Blueberry Jam

  • 10 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 a lemon

Yield: Two 500 ml jars of jam.

Use your largest pot when making jam. It needs to be big enough so that the fruit goes no more than 1-2 inches up the sides of the pot. If you want to double the batch, use two pots – one pot for each batch of jam. Otherwise, your jam might not thicken up.

Put the blueberries in the pot on low, then heat the fruit slowly until a gentle boil is reached.

Add the sugar and lemon juice, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until a teaspoon of hot jam sets on a cold plate (see below), about 20-25 minutes.

Just make sure you keep stirring the jam as it cooks or it will burn, especially in the last stages of cooking.


Cold Plate Test for Jam

Put 3-4 small plates into the freezer when you start cooking the jam.

When you think the jam is almost ready, take one of the plates from the freezer and spoon some hot jam on the cold plate. Tip the plate to one side. If mixture is thin and pours off the plate, it’s not ready yet. The jam should be thick and run slowly along the plate.


Preparing Jars and Lids

While the jam is cooking, prepare your jars and lids. To do so, fill a large pot or canning kettle with enough water to fully immerse your jars in 1 inch of water.

Bring jars to a boil, then reduce to medium, keeping everything at a nice gentle boil while you wait for the jam to finish cooking. Pre-heating the lids and rings is not necessary.


Canning

When the jam is ready, remove the jars from the hot water by inserting a wooden spoon or tongs into the jars then tipping the water out as you lift the jars out of the pot.

Place an open-mouthed jar funnel into the top of the jar, then pour the jam into the jar through the funnel, leaving a ¼’ of space at the top of each jar for expansion.  If you spill jam on the rim of the jar, wipe it clean with a damp paper towel – not a kitchen cloth as it may not be sterile.

Put a lid on the jar and tighten it (not too tight), then put the jar back into the hot water using the jar lifters.

Continue with the rest of the jars until all the jam is done, then boil the jars for 5 minutes. Make sure the water covers the jars by 1 to 2 inches during processing.

Remove jars from hot water with the jar lifters and set on a tea towel to cool. You will hear cheerful popping sounds as the jars cool down- this is normal and means that the jars are properly sealed.

Enjoy your beautiful jam on freshly baked bread, baguette or croissants – or simply on a spoon, straight out of the jar.

 

Chez Clo Tourtiere

Tourtière Filling

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp. savory, sage or thyme
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp.nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) large-flake rolled oats

Saute onions over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add celery and cook another 2-3 minutes together, then empty vegetables into a large pot.

Saute beef and pork until meat loses its pinkness, then transfer meat into a large pot with the onions, water, parsley, savory, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Bring meat mixture to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost evaporated, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in rolled oats. Let cool for 30 minutes. While the meat is cooling down, you can make the pie crust.

Preheat oven to 425.

Crisco No-Fail Pie Crust

  • 5 cups flour (635 grams)
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ cups shortening (320 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add room temperature shortening. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until rough crumbs.

Beat egg, water, and vinegar together, then pour over flour mixture.

Stir mixture together with a fork until moistened.

Divide dough into four equal size balls, roughly 300 gm each. Flatten balls into 4-inch disks, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge, or 3 weeks in the freezer.

Roll out pie dough, then put it in a deep 9″ pie plate (Pyrex is best).

Fill with half the meat mixture. Roll out another 10″ circle of pastry and put it on top. Crimp edges of pie with a fork then trim the overhang. Cut vents into the top for steam to escape.

Repeat for the second pie, then mix in a cup and brush over both pies:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) milk

To Bake

Preheat oven to 425F. Bake first 15 minutes at 425F to make the bottom crispy, then reduce heat to 350 until pastry is golden and filling piping hot, about 40 to 45 minutes.) Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve tourtière with pickled beets, chili sauce or salsa.

Crusty No Knead Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf

  • 6 cups flour (800 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast (6 grams)
  • 3 teaspoons salt (16 grams)
  • 3 cups cool water (600 grams)
  • Cornmeal and sesame seeds as needed

In a large bowl, stir flour, yeast, and salt together. Add the water, and stir until you have a wet, shaggy dough, about 30-45 seconds.  Cover bowl and let rise 12-18 hours at room temperature. The dough is ready when the surface is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Don’t be alarmed if the dough is super runny. It will firm up. Sprinkle dough with a little flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rise another 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has doubled in size again.

A half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees and put a heavy pot with the lid on inside the oven. (Cast iron or enamel pots work best, but the high heat will ruin the look of your enamel pot over time).

Carefully remove pot after 30 minutes, cover the bottom of the pot in a layer of cornmeal (so the bread doesn’t stick), then pour the dough into the pot and finally – sprinkle the top of the dough with sesame seeds.

Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 20-30 minutes, until loaf is dark, golden brown. Cool on a rack, then cut a huge slice, slather it with homemade apple butter, maple syrup or strawberry jam, and be transported straight to heaven.

Pets des Soeurs or Nun’s Farts

Ingredients

  • Leftover pie dough, puff pastry dough, etc.
  • Soft butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

Directions

Roll dough into a  rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

Spread a layer of butter over the dough

Sprinkle brown sugar over the butter until the square is well covered, then cinnamon to taste.

Roll dough tightly into a log shape then slice into 1/2 inch pieces.

Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Galette des Rois

Preheat oven to 375

Pastry

  • 1 box puff pastry


Filling

  • 13/4 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • zest from 1/2 an organic orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 whole almond or bean

Glaze

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.

Roll out one piece of puff pastry and cut into a 10 circle using a pot lid or plate as a template. Place dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out the second piece of dough to the same size, place on top of the first circle, then chill both together for thirty minutes.

To make the almond filling, mix together the almond meal, the two sugars, the salt and the orange zest. Add butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the eggs yolks, one at a time, then the almond extract and rose water.

Remove the almond filling from the refrigerator. Remove one of the circles of dough, set aside. Spread the almond filling on the circle of dough still on the baking sheet, stopping 1-inch from the edge.

Place an almond or bean somewhere in the almond filling.

Brush water generously around the exposed perimeter of the dough, then place the other circle of dough on top. Press down firmly to seal the edges.

Decorating Galette

Flute the sides of the galette by planting two fingers a ½ inch apart on the edge of the galette, then pulling the dough in between the fingers with the tip of an upside down paring knife to create a scalloped edge. Continue all the way around the galette.

To decorate the top of the galette, cut 5-6 lines in the top of the cake, from top to bottom. Between these lines, cut a series of diagonal lines, half up, half down (like veins on a leaf), ½ apart, from top to bottom.

Stir together the egg yolk and milk and brush evenly over the top. Avoid getting the glaze on the sides, as it will stop the pastry from rising at the edges.

Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam escape while baking. If the galette puffs up too much while baking, poke a few more holes in it to release the steam.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat, and cool on a rack. The galette will deflate as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.