Monday, March 4, 2013

Milk Jam 2K13


I received this book for recently, and I immediately knew it was right up my alley.  It's the kind of cookbook I dream of writing one day.  It has tons of recipes for preserving food, and then "real food" recipes using all the preserves.  It's categorized by seasons, which I love.  Obviously the winter recipes are a little sparse.  Needing to whet my canning appetite, I chose milk jam as the recipe of the day yesterday.  (I'll save Preserved Porcini Mushrooms for later.)

It's milk and it's jam. What's not to love? Not convinced? 


Now?  Thought so.  I am most intrigued by its use in coffee.  I've been drinking cold-drip coffee syrup mixed with water lately, and with the milk jam, I can envision the cafe con leche of my dreams. 

I set out to make it about 5PM last night.  We've been here before.  I boiled the milk, heavy cream, and sugar for two hours, as the recipe stated.  I set up all my canning supplies.  At this point, about 7:30, I'm feeling really good about my prospects of finishing the project at a decent hour. (And by the way, I had bread dough and pizza crust going as well.)  Do others engage in this behavior?  Just wondering. 




I put everything in the canner, seal it, and wait patiently for the pressure to rise.  (The recipe explicitly states to use a pressure canner.)  It rises.  To 1psi.  The recipe calls for 10psi.  An inordinate amount of steam is escaping from the lid.  Clearly I need a new gasket.  And a new gasket I do not have.

So I scrap the canning, put the jars in the fridge, and hope that perhaps a gasket will appear on my doorstep while I sleep.  

As that didn't happen, I went to the hardware store today and bought a new one and installed it in about 30 seconds.  Who knew how easy that was?  Aunt Jane, I'm looking at you. 

I pour all of the jars back into a pot today, heat up the milk jam, wash my jars, and start the process over. 


Canning was successful, but the milk jam came out a lot more like milk and a lot less like jam.  I'm not sure if this is right, but next time I want to cook it down further before canning.  I had a bit of extra that I left out of the canner and let cook on the stove. It turned into a perfect dulce de leche, which I spread over a piece of toast for a perfect Monday evening dessert.