Category Archives: Cryptic Canning

Pancakes – Summer Edition

 You’ve probably noticed by now that I post a lot of pancake recipes…what can I say?  Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I love to indulge once and awhile.  From my classic pancake recipe to gluten free coconut pancakes, vegan chia seed pancakes and finally, everyone’s favourite blueberry pancakes, I really have expressed a lot of love for this dish!

Cherry Pancakes

Cherry Pancakes

This week, I happened to eat pancakes TWICE.  I’d like to say that this was because I felt entitled to a big breakfast after a hardcore workout, but sadly this was not the case. I went cherry picking a few weeks ago and on this particularly lazy summer Sunday, I decided to crack open one of the jars of preserved cherries and make some pancakes out of ’em.  I used my classic pancake recipe and sliced up a cup of cherries, reserving any extra juice.  I carefully placed the cherries on the pancakes after pouring the batter in the pan, to keep them evenly distributed.  I stirred in the reserved juice with a half cup of real maple syrup, which added an extra pop of cherry flavour.  Fresh cherry pancakes were a real treat, and made for a decadent breakfast!

This week was also my last day of my contract.  For the past year I’ve been producing a pre-school show called Creative Galaxy for Amazon Prime, and sadly, the show was wrapping up.  My director took us out for lunch to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, or “b’lunch” as they like to call it (when did ‘b’lunch become a thing?).  I knew exactly what I wanted to order – their infamous blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry Pancakes, Mildred's Temple Kitchen

Blueberry Pancakes, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

“Mrs. Biderhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes” are a must-have if you live in Toronto.  Thick, rich, fluffy cakes are topped with Lanark County maple syrup, wild blueberry compote and whipped cream.  I have a bottomless stomach, but even I was hard pressed to finish this tower or goodness (well, I also ordered a side of bacon…).  I’m not sure who Mrs. Biderhof is, but apparently she has been making people happy since 1989, so says the little caption on their menu.  Today she made me very happy, if not a bit sleepy!

 

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

My best friend and I wanted to can as many fruit as we could this year and so far we’ve tackled strawberries, and now, cherries.  We planned a whole slew of recipes for the pounds of cherries that we picked including sour and sweet cherry jam, sour cherry jelly, rosemary pickled cherries, bourbon soaked cherries and finally – these tart cherry coffee preserves.  7 hours of pitting and canning later…we had ourselves a whole stack of freshly canned cherries!

Sampling all the different cherry products we made was very interesting, and determining which ones worked better with sweet versus sour cherries.  I preferred the jams and preserves we made using the sour ones.  They balanced out the sugar better and gave the flavour more dimension compared to the one note sweetness from the sweet cherries.

This preserve recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Canning Late Summer 2015 edition magazine.  The one small change I made was to double the amount of coffee beans, as the coffee flavour compliments the cherries so nicely I wanted to highlight the bitter flavour a bit more. The coffee beans also helped to bring out the tartness of the cherries, making for a lovely, syrupy-but-not-too-sweet preserves.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with these delicious preserves at first, but inspired by the usual pairing of bread, cheese and jam on a charcuterie board, I decided to make some crostini.  I wanted to keep the crostini light and simple, so I picked up a baguette and some goat cheese from  my local bakery.  The crunchy baguette and creamy goat cheese held up nicely with the rich cherry preserves, making for a delightful summer appetizer, or a festive party dish come the holiday season!

 

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Yield: 6 half pints of preserves

8-10 crostinis

Calories per serving: 67 calories per tablespoon of cherry preserves

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Preserves should be made a day in advance so that they have time to cool.

Ingredients

    For the cherry preserves
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice (you will have enough juice after pitting your cherries)
  • 1/2 cup strong whole coffee beans
  • 6 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups fresh, pitted sour cherries, quartered
  • 1 6-oz package (2 foil packages) liquid fruit pectin
  • For the crostini
  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 76 grams goat cheese
  • olive oil - for brushing
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

    For the cherry preserves
  1. In a small saucepan bring cherry juice to boiling. Add coffee beans. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving juice. Discard coffee beans.
  2. In a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot combine the reserved cherry juice, the sugar and cherries. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  3. Ladle hot preserves into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim, place lids on jars and screw on bands until they are just tightened.
  4. Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.
  5. For the crostini:
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Slice baguette diagonally into half inch slices and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Arrange baguette slices on a large rimmed baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes, flip crostini and bake 8 minutes more.
  9. Let cool before topping with goat cheese and a spoonful of cherry preserves.
  10. Serve with some Campari for a truly delicious starter.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/08/01/cherry-coffee-preserve-goat-cheese-crostini/

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Picking

Last weekend, I spend a beautiful summer’s day picking cherries.  The sun shone down on a field full of bright cherry trees, and my girlfriends and I spent hours filling up our baskets and taking silly photos, it was a sublime way to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon.  I love taking my time picking cherries, searching for the perfect one and pretending for a moment that I live on a farm and am able to grow and pick my own food all the time.  One day, I want that dream to come true!

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

We picked sweet cherries and sour cherries and planned to make lots of jam, pies and preserves.

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Look at these radiant sour cherries!  They covered the trees like pretty ruby gems.

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

Cherry Picking, Puddicombe Farms

We picked A LOT of cherries.  I’m a little scared about how long it will take to pit all of them.  Stay tuned!

What are your favourite fruits to pick in the summer?