Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Only At Christmas

Although these recipes would be great during all the colder months(and maybe during the warm temperatures as well), they are great additions to your Holiday table or even as gifts for family and friends to take with them once they have finished and are ready to roll out.

Sugar Plum Jelly

Many of you may have the powdered form of pectin already in your pantry. And YES, you can substitute one for the other. Liquid pectin is used in preserve, jam and jelly recipes that require cooking first while powdered pectin can be used in the same recipes, even if you aren't cooking them. One tablespoon liquid equals 2 teaspoons powdered.

In the recipes below, each pouch is 3-ounces, or 1/4-cup powdered if using. Double this in the following recipe. While Certo brand liquid pectin comes in 6-ounce pouches, Sure Jell comes in 3-ounce pouches. I also use the pink box at times, which is called "Sure Jell Liquid Pectin for Less". This means that the pectin will set up with less sugar and no sugar commonly found in most jams, jellies and preserves. Use dry as you would wet pectin.


2 cups plum juice(Sunsweet brand makes a great one)

3/4 cup sugar

Juice of one large orange, strained

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

2(3-oz)pouches liquid pectin*


In a food processor or blender, add the plums and apple juice. Pulse until plums are minced but still have small chunks throughout, about 10-15 seconds. In a large saucepan, bring plum/juice mixture, sugar, orange juice and grated orange zest to a boil over high heat, stirring almost constantly. . Stir in the pectin and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour into four half-pint jars. Seal with lids and refrigerate 6 hours, or longer, until set. I don't care for the uneasy spreadability of jelly so I always mix it up before using.
This is fantastic on any fruited quick bread or coffee cake, toast, English muffins or just plain ol' crackers.



Figgy Pudding Preserves

Although this recipe contains no figs, I substituted raisins. Many recipes call for this substitution in Figgy Pudding and if you want to stay true to the classic, use 1/2 pound fresh figs, trimming off both ends first before adding to food processor. Add, also, 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If using dried figs, boil 6 ounces in apple juice for 10 minutes, over medium heat, until starting to soften and plump. Remove from heat and let sit in hot juice for 1 hour. Add this to the food processor with candied ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue with recipe.

For a great, warm and homey taste and feel of "Yankeeville" during the Holidays, spread some of this comfort preserve on absolutely anything you desire.

2 cups apple juice

1 1/2 cup raisins

2 ounces candied(or crystallized) ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2(3-ounce)pouches liquid pectin

In a food processor or blender, pulse first 5 ingredients until ginger and raisins are pulp-like in size, about 1 minute. Remove to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the pectin and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and carefully ladle the jelly into four half-pint jars, leaving a half-inch space on top. Seal with lid and refrigerate until set, about 6 hours or longer.
Once this is set(as I do the Sugar Plum Jelly) I take a fork and mix it up a little so the raisins that may have settled on bottom while hot is mixed throughout evenly.

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