Category Archives: Boiling-Water Bath Canning

Food preservation that can be safely done in a boiling-water bath canner.

Childhood Flashbacks

When I was young, one of my favorite store-bought treats were mandarin oranges packed in light syrup. There was something so special about those tiny slices of citrus that made me smile!  As an (ahem) adult, I still receive the same amount of joy when cracking open a jar, only this time around they’re available in pint sized packaging!

Mandarin Orange Slices in Light Syrup

5 lbs Mandarin oranges

6 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and peel oranges (reserve peels for making a delicious candied treat), remove any pith or membranes on the fruit and section into slices.  If desired (or feeling a bit lazy), they can be kept whole or split into halves.

In a medium sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Fill hot, sterilized jars with orange segments (raw pack) and fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.

Process pints for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure in a weighted-gauge steam-pressure canner.  For a dial-gauge, process pints for 8 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure in a steam-pressure canner.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  All processing times are for sea level altitude only.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Recipe yields 7 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe from USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

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It’s citrus season!! What are you putting up?

During the frigid season of winter I look forward to two things: seed catalogs and citrus fruit!  Clementines may just be nature’s perfect fruit.  Underneath their thin-skinned peel lies a juicy-sweet, seedless burst of delicious sunshine!  Of all the citrus, clementines are my favorite!

Having never made marmalade, I felt the time had come to embark on that adventure.  Since citrus peels are naturally high in pectin, I decided to rely on this fruit’s own ability to achieve a semi-firm set and added just a touch of clear jel.  The consistency that resulted was perfect!

Clementine Marmalade – yields 4 half-pints

1.75 pounds of clementines

3-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

3 Tbsp Clear Jel – cook type

Day 1  Wash clementines and place in the fridge to chill; this helps to firm them up.  Cut fruit into halves then slice very thin.  Cut each slice in half to create small thin triangles.  Combine clementines, 3 cups of sugar, and lemon juice in a thick-bottomed pot and bring to a simmer.  Remove fruit mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl; cover, cool, and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2  Place fruit mixture back into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a light simmer.  Mix clear jel with 1/4 cup sugar, then add to the hot fruit mixture stirring well to incorporate.  Bring to a boil while gently stirring.  Once mixture begins to thicken (5 minutes) ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.  Wipe jars and store in a cool, dark place for a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from What Julie Ate

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Concord Grape Jelly

Two years ago I packed up my belongings and moved out.  I said farewell to a mushroom-growing dirt basement floor, 250 year-old drafty peg windows, and a glorious concord grapevine.  I never realized just how much I would miss those grapes!

While strolling though my favorite farmers’ market last September, I came across a stand that had fresh, locally grown concord grapes.  Knowing just how amazing homemade grape jelly is (it is the only jelly I will eat) I had to buy them!  Besides, if my brother found out I passed up an opportunity to make his all-time favorite jelly, I’d probably never see my niece again!!

Concord Grape Jelly – yields 7 half-pints

5-1/2 cups grape juice.  A good rule-of-thumb is one pound of grapes will yield one cup of juice.

3-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

3 Tbsp low-sugar flex batch pectin

Place washed, de-stemmed grapes into a stainless-steel pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Here is a little insider tip: freeze the grapes before making your jelly.  Why you ask?  When you freeze fruit it breaks their cell structure, which aids in releasing juice.  This is also a good way to store in-season fruit for jam/jelly making later in the season, which is what I did.  Once the grapes have begun to boil reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  While the grapes are cooking I gently mash them with a potato masher.

When your grapes have finished simmering, carefully pour them into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip into a large bowl.  It may take several hours for all 5-1/2 cups to be extracted.  Should you find yourself becoming impatient, you can speed the process along by gently squeezing the bag; however, this will most likely result in a cloudy jelly.  Place the juice on the stove over med-high heat.  Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the pectin and add it to the juice; bring the jelly mixture to a hard boil.  Add the remaining sugar, stir, and boil hard for one minute.  Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

When peaches were plentiful I canned them by the bushel!  Then, I started making spicy salsas and boozy jams.  I even puréed them into various fruit butters.  Eventually, only a few were remaining, and that was when I realized I had yet to make them into jelly.  Ever.

Typically, my jelly making adventures remain boring and predictable; I stick with grape.  If it weren’t for having a glorious grape-vine in the backyard of my last house, I probably would have never made jelly at all.  Honestly, I’m just not a fan.  I prefer spreading chunks of fruit on my toast, not congealed fruit juice.  But I will admit, homemade grape jelly from homegrown concord grapes is amazing.  Like really amazing!

One of the blogs I closely follow is Food in Jars.  Marisa is a wealth of knowledge and her recipes are inspiring!  The Food in Jars cookbook will be available Spring of 2012, and I can’t wait to flip through those delicious pages!  Marisa also offers canning classes at the Indy Hall kitchen, in Philly, which is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from me!  Early last Fall, I came across a post for tea-infused peach jelly.  It just so happened that I had a handful of white peaches in need of preserving!

White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

3 bags White Grape tea

4 large peaches, sliced

2 tbsp flex-batch pectin

In a large pot, simmer sugar and water; stir frequently ’til the sugar has dissolved.  Add tea bags and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes.  **Marisa used 5 tea bags in her jelly.  Since the tea I selected is quite flavorful, I did not want it to overpower the peaches, so I used three.

Add sliced peaches and simmer for another 10 minutes.  It is a good idea to taste the mixture regularly so you can monitor flavor intensity.  Once the flavors have melded to your satisfaction, strain the mixture through a jelly bag or fine mesh sieve.  Gently press down on the peaches to remove as much juice as possible.

Place the fruit syrup back into the pot and add pectin.  Bring to a hard boil and continue boiling ’til the jelly liquid reaches approximately 220°F.

Remove pot from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.

Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Test seals and any jars that did not set should be placed in the fridge and used within a week.  Store sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year.

Recipe yields two 1/2 pint jars and one 1/4 pint jar.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.

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Malibu Peach Jam

I miss Summer.  Like, really miss Summer.  I long for the days of sun-kissed skin and endless sunshine.  The blissful aroma of lavender and chamomile wafting through the air.  I want to chase butterflies and dig in the dirt.

When blustery winds and afternoon darkness wreak havoc on my serotonin levels, I turn to my canning pantry for comfort.  Hidden behind those double doors is a cornucopia of Summer’s bounty preserved in jars.  I’m  not sure why, but nothing radiates warm weather and sunshine like peaches and coconut.  They are true mascots of Summer!

Malibu Peach Jam – yields 7 half-pints

4 cups peaches, peeled

3 cups of sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup Malibu rum

Blanch peaches to remove skins.  Discard pits and mash fruit; add sugar and lemon juice.  Over med-low heat, cook mixture ’til sugar is dissolved; continue cooking for 10-12 minutes.  You can test the doneness of your jam by conducting a gelling test.

Once the jam is done, remove it from the heat and carefully stir in your liqueur.  Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, and process in a boiling-water bath according to your recommended altitude time.  For me it’s 5 minutes.  It may take about two weeks for your jam to reach a firm set.

Images and content copyright © 2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Vanilla Pear Jam

Over the Labor Day holiday I took a roadtrip with my mom, this also happens to be the same trip where I acquired Harvest.  While out and about we stopped at several local orchards to pick up an assortment of apples, pears, and peaches.  My original plan was to make an apple-pear sauce, then I found the following recipe by Marisa, from Food in Jars!

Vanilla Pear Jam – yields seven half-pints

8 cups chopped pears, I used red bartlett  (there is no need to peel thin-skinned pears)

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

4 cups sugar

1 packet liquid pectin

In a large pot, combine pears, sugar, vanilla seeds, and beans; cook over medium heat until the pears are soft enough to be mashed with the backside of a wooden spoon.  Remove the vanilla beans and mash with a potato masher.  You can also use an immersion blender, just be careful to not purée the jam, unless that is the desired consistency you want to achieve.  I like my jam to have pieces of fruit in it!

Add the liquid pectin and bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes to activate the pectin.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars; wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals (refrigerate any that did not set) and store in a cool, dry, dark place, for up to a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam

I’m guilty of having a draft box full of unfinished posts.  There are times during the year where I have too much going on to sit down and write!  Other times, I’m just too darn tired!  And it’s usually the latter! 😉  Now that the crush-window of my harvest preservation has passed, I’ve found myself reviewing those neglected (but not forgotten) posts.

I try to keep my posts as seasonally appropriate as possible.  Since it is Spring in Australia, cherries will soon be in season.  Forever the optimist, it’s always Summer somewhere!

Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam – yields approximately 5 half-pints

4 cups pitted cherries (I use and prefer sour cherries, but sweet will work just the same.)

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 cup cherry juice

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice **only if you are using sweet cherries**

2 Madagascar vanilla beans

1 tsp pure almond extract

3 Tbsp flex-batch pectin

Pit cherries over a bowl to catch all that wonderfully delicious juice!  If you want to prevent oxidation where the pit was removed, sprinkle on a bit of Fruit Fresh.

Place pitted cherries in a food processor and pulse several times to chop them up; do not purée them.  I first tried to mash them with a potato masher, but found that method to work best with softer fruits, like strawberries and peaches.

Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  In a large stainless steel sauce pot, combine cherries, cherry juice, lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and vanilla seeds.  Reserve 1/4 cup sugar to mix with the pectin (this helps to prevent pectin from clumping when added to the hot fruit), add the remaining 1-1/4 cups to the fruit mixture and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir in almond extract.  Add sugar-pectin mix to fruit and stir to incorporate.  Bring jam to a hard boil, one that cannot be stirred away, and cook for one minute.  Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint jars; wipe rims, adjust 2-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals, remove rings, and store in a cool, dry place for one year.

Be sure to give this jam a good stir before using, since most of the vanilla seeds tend to settle on the bottom of the jar!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

Early October I paid a visit to Nissleys, a favorite local vineyard.  While taking the self-guided tour of the grounds and winery, I ended up getting into a conversation with one of the horticulturists; it was bound to happen, he was wearing a tie-dye shirt and I had on a patchwork skirt.  We talked about stink bugs, a new species of fruit fly, and of course, food preservation.  Turns out he knew a jam guru that puts up thousands of jars a year.  Wow!  While trading insider tips, we ended up on the subject of quince.  I had never seen a quince, let alone worked with one, but it just so happened they were about to go into season!

Quince are a green fruit with a flavor combination similar to an apple and a pear.

Ten minutes after arriving home I was on the phone with my local orchards.  Jack pot!  Cherry Hill had them and they would be ready for harvest in about a week.  This gave me plenty of time for a bit of recipe research!

Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

2 lbs quince, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1″ pieces.  THAT was the biggest pain in my a$$!  Of course, the very next day I happened upon this tutorial.  Thank you Murphy.  You and your law can suck it!  :/

4 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped  (I used a mix of Winesap and Honey Crisp.)

3/4 cup water

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp mustard seeds

2 Tbsp cracked black pepper  (I used whole peppercorns and my mortar and pestle for this task.)

1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tsp turmeric

half bulb of garlic, minced

3″ piece of ginger, grated

5 Chinese 5-color peppers, seeded and minced  (They are a very small, hot pepper I grew this year.)

2 purple beauty peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cups cider vinegar

1 Tbsp pickling salt

2-1/3 cups light brown sugar

Place quince and water into a medium pot and bring to a simmer; cook covered until soft.  This took me about 40 minutes, but may take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 90, so don’t wonder too far!  Strain and set aside.

While your quince are cooking, begin to prep your remaining ingredients.  Once your ginger is grated, garlic is minced, etc, add the oil to a large sauce pot and turn the heat to med.  Add the mustard seeds and cook ’til they begin to pop.  Add the remaining spices (except for the salt) and stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Important PSA: Keep your face AWAY from the spicy steam unless you enjoy lung-burning, tear-induced, coughing fits, that hinder one’s ability to to breathe for the next 2 minutes.  I’m just sayin’.

Add garlic, ginger, and peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the apples and mix well, then add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and quince.

Stir the chutney, combining all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  If your chutney is thickening too fast, add a bit of water.

When you have about 30 minutes remaining on your chutney, begin preparing your jars.  Keep hot, sterilized jars in a warm oven (200°F) until you are ready to ladle in your chutney, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, add two-piece adjustable lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, or for your recommended altitude processing time.

H2H’s recipe yielded her 8 half-pints, I ended up with 14!  I did not change any quantities; however, I used an apple peeler which resulted in a less chunky 4 lbs of apples.  The end result was delicious and I’ve been enjoying it paired up with pan-fried crispy tofu!!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Hitchhiking to Heaven.

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Vanilla-Maple Applesauce

Typically, when it comes to applesauce, I’m a no-frills kinda gal.  I cook a blend of apples, send them through the food mill, and then into the canner they go.  No sugar.  No spices.  Just delicious, naked apples, sweetened by Mother Nature.  What can I say, I like my applesauce to taste like, well, apples.

This year, in keeping with tradition, I made a batch of plain-jane applesauce.  Then, I made a batch of knock-your-socks-off awesomesause.  Yes, you read that right, awesomesauce.  It. Is. Dessert. Worthy.

Vanilla-Maple Applesauce

20 apples, I used Honeycrisp and Rambo

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tbsp vanilla extract

1 Madagascar vanilla bean

1/4 cup lemon juice

Core unpeeled apples and place them in a large stainless steel pot with about an inch of water.  Cook apples over med-high heat (stirring often) ’til apples are soft, about 20 minutes.  Run cooked apples through a food mill to remove skins.  Return sauce to a clean pot.  If you want unsweetened applesauce, it is at this time you will ladle into hot, clean jars and process in a boiling-water bath: 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.  If you have a mix of jar sizes, process them all for the longest time.

Split vanilla bean lengthwise; using the back of your knife, scrape out the seeds.  Add seeds and vanilla bean to the applesauce along with vanilla extract and gently simmer on med-low heat for 15 minutes.  Stir often.  Add sugar, maple syrup, and lemon juice, cook an additional 10 minutes.  Remove vanilla bean and ladle applesauce into hot, clean jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 20 minutes.  Yields 7 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Tigress in a Jam and Toronto Tasting Notes.

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Ketchup and fries? Yes, please!

When August gifted me with well over 100 pounds of tomatoes (all at once, mind you), I had to get serious about putting them up, and fast!  I immediately headed to the library and checked out every post millennial book on food preservation not currently housed in my collection.  Because food safety guidelines are constantly changing, anything written before 2000 is now considered out of date.  **See note at the bottom of the post**

While flipping pages contemplating recipes, I came across one for catsup.  I find ketchup (or catsup) to be a take it or leave it condiment.  I’m just not a huge fan.  In college, I dated a guy who put it on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  Gross.  Honestly, I find it to be too sweet and lacking in, oh, I don’t know, maybe TOMATO flavor!  I thought the time had come for a little ketchup redemption, especially since the first listed ingredient would not be HFC!

Catsup

1 cup white vinegar

1-1/2 inch stick of cinnamon, broken into pieces

1-1/2 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp celery seed

8 pounds of paste-type tomatoes

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 tsp ground red pepper

1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sure jell cook-type

In a small saucepan combine vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves, and celery seed.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat; transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Wash tomatoes.  Remove stem ends and cores; cut the tomatoes into quarters and place into a colander to drain.  You can discard the liquid or keep it for cooking purposes, which is what I did.

Place tomatoes in a large stainless steel pot, add onion and ground red pepper; bring to a boil, cook uncovered, stirring often for 15 minutes.  Press tomato mixture through a food mill or sieve; discard seeds and skins.  Return pureed tomato mixture to pot, stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Boil gently, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.

Strain vinegar mixture into tomato mixture; discard spices.  Add lemon juice and salt.  Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or ’til desired consistency is achieved.  After I did the final cook-down, my mixture was still too runny for ketchup.  If I continued cooking, I would have ended up with one half-pint, so I added 1/4 cup cook-type sure jell.  Because sure jell tends to clump when added without mixing with sugar, I used my immersion blender to blend everything into a smooth consistency.  I continued cooking on med-low heat ’til the sure jell thickened, about 5 minutes.

Ladle ketchup  into hot, sterile half-pint jars, leaving 1/8 headspace.  Wipe rims; adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.  Yields 4 half-pints.

Rosemary & Garlic Potato Wedges

4 med potatoes, unpeeled

3 cloves of garlic, minced

large sprig of fresh rosemary, minced

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.  *KITCHEN SHORTCUT*  Using an apple slicer/corer, cut potatoes into wedges, slice the “potato core” in half, lengthwise.  Place potato wedges, garlic, and rosemary into a medium bowl and drizzle on a bit of olive oil.  Using your hands, lightly toss to coat evenly; sprinkle on salt and pepper and gently toss again.  Lightly grease a 4-sided baking sheet (or baking dish with olive oil), arrange potato wedges in a single-layer, and bake for one hour, turning half way through.

**The USDA/NCHFP’s guidelines are constantly evolving due to repetitive laboratory testing.  What were once acceptable canning practices, like using flour as a thickening agent or adding dairy products to pre-canned recipes, are no longer considered safe.  If you do use an older recipe, make sure all ingredients and directions are compatible with current acceptable canning procedures.  If you are unsure or have a question, be sure to check with your local extension office.  Remember, safety first!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden Presents: America’s All Time Favorite Canning & Preserving Recipes.

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