So as anyone that has been reading the blog knows, I have been canning pinapple, which is a real treat, because when has Pinapple ever been so cheap that you can just can a whole years worth at a time.
Which brings me to a little story, a few canning recipes and nod to my Grandma D and my dear momma for sharing, teaching and passing those lessions on down.
I remember Grandma helping can when she came to the farm I was on as a little one, and and I believe this is Grandma Recipe, but if there is one thing I have learned is that with as many aunties as I have, there seems to be almost as many tweeks to these recipes as there are relatives.. so if you have a different version, let me know and I will add it.
So back in the day, pinapple was a HUGE treat and one that could not be easily come by for the average family, nor would it have stretched very far with the size of the family.
So along comes Mock Pinapple to the rescue. If at all possable you want to grow Marrow Sqaush, I can’t find it in any catalog these days but you can get it at seed-savers, or for me locally, I can find it at Seed Saturday still being raised each year by some familys that sell open and old seeds locally each spring. This is a huge oval yellow sqaush. In a pinch, you can use large overgrown zucchini, by which I mean at least two or three feet long and allowed to get quite hard but not fully ripe either, you can tell the difference by the seeds, if the seeds have turned to the point of being able to collect them, don’t use for this recipe.
When its ready to havest you can then peel it, and take all the seeds out, (Peels to piggy, seeds to chickens) and then you cut it into stripes and then cut the stripes into cubes that will look very much like a pinapple tidbit, Fill your big old steel roaster (the one that covers two burners for canning) and fill it up, measure your cups, and you want a 1 to 4 rato in terms of sugar, so if you have 40 cups of fruit, you want ten cups of sugar, mix the fruit and sugar together, slap the lid on and let it sit overnight on the counter.
In the morning, the sugar will have pulled the juice out of the marrow fruit and will be most likely covering the fruit, Put your pot on the nice med heat and start getting your jars ready, (cleaned, boiled and held in boiling water to keep very hot etc), now take three to six lemons and fine slice them, I am talking maralade thin, and then cut each wheel into six and add them and the juice to the marrow, at this point if you have it, you can also add one huge can of pinapple(but you don’t have to if you don’t have it). Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 to 40 min, you want the marrow to turn a golden clear color, they will look very much like pinapple when ready, then hot can like normal.. Remember to wipe your mouths down with straight vinager, not water to help make sure you are not bringing added germs into the jar. Hot water bath the jars for 15 min pints, and 20 min for quarts.
They will keep in good qaulity for up to two years and then start to lose firmness, at which point, you can use them in baking but they will not be as good for fresh eating. This is a way to take a very little pinapple and make alot of pinapple lookalike,taste a like.
Now of course, I can’t just stay with only that one way, I have found two other ways I very much like..
Extra Version one, Lose the Lemons (but replace with one cup of lemon juice) and add in one can of pinapple juice, it gives a added booster of flavor to the jars, and any extra juice can be canned and used as a base for a drink.
Extra Version two, replace the pinapple with fresh cut up peaches Dice the peach flesh into cubes, Take out six to eight cups of the hot marrow juice, and pour over your peach skins in a small steel pot, simmer, mash and then strain, putting that wonderful peach flavor back into the big batch, you can use as little as ten percent peach to as much as twenty-five percent peach and it will give you a peach cocktail mix that is lovely, and again, what a way to stretch a fruit out.
Extra Version three, just use the marrow on its own with bottle lemon juice added for the extra acid, and throw in a couple peices of fresh ginger in a cheese cloth back, it adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the batch without effecting the look of it. Of course remove the cheese cloth before starting to jar it up.
We might not be able to grow Pinapple in Canada but we certainly can have wonderful rows of jars of mock pinapple to enjoy though the winter.