Wow. I'm blown away.
We started this challenge as a way to give folks external motivation for taking advantage of local foods and putting it by. I didn't expect many participants - Cake and Commerce doesn't have a HUGE audience (many of you discover this blog by happenstance or Google search) - so it was great to see that a good handful of you, all with much better things to do than blog about a jam and liqueur challenge - decided to participate in September's Can-o-rama challenge (you can read about it here).
The challenge in September was to capture summer in a bottle - in both jam and liqueur. Here are the AMAZING projects you submitted:
Jen from Braise, Boil, Bake: Peach, Ginger and Vanilla Bean Jam (recipe on her blog)
Adrienne from Hungry Bruno submitted this luscious Cherry Liqueur - she was planning ahead!
Pam from Cave Cibum made this summery Raspberry Peach Jam, which she used to fill cookies:
Yvette from Queen of the Pantry submitted this recipe, which is one of many amazing recipes she has up her sleeve.
Amaretto Peach Pecan Preserves
2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup water (more if needed)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves or pecan pieces
3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
tsp Allspice, Five Spice, or Cinnamon
In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan combine raisins and water and let raisins soak until they plump.
Cut peaches into halves or quarters and combine them with the plumped raisins and water. Add zest and heat mixture to simmering until very tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in orange and lemon juices and return to a boil. Add sugar and spices and cook over medium heat, stirring very frequently with a flat bottom wooden spoon, until thick, about 30 minutes.
Test Mixture: Put a spoonful on a chilled saucer and let it cool; when saucer is held on edge, the surface of the jam should wrinkle.
Test temperature with candy thermometer – should be 220°F
Add the pecans and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in the Amaretto. Ladle into hot, clean canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Seal with new two-piece lids according to manufacturer's directions and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool, label, and store.
This is best if allowed to mellow in the jars for two weeks before serving.
Thank you so much to everyone for participating. I hope you'll consider cooking up your own version of the October Pear Challenge. You can find complete information here.