If your garden is anything like ours, you are currently experiencing an overabundance of (a) cucumbers, (b) tomatoes, (c) hot peppers, (d) green beans, or (e) two or more of the above. (The plethora of zucchini goes without saying; shred them, freeze them, and stay tuned for an updated blog post on baking with maple, coming to your inbox soon!) Time to pickle and can your garden’s bounty! Here are four recipes for preserving with maple.
There are general rules for substituting maple for white sugar in cooking and baking. To our knowledge, however, no such rules have been formulated for preserving food. (Correct us if we’re wrong!) We think that’s probably because the acid content has to be of a certain level to make hot water bath canning safe. So, general rules involving modifying existing recipes might not be considered safe. Or it could just be that we are cutting edge in our culnary tastes. Who knows!
What we know is that these four recipes for preserving with maple are really good. Enjoy!
Maple Pickled Hot Peppers (pictured above)
Wash, stem and slice hot peppers of any (or mixed) varieties and pack in clean jars of appropriate size.
Add a peeled clove of garlic and a sprig of fresh fennel flower (or substitute dill weed) to each jar.
Add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (or maple sugar). Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar.
Seal, store in the fridge and enjoy on . . . just about everything. The peppers become less hot and more yummy over time with just a touch of sweetness.
Maple Tomato Jam
Combine in a stock pot 5 lb. finely chopped tomatoes, 2 1/2 C maple syrup, 1/2 C lime juice, 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger, 1 tbsp red chili flakes, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
Boil uncovered for several hours until it’s a tacky mess.
Turn off the burner and leave, uncovered, until no water separates from the fruit when stirred.
Meanwhile, sterilize 6 or 7 half pint jars.
When the concoction is ready, stir for 2-3 minutes and fill sterilized jars to within 1/2″ of the top of the jar.
Wipe the top of the jar with a clean damp cloth or paper towel, affix lids and can in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
This stuff is excellent on grilled and broiled meats and hearty veggies of all kinds.
Dill n’ Maple Cucumber Pickles
Wash and slice cucumbers and pack in clean jars of appropriate size.
Add a dill flower, a peeled garlic clove and 2 tablespoons of maple sugar (or maple syrup) to each jar.
Fill with white vinegar and refrigerate until snack time!
Maple Dilly Beans
Wash and stem 3 lbs of green beans and place on end in sterlized pint jars (about 5). If the beans are too long, trim to fit the jar.
Add to each jar: 1 peeled garlic clove, 1 sprig dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1 nasturtium blossom (optional, but beautiful!).
Bring to a boil 2 1/2 C white vinegar, 2 1/2 C water, 2 tablespoons maple sugar (or maple syrup) and 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Fill each jar to within 1/2″ of the top with the boiling liquid.
Wipe the top of the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel, affix lids and can in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
Too darned good for words!