Strawberry Lime Marmalade

Hello world! I’ve been super busy these past few months, but I’m really thrilled that it’s finally farmers’ market  season here in the mid-atlantic. I will be flexing my canning and preserving muscles in the coming months in oreder to try to hang onto some of this wonderful summer flavor well into the winter. Strawberries are still coming into the markets right now, so I’ve been making jam and preserves. I thought I’d try something a little different with one of the batches I was working on so I modified a recipe out of the Ball Blue Book and created a gorgeous strawberry lime marmalade.

Now, I was a little hesitant to call this a marmalade because–for me at least–the word “marmalade” conjures up memories of a bitter orange jam. But the step of boiling the peel before you make the jam draws out all the bitter flavors and you are left with just a pleasant lime taste. Technically, anything with citrus peel in it is considered marmalade. So I went with it.

There are a couple of ways to get the peel you need. The easiest way is to use a vegetable peeler to peel thin slices of the rind and then chop that. But I was very concerned about bitter flavors and wanted to make sure I just got the zest, so I used a zester instead. (There is a picture with my Lime Icebox Cookies post of the tool I used if you are not sure what I’m talking about.) I needed to zest about 3 limes to get the amount that I needed.

If you are new to canning, I highly recommend the book Putting Food By as an excellent primer on all methods of food preservation.

Strawberry Lime Marmalade

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced lime peel
  • Two generous quarts strawberries, washed and hulled, any bad spots trimmed
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 6 cups sugar

Special Equipment

  • 7-8 half-pint jars with lids and rings, sterilized
  • Jar lifter
  • Jar funnel
  • Lid lifter
  • Boiling water canner

Method

Cover lime peel with water and boil 5 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid (trust me, it is too bitter to use for anything).

Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a very large pot (I use an 8 quart pot) and crush with a potato masher until there are no whole pieces and lots of juice has come out; it should measure about 4 cups. Add the drained lime peel, lime juice, and powdered pectin and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim the foam. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and rings. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Leave on the counter untouched for 24 hours before checking seals. Remove rings and label the jam. Store in a cool place. Any jars that did not seal can be stored in the refrigerator.

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Luscious Lime Ice Box Cookies

Food-091115-0004Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life has been crazy, between work and school and a hard drive crash on my home computer. But I’m easing back into it today with one of my favorite flavors: LIME.

Food-091115-0001I can’t take credit for this recipe, as it is just a minor tweak of the Grapefruit Ice Box Cookies from the book Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar by the amazing Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero. The original recipe is here, but I’ve listed it again below with my changes to make it limey.

While I thought the original recipe featuring ruby red grapefruit sounded excellent, my DH has an aversion to anything grapefruit. But after a foolish CostCo run recently where I found myself in possession of 10lbs of limes (why??), I decided to use some of them up on these cookies. And I am *so* glad I did! The sweet lime flavor of these cookies is so bright and citrusy, and the shortbread has just the right balance between tenderness and crispness. I love them!

Food-091115-0002DH loves them too…he walked into the kitchen this morning to announce that they were a hit, as he had eaten several for breakfast; I considered this a victory as he had seemed less than lukewarm about the lime idea when I had originally pitched it to him. Go lime!

Other modifications: I used waxed paper to roll up the cookies instead of parchment, and I baked them on a silicone baking mat. I was able to fit all the cookies on one cookie sheet, because they don’t spread out very much. Also, I really only needed about half of the glaze, so I cut the quantities in half for the recipe below. For the entire recipe, you will probably only need about 3 limes, maybe 4 if they are small. Remember to zest your limes before you juice them!

Luscious Lime Ice Box Cookies

IngredientsFood-091115-0003

For cookies:

  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons lime zest for sprinkling

Method

In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the margarine and shortening. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and beat until a soft dough forms. On a piece of parchment paper from the dough into a log about 14 inches long. Roll up in parchment paper and fashion the log into a rectangle by rotating and pressing the dough to square off the sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and slice rectangle into ¼ inch thick slices and place on cookie sheets. The end slices are going to be wack, that’s ok, just discard them or make 2 weird looking cookies. Bake 15 minutes, edges should be lightly browned. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze and assemble: In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together sugar, juice, and vanilla. It should fall from the fork in thick ribbons, if it seems to thin add a little extra sugar. Too thick, add more juice by the teaspoon. Spoon onto cooled cookies and spread a bit. Sprinkle with a little zest. Let set for at least half an hour. If it’s warm in the kitchen, place cookies in the fridge to set. Store in a container until ready to use.

Happy Road Fudge

lemon-091004-0003Fudge. Vegan fudge. Vegan fudge that I fed to mixed company today, and which made everyone squeal with chocolatey delight. No one said, “I can’t believe this is vegan!” They just smiled happily as they tucked away piece after piece. Except for Michelle, who called my fudge stupid because she couldn’t stop eating it, despite her diet.

This recipe is modified from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Theirs is called Rocky Road. Mine is called Happy Road.

It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, although you will probably notice that by the end of the week, the texture changes somewhat. It becomes a little denser and the marshmallows are a little less springy. But who am I kidding…it is so good that you won’t have any left by the end of the week anyways! So it is kind of a moot point.
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Happy Road Fudge

Ingredients

  • vegan shortening (or margarine), for greasing
  • 2 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/4 cup non-dairy creamer (I like MimicCream for this but have used others as well)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon corn syrup (or agave nectar or simple syrup)
  • 16 ounces dairy-free semisweet chocolate , chopped fine
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional)
  • 1 cup vegan marshmallows, chopped into small pieces (I like Sweet and Sara)
  • extra powdered sugar (optional, for working with vegan marshmallows which can be sticky business)
  • 1 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips

Put a pot of water on to simmer with 1-2 cups water.

Line an 8 inch square baking dish with foil, and use vegan shortening to generously grease the sides.

Whisk arrowroot powder into soy milk thoroughly, and set aside.

Toss chocolates, baking soda, and salt in medium heatproof bowl until baking soda is evenly distributed.

In a small saucepan, heat soy creamer and corn syrup until it just begins to boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the arrowroot/soy milk slurry. The mixture will thicken a touch. Pour over chocolate.

Whisk soy milk/creamer mixture, vanilla, and chocolate extract (if using) into chocolate, and set bowl over the saucepan containing simmering water. Stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is almost fully melted and few small pieces remain, 2 to 4 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Fold in marshmallows, peanuts, and chocolate chips. Transfer fudge to prepared pan and spread in even layer with spatula. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove fudge from pan and remove foil. Cut into squares. To cut nice neat squares, keep a clean damp dishtowel or paper towel handy and clean the knife before each cut.

Anything that doesn’t get eaten right away can be stored in the refrigerator. Use wax paper between layers to keep the fudge from sticking to itself, and enjoy within one week.

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