Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yes we CAN!

Just finished my first batch of Strawberry Jam! :)

I went to a canning class about a week ago. It's something I've always wanted to learn but was intimated by. But the class was very hands-on and confidence-building, so I was excited to get home and do it myself. This was my first attempt and I think it went pretty smoothly. I tried to do it without a canning pot or a rack, which was challenging but not impossible.

I started with Strawberry Jam because it seemed like the easiest and most universal recipe. I just used the Ball Recipe here because I figured they have it figured out by now and the recipe is one of the most popular ones on their website. I halved it. And, being warned that most traditional canning recipes are really sweet, I reduced the sugar in the recipe, but it still turned out a little too sweet for my taste. I might try even less next time or try to find an alternative. Besides honey. I kinda can't stand honey. Trust me, I wish I could.

Oh look! Here's a light version made with grape juice. I might try that next time. :)

A cool idea I had that I would recommend (if you are a canner and haven't tried it already) is to use an immersion hand mixer to mash the strawberries after starting them a little with a fork. I was sitting there trying to get a smoother consistency and it was taking forever. So I pulled out the immersion and it worked great! It was already on the stove by then, making the berries softer, so that might have helped too.

Have you ever canned before? If so, what are your favorite things to preserve?


  1. Yay! I love strawberry jam and it's the one thing I purpose every year to do and never have.

    I tried one batch of apricot preserves but messed up and lost it, and I need to get more lids before I can do more, alas. I have been storing up fruit, however, and I have raspberries and apricots and will soon have blueberries all in the freezer waiting for processing. Do you have plans to can more this summer? :-D

    1. Wow, that sounds delicious! I would like to try some more canning this summer. I want to try the lighter jam recipe and then maybe some other fruit things. I wonder if there is anything other than jam that you can make with fruit. I guess apple pie filling or applesauce or something. A friend of mine preserved 'spiced peaches' with cinnamon and nutmeg! That sounds yummy! I think I will wait on the vinegar/veggies until a later date.

      Anyhoo - my main goal was to learn now so that when I have my super duper awesome garden for the first time next year, I will have the ability to preserve the overstock.

      Share your favorite canning recipes with me some time! I'd love to try them! :)

    2. I don't know that you'd be interested in any of my fruit recipes, as I do use honey almost exclusively to sweeten. I didn't know you didn't like it! I couldn't stand it at first, but the Dearliest grew up with it and gradually converted me.

      Chipolte and chutney are two things you can do with fruit that are more unusual. One of my sister-in-laws brought over a raspberry chipolte (store bought) and served it over cream cheese with crackers. It was SO GOOD and I'm definitely going to try making some, I think. The spiced peaches sounds wonderful!


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