Sweet Relish

Continuing my condiment making from the Fruit Keptchup. This relish is perfect for burgers and hot-dogs.

Total Yield : 3.5 pints (7 half pint jars)

Ingredients :
2 lbs small pickling cucumbers
2 onions
6 green bell peppers
1/2 cup salt
5-6 cups sugar
2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
4 cups white vinegar
* optional: green food coloring


1. In a large bowl combine the vegetables.
I ran the onions and bell peppers in the food processor because I’m lazy but diced the cucumber.

2. Add the salt.

3. Cover with cold water. Mix well.
Set aside to brine/macerate for 12 hours.

4. When everything had time to make friends in the salt bath. drain everything. Press down on the vegetables to extract as much water as you can.

5. Add 5-6 cups sugar (depending on how tangy you like it).

6. Add the spices.

7. Add the white vinegar.

8. Stir to combine. Turn the heat on to a medium-low and allow to reduce for 1-2 hours.

9. Once reduced it will look like this.

10. Totally optional, but you can add a few drops of green food coloring at this point to bring back the green of the vegetables vs the yellow of the turmeric.

11.Scald 7 half pint jars. Distribute the relish into the jar.

12. Process for 10 minutes then allow to cool fully.


Fruit Ketchup

I did a large batch of canning as gifts for my family. I found (well, ok, asked the gatekeeper of all her old typewritten cards to send me a copy) my grand-mother’s recipe and proceeded to fill the house with steam. It was worth it! This was my set-up at the beginning of the day…


First up is Canadian Fruit ketchup. A classical condiment; I associate it with meat pies at Christmas.

Total Yield : 6 pints (12 half pint jars)

Ingredients :
6 tomatoes
6 peaches
6 pears
6 apples
6 onions
2 green bell pepper
4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
3 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices



1. Peel the tomatoes.
Carve an X into the bottom of the tomatoes.

2. Dunk the tomatoes into a small pot of boiling water.

3. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.

4. The peel should come right off. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.

5. Dice and put in a large pot.

6. Same process for the peaches. make a cross on the pointy bottom side.

7. Put in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

8. Transfer to ice water.

9. Remove the skins.

10. Dice the peaches and add to the pot.

11. Peel, core and dice the pears. Add to the pot. I used Forelle pears, but use what you like.

12. Peel, core and dice the apples. Add the vinegar to stop the pears and apple from turning brown.
13.  Dice the green pepper and add to the rest.

14.  Pulse the onions though a food processor to make sure no large chunk remain. Add to the pot.

15. Add 3 tablespoon salt and 4 cups sugar.

16. As soon as you start to mix in the sugar it will start drawing water out of the fruits and everything will start to float.
Turn on the heat to medium.

17. Time to put in the pickling spices.
If you have cheese cloth of a mousseline bag use that. I didn’t, so I used a tea ball.

18. Stick you spices into the pot.
Allow to stew/reduce for an hour and a half, at least.

19. It should start looking like this.

20. Remove the spices and discard.
Scald 7 half pint jars. Fill with warm fruit ketchup.

21. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully.
Repeat with 5 more jars.

“Snapdragon” preserve

Delicious and boozy. Notes and quantities here, recipe of at the spicetrekkers’ website here.

1 cup dark rum
1¾ cup dried apricots (370g)
2 cups dried figs (460g)
2 cups raisins (300g)
1¼ cups cane turbinado sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
½ cup whole almonds
5 cm cinnamon
1 vanilla bean


  • Cut apricots in half
  • get large dried figs and cut in 6ths

Bourbon Cherries

These are succulent and decadent. Good over ice cream. Good in sauces. In cocktails. On their own with a spoon and a straw to get every last bit of the boozy syrup.

3 lbs cherries
2 1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup Grand Marinier
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 bourbon vanilla bean
pinch of salt



1. Cut the cherries in half and remove the pits.

2. In medium-large sauce pan combine the water, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and allow the bean to infuse for 5 minutes.

3. Add the bourbon, grand marinier and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine then bring back to a boil.

4. Scald 7 half-pint jars. Stuff full of cherries.

5. Pour the hot syrup over the cherries, leaving as best you can 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.
These vented quite a bit, so the next time I’ll let them cool slightly in the water before removing them.

Tomato Sauce

I got together with a friend earlier this fall to process all the tomatoes in the world… One of these 50lb bushel to be exact. We made crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

This recipe is for the later. It makes for a delicious, light, tomato sauce. Can be used as-is as a base for soup or gazpacho or simmered into proper sauce.

12 lb tomatoes
1/4 tea spoon citric acid per pint


1. Weight out 12 lb of tomatoes and wash them.

2. Remove the stem and quarter the tomatoes (seeds and skins and all). Put into a large pot and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Then simmer uncovered for a further 20 minutes.

3. Scald 7 pint jars for 5 minutes then drain.
Add 1/4 tea spoon citric acid to each jar.

4. Pass the tomatoes through the coarse blade of a food mill to remove the pulp/skin/seeds. This is everything from that 12 lb batch, btw. There’s not that much mulch to remove.

5.  Add up to 4 teaspoon of salt to the sauce, to your preference.

6.  Process for 15 minutes.

7. Allow to cool fully.

Red Wine beets

I like pickled beets. I like them on their own. With pâté chinois. With sweet potatoes and goat cheese. But the ones available in store tend to be heavy on the vinegar. These are just perfect. And so easy to make! 1 pound of beet gives roughly 1 pint, so scale accordingly.

3 lb of beets
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
Olive oil
black peppercorns
salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Brush and peel the beets. Put on a baking tray line with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roll the beets around a bit to coat them well.

2. Cover with foil.

3. Roast for 1h or until tender. Remove foil and allow to cool until they can be handled.

4. Combine the red wine vinegar, water, honey, brown sugar and red wine in a pot. Bring to a boil. Sterilize 3 jars. Add a few springs of thyme, 1 of rosemary and 1/2 teapoon of black peppercorns to each jar.

5. Slice the beets and stuff into the jars. Ladle the hot brine over the beets. Leave 1/4″ of headspace. Wipe the rims, add the covers and process for 10 minutes.

6. Allow to cool fully and check the seal of the jars.

Boozy strawberry and lavender jam

Super simple recipe, easy to make and very tasty. However be careful with the lavender. Most lavender springs sold by florist have lavender essential oils sprayed on them to intensify the scent… which makes them unfit for cooking.

1.5 kg of strawberries
1 cup of cider (but not ice cider)
1 cup brown sugar
2 table spoon of lavender flowers.


1. Wash and cut the strawberries. Put in a large, thick bottom pot with the sugar, cider and lavender flowers.

2. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Keep an eye on it, it will try to bubble over.

3. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries have completely broken down. Stir often.

4. Pour into sterile jars and process as usual for jam. Makes about 20 oz of jam.