Friday, September 24, 2010

Fruit Sauce

In the midst of search for pear jams, I found a post about small batch canning, that made a plum sauce and a peach sauce. I figured I could make a pear-plum sauce by combining the recipes. My plums were smaller than hers and my pears bigger than peaches, so I adjusted a bit. I'm so glad I found a sauce, as I'm getting quite a few jams back there and was starting to wonder how many years they'd last us. With Maggie now taking her lunch to school and asking for peanut butter and jelly 9 times out of 10, however, I don't think it will last us more than a year. We've never been much of a jam family before; a jar will last us a good 6 months or more. Until this month!

Pear-Plum Sauce
  • 7 plums
  • 3 pears
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Chop fruit, mix with sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. This took about 10-20 minutes (I also made a double batch). Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace, 10 minutes boiling water batch. (I think 1/4" would be fine.) Makes about 3.5 cups. Even doubled, it's small batch canning!

This is fabulous heated up on old brownies from work found in the freezer. I'm sure the same will be true on ice cream. And fresh homemade brownies.

I then found a USDA guide to canning that included directions for fruit purees, consisting of any fruit except figs, tomatoes, cantaloupe and other melons, papaya, ripe mango or coconut, 1 c water per quart of fruit (way too much for my fruit), and sugar if desired. So I made

Blueberry Pear Sauce
  • 3 c pears (~3 pears)
  • 2 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice
Cook slowly until fruit is soft. Puree as desired (I simply mashed it some with the potato masher). Add sugar and spices to taste. Reheat to a boil or sugar dissolves. (I put the sugar in at the beginning.) Fill hot jars, 1/4" headspace, 1015 minutes boiling water canner. Makes about 3 cups, to my surprise.

This was so good I immediately made a second batch.

UPDATE: Today I noticed it's an older guide, so I looked for the most recent, which I found at The National Center for Home Preserving at the USDA (Guide #2). It recommends 15 instead of 10 minutes, and added to the list of non-preservable puree fruits (back in the 90s, no one preserved mango in the US I guess, which doesn't surprise me!). So I might have under done my sauce, although 10 is what other sites lists for other fruit sauces. They aren't quite as thick as applesauce, which is also listed as 15 minutes. I will, however, use the 15 minutes for the next batch.

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