Pickled Okra from Food In Jars

Our friend, Marisa McClellan (who writes the Food In Jars blog) shared this recipe via the Mrs. Wages Newsletter earlier this month (click here to subscribe).

According to Marisa:

During my early canning days, I spent a week in Austin, Texas. It was there that I had the chance to try the most delectable fried okra I’d ever encountered. It transformed my opinion of this sometimes texturally-challenging vegetable and sent me running to the kitchen to try it as a pickle. It was transcendentally good. Pickling manages to eradicate the interior slime and just leaves you with a crunchy, brine-filled pickle. It’s a dream eaten alongside a plate of spicy food. 

Makes 4 pints

Ingredients

2 lbs okra, washed and trimmed
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp pickling salt
1/4 cup mixed pickling spices (1 tablespoon per jar)
4 slices lemon (1 per jar)
4 peeled garlic cloves (1 per jar)

Directions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular mouth pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
  2. Combine vinegar, 3 cups water, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Put a slice of lemon and a tablespoon of pickling spice into the bottom of each sterilized jar. Then pack the okra in, first laying them in so that the points are up. Then insert another layer with the points down, so that they interlock. Poke a clove of garlic in among the okra.
  4. Slowly pour the hot brine over the okra leaving 1/2 inch headspace. After all the jars are full, use a wooden chopstick to work the air bubbles out of the jars. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
  5. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes).
  6. Let these pickles cure for at least a week before eating.

Note: You’ll note that this recipe calls for you to make more brine than many of the other similarly scaled recipes. Because okra pods are hollow, they will absorb a great deal of the brine. When you’ve finished filling and bubbling all the jars, they will invariably require topping off. What’s more, the brine level will drop radically after you remove the jars from the canner: do not be alarmed. It has simply migrated inside the okra pods. There is no need to remove the lids to top off the liquid; as long as the seal is good, they are safe to store and eat.

 

Jam or Jelly Filled Muffins

Jam-or-Jelly-Muffins-(cropped)Great for brunches or a family treat, try making your own fresh blueberry jam or jelly with Mrs. Wages® Fruit Pectin Home Jell® Fruit Pectin or you can use prepared blueberry jam to save time.

Servings: 12 muffins
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberry jam or jelly
Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat; set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, egg and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  4. Spoon half of batter into 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups.  Place 1 tsp jam or jelly in the center of each; top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.  Serve warm with remaining jam or jelly.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee CakeCheck out this tasty coffee cake recipe from the kitchens of Mrs. Wages Kitchen.

Yield: 12 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb (about 6 stalks)
Topping
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place the sugar, butter, sour cream, milk, egg, baking powder, vanilla and salt in a large bowl; beat until smooth.
  3. Stir flour into sugar mixture until well blended.  Fold in rhubarb.
  4. Transfer batter to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  5. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter,
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Serve warm.

In Search of Perfect Pepper Jelly

Green Pepper JellyJust the other day, I received a question from Alisha about pepper jelly:

I’m looking for a pepper jelly recipe, that utilizes a large variety of hot peppers (jalapeno, habanero, serrano, etc), with the minced pepper fruit suspended in the jelly. Have you come across any? We had a dear friend that used to make it… but she passed, and never shared her recipe. I remember she said it contained 6 different peppers… they were a variety of colors. And it was remarkable.

This raises a few interesting questions:

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