I first met Amy Bronee almost 3 years ago in Wenatchee, Washington's small airport. Both of us had flown in on a media tour sponsored by the U.S. Organic Trade Commission and we couldn't believe our lucky stars that we were seeing such a beautiful part of North America on someone else' dime. Over those few days in September, we wandered orchards, apple packing plants, and Pike Place Market together, bonding over our love of Coronation Street and good coffee. I remember watching Amy thrive in her element when we were given a preserving lesson at a Whole Foods in Seattle. This lady clearly loved to can. Amy's passion for preserves was so visible, I had no doubt then that she would one day write a book about it. And you know what? She's done just that! The Canning Kitchen is being released this month by Penguin and I couldn't be more proud of this lovely lady I'm fortunate to call my friend.
Photo by Amy Bronee
I've preserved a few things in my life, like apple butter and antipasto, and while it does take a little work, I'm always so pleased with the results. Amy's beautiful book has me wanting to do more of it this summer and fall, while produce is at its peak. Whether you are just new to the world of canning your own food, or a seasoned pro, you'll find lots of delicious recipes and helpful tips in The Canning Kitchen. Amy goes through the type of equipment you need and has written a step-by-step checklist to safely preserve each recipe. This is super useful to someone like me who knows a little but not a lot about canning. All 101 sweet and savory small batch recipes, from jams and jellies to chutneys and pickles, are beautifully photographed by Amy. I'm swooning a little over the Country Peach Cobbler Topping, Red Wine Cherry Chutney and Raspberry Cocoa Jam. Her book blends the traditions of home preserving with a bit of a modern spin. I'm inspired to hear the pop pop pop on my counter later this summer, and if you're a canner, you know what I'm talking about. Amy and Penguin Canada have generously shared her recipe for Salted Caramel Pear Butter (another stunner!) and the opportunity for you to win your very own copy of her book. Just leave a comment below telling me what you love to can or hope to learn how to can this year. Deadline is Thursday June 18, 2015. I look forward to your responses! Happy Canning!
Photo by Amy Bronee
Saskatoon Friends! Amy will be signing books here in our city Thursday July 9th at McNally Robinson Bookstore! The fun starts at 7:00 pm. Be sure to pop by and say hi!
Salted Caramel Pear Butter
What Amy has to say about this recipe: This decadent pear butter proves that dynamic flavour can come from just a handful of simple ingredients. Slow cooking turns pears, brown sugar, lemon juice and salt into a deeply coloured, sophisticated dessert sauce. Spread this between cake layers or spoon over vanilla ice cream. I love all things pear and all things caramel and I so can't wait to try this. Thanks Amy!
MAKES SIX 250 ML (1 CUP) JARS
8 lb (3.5 kg) ripe pears
2 cups (500 mL) brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
Rinse the pears under cool running water. Remove and discard the stems, peels and cores. Dice the pears, adding them to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Crush with a masher. Bring to a bubble over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Purée the pears using an immersion blender or standard blender. Stir in the brown sugar and lemon juice. Return to medium heat and let bubble for 80 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until darkened and thick. (You may need to lower the heat to medium-low and stir more frequently toward the end to prevent scorching.) Remove from the heat. Stir in the salt.
Ladle into 6 clean 250 mL (1 cup) jars, leaving a ¼ -inch (5 mm) headspace.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging for preparing lids for processing. Position new flat lids over the clean jar rims and secure in place by twisting on the screw bands just until fingertip tight. Not too tight—some air will need to escape during processing.
Place jars in water bath canner, covered by at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) boiling water. Cover canner and process for 15 minutes. Start timing when water in canner returns to full boil. When the processing time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Leave the jars in the canner for 5 more minutes.
Remove processed jars from the canner and leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten the screw bands while the jars are cooling. Once the jars are fully cooled, press the middle of each lid to check for a vacuum seal. If the centre of the lid is suctioned down, your jar has fully sealed.