberry Preserves from The Redhead Baker
- Gilded Bluebarb Jam from What Smells So Good?
- Hamburger Dill Chips from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Piri Piri Hot Sauce from Curious Cuisiniere
- Southwestern Salsa from The Freshman Cook
- Spiced Peach Jam from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Spiced Vanilla Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Strawberry Balsamic Syrup from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Watermelon Butter from Palatable Pastime
- Dried Pineapple from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Fermented Spicy Daikon Spears + A Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- How to Freeze Blueberries from Pies and Plots
- Peach Crisp from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Roast Tomato Soup with Basil-Butter Croutons from Caroline’s Cooking
- Summer Veggies from Momma’s Meals
- Raspberry Vinegar from Magnolia Days
- Bread & Butter Pickles from Adventures in All Things Food
- Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles from Life Tastes Good
- Mustard Pickles from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Pickled Cherries with Five Spices from Nosh My Way
Preserving in oil or butter
Yield: 1 half-pint
- 1/2 cup watermelon pulp, pureed and drained
- 1 cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Remove all seeds (both light and dark) from melon, even if it says it is seedless.
- Puree fruit and drain puree in a strainer over another container to catch the juice. Reserve the juice for another purpose, such as making watermelon lemonade (you can also drink it outright.)
- Take 1/2 cup of the thick puree that remains and place in a saucepan with one cup apple juice and 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Cook mixture, stirring, over low heat until it is very thick and reduces to a half-pint, at which point it should be quite thick.
- When it cools down, refrigerate until needed. If you make a larger amount, place butter into sterilized jars and seal according to safe canning directions (check a Ball canning guide or website for a local university extension service website for more detailed information.)
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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