Essential Canning Supplies:
Non-essential (but will make your life a lot easier) Canning Supplies:
- Canning Rack – holds jars securely in water bath to prevent cracking and turning over
- Madonline – makes quick work of slicing and most come with attachments for crinkle, julienne and waffle cuts.
- Food processor – Large shredding or chopping jobs done in seconds
- Immersion blender – Great for pureeing and blending right in the pot
- Food mill or Chinois– Easily removes pulp, skins and seeds when making sauces and purees
Always remember to sterilize all equipment prior to use. If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher that has a sterilize feature simply load up your supplies and run. Otherwise immerse supplies in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes.
Canning Tips & Tricks:
- Peeling peaches: Cut a shallow X in the bottom of the peach and drop into boiling water for 5-10 seconds. Remove from water and skin should slip right off.
- To remove air bubbles plunge a knife into the center of filled jar a few times.
- If a jar or two doesn’t seal it is still safe to eat but should be stored in the fridge and eaten within a few weeks.
- Always label jars including contents and date. (ie. Peach Bourbon Jam, 2011)
- If you don’t have a canning rack stretch thick rubber bands around each jar; this will keep jars from bumping together and cracking. Place a clean folded towel in the pot before filling with water to keep jars off the bottom.
- To check pickling brines for sufficient salt place a raw egg into the brine, when it floats there is enough salt.
- “Clear-Jel” is the only USDA approved thickener for canning.
If you’re not ready to can the traditional way try this recipe for Simple Freezer Preserves
1 packet of No-Sugar Needed Pectin
¼-1 cup honey (to taste)
4 cups of chopped* (apricots, strawberries, plums or peaches work best)
1 cup unsweetened fruit juice (white grape, peach or apple)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 pint jars
In a large bowl combine fruit, lemon juice and honey, set aside.
Add fruit juice to pot and slowly stir in pectin until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Hard boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add fruit mixture. Stir for 1 minute.
Ladle hot contents into sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe off edges and cover with lids. Once contents are completely cooled the preserves are ready to use or freeze.
Freeze for up to 1 year or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
*For more of a jam consistency smash the fruit with a potato masher or process in a food processor/immersion blender. Then add fruit directly after pectin and bring to boil.