If you’re just joining me, this month I’m running a 10-part series on all sorts of things you can do with jars. Some crafty, some yummy, some quick, and others a bit more time intensive. I’ve now added a Love: in a Jar button to my sidebar. Click it at any time to catch up the posts you may have missed!
For today’s post, we’re doing some canning! Now if you’ve never canned before, it can be totally intimidating. I get that. About a year ago, I bought a couple canning cookbooks with good intentions, read them, got overwhelmed and scared, and tucked them away. This year I decided it was time to put on my Big Girl Pants and get over it already. (And in case you missed it, I shared my foray into canning a couple months ago when I made applesauce.)
Guys, it was really not that bad. Sure there are some steps (and you MUST follow them), but if you follow the tried and true advice (I highly recommend this Basic Ball Canning Guide – selling at Amazon currently for around $20), you CAN do it. (All puns intended.)
I also wanted to let you know to check Fred Meyer for a great selection on canning stuff! It’s been priced at 20% off for awhile now, and you can use the 10% Home Bonus coupon towards many of the items (however, the jars themselves are considered to be groceries).
They even have the boiling-water canners and pressure cooker canners.
Now there is no shortage of stuff to can, but this series is called Love: in a Jar, so I wanted to make some food that’s just…well, pretty. Something that would make a nice treat for a friend’s housewarming gift, to bring your neighbors who just had a baby, or to just enjoy yourself on a lazy summer evening out on the patio.
For today’s post, I have a few recipes I want to share with you. The first two come from Ball.
1 fresh cored & chopped pineapple (I used the $1 ones from Fred Meyer a couple weeks back!)
1/3 c grated orange peel
1 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed from two oranges)
5 cups sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup slivered almonds (Fred Meyer sells these in bulk on the natural foods aisle)
Start by combining the pineapple, orange peel and juice in a large pot. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the sugar, stirring until it’s dissolved. Cook rapidly – almost to boiling point. You’ll want to stir frequently to avoid sticking.
Next remove from heat. Now’s the time to make this into a real yummy fruit salad!
To the mixture you’ll want to add the coconut, cherries, and almonds. Ladle into clean, hot jars. I used Ball half-pint jars I’d picked up at Fred Meyer.
Leave 1/4″ headspace and add your hot lid and process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Now if I just lost you with that fancy jargon? I highly recommend you read the Ball Canning Getting Started section of their website. It will break it all down for you.
Here’s my completed ambrosia conserve. Isn’t it beautiful? This one recipe yielded me 6 half-pints. I estimate the total cost to be in the vicinity of $1.75 per jar, including the jars! Not too shabby!
Now you might be scratching your head going, Why, Angela, why? Why Kiwi Jam? The answer is simple really: because I can! (Or is that because I “can?” Get it?)
I’ve never tried – or even seen – kiwi jam anywhere. Ever. So when I found the recipe in the Ball Guide, I had to try it. Turns out, it’s ridiculously cheap, easy, and delicious to make.
3 cups chopped and peeled kiwi (this ended up being bout 9 kiwi for me)
1 package powdered pectin
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
4 cups sugar
I love this recipe for its simplicity! Just combine the kiwi, pectin, and juice in a saucepot. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick.
Then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. You’re going to bring it to a rolling boil and boil hard for one minute. That means wait until that sucker is really sputtering!
Remove the mixture from heat and skim the foam if necessary. (I didn’t find it necessary.) Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. I used half-pints and was able to fill three, and partially fill a fourth.
Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. The jar that I was only able to partially fill is now happily chillin’ in my fridge. I have to say, this is delicious jam! It’s fun, different – and it wasn’t all that expensive to make.
I had some pectin and sugar on hand, so all I had to buy were the jars and kiwi. Fred Meyer had the kiwi on sale for just 3/$1 the week I made this recipe, so I estimate the total cost for this recipe to be around $2/jar.
Now you might wonder what a plain Jane recipe like Raspberry Jam is doing on this post. Well, here’s the part where the “love” comes in:
Yup, these are none other than homegrown raspberries!
Now after I picked and washed and let my son have a small bowlful, I had exactly 3 cups left.
So I adapted this recipe and was able to make a small batch…
The recipe basically tells you to bring the berries to a boil and mash them with a potato masher. After boiling for a minute, you add 4 cups of warmed sugar (this apparently helps with the dissolving process). Then you bring to a boil (for about 5 minutes) until gelled and put in your hot, clean jars.
After reading the reviews and considering the sweet ripeness of my berries, I cut the sugar by 1 cup. So my ratio ended up being 3 cups raspberries, 2 cups sugar. At some reviewers’ suggestion, I added a small splash of lemon juice for brightness.
Given that I had a small amount of berries, I only had enough to fill one jar. Otherwise, you could definitely can them, or just freeze. I put mine in one of the really pretty pint-sized jars I picked up at Fred Meyer recently.
Start to finish, this recipe took me less than 15 minutes! In under an hour, I’d picked the berries and made something really pretty to serve my family. That’s what Love: in a Jar is all about.
Looking for more “pretty” recipes? I highly recommend the aforementioned Ball Blue Book Guide to Canning (Amazon Link). You can also find many recipes up at Fresh Preserving (Ball’s website). I also big heart adore the blog Food in Jars.
Have you done any canning before? What reservations do you have about it? What are some of the yummier items you’ve canned?
Disclosure: Fred Meyer has not compensated me to run this series, but has teamed with me by providing me with store credit to use to purchase and highlight items throughout this series. All ideas, opinions, and concepts are mine. For more information on how this site makes (and does not make) money, there’s no mystery there – just visit my Disclosure Policy.