Sunday, September 15, 2013

Canning Adventure, part II

I'm bringing back canning and making it cool!  Perhaps -  at least I've proved that it's easy enough for a twenty-something grad student to do on the weekend.

beginnings: fruit and fresh apple cider
Yesterday morning I went to the public market with friends, picked up a cappuccino and a pastry for breakfast, and began selecting my fruits for canning.  I recently got a canning pot for nearly free at a yard sale, and was eager to experiment.

I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen, and was satisfied to have completed:
  • white peach jam
  • white peach and blueberry jam
  • honey-pear sauce
  • peach butter
  • 1 pear pie filling
  • 1 peach pie filling 

I won't bore you with all the details, but I will give you the basic recipe I used for the jam, mainly to show you that you can do it to!

I used the instructions and recipe off the canning jars website, which I figured was a good place to start.  I don't like overly sugary jam (I prefer to taste the fruit), so I went with low/no sugar pectin.  Without further ado:

  • 8 cups peaches, pealed and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/3 c fruit juice or water (I used peach/grape juice, and in the second batch half juice and half water)
  • 4 T lemon juice (preferably fresh)
  • 6 T low or no-sugar pectin
That's it.  I'm not kidding.  
I added blueberries to the second batch
To peel the peaches, I blanched them (cut an X in the bottom, dip in boiling water 30-60s, put in ice water).  (Note: you could omit this step if you don't mind bits of peach peel in your jam, and if you sufficiently chop the fruit first)  Peels also add color to jam, so I left a few in while cooking and removed them before filling the jars.

stirring the jam
I heated the peaches and juices in a pot, slowly stirring in the pectin.  Once it came to a boil, I let it boil hard for 1 minute, and spooned into the sterilized jars.  Making sure rims were clean, I put on the lids and boiled the whole jars/jam/lid combo in the canning pot (which is basically just a large pot) for 10 minutes, let stand for 5, and removed.  

This afternoon I could pick up the jars by their lids (without the bands) because they were vacuum sealed!  Mission accomplished.

This was my first foray into canning, so I kept it pretty basic.  I foresee all sorts of interesting jams and preserves in the future!

Steam rises from the canning pot and the jam: the jam is almost ready!  
the jars are ready
in the canner

the result: jam!

I also made pear sauce.  The peeling and coring looked nice so I took pictures:


 The kitchen:
temporary disaster zone
order restored

the fruit of my labor ... :) yep.  I just did that.

1 comment:

  1. YAY canning! We did a lot of canning and freezing growing up.