adventures in canning

by @according2kelly on August 31, 2010

believe me when i say this, canning is simple folks. maybe a wee bit time consuming, but otherwise painless, totally easy & completely worth it. a cupboard filled with homemade goodness is like heaven on earth. your hubby will think you’re a godsend, your kids will be licking the jars clean, & let’s just say your neighbors and friends will be very, very impressed with your domesticated diva-ness. don’t worry, you don’t have to tell any of them how easy it is… it will be our little secret. ready to start our adventure in canning? here are some recipes to get you started. i wish i could say they were old family recipes passed down from generation to generation, but truth be told – they are come straight off the box (of sure-jell fruit pectin, that is).

the actual canning “process” is the same for all of the jams, the only difference is the ingredients. so, i’ve listed all the ingredients & then below you will find the instructions for canning. before you get started though, here are a few tips & tricks i’ve discovered to be super useful:

* the smaller the jam jar, the better. smaller jar sizes are better for some many reasons – less water needed in your stock pot when “processing” the jam, which means it takes less time for boiling. smaller jars are perfect for gift giving. plus, refrigerated jams are only good for 3 weeks – if you don’t go through jam all that quickly, a smaller jam jar prevents less spoilage. but, if you do go through jam super quickly, a smaller jam jar enables you to have more variety of jam, more often. the quicker you go through the small jam jar, the sooner you can open a new flavor.
* i think it’s easiest to use a potato masher to crush the fruit, you can also us a food processor, but i like my jam with little chunks of fruit, instead of velvety smooth – i don’t know, it makes it seem more “homemade.”
* after “processing” the jars, i like to let the jams cool upside down, as an additional means of ensuring the jars seal… you definitely don’t want to slave over a hot stove all afternoon, only to realize the next day that your jars didn’t seal properly!
* for perfectly sized, mason jar jam labels go HERE.
* for a great, hands-on, step-by-step guide to canning (plus a slew of recipes & tips) go HERE.
* while good on just about anything & absolutely everything, the best way to enjoy homemade jam is on homemade bread.

red raspberry jam
4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe red raspberries)
6-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 pouch CERTO or SURE-JELL fruit pectin

strawberry jam
4 cups prepared strawberries (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
1 pouch CERTO or SURE-JELLFruit Pectin

peach jam
4 1/2 cups finely chopped peaches (about 4lbs. peaches)
3 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
1 pouch CERTO or SURE-JELLFruit Pectin

raspberry peach jam
3 cups crushed raspberies (about 2 pt. raspberries)
1 cups finely chopped peaches (about 1lbs. peaches)
3 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
1 pouch CERTO or SURE-JELLFruit Pectin

BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.

CRUSH fruitĀ  (& mix in lemon juice if called for in recipe). measure exact amounts of fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot.

ADD sugar; stir. add butter to reduce foaming. bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. stir in pectin. return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. remove from heat. skim off any foam with metal spoon.

LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. wipe jar rims and threads. cover with two-piece lids. screw bands tightly. place jars on elevated rack in canner. lower rack into canner. (water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. add boiling water, if necessary.) cover; bring water to gentle boil. process 10 min. remove jars and place upside down on towel to cool completely for 24 hours. after jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (if lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

* store unopened & properly sealedĀ  jams in a cool dry, dark place up to 1 year. refrigerate opened jam up to 3 weeks.

5 comments
Emily
Emily

So happy I've stumbled across this blog! One question- can this canning method be used for any food item, not just jams?? I'm thinking of taking a stab at homemade sauce to stock up for the winter.

Chelsey
Chelsey

Hello... can you post the applesauce recipe??? Or just email it to me? Is it delicious? I want some.

Holly
Holly

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I can't wait to try your recipes!!

Amy
Amy

Thank you so much for this information! I have been wanting to learn how to can, but it is so scary looking. I can see now that it is really not that bad. I can't wait to try it:)

Kelly
Kelly

i know it works for salsa, etc. I'm sure it would work. But check out http://www.freshpreserving.com the site's full of great info! i'm a canning virgin, so definitely not an expert!

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