Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cream Cheese Raspberry Muffins

Cream Cheese Raspberry Muffins

Fresh raspberries and chopped walnuts dot these moist, cake-like muffins. The sweet drizzle of icing makes them pretty enough to serve to guests.

Phyllis Eismann Kansas City, Kansas

1 package (3oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
3 tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon 2% milk

In a small bowl, cream the cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and egg white; mix well. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in raspberries and walnuts.

Fill paper lined muffin cups three fourths full. Bake at 350F for 25-28 minutes or until toothpick inserts near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to wire rack to cool completely.

Combine confectioners' sugar and milk, drizzle over muffins.

YIELDS: 8 Muffins

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Apple Pie Jam - Homemade Food Gift

Apple Pie Jam

My husband and I love this jam so much, it tastes just like apple pie without the crust.

Audrey Godell Stanton, Michigan

4 to 5 large golden delicious apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 pounds)
1 cup water
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 pouch (3oz) liquid fruit pectin
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground mace, optional

In a dutch oven, combine apples and water. Cover and cook slowly until tender. Remove apply mixture from pan. Measure 4-1/2 cups apples; return to the pan (Save remaining apple mixture for another use or discard.)

Add sugar and butter to pan; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin; return to a full rolling boil. Boil 1 minute stirring constantly

Remove form the heat; skim off foam. Stir in spices. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Editor Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or lower. Add 1 minute to processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

YIELDS: 7 half pints

Holiday Cranberry Jam - Homemade Food Gift

Holiday Cranberry Jam

I make this tangy treat at Christmas for family and friends. I especially like serving it for brunch along with some muffins or toast and fruit.

Sandee Berg Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 medium orange, peeled, and broken into sections
1 carton (16oz) frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
3 cups sugar
1 pouch (3oz) liquid fruit pectin

In a food grinder or food processor, coarsely grind cranberries and orange sections. Place in a Dutch oven with strawberries and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in the pectin. Skim off foam. Carefully ladle into hot half pint jars, leaving 1/4 in head space. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Editor's Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

YIELDS: 5 half pints

Plum Apple Butter - Homemade food gift

Plum Apple Butter

Use sweet plums and tart apples to create your own spread for breads and crackers. This creamy, fruity butter is perfect for a little glow on a winter day!

Nancy Michel Lakeland, Florida

3 medium fresh plums, pitted and quartered
2 medium tart apples, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash ground allspice

Place plums, apples and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12 -15 minutes to until tender. Cool slightly.

Place in a blender, cover and process until pureed. Return all to the pan. Add sugar and spices, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

Cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks

YIELDS: 1-1/4 cups

Pear-adise Butter - Homemade food gift

Pear-adise Butter

Vanilla and rosemary accent this smooth spread that positively shouts "pears" throughout. Spread some on ordinary bread and you'll have a fruity feast.

Kristina Pontier Hillsboro, Oregon

4 cups pear juice
4 pounds pears, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean (3 inch) split in half lengthwise
3 fresh rosemary sprigs (4 inchs)
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

In a large saucepan, bring pear juice to a boil; cook for 30 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in pears and salt; return to boil, reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until pears are tender. Cool slightly

Transfer the pear mixture to a food processor, cover and process until smooth. Return to the pan; add vanilla bean. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 65-75 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally

Remove from heat. Discard vanilla bean. Stir in rosemary and vinegar; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Discard rosemary. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. 

YIELDS ; 2 cups

Blueberry Jam - Homemade Food Gift

Blueberry Jam

At the height of blueberry season, you'll find me making many batches of this scrumptious jam. It's both sugar-free and cholesterol-free, so it's perfect for everyone!

Fran Boise Marion, New York
1/3 cup thawed apple juice concentrate
1 envelope plain gelatin
5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pour the apple juice concentrate into saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soften for several minutes

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, finely chop blueberries, 1 cup at a time. Add lemon juice, spices and 2 cups of chopped berries to gelatin; heat over medium-low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in remaining berries and mix well.

Pour into jars or plastic containers; store in the refrigerator up to three weeks.

Yield: 4 cups

Cherry Rhubarb Jam - Homemade Food Gift

Cherry Rhubarb Jam

This tangy, sweet spread is jam-packed with cherry flavor plus a hint of rhubarb. My brother gives jars of it to friends during the holidays. It's so tasty on toast and muffins.

Faye Sampson Radcliffe, Iowa

4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 package (3oz) cherry gelatin
1 can (21oz) cherry pie filling
1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional

In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb and sugar; let stand for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally

Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, for ten minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Stir in pie filling and extract if desired. Transfer to jars; cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. 

Yields; 3 cups