Monday, June 20, 2016

Luscious Blueberry Turnovers

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A couple of years ago I found this great EASY recipe for puff pasty from Flour Me with Love and I've been making them ever since. The recipe is easy to follow and simplifies the whole tedious puff pasty process into one very simple to follow recipe.

These Blueberry Turnovers use that simple puff pastry recipe and homemade blueberry pie filling, or fresh homemade pie filling, and is amazingly delicious! Luscious flaky layers of sugary pastry filled with sweet and tangy blueberry pie filling = a flavor burst in your mouth!



Puff Pastry
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (sticks) cold butter
1/2 cup sour cream

Filling
Use Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling
Or to make it fresh:
3 tbls. Instant Clear Jel or cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbls water, to seal pastries (optional)
*If you use cornstarch, you'll want to dissolve it in cold water, rather than stir it into the sugar.


Method
To make the puff pastry: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add the cut butter slices and using the paddle blade, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles large crumbs. Mix in sour cream just until the dough begins to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board, and quickly knead it together.  Roll out into a 12 x 13-inch rectangle. Fold down the top half of the dough then flip up the bottom half so they overlap. Now fold in each side until they meet. You should have a nice neat square.  Dusting work surface again with flour, roll it out one more time repeating the folding. It will look much more uniform this time. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or dough can be frozen at this time.

To make the filling: (skip this step if using already canned homemade blueberry pie filling). Mix the sugar and Clear Jel till well combined. If you're using cornstarch, mix it with enough cold water to dissolve. Add the sugar mixture to the blueberries, tossing to combine. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon (and the cornstarch/water mixture, if you're using cornstarch).

Heat the mixture in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring, till the berries soften and fall apart. The mixture will be thick and jam-like, even though it doesn't really warm up much; this will take under 5 minutes. If you use cornstarch, cook and stir till the mixture bubbles and thickens. You can prepare the filling up to several days before; cover and refrigerate till you're ready to use it. You can also do this in a microwave; heat till the berries soften, then stir till they fall apart and the mixture thickens, like jam.

To assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the chilled dough into a 16" square. Cut 4 or 5 -  4 1/2-inch rounds. Re-roll the dough scraps, and cut 4 or 5 additional rounds, as many as you can get out of the scraps.

If desired, for a tighter seal, brush two adjoining edges of each circle with 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water.

Place about 2-4 tsp filling slightly off-center in each square. Fold the turnovers in half. Press the edges with a fork to seal.

Place the turnovers on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray or lined with parchment to catch any spills. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a deep, golden brown; you will see some of the filling beginning to ooze out.

Remove the turnovers from the oven, and cool on a rack. Serve warm, or at room temperature. For a really decadent treat, serve with a side of vanilla bean ice-cream.

Yield: 8-10 turnovers



Options: 
Strawberry pie filling
Cherry pie filling
Caramel Apple Jam

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Blackberry Chipotle Glaze

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I nabbed the original recipe for this from SB Canning, and made a few adaptations to make it my own. This Blackberry Chipotle Glaze is tangy and smoky with a pretty good zing of heat! It would be great on grilled chicken, pork chops, ribs, or even lamb chops.



We were tasting it with spoons dipped in it before I even put it in the canning jars. YES, it is that good and husband approved. He can't wait to get grilling with it.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Old Fashioned Southern Squash Pickles

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So why do we pickle vegetables? Well in the South in particular, it became a way of preserving summer's bounty when little to no refrigeration or freezing was available. Summer Squash Pickles, Bread and Butter Pickles, Pickled Okra, Dilled Green Beans and more became a way to "put things up" to enjoy year round. 

Brine squash in salt and water
It is rumored pickles were one of Cleopatra’s prized beauty secrets. They make appearances in the Bible and in Shakespeare’s writing. Pregnant women have been known to crave them along with ice cream. Pickles have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 2030 BC when cucumbers from their native India were pickled in the Tigris Valley. The word “pickle” comes from the Dutch pekel or northern German pókel, meaning “salt” or “brine,” two very important components in the pickling process. Throughout history pickling was a necessity, as it was the best way to preserve food for a long period of time. As one of the earliest mobile foods, pickles filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and travelers, while also providing families with a source of food during the cold winter months.

make sauce and pour over drained, brined pickles
Home pickling was made much easier and more sanitary during the 1850s, when two essential canning tools were invented. First, a Scottish chemist by the name of James Young created paraffin wax, which helped to create a seal for food preserved in jars. A few years later, John Mason developed and patented the first Mason jar. Mason’s jars were made from a heavyweight glass that was able to tolerate the high temperatures used in canning and processing pickles. (Source: Our State.com)

Using a slotted spoon, add squash to prepared canning jars
Cover squash pickles with sauce

Recipe
Ingredients
10 small firm yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup canning salt
3 cups sugar
3 cups white vinegar
2 tsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. turmeric

Method
In a large stock pot, add sliced yellow squash, zucchini and onion. Sprinkle 1/2 cup canning salt over all, cover with cold water and let sit 2 hours. Drain, but do not rinse and set aside.

In a large saucepan, add sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil over medium high to high heat, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and pour mixture over drained squash. Let sit 30 minutes, stirring once in awhile to thoroughly blend.

Using a slotted spoon, fill prepared jars (wide mouth pint jars work best), pushing vegetables down in jars. Ladle hot liquid over vegetables leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Use a plastic knife and move up and down around sides of jars to remove air bubbles; top with more liquid if necessary,

Cover jars with lids and rings and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes. Remove jars from water bath and let sit on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when button in middle of lid is depressed and can't be moved.

Store in pantry up to 1 year. Opened jars must be refrigerated.

Cooks note - recipe is easily divided or doubled. Vinegar and Sugar ratio is 1:1 so adjust accordingly along with spices (less spice when divided, more spice when doubled).

Yield: 6 wide-mouth pint jars

Process in boiling water bath, cool and enjoy

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
content.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pineapple Mango Jelly with Mango Habanero Whiskey

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So what do you do when you receive a bottle of Ole' Smoky Mango Habanero Whiskey? Well, over and above taking a sip or two, make jelly of course! That's the very first thing I thought when our friends brought us some after their recent trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. But what fruit would taste good with it? Obviously mango, but then I thought, hmmmmm why not pineapple? Oh yes! That was my revelation one night and I just knew it was what I wanted to do.


This jelly is sweet from the fruit, with a bit of a bite from the habanero in the whiskey. Just a hint, nothing over-powering, so it makes it pleasing to most palates. Try it over cream cheese on crackers, or heat it up a bit and baste it on grilled chicken, pork or lamb kabobs for a delicious "kick."


Recipe
Ingredients
1 - 20.5 oz. can Dole Pineapple tidbits (2 cups), drained reserving liquid
1 - 15 oz. can diced Dole Mango, (1 1/2 cups), drained discarding liquid
2 tbls. lemon juice
1 cup reserved pineapple juice
1 cup Ole' Smoky Mango Habanero Whiskey
1 pkg, Sure-Jell
7 cups sugar

Method
In a large stock pot, add pineapple tidbits, diced mango, lemon juice, reserved pineapple juice, whiskey and Sure-Jell. Heat over high to medium-high heat, stirring often until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Add sugar all at once, return to a rolling boil, stirring often to prevent sticking. Boil hard one minutes.

Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, add fruit evenly to each of 7 - 8 oz. prepared jelly jars; ladle liquid over each jar leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Top jars with lids and rings and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Remove jars from water bath and let sit on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours. Slightly shake jars during the cooling down process to evenly distribute the fruit in the jelly.

Store on pantry shelf up to one year. Opened jars must be refrigerated.

Cooks note - some jellies take as long as 48 hours or more to "set up." Be patient as this one may take a bit longer than others due to the alcohol content.


Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
content.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Old Fashioned Blackberry Jam

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Nothing better than this Old Fashioned Blackberry Jam when those sweet summer berries are in season.


We recently traveled to M&M Farms, located not too far from me in Turbeville, South Carolina. We had been referred to them by another farm friend, so I was anxious to go and see what they had to offer. Awaiting us when we arrived were gallons and gallons of just picked fresh blackberries ready for us to load into the car. Huge, sweet and juicy ... blackberries. They are gorgeous!


I knew right away I'd be making this blackberry jam! It's a favorite of my daughters, and one that's simply amazing spread on fresh toasted sourdough bread or English muffins.


Did you know? The antioxidants in berries can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best sources.

There are several powerful antioxidants that appear in berries, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age-related memory-loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin C is another strong antioxidant found in berries. It is largely responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C–rich berries will contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration. (source: Joy Bauer)

When blackberries are ripe and in season, go get some and put them up in this delicious jam. You can also make a great Blackberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce following my recipe using blueberries, just substitute an equal amount of blackberries.


Recipe
Ingredients
5 cups crushed fresh blackberries
7 cups sugar
1 tsp. butter (to prevent foaming)
1 pkg. Sure-Jell powdered pectin

Method
Place berries, Sure-Jell and butter in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Add sugar all at once and return mixture to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop while stirring). Stir constantly and boil hard one (1) minute.

Remove from heat and ladle jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4" head-space. Cover jars with lids and seal with rings.

Process jars 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove jars and let cool on a kitchen towel on your counter top 24 hours undisturbed. Store on pantry shelf up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
content.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sweet and Tangy Vidalia Onion Jelly

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Sweet and Tangy Vidalia Onion Jelly is perfect served over cream cheese on crackers, added as a accompaniment to a charcuterie platter with cheeses, meats, olives, and crackers, or basted on grilled chicken or pork.


Recipe
Ingredients
1 3/4 cup dry white wine (can use cooking wine)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp. butter (to prevent foaming)
1 medium to large Vidalia onion, chopped roughly
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
2 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell (pectin)
4 -1/2 pint canning jars

Method
In a large stock pot stir together the wine, vinegar, onion, butter, black pepper and Sure-Jell.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil over med-high heat stirring constantly.

Quickly stir in sugars and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil and stir 1 minute; ladle mixture into 1/2 pint canning jars.

Put jars in boiling water bath with a rack on the bottom (any pot will do so long as the water covers the jars completely by 1-2").

Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat slightly and continue to boil 5 minutes. Remove jars from boiling water bath and allow to cool on a kitchen towel. Once jars are sealed (button on top of lid is fully depressed), gently shake jars from time to time to evenly distribute the onions and black pepper as the mixture is jelling.

Cooled jars can then be placed in kitchen cabinet; will keep for 6 or more months. Keep any open jars in the refrigerator.

Serve over cream cheese on crackers, or baste on pork or chicken when baking, grilling or roasting. Delicious!

Yield:  4 - 8 oz jars or 2 pint jars

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole

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This French Toast Casserole is the BEST I've ever made. Sweet and tart with the Caramel Apple Jam, it's a delicious treat anytime.


My Caramel Apple Jam is my most popular post ever, being viewed and shared over 33,000 times ... it made a great addition to this French Toast Casserole.

Recipe
Ingredients
1 small loaf of any bread, cut into cubes
8 large farm fresh eggs
1/2 cup caramel apple jam
2 tbls butter
cinnamon sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, or grease well. Dot pan with butter. Cut bread into cubes and place in pan over butter.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and pour over bread cubes. Spoon in caramel apple jam and stir well.

Sprinkle top well with cinnamon sugar and bake covered 30 minutes. Remove cover, add toasted pecans and continue to bake 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.


Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.