Classic Jams

I’ve turned from my mom’s classic recipes to more fruit-forward jams. Get homemade jam recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
As a kid, jam making dominated the summer berry and fruit season. My dad grew much of the fruit: rows of strawberries ripened not long after school let out, and raspberries, boysenberries, and loganberries, which my dad started with cuttings from my grandfather’s vines, came on midsummer. Raspberries were always my favorite: I learned from my mom to fill small canning jars with fresh berries using a classic recipe straight out of the Ball Blue Book, with fruit, lemon juice, powdered pectin, and lots of sugar.

That last bit is the reason I’ve turned from my childhood recipes to updated versions using Pomona’s Universal Pectin whenever I want to can any jam with added pectin. It jells with little or no sweetener and is vegan (it’s extracted from citrus peel and activated by calcium). You can get about four batches instead of the usual one from each box of pectin, and although you risk a softer set, I’ve successfully cooked multiple batches at once. The first jam I ever made with it, more than 10 years ago and using a blend of berries, is still one of my favorites. I soon followed it with a version using my favorite sour cherries.
Learn to make Tart Berry Jam and Sour Cherry Jam

Advertisements

Canning Classics

I’m turning back the clock to classic canning recipes and my first steps in improving upon them. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
In looking back over the last 3 years of Twice as Tasty recipes, I realized there’s a gap in my story of home canning and other adventures in the kitchen. A lot of people have been asking for this story lately, usually phrased as “How did you get started making all of this?” I respond with my childhood food memories: gardening with my dad, canning with my mom, baking with my grandma, berry picking with my sister.

I’ve shared a few family recipes on the blog, but with canning in particular I’ve skipped over the recipes that got me hooked on home-canned food, jumping straight to those I love today. These newer recipes tend to be more complex in flavor and sometimes technique than the jars that filled my childhood and first adult canning cupboards. They’re worth every minute of extra effort. But this month I’ll turn back the clock to some classic flavors and my first steps in improving upon them.
Read more about classic canning recipes

More Rhubarb

Paired syrup and jam recipes highlight the essence of Twice as Tasty food. Get rhubarb recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I always think that I have plenty of ways to enjoy rhubarb, and then I come across another idea or recipe. It’s a good thing, because in my shaded, woodland garden, rhubarb grows all summer without bolting, and my two plants can easily yield what I need for this week’s recipes in one harvest.

These recipes highlight the essence of Twice as Tasty food: You start with one basic ingredient. You use it to its fullest extent. And you ideally come out of one prep session with multiple products—in this case, jars of syrup and jam. As you’ll see when you read the recipes, they’re heavily linked to each other. But they also build on two previously posted recipes that use gingerroot and vanilla bean. So really, all this multitasking in the kitchen uses three ingredients to their fullest extent and ties into four products. This is the kind of stuff I geek out on, but hopefully I’ve made it easy for you to enjoy the results.
Learn to make Rhubarb–Ginger Syrup and Rhubarb–Earl Grey Jam

Peanut Butter

You’ll fall for these peanut butter cookies that can be enjoyed year-round and dressed up for special occasions. Get cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Call it tradition, call it an excuse to eat sweets, but December calls most of us to bake cookies. My family’s cookie routine starts just after Thanksgiving, when we prepare Vanilla Bean Cookies and Chocolate Rum Balls so that they can “ripen” in time for Christmas. Many other cookies follow, with old favorites and new flavors filling the holiday platter when the family finally gathers.

Many holiday cookies only appear once a year, but I always add some all-occasion cookies to the plate. I tackled peanut butter cookies this year. These cookies have been around for close to a century, with most sources attributing the classic crosshatched pattern to a 1930s Pillsbury cookbook. But many recipes specifically avoid natural peanut butters and instead pile extra sweeteners onto commercial peanut butters already heavy on the sugar and hydrogenated oils. Recipes I’ve tried that call for freshly ground peanut butter turn out more peanut slab than cookie. By testing and tweaking basic cookie ratios, I came up with a version that can be enjoyed year-round and dressed up for special occasions.
Learn to make Freshly Ground Peanut Butter Cookies and Peanut–Ganache Thumbprint Cookies