Dried fruit is the can jam ingredient for December. I must admit to being perplexed by the choice. I was sure we’d be seeing cranberries in full force around blogland. And while I do occasionally try a new recipe just for the fun of it — brandied apricots, for example — I usually do that because I have a glutton of fresh fruit I need to preserve. Dried fruit is just not something I was excited to tackle. But I’m no party-pooper either and I fully intended to finish this can jam so I figured the best way to get behind this challenge was to make it seasonally appropriate — if not seasonal — and booze-y. To that end, I give you fruitcake in a jar just in time for Christmas:
FRUIT: 1 orange, 1 lemon, and 12 ounces dried fruit (8 ounces pineapple, almost 3 ounces currants, and about an ounce of apricots)
SOURCE: grocery store
COST: probably about $10
RECIPE: from the food lover’s guide to Canning, Grand Marnier Preserves
slice an orange and a lemon into .25″ slices, discard the seeds and ends
Combine 2 c water, .25 c granulated sugar, .25 c packed brown sugar in a saucepan.
Add a vanilla bean, cut in half and scrape the seeds, to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the orange and lemon slices and 12 ounces of diced dried fruit (I used pineapple, currants, and apricots) and boil over medium heat, stirring often, for about 35 minutes until the fruit is very tender.
Remove from heat and stir in .25 c Grand Marnier. Remove the vanilla bean and ladle into hot half-pint or quarter-pint jars. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.