The main part of canning fruit is the prep work of the fruit itself. To prevent browning of the fruit use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice per jar. Pack fruit as tightly as possible without bruising the flesh in sterilized jars. Light syrup is a ratio recipe. 1/2 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiling water. With a ladle pour syrup into jars to cover fruit leaving 1/4 inch head space. Screw on lids to finger tightness and water can for 10 minutes. For best flavour use your own fruit from your orchard or from a local farmer's market. I use this syrup for my canned peaches and pears. It can also be used for berries and plums.
Grape Jelly is one of the simplest recipes to make when canning. You will need:
3 cups pure grape juice
5 cups sugar
1 box Pectin
In a large pot mix together the grape juice and the pectin. Bring to a boil. Add to it the 5 cups sugar. Stirring constantly bring back up to a boil. Boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat. Ladle into sterilized jars and apply screw bands with lids. If not using right away water can for 10 minutes. Done! Tastes delish, way better than anything I've bought from a store. Makes six 250ml jars.
Bread and Butter Pickles were never my favorite as a child. I think I had a cheap store bought brand when I was small at my grandmothers at Christmas and had a bad culinary experience. Suffice to say I never touched them again until I was in my 20's. When you eat a real bread and butter pickle...you'll love it. There is nothing out there that can compare to homemade pickles. No colourants added because they are so pretty by themselves you don't need green dye to make them look edible.
The picture below shows 24 cups of sliced pickling cukes in a massive bowl. The crock that it is in was my great grandmother Woods. I remember asking my grandmother if I could have the bowl as it was just being stored in their attic. In my early 30's I was given the bowl and I have used it for canning and for bread (when I could eat bread). I love the nostalgia of using it.
2 Quarts Fresh Pickling Cukes scrubbed.
I would highly recommend buying a mandolin as it makes slicing the cukes much easier and consistent in size.
Slice the cukes and place in a large non metallic bowl. Add 1/3 cup salt. Use either pickling salt or dead sea salt. DO NOT use regular table salt as the iodine in it will make your pickles cloudy. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain.
In a large pot add your 24 cups sliced cukes
8 cups sliced onions
1 red pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon tumeric (this is a must!)
4 cups white sugar
3 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup pickling spice (they say to put them in a spice bag but I like to have the bits floating around)
Bring to a boil on medium heat. As soon as it's too a boil and the pickles have turned from bright green to a yellow colour remove from heat.
In sterilized jars, ladle the pickles into the jars making sure to add enough liquid to cover, leaving a 1/4 inch gap on the top. Apply screw top lids and boil can for 10 minutes. Remove from water canner and allow to cool. Listen for that pop! and check your lids to make sure they have sealed correctly. Enjoy!
Peaches! Peaches! I love peaches but have you ever looked at the label at the grocery stores as to where your peaches are coming from? Greece or China. I don't have anything personal against these countries however with all the beautiful peach trees in this country why are we buying tasteless peaches in metal cans being transported 1000's of kms? I was able to find almost a 1/2 quart of peaches for jams for $7 Now that's a deal! Hey if they were only going to throw them out, I'll buy them. Go to your local farmer's market and ask your farmers if they carry any "seconds". We don't need perfect peaches for jam.
I can my regular peaches first and any of the bits that I can't use whole, I put aside for my jam. If you aren't canning regular peaches than about 8 peaches should do you for a small batch.
In a medium pot boil some water. With a slotted spoon put in peaches and let sit in the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove the peaches with the slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of cold water. This will allow you to remove the skins easily from the peaches. After removing the skin (you can just rub off with your fingers) cut into quarters and remove the flesh from the pit. Mash with a potato masher until you get 4 cups of mashed fruit. In a large pot put the fruit and sprinkle with one box regular CERTO crystals, 1 tsp of cinnamon and one teaspoon homemade vanilla or scrape out the inner vanilla beans from one pod. Bring to a boil. I usually add a splash of lemon just to make sure the fruit doesn't go brown. Bring to a boil. Add to this 5 cups sugar and a dab of butter to prevent foaming, stirring constantly on medium heat. Bring back to a boil and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam. Remove sterilized jars from oven and with a jar funnel and ladle, ladle the hot jam into the hot jars. Put on screw top lids and hand tighten. (Remember you can also water can!) Then listen for the pop!
Ahhhh good ole dandelions. The bane of the Urban worlds front lawns. Yet I've always had an affection for this little plant. From making dandelion "princess crowns" as a young girl with my twin to making pretend flower "soup" we always had so much fun with this flower.
Dandelions are not native to Canada but were brought over by the Europeans for their gardens and with good reason. Dandelions are known to be a diuretic to help with kidney and urinary problems. They are high in Vitamin A and medicinally can be used as an antibiotic.
To make this jam there is some initial prep work however I enjoy the quiet time spent pulling the dandelion petals and slicing and chopping the orange and lemon rinds.
First you will need about 2 cups of fresh dandelion heads. Please make sure they aren't sprayed! On a paper towel place the pulled flower petals making sure that all the green bits are gone. The green will make your jam bitter. Place in a large pot with 2 1/2 cups water.
Wash 6 to 7 oranges and 2 lemons. Using a sharp knife remove the peel, trying not to get any of the pith with it. The pith is the white part which will again make it bitter. Many old fashioned recipes call for half the pith and the seeds which contain natural pectin however I'm using Certo so I'd prefer a sweeter jam minus the pith! Chop the rinds until quite small and add to pot along with a pinch of Baking Soda. Not quite sure why the baking soda...but it fizzed pretty cool when I did it! Over medium heat, simmer for about 20 minutes along with the dandelion water.
In the meantime, heat your jam jars in a heated 200F oven and place sealing lids in boiling water to soften the sealing compound. Now, remove all the pith from the outside of the citrus fruit and chop the fruit into small pieces. Place in a separate pot and add 1 box of Certo fruit pectin crystals. Bring this mixture to high heat, mashing the fruit so you have no huge chunks. To the now soften rind mixture, add freshly grated ginger to taste or cinnamon if you prefer. Add the Certo fruit mixture to the rinds. To this add 6 1/2 cups (yup that's a lot of sugar) all at once to the pot and over medium high heat bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam. In order for the rinds not to all float to the top of the jam jars, stir twice in about 5 minutes once removed from the heat.
Ladle jam into sterilized jars, making sure the rims are clean and hand tighten screw top lids. Some people water can their jam...I don't but that's just me. Just don't sue me if you don't. What an original gift to give someone...and they'll never know it has dandelion flowers in it if you don't tell them!
I have tried various Chili Sauce recipes over the years and I've never had the husband stamp of approval. This time around...I finally got the "yup! this one tastes just like grandma's". It's really quite simple it just took me awhile to figure out the right spices. I really wish grandma had saved her recipes. It would have made my job so much easier!
In a large pot of boiling water gently place tomatoes in for approximately 30 seconds to a minute and remove with tongs and immediately put into cold water. I just use my sink. The skins will peel off very easily. This recipe calls for about 1/2 bushel of tomatoes. I say "about" as there is always a few tomatoes that are beyond ripeness that need to be thrown into the compost.
Chop the tomatoes into smaller chunks and put in a HUGE stockpot. To the tomatoes add 2 green peppers, diced. One red pepper, diced. 6 onions, chopped fine. 5 cloves of garlic, minced fine. Please don't use the minced garlic from the Dollar Store...spend the money and get potent Ontario garlic! It makes a difference.
To this add 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Allspice
1 Tablespoon Powdered Ginger
Bring to a boil, being careful not to scorch the tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until mixture reduces. With a ladle remove some of the liquid. At this point with a hand blender I puree some of the sauce so it will thicken even more. Pour into sterilized jars and put on lids until hand tight. Water can for 10 minutes. Remove from water and listen for the POP!
Once you've canned applesauce or made homemade you will never buy store bought again. Honest. The taste of applesauce is completely different than what you can buy in the store. It actually has flavour. The apples I used were from my friend Becky (once again I have to thank her). Smaller apples than what you would find in the supermarket but larger than crabapples.
Wash and core your apples of choice, no need to remove the skin. The more red the apples are the prettier the pink colour for the final applesauce result.
Slice them into quarters to make about 10 cups and put in a pot with about 2 cups of water with the juice from 1/2 a lemon to prevent the sauce from browning. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Add more water 1/2 cup at a time in order for the apples not to burn. While waiting for the apples to reduce, sterilize your jars and soften the seals in a small pot of water.
Once the apples cook down into a apple mush remove from heat. If you have a food mill this would be the time to use it. Without the food mill you will need to use a strainer and force the sauce through it with a wooden spoon. Gives your wrist a great work out. Add 1 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
Ladle the sauce into hot jars. Wipe rims and water process for 10 minutes. One jar is just enough for a treat with a Sunday dinner. Enjoy!
Well after I was veggie bombed I had to do something with all those lovely beets. The only time growing up we had pickled beets was at holiday time at my grandparents house. Even as a child I loved the earthy but acidic taste of pickled beets and have canned them through the years. I use peppercorns and cloves for extra zing!
You will need:
3 or 4 lbs small to medium beets.
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons peppercorns
Wash your beets and cut off the tops, leaving the stems and root ends on. Don't make things harder than they have to be. By keeping the ends on you allow for the colour to not leech out into the pot giving your beets a beautiful dark colour in the end. Do not peel. In a large pot boil beets until tender. Remove beets from water and plunge into cold water. Slip off the skins and remove ends. Slice the beets into smaller chunks.
For pickling liquid, in a pan combine vinegar, water and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Pack your beets into sterlized hot canning jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add a sprinkle of peppercorns and a few cloves. Pour hot pickling liquid over beets. Apply lids to fingertip tight. Process in a water canner for 30 minutes (start timing when the water begins to boil). Remove jars from canner and allow to cool.
Strange as this may sound, I never tasted raspberries until I was 15 years of age. They were too pricey for our family to buy so I tried my first raspberry at my grandparents house.
I recall going out with my grandparents to pick them at a local UPick and being amazed at how tall the bushes were. I suppose as a city girl I thought they should be shorter.
My little guy and I drove to Magnificent Hill in Highland Grove to pick berries and WOW!! They have a bumper crop! I will have to go out again as I've already run out of berries. These are a heritage variety. The following recipe will make 8 250ml jars. More then enough for your family AND a few gifts along the way. You will need:
5 cups crushed raspberries
1 pkg Original Fruit Pectin CERTO
7 cups granulated sugar
Place 8 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner or in the oven heating to 180°F. Set screw bands aside. Heat sealing discs in a pot of hot water. Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
Crush raspberries, one layer at a time. I use my potato masher, works like a charm. Sieve some of pulp to remove seeds, if desired. I didn't for this batch because....well....true jam should give you seeds in your teeth!
Measure 5 cups prepared raspberries into a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in CERTO until dissolved and add 1/2 tsp butter to reduce foaming.
Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Add all of the sugar. Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam, if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into jars to within 1/4 inch of top for headspace. Wipe jar rim removing any jam residue. Place sealing discs in screw band with tongs. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
Water process jars for 10 minutes. The old fashioned way is to just apply the lids and allow to self seal. I have never had a problem this way but you never know so better safe than sorry.
Cool jars upright, undisturbed 24 hours. Listen for the POP! After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids should curve downward and do not move when pressed. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year although I bet you that this jam won't last this long!
This is one spectacular jelly that you just can't find in stores. The mix of Bergamont and Queen Anne's lace is stunning. The colour of the jelly comes naturally from the Bergamont flowers, no hidden food colouring here!
To make your own is simple. Wildcraft about 8-10 heads of Queen Anne's Lace, enough to pack 1 cup of the flowers. Cut about 5 heads of fully flowering Bergamont to equal 1/2 cup of petals including a few leaves from the plant.
1. Rinse Queen Anne's lace flowers and Bergamont really well to ensure that all of the buggies are no longer in residence.
2. Boil 4 cups water in a medium pot. While the water heats, trim the stems of the rinsed flowers all the way to the base of the flower head.
3. Toss in the flowers when the water is at a boil, stir, cover with a lid and remove from heat. You will notice as time progresses that the Bergamont will no longer be red but turn green.
4. Allow the flowers to steep for approximately 1/2 hour. DO NOT let the odd scent deter you at this point. It kinda smells like a mix between very earthy carrots and Earl Grey Tea. Once you add the additional ingredients it begins to smell absolutely divine!
5. Strain the infusion. Measure out 3 cups of the infusion into a large pot. Add 1 pouch of regular CERTO pectin. Add the juice from one lemon (and watch the infusion turn from pink to almost red again...it's the coolest thing ever!) and 3 1/2 cups of white sugar.
6. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and ladle into sterlized canning jars and process like you normally would. Allow to set for 24 hours. A wonderful unique gift you can give to friends or family. Enjoy!