Thursday, June 25, 2009

Canning 101

OK I'm going to attempt to do a Canning 101 using Strawberry Jam. Honestly it's easy as one, two, three.

First go strawberry picking. This is a photo of a Strawberry from our bed. So far we have picked enough to make three batches of jam and one batch of Strawberry Lemonade. Num, Num. Pick enough to make 5 cups crushed. I think about 6 cups or so is good.

Now take the time to pick off the tops and to wash the Strawberry's.

Next I toss them into the food processor for a few seconds. I leave them kinda chucky. I than measure out one cup at a time and dump into a big stock pan. Until I have five cups.

I than add 1/4 cup lemon juice.

I than mix in the pectin, this is the one I used this time. The recipe I used comes in the box.

I than bring to a full rolling boil for about a minute, really not long.

I than add in the sugar, I have changed over to organic this year. Yes more pricey. But worth it to me. I get my bags at Costco where it's much cheaper.

Put in 7 cups of sugar. Yes, really. Where I live I can get away with using 5-6 cups of sugar and it sets just fine. But if you live where it's hot I would not try this.
Now boil hard for 1 minute. If you wish to skim off foam go for it. I do not do this.

Well it's boiling get your jars ready. I normally have them sitting in hot water. A trick is to have the lids and rings sitting in hot water in a crock pot.

When done pour into hot jars leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch space. I normally fill to the first line. If you look at a jar you will see what I'm talking about.

Once all jars are filled put on the two piece (I didn't take a photo, oops) But a top and a ring and tighten it down. Hand tight.

They say to bwb for 5 minutes I actually do 10. Now bwb is easy, Boil Water Canner. You put the jars in and make sure water covers the top of the highest on in there. About an inch over is what you want. You than put the lid on and turn it on high. And you wait for it to boil. When it starts to boil is when you start the timer. You than time for ten minutes. Once the timer goes off, I turn off the heat, I remove the top and let it cool a bit. About ten minutes or so later I come back and take the jars out and set them on the dining room table to cool over night. You want to set them in a place they will not be touched for 12-24 hours. When 24 hours is up you can take off the rings and test the seal if you can pick it up by the seal and nothing happens you have done good.
The pinging sound you hear as you take the jars out of the canner is a good sounds. They are sealing. Don't panic if all don't ping, some seal without the ping. Also your jam may not set up right away. It can take up to two weeks to set. I know that has happened to me.

Here is the ending result. Some nummer Strawberry Jam you can put on your shelf that will keep up to three years. And you know what is in your jam. How cool is that?

So did I miss anything? Do not double recipes. One batch at a time. If you do the pectin verses sugar may be off and have trouble setting. Anybody else have any questions?
And yes I will do a pressure canner one as well. In fact I'm canning chicken right now. Busy, busy...

No comments: