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Canning time!

I just picked up a bushel of Romas so it looks like the fun will begin for me manana. What's every one else canning this season?
I hope to do some bread and butter pickles soon.

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  1. I've done peaches with rum already. I think I'll do more of those they came out so good -- the smell was wonderful and the peaches look great in the jars. I've also done blueberry jam. I had a small amount leftover and couldn't resist eating it with a spoon!

    Next up I'm doing a spicy salsa with greenmarket tomatoes and jalapenos (this will probably end up being gifts too). I'll do tomatoes in their own juice; pickled grape tomatoes; and a recipe I found for "jardiniere pickles" (zucchini, carrot, peppers, onions, together all pickled).

    But I was also reading the "do you peel the plums" thread and now I'm thinking I should do plum preserves as well. The stone fruit in our area has really been terrific. Later in the season when pears are in full swing I will probably do those too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LNG212

      I've never done peaches but that sounds really good.

    2. Ooh, Fritter, will you post your bread and butter pickles recipe? I hate canning dills because I feel like mine are never as good as the store-bought, but I have such fond memories of homemade bread and butter pickles... and the ones in the store never live up to my expectations!!! :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: LauraGrace

        Sure I will put it up later today. ;)

        1. re: LauraGrace

          I feel the same about the pickles - can never quite pickle 'em as good as store bought (my current favorite is Clausen....).
          Tomatoes, however are a different story.
          Last year, it took about 45 minutes of tasting fresh tomatoes at the farmer's market before I decided on my favorite. Brought a bushel home and started canning. The whole while wondering if it'd be worth it (both economically and taste-wise).

          We actually captured a taste of summer and treasured every jar over the winter. Although I could purchase canned tomatoes slightly cheaper, the home-canned were more than worth the effort.

          1. re: LauraGrace

            Sorry for the delay.
            Here is the bread and butter pickle recipe.

            Bread and Butter Pickles;

            8-10 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
            4 medium onions (I like sweet onions) sliced thin. Yield at least 2 cups.
            1/2 Cup salt.
            4 diced red peppers.
            2 cups cider vinegar or 3 cups white vinegar. (Pick one!)
            2.5 cups sugar.
            2 Tablespoons mustard seed.
            2 teaspoons celery seed.
            1.5 teaspoons tumeric.
            1 cinnamon stick.
            4 teaspoons additional salt.

            Combine the pickles, onions and the 1/2 cup of salt in a glass or SS bowl. Let stand one hour. Rinse ligthly then drain.
            Combine all remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to help dissolve sugar.
            Add pickles and onions and bring back up to a boil.
            Remove cinnamon stick and pack pickles into hot jars and fill with the syrup.
            Leave 1/2" of head space.

            This recipe makes 4-5 pints.
            Process 10 minutes

            Try adding some ginger for a twist!

          2. I just did a big batch of plum jam. I'm planning on canning a spiced pear jam, apple butter, hot pepper jam and cranberry conserves.

            I also saw a mention in this month's "Victoria" magazine about canning peach halves in syrup - considering that, also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amyatkendall

              I didn't even know that Victoria magazine still existed. One of the restaurants I worked at many moons ago was featured in the magazine for a holiday issue. They really had a nice lay out with a photo of the croquembouche. Sadly that restaurant no longer exits. The owner really was a very good Chef.
              I will have to look for that and consider canning some peaches. A small town near me (Armada, Mi) has the peach festival in just a few weeks.

            2. I've been canning roasted tomatillo salsa, preserved figs, and new this year, pickled figs. We had a bumper crop of haricot vert green beans, so I put up a dozen jars of them, too. The peaches and rum sound wonderful!

              Soon, I'll be doing a batch of sweet pickles, my granny's recipe...takes about 14 days, but they are so incredibly good and crisp. I haven't made them before, my mom always made enough for all of us, but she's decided it's my turn to take over ;-). Once our tomatoes are in full production, we'll put up 50-75 qts of tomatoes and about 20 quarts of tomato juice, plus a few jars of basil-tomato jam. If I'm not sick of tomatoes by fall, I also put up stewed toms, with squash, onion, okra, peppers added.

              I'm still searching for the perfect green tomato pickle recipe - like the ones you get in catfish retaurants in the south....anyone make these?

              1 Reply
              1. re: kmr

                kmr, Can you share your roasted tomatillo salsa recipe? I'd love to try doing that.

              2. Chutney with a pear, apple, onion, and ginger base is my plan...also pears with cloves. Both are nice with recipe and ingredient 'sets' (in a gift basket) for Christmas presents and hostess gifts. That chutney makes the best chicken drumstick with curry recipe!

                This is in my little apartment kitchen here in the Big City...next year, semi-retirement and big batch canning from my garden in the country-WHOOPPEE!

                1. To me, canning tomatoes is a waste of time, unless I make them into some kind of condiment. I can buy cheap good canned tomatoes at the grocery store. Hoever, try this - Bruschetta in a jar:


                  worth all the peeling and coring, I promise! You'll think of summer when you open the jar.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: momskitchen

                    I totally agree with you about canning tomatoes, as such...however, the extra step of turning them into sauce and then freezing, to me that is worth it. As our toms start to come in, my thoughts will turn to tomato sauce, vegetarian and with meat (combo pork and beef), all ready in the freezer for pasta, stews and soups all winter.

                    1. re: momskitchen

                      momskitchen -- I like the bruschetta topping in a jar idea. The recipe calls for dried basil. I have a ton of fresh basil. Do you think I could use that? Or is there a reason that dried herbs are used in canning?


                      1. re: LNG212

                        I think you could use the fresh basil - just double the quantity.

                      2. re: momskitchen

                        I know this is an old post, but I saw this recipe in the Ball guide and would like to try it. What I'm not a fan of is peeling tomatoes (yes, I know how to do it). What do you think of coring non-plum tomatoes and pureeing them before topping with the hot vinegar mixture? Would the texture be off? Are plum types really more suited to this recipe?


                        1. re: gourmanda

                          I think the texture wouldn't be right. Any kind of tomato has worked for me in this recipe

                      3. Jam jam and more jam. Mostly apricot--3 different ways--plain, with vanilla and with candied ginger. I think we ended up with about 1 dozen pints. Then I did some cherry---mixture of sweet and sour cherry [3 pints] and a few more of sour cherries.
                        And then yesterday I did peach with cardamom.
                        Tonight I am doing one of the plum ones from the Ferber cookbook.
                        I had planned to do some blueberry jam---we picked 32 pounds ---but in the end, I made couple of pies and then just froze like crazy. Time seemed very short this summer.
                        I am hoping to do bread and butter pickles on labor day weekend and maybe some dilly beans as well. Not seeing tomatoes in my future---unfortunately I have a business trip the very weekend I was going to do tomatos.

                        1. So far this season I have pickled beets, baby dills, sliced sandwich dills, bread and butter pickles, tomato salsa, corn cucumber relish, yellow tomato chutney and mango chutney. Waiting for the hot peppers to become cheaper so I can pickle some. I smoke Roma tomatoes on our big green egg. Than puree and freeze on 1in. sided cookie sheets. Once frozen, remove from cookie sheet. Slice and stack in plastic bags and they keep all year in the freezer. Once you have tasted smoked tomato sauces hard to go back to regular tomato sauce. I make with red and yellow roma tomatoes.

                          1. I've made zucchini relish, bread & butter pickles,sour pickles.
                            Now am trying to find on sites how to can moose meat...any one know how?

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: twoturkey

                              Canned venison is awesome! I sear mine first and put some red wine and fresh rosemary in the jars with a pinch of salt and some times a clove of garlic. Never use any fine herb seasoning as it can get between the jar lip and the seal while you are canning.
                              Pressure cook for 40-50 minutes at 10# or 30-40 minutes at 15#.
                              I am using an older mirro pressure cooker so these times start after your control weight begins to start it's happy dance.

                              1. re: Fritter

                                Thanks for the info Fritter.......appreciate it very much! I'll pass info on to my son-in-law who is going moose hunting this season. He plans on getting his moose and will freeze some but wanted instructions on how to can also.

                                1. re: twoturkey

                                  Moose meat is incredibly good. I hope he fills his tag!

                                  1. re: Fritter

                                    IN Newfoundland, we refer to 'canned' moose as 'bottled' or 'jarred', by any name it is like money in the bank!

                                    1. re: LJS

                                      When I fishing for Atlantic Salmon in PQ the guides there made a canned combination of moose and grouse. They had a name for it that I can't recall. I think they used it for pot pies. Either way it sounded pretty darn good!

                                      1. re: LJS

                                        LJS......and how do people in Newfoundland "bottle or jar" the moose meat?
                                        Could you give explicit instructions? Do you use pressure cooker or regular blue enamel canner as my mother used years ago?

                                        1. re: twoturkey

                                          you have to pressure can it. It doesn't have a high enough acidity.

                                          1. re: Bryn

                                            Sorry, I missed the question but Bryn is absolutely correct...I didn't actually realize that pressure cooker canners had OTHER uses until I was in my thirties...I have heard them refered to as "moosers"!

                              2. Made a few pints of Gravenstein applesauce yesterday and will start prune plum sauce today.

                                Last week, with much peach peeling help, I put up 17 quarts of white peaches in syrup and some peach sauce.

                                Dill pickles and zucchini pickles (dills are canned but zucchini pickles are in the fridge)

                                In July we picked blackberries for jam, and made apricot jam, bing cherry jam, and plum jam.

                                The figs are in and what I can wrestle from the birds I will dry, or grill them and can.

                                I'm now looking for tomatoes and more apples for sauce. And am planning to can pear halves for the first time this year.

                                1. Dill Carrots! My grandmother's recipe. A family staple at Christmas (my Grandmother would make them in the fall and we were never allowed to have them until Christmas dinner.) Love 'em!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: beggsy

                                    My son (11 yrs old) and I have been canning for about a year now. We learnt it in a 4-H workshop. This year most of the items came out of our garden. We made:
                                    spiced tomato jam
                                    regular canned tomatoes
                                    gourmet spaghetti sauce
                                    gourmet tomato/fresh basil pasta sauce
                                    North African tomato based pasta sauce
                                    North African chilli paste
                                    pickled beets
                                    Jiadeniera pickles
                                    pickled cucumbers
                                    cucumber relish
                                    tomato/mango salsa
                                    blackberry jam
                                    pickled watermelon rind
                                    melon and ginger jam
                                    pineapple and zucchini ginger jam
                                    South African fruit chutney
                                    pickled char-grilled chilli peppers

                                    We have also grown and dried lots of different herbs: majoram, oregano, sage, thyme, basil (purple and green), mint and tarragon.

                                    Frozen: handpicked - blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Also frozen homegrown beans, okra and corn.

                                    I bought a dehydrator and am experimenting with drying fruit and soon meat.

                                    Now hubby needs to take up hunting (he already fishes) and we will be quite set for the winter. :)

                                  2. Canned:
                                    Strawberry Jam
                                    Strawberry w/Champagne Jam
                                    Strawberry w/Balsamic Vinegar & Cracked Black Pepper Jam
                                    Strawberry Preserves
                                    Blueberry Jam
                                    Blueberry w/Lime and Cilantro Jam
                                    Gooseberry Jam
                                    Gooseberry Preserves
                                    Currant Jelly
                                    Peach Butter
                                    Peach Chutney
                                    Spiced Peach Halves
                                    Bread & Butter Pickles
                                    Dill Pickles
                                    Cocktail Onions
                                    Zucchini Relish
                                    Zucchini Dills
                                    Spicy Mixed Veg Pickle
                                    Spicy Cherry Tomato Preserves
                                    Tomato & Zucchini Sauce
                                    Tomato & Basil Sauce
                                    Mint Jelly
                                    Pepper Jelly
                                    Thyme Jelly
                                    Basil Jelly
                                    Sage Jelly
                                    Salted Quebec Herbs Mix
                                    Salted Herb de Provence Mix
                                    Salted Italian Herbs Mix (salted herbs get refrigerated)
                                    Gingered Cantalope Pickles

                                    Roasted Tomatoes w/Garlic & Fresh Herbs
                                    Zucchini Torta
                                    Zucchini Casserole
                                    Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
                                    Various Fresh Herbs
                                    String Beans

                                    Cellared or starting to:
                                    Various Herb & Fruit Vinegars
                                    Figs & Vanilla Bean in Port
                                    Dried Plums in Sherry
                                    Red Onions
                                    White Onions
                                    Acorn Squash
                                    Sweet Potatoes

                                    It's been a busy spring/summer! The fall stuff is just starting to come in and the winter plantings are being sown. This is what happens after you read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"!

                                    26 Replies
                                    1. re: morwen

                                      That sounds awesome. Would you mind sharing your recipes for both the spiced peach halves and the spicy veg pickle? They both sound great. Peaches and other stone fruit are coming in so great here. I've done rum peach halves and I'm going to do peach conserves but the spiced peaches sound great too and I'd like to try that. I'm also going to do a mixed veg pickled called "jardiniere" that I found a recipe for but it's not spicy. A spicy one would be a good thing to do too. Thanks so much!

                                      1. re: LNG212

                                        From Marylin Kluger's "Preserving Summer's Bounty:
                                        Spiced Peach Halves
                                        Plunge 6 lbs of peaches into a kettle of boiling water for 1 minute, drain and peel, *cut in half (my change to the recipe can fit more in a jar, she leaves them whole)*, and insert a clove in each half. In an enamel kettle combine 6 cups of sugar, 2 cups of cider vinegar, and 3 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and add peaches. Simmer the peaches for 5 minutes or until they are just tender, transfer with a slotted spoon to 3 sterilized 1 quart jars, packing them tight (I use pints for the halves). Put 1 cinnamon stick in each jar (or in each pint), pour the hot syrup over the peaches. Leave 1/2" head space, wipe rims, adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

                                        Spicy Pickled Veg
                                        Prepare 2 cups thin sliced cucumbers, 2 cups chopped white cabbage, 2 cups sweet red and/or green peppers and 2 cups green tomatoes. Put the veg in a large earthenware crock or bowl, add 8 cups of water combined with 1/2 cup of pickling salt and chill covered overnight. Drain the veg.
                                        Cut enough green beans into 1/2" lengths, chop enough celery, and dice enough carrots to measure 2 cups each (I also add cauliflower). Boil each veg separately until just tender, drain, shock in ice cold water and drain again.
                                        In a kettle combine 4 cups each cider vinegar and sugar, 1/4 cup mustard seed and 2 tablespoons each of celery seed and turmeric. Bring the liquid to a boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add both vegetable mixtures and 1 cup chopped onion (here's where I add 8 small whole fresh hot peppers of your choice). Return liquid to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pack the mixture into 8 pint jars with 1 hot pepper in each jar, leave 1/2' head space, wipe rims, adjust lids and process in water bath for 10 minutes.
                                        I use the above recipe to use up the odd veg I have left at the end of the season. Sometimes there's broc and zuch in there as well. Whole tiny baby zuchs look very appealing as do tiny baby carrots sliced in half.

                                        1. re: morwen

                                          Morwen, thanks so much. That peach recipe sounds divine. I think I'll try that this week. And the pickled veg sound good too. Thanks again. I'm so amazed by how much you do!

                                          1. re: morwen

                                            I just wanted to thank you again for the peaches recipe. I made them this morning. The smell of the syrup was just lovely. I can't wait to crack open a jar of them sometime in the dead of winter and have that lovely summer peach and spice goodness! Thanks.

                                            1. re: LNG212

                                              You're welcome! They're great alone, with desserts and ice cream and work really well with ham and pork. Enjoy!

                                              1. re: morwen

                                                Morwen -- do you think it would be possible to combine the NY Times's recipe idea of adding booze to the peaches with your spiced peaches recipe? Or would that mess up the acid levels? I'm thinking your spiced peaches with bourbon!

                                                1. re: LNG212

                                                  Alcohol acts as an additional preservation step or "hurdle" for bacteria. It shouldn't affect the safety of the recipe.

                                                  1. re: LNG212

                                                    When I add booze to a preserve I do it at the end of the cooking time before jarring it. Add a little at a time and taste as you go until you reach your desired flavor. Bourbon and peaches sounds great!

                                          2. re: morwen

                                            Wow! My hats off to you. Even Larry Forgione would be proud of that list!

                                            1. re: Fritter

                                              Morwen - that list is crazy! I love it.

                                              I'm curious - you sound like a very experienced canner. Are there some canning books you return to over and over?

                                              In fact, would love to hear which recipe books all you canners out there like the most, or where you find inpiration - old family recipes? friends' recipes? new or old books?

                                              I've been busy this summer too, frantically putting up everything I can get my hands on. Summer really seems to fly by when you spend it putting things up at peak-season (sometimes that's a small window of time).

                                              The weather's a little cooler now which is nice - I spent some memorable days during a heat wave standing over a hot pots of jam and a canner filled with boiling water - not exactly where you want to be during sweltering, humid weather, but still totally worth it in the end.

                                              Here's what I've done so far:


                                              a few different strawberries (w/ mint, w/ basil and lime, w/ just lime, and w/ balsamic)
                                              blueberry, blueberry and lime (I'm on a citrusy jam kick)
                                              apricot and plum with rosemary
                                              greengage plum (wow! ever worked with these? they have afresh, green apple-y flavour but more fragrant, just incredible... from a Christine Ferber recipe)
                                              fig and star anise

                                              Pickles, relishes etc.:

                                              brandied peaches (NY Times ran a recipe the other week: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/mag...
                                              )peaches in honey syrup
                                              dill pickles
                                              garlic dill spears
                                              spicy corn relish with smoked paprika
                                              pickled cauliflower
                                              spicy Mediterranean marinated pickled eggplant

                                              Still to come:

                                              lots of tomatoes (sauce, whole etc.), more piccalilli (a big hit with my friends), more canned peaches (coming to the end of the season), pickled beets.

                                              I found a copy of the Time-Life Preserving book from 1981 which has been a huge inspiration, along with a few other more contemporary books (Blue Ribbon Preserves and Eugenia Bone's Well-Preserved).

                                              I don't have a pressure-cooker yet so I haven't ventured into meats or fish or low-acid stuff. I guess that will be the next step.


                                              1. re: Pantry Party

                                                I am new to canning - I did tomatoes and dill pickles and used the Ball Blue Book on Canning.

                                                My question is this, if after waiting for the jars to cool, the lid has not compressed down, but THEN I press the lid down, and it stays down, is it sealed properly or not???

                                                  1. re: toodie jane

                                                    NO! It is not sealed properly. You should refrigerate that jar or reprocess it. It is no safe if it doesn't form a seal after it is cool, even if you push it down and it stays. It will eventually come loose and get moldy. Don't worry, you won't get botulism if that happens. It will just be gross.

                                                1. re: Pantry Party

                                                  I'm a very experience canner. I've read virtually every book on the subject, I think. What a nerd I am. Here's my list of the books I have read: http://motherskitchen.blogspot.com/20...

                                                  I really like Joy of Pickling and Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving best.

                                                  I didn't find Eugenia Bone's book one I felt a need to own but it has really nice photography

                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                    Several of the books that I use over and over again are:
                                                    Better than Store Bought by Helen Witty & Elizabeth Schneider Colchie
                                                    Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty
                                                    Preserving Today by Jeanne Lesem
                                                    Preserving the Taste by Edon Waycott
                                                    Well Preserved by Joan Hassol

                                                  2. re: Pantry Party

                                                    My most favorite book is "Preserving Summer's Bounty" by Marylin Kluger. My next favorite is "Fine Preserving, M.F.K. Fisher's Annotated Edition of Catherine Plagemann's Cookbook" by Plagemann/Fisher. For cellaring I like "Root Cellaring, The Simple No-Processing Way to Store Fruits and Vegetables", by Mike and Nancy Bubel. For comprehensive general information: "Old Fashioned Recipe Book, An Encyclopedia of Country Living" by Carla Emory. For inspiration: Kevin West's blog "Saving the Season" http://greenvalleycanning.blogspot.com/

                                                    I've been preserving for years but it was reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver that really kicked my husband and I into gear. Plus it's very rewarding to be able to tell the guests at our B&B that the food they're eating came mostly out of our garden and orchard and mostly no more than 50 miles away when we buy in (must have coffee, black tea, sugar, and olive oil).

                                                    1. re: Pantry Party

                                                      I admit it - I'm scared of pressure cookers. We have a cannery run by the local county extension office and I take everything that needs to be pressure canned there. I do most of the prep at home, finish it off at the cannery and the nice people there run it through the pressure canner while I wander off somewhere else. Check with your county extension office, they may have a cannery near you. The cost is pretty minimal and worth it for a year or two (less than the price of a pressure cooker) or forever if you have an unreasonable fear of the appliance like I do.

                                                      1. re: Pantry Party

                                                        Where do you get greengage plums? They are probably my number one favorite fruit.

                                                    2. re: morwen

                                                      Boy, morwen, you make the rest of us look like pikers!!! It is always nice to see so many people canning these days. When I say I do people look at me like I am nuts.

                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                        Momskitchen - just peeped your book list. Pretty sweet. I actually just ordered the Joy of Pickling off Amazon. Am awaiting it with much anticipation.

                                                        And yes, I can imagine that Eugenia Bone's book may not be as useful or interesting to very experienced canners. She is perfectly marketed for city folk like me who perhaps had never considered canning before because they thought it was some very complex thing that only rural people with gardens and huge kitchens did. Very modern layout, not too many recipes (more recipes for how to use your canned goods than for actual canned stuff). But I do like it.

                                                        AGM Cape Cod - when people look at you like you're nuts because you can you can just tell them that in actual fact you are on the very cutting edge of culinary trends! Heh heh.

                                                        1. re: Pantry Party

                                                          I have 50 quarts of tomato sauce in the basement, so I'm happy. I used to can lots of other stuff, but decided that the tomato sauce most justified the effort.

                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                            You're right on the tomatoes. They DO justify the effort!! I got a deal on green beans recently and canned those, but they taste pretty much like store bought green beans. I've put up orange marmalade just because I never had before, and think I like Cross & Blackwell's better. Peach jam, now, that's a different thing. Put up a dozen jars yesterday and love it. I'm looking for a peach butter recipe now.

                                                            1. re: caiatransplant

                                                              If you like peach stuff, definitely give the Bellini Jam a try from the Better Homes & Garden special Canning Issue (it's peach & prosecco). It really came out with wonderful flavor.

                                                          2. re: Pantry Party

                                                            Thank you Pantry Party. Probably the first time I was on the cutting edge of anything.

                                                            1. re: Pantry Party

                                                              You're going to love that Joy of Pickling. I've got some Russian Dills in the crock from that book, and spent most of last weekend making spicy ketchups. I think it is the best book of pickling around, and it has lots of other savory condiment recipes in it.

                                                            2. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                              I hear ya! But boy, they sure do want a jar of my peach butter to take with them! I'm lucky to have the time and the reason to garden and preserve as intensively as I do. Not only am I feeding my family but we have 2 B&B suites, so I'm feeding guests breakfasts and the occasional dinner and picnic from our bounty. It's my job and I love it!

                                                          3. I've done plum jam with pink peppercorn, plum jam with vanilla bean, plum chutney, van cherries in a light syrup, apricot-rhubarb jam (this year's standout), and brandied peaches (also from NYT recipe).

                                                            If anyone wants to tell this idiot why her brandied peach jars sputtered syrup from under the lids and rings on coming out of the water bath, said idiot would like to know what she did wrong. I used the recommended head space, and I did try get get bubbles out before canning. I suspect I needed more head space. ??? At least my kitchen smelled like boozy peaches. They sealed very well, though. But all my jars are sticky and need a bath.

                                                            22 Replies
                                                            1. re: Vetter

                                                              Mine didn't do that. But maybe you can tell me if your boozy peaches floated to toward the top of your jar? Mine did. I thought I had packed mine in there pretty tightly and gotten the air out, but they float anyway. I too used the NY Times recipe.

                                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                                Floating peaches annoys the hell outta me. You think you've jammed as many in there as will go without smooshing and misshaping them, they're sitting tight against the jars shoulders, you pour in the syrup and it looks good, water bath 'em and the buggers float!
                                                                I started jamming a couple cinnamon sticks big enough to catch on the jar shoulders to hold the peaches down. That works pretty well.

                                                                1. re: morwen

                                                                  Okay, so if it's happening to you (oh wise experienced canner) then I don't feel so bad. :) It doesn't mean they are bad, right? It just looks funny. And I did as you say, trying to jam them in there without mashing them up.

                                                                  Actually, when I was sorting my various jars this morning, the ones from your recipe with the cinnamon stick caught my eye. Well, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something brown in there and went AACK what the hell??? Then I realized it was just the cinnamon stick and not anything gross. Cracked up my idiot self over that one.

                                                                  Plum chutney and brandy pears to go. Maybe I'll do more peaches too since they came out so good. And the tomatoes. They came out good too -- very attractive in their jars. And I can always use the tomatoes -- sauce, soup, whatever. I gotta use up all these jars I bought.

                                                                2. re: LNG212

                                                                  Oh, yeah, the darn things floated. Irritates me so much! I hope the they don't brown too much because of it.

                                                                  1. re: Vetter

                                                                    Though the recipe didn't call for it, I actually "treated" my peaches so they wouldn't brown. Just a short dunk in a water-lemon juice bath while I was peeling and otherwise prepping. I'm hoping they won't brown either. Floaty brown things don't sound that appealing -- and since it's my first year canning, I want everything to be perfect. :)

                                                                    1. re: LNG212

                                                                      It wasn't in the recipe, I just usually squeeze a lemon into the water when I'm prepping fruit that browns. Forgot to mention that. Floating fruit isn't bad it's just an aesthetic thing. I've found it's usually only the top one that browns, the rest hold their color.

                                                                      I'm entering my first county fair this weekend: Peach Butter, Spicy Cherry Tomato Preserves and Sage/Cracked Pepper Jelly. Wish me luck!

                                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                                        County Fair - that's terrific. Good luck. Peach butter sounds good too. And thanks for the advice re: adding the bourbon. I think I'll try that one too.

                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                          Couldn't resist chiming in on the brandied peaches/canned peaches/floating peaches discussion. I just made a few different versions of canned peaches, here's an abridged version of post on the subject (see it with pics at http://www.considerthepantry.com/the-... ) :

                                                                          I made three different kinds of canned peaches recently – peaches in honey-sugar syrup, brandied peaches (from the NY Times piece http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/mag... ) and peaches in honey and lavender syrup.

                                                                          I based my peaches in honey and sugar syrup and peaches in honey-sugar-lavender syrup on a recipe I found in Time-Life’s Preserving book from The Good Cook series, published in 1981 (Richard Olney, the great American food writer and Alice Waters’ mentor, was chief consultant on the series), where the syrup is made with sugar and honey instead of just sugar.

                                                                          I’d used the lavender I picked up on a road trip to Blue Hill Farm in New York in a blueberry jam a few weeks ago but found the berries overpowered it. So I thought it might stand up to peaches and add a lovely, subtle perfume to the syrup. You can easily leave it out, if you prefer. I made one batch with and one without.

                                                                          Peaches in honey-sugar syrup (with lavender, if you like


                                                                          5 lbs (2 1/4 kg) peaches
                                                                          4 cups (1 l) water
                                                                          1 cup sugar
                                                                          1/2 cup honey
                                                                          2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
                                                                          2 tsp lavender flowers (if desired), tied in cheese cloth

                                                                          Blanch the peaches by carefully lowering them into a pot of simmering water. Remove them after 30 seconds with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Once they’ve cooled a little, skin them with a pairing knife, then half or quarter them (I like to quarter as I find these smaller pieces pack more easily into jars and float less). Pour lemon juice over fruit and mix gently to cover the each segment (this step prevents browning).

                                                                          Prepare the syrup by bringing water, sugar and honey (and lavender, if using) to a boil. Boil for five minutes then reduce to a simmer. Add peaches and cook for two-three minutes, just enough to soften them a little. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon, packing them into hot, clean 500-ml (pint) jars. Quickly bring syrup back to a boil for a few minutes to reduce and thicken it a little, then pour over peaches, leaving a 1/2 inch head space (about 1.5 cm). Remove any air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula along the inside edges of the jars. Put on the lids that have been simmering in water to soften rubber seals, screw on rings then process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

                                                                          In my first batch I didn’t pack the peaches in tightly enough for fear of bruising the ultra-sensitive fruit, so I ended up with a pretty floaty finished product, which others have complained of here. On my second attempt, I sliced them in quarters and packed them in more snugly, which made for less bobbing bits up top.

                                                                          Morwen - spicy cherry tomato preserves sound amazing, good luck at the fair!

                                                                          Vetter- plum jam with pink peppercorn, love the sound of that.

                                                                          1. re: Pantry Party

                                                                            The addition of honey (and lavender) does indeed sound nice. And yeah, I guess I was being too gentle with the fruit, afraid I would mash it all up. It's my first time canning and I've been doing everything so carefully. I'm going to do one more batch of peaches -- Morwen's spiced peaches with the addition of bourbon. I'll see if I can pack them more tightly this time.

                                                                            The plum jam does sound good (I did a damson plum preserve and it came out great). I'm going to try the spicy plum chutney recipe that I found here on Chow under the "projects" heading. The stone fruit is still going strong at our greenmarket so I can take advantage at least for one more week.

                                                                            Thanks for all the tips, everyone!

                                                                            1. re: Pantry Party

                                                                              I love the Good Cook Preserving book! I make the sour cherry spoonsweet every year. I tried the blackberry curd this year, and I'm going to try one of the chestnut recipes soon.

                                                                              1. re: Mer_Made

                                                                                Oh, please post any chestnut recipes that turn out well. I've been harvesting tons of chestnuts from my yard and would love to preserve some.

                                                                            2. re: LNG212

                                                                              Pulled the Cherry Tomato Preserves and replaced it with Dried Fig Jam with Port. Got the results today: 1st Place/Dried Fig Jam with Port, 1st Place/Sage with Cracked Pepper Jelly, 3rd Place/Peach Butter, Grand Reserve Champion/Dried Fig Jam with Port!

                                                                              1. re: morwen

                                                                                Congrats! Fig jam with port sounds lovely. I never see local figs here (manhattan). I think we just get ones from CA. And I love the labels on your jars. I've been struggling with what to do with mine.

                                                                                I finally did your spiced peaches with the addition of bourbon. Wow the smell was amazing. I tasted some of the leftover syrup after I was done and it was a knockout. I hope it tastes as good out of the jar come, say, January. Thanks again for that.

                                                                                1. re: LNG212

                                                                                  Thanks! Total surprise to have done well on a first outing! Will be a great addition to our B&B website when it goes online.

                                                                                  The labels came with the jars, but when I run out of those I use a package of labels from the office supply store, find a nice piece of clip art, and print them out on the computer.

                                                                                2. re: morwen

                                                                                  Can you share the Sage with Crracked Pepper Jelly recipe? Sounds good!

                                                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                    I grow 4 kinds of sage ( regular,Bergarten, varigated, pineapple) and use a mix. The Bergarten is a giant leafed variety that is great for flash frying as a garnish in other dishes.

                                                                                    Sage and Cracked Pepper Jelly
                                                                                    2 1/2 cups chopped sage
                                                                                    2 cups unsweetened, filtered (so the jelly stays clear) 100% apple juice
                                                                                    1 cup water
                                                                                    1 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
                                                                                    1 cup sugar
                                                                                    1 pkg Ball low/no sugar pectin
                                                                                    1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, roughly cracked
                                                                                    whole variegated sage leaves or large Bergarten sage leaves for garnish

                                                                                    Combine the liquids in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the sage and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

                                                                                    Strain the liquid into another pot through cheesecloth. Do not press on it or it will cloud the jelly.

                                                                                    Stir in the pectin. Return to the heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.

                                                                                    Add sugar, return to a rolling boil stirring constantly for 1 minute.

                                                                                    Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in cracked pepper. Allowing the heat to drop a little and the jelly to thicken slightly will keep the pepper mixed throughout the jelly instead of floating to the top.

                                                                                    Put a spoonful of jelly in the bottom of each jar and press 1-2 variegated sage leaves into it.

                                                                                    Carefully ladle jelly over leaves, allowing 1/4" head space.

                                                                                    Wipe rims, adjust lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

                                                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                                                      Wow the Sage jelly sounds like a winner. I have a ton of sage to use up.
                                                                                      I have been making Pesto, Dilly Beans and pickled beets lately as well as smoking and roasting the end of my tomatos.
                                                                                      Last night it froze here. Burrrr. I'm not ready for winter and this frost was about three weeks early for us.

                                                                                      1. re: Fritter

                                                                                        It frosted here last night too. Already had the plastic on the garden though and our site is a sw facing slope with a hill behind us and a pond below so we didn't get nailed like some of our friends did. Yep, it was about 3 weeks early for us too. Rolled the plastic back this morning to pick chard and basil and noticed the carrot, greens, beet and turnip seeds had popped up overnight!

                                                                                        Hey Fritter! I just saw you're a caribou fan! We're still working our way through the two my husaband bagged in Ontario last year. Try 11/2" thick backstrap filets stuffed with Cashel Blue, wrapped in bacon and rolled in crushed pepper, pan seared and finished off in the oven until med-rare and then flashed with Redbreast Irish. OMG!!

                                                                                        1. re: morwen

                                                                                          "Try 11/2" thick backstrap filets stuffed with Cashel Blue, wrapped in bacon and rolled in crushed pepper, pan seared and finished off in the oven until med-rare and then flashed with Redbreast Irish. OMG!!"

                                                                                          If that's an invitation I'm ON MY WAY over for dinner! :)
                                                                                          Caribou is my favorite venison, at least when I'm eating caribou!
                                                                                          Have you canned any venison?

                                                                                          1. re: Fritter

                                                                                            No I haven't although I've had other folks' and liked it a lot.. As I said somewhere else on this thread, I'm afeared of pressure cookers so I let the folks at our community cannery do it for me. All our meats go in a chest freezer. But whitetail season starts this weekend and when hub brings his home I may have to face up to it. The freezer's pretty well full.

                                                                                            I think I have two caribou tenderloins stashed still, the backstraps are gone but we have plenty of other fine cuts left. It's a long drive from MI to VA for dinner but much shorter than the 1700 mile trek to remote Quebec to bag the critters!

                                                                        2. re: LNG212

                                                                          are the peaches raw-packed? I learned recently that raw-packing is pretty much a recipe for floaters.

                                                                          1. re: loraxc

                                                                            Had to go pull out the '09 recipe since I didn't remember! They were not raw packed but cooked gently in the syrup for a short while. Here's the link to the NY Times recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/mag... .

                                                                      2. Italian style tomato sauce with homegrown basil, oregano, san marzanos, also some okra, green tomatoes, chow chow, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers.

                                                                        1. I just wanted to add that I made the Plum Chutney recipe from chow (see here http://www.chow.com/recipes/11048 ). I made two batches. For the first, I used a mixture of Blufre and President plums and followed the recipe as is. It was quite tasty but not really spicy. So for the second batch, I used the same variety of plums but added a cinnamon stick and about a teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes as suggested by one commenter. That came out really really good. I will definitely be using this recipe again for canning next year.

                                                                          Do try it out if you are still getting plums where you live.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LNG212

                                                                            Hey LNG212 and all,

                                                                            Yes, plums are still going here in Montreal too, though they are quickly getting edged out by pumpkins and apples!

                                                                            Might try out this plum chutney too. Sounds intriguing. On the subject of plums: have you ever made Polish-style plum butter? I just made a batch and it turned out INCREDIBLE. Such a beautiful color, super smooth texture and an intoxicating fragrance. Seriously, one of my fave canning exploits this summer. The old-fashioned Polish one (actually Croatian as well, and a few other Eastern-European countries do it too) is pretty much plums and sugar. I added a little orange zest and juice, and vanilla to mine.

                                                                            Here's my recipe (see more about it here: http://www.considerthepantry.com/plum...), based on an Epicurious one and another from my Time-Life Preserving book from 1981:

                                                                            Slightly orangey plum butter

                                                                            4 lbs plums, sliced into small-ish segments (about 12 cups


                                                                            1 vanilla pod

                                                                            1 cup of sugar

                                                                            1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

                                                                            Zest of one orange

                                                                            Put all ingredients into a big pot (having split open the vanilla pod and stirred the seeds into the mixture). Cook over medium heat (a healthy simmer) for 25-30 minutes until you have a fragrant, deeply coloured, bubbling fruit soup.

                                                                            Run the mixture through a food mill (this is the proper way), or do as I did – only if, like me, you’re not fussed about having bits of plum peel in there – and use a hand-held blender to purée the stuff, once you’ve taken it off the heat, of course.

                                                                            Continue cooking the purée for another 30-40 minutes or so over low heat until the consistency is quite thick and gloopy. Then process in hot, clean jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.


                                                                            Other updates: I've been making pickles like crazy, including some sliced zucchini pickles inspired by The Joy of Pickling. And a fall fruit (apple, plum and pear) jam that I messed up (!), a fig and vanilla jam that turned out quite nice and a Quebecois favourite: ketchup aux fruits. I also made Eugenia Bone's recipe for concord grape and walnut preserves from her book 'Well-Preserved' - very nice indeed - would be perfect on a cheese plate.


                                                                            That's it for now.

                                                                            1. re: Pantry Party

                                                                              The plum butter does sound good. I've been resisting the apples at our greenmarket. Not yet not yet!! Ah well. Soon it will be just apples and pears. Then just apples all winter long. :)

                                                                              Next year I will plan better and do some recipe researching before it all becomes too late!

                                                                              1. re: Pantry Party

                                                                                Went to the blog and saw someone mentioned using the slow cooker for fruit butters. Another alternative is the oven. You can write emails while it's cooking because you only have to stir a couple-few times an hour.

                                                                                But hey, now I have a reason to pull my slow cooker out! I'm gonna try that. Uummm...where did I put it?

                                                                                1. re: morwen


                                                                                  LNG212 - I know, I'm having harvest time anxiety too, trying to can everything in site but there's never enough time!

                                                                                  Morwen - Yeah, interesting, right? That was Lelo in Nopo who suggested the slow cooker. And you do fruit butters in the oven? Huh.

                                                                                  Do you have a recipe for fruit butter done in the oven or did you just start doing that yourself for the sake of convenience? I'm curious - at what temp do you cook it at and for how long? And do you still follow the same method (i.e.: cook, process in food mill, then continue cooking until you hit desired consistency)?

                                                                                  1. re: Pantry Party

                                                                                    I read about it in "Preserving Summer's Bounty" by Marylin Kluger. Make the recipe in the normal way, then bake uncovered at 325 degrees in a shallow pan stirring a couple times an hour until your desired consistency is reached. I use my big rectangular, heavy turkey roaster. I can't say exactly how long it takes, it depends on the juicyness of the puree and my taste buds, but as it gets closer to done it's good to check and stir it more often. I like doing it this way because while it's roasting in the oven I often have another recipe going on the stovetop next to the waterbath. If I'm gonna chew up all that energy heating the waterbath I like to run more through it than one batch of fruit butter!

                                                                                    Does Lelo vent the lid on the slow cooker? It occurred to me that it might take forever since the lid holds the moisture in rather than letting it evaporate.

                                                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                                                      Stove tops use barely any energy....don't worry about it! Especially if you use a gas stove, which is the best for canning.

                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                        Gas! I wish. This house has a glass top. In our last house every appliance EXCEPT the stove ran on gas. Every house I've lived in since 1991 has had electric stoves....*sigh*. The gods of corporate transfers don't want me cooking with gas. :- {

                                                                            2. You're all so inspirational!!

                                                                              This is my first summer canning... and I've done up Blueberry Lemon Jam, Strawberry Basil Jam, Bread & Butter Pickles and Lemon Ginger Marmalade.

                                                                              Tomorrow: Ginger Cucumber Pickles.

                                                                              And once the Passionfruit ripen, Passionfruit jam.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                Hey, yeah, I ventured into blueberry-lemon and strawberry-basil too. Fun combos. I like the lemon-ginger marmalade idea too. I've also heard of meyer lemon-vanilla, got that on my ever-growing, ever-morphing list of canning to-dos..... the obsession continues.

                                                                              2. This was in the San DIego Union Tribune on 10/29/09
                                                                                Words to the wise: Canning is as much about safety as it is about preservation


                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                                                                  This article has some misledaing info.

                                                                                  'Fruits and veggies for high-acid foods such as jams, jellies, chutneys, marmalades and most pickled items are processed in a water bath canner. Low-acid foods — such as vegetables, meat, fish, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and salsa — need to be pressure canned."

                                                                                  Tomatoes and salsa do NOT need to be pressure-canned, though they do need to be properly acidified.

                                                                                2. Hey, does anyone have a favorite quince canning recipe? I'm snagging some on Saturday!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Vetter

                                                                                    Did you do anything with your quince? I'm getting some in the next week or so and first time cooking with them. I have a few options, chicken and quince , quince cordial and a quince preserve..

                                                                                  2. I just made another few jars and wanted to post. I made pear butter - and it is really delicious. Never made butter before and actually don't think I've ever eaten anything besides apple butter. This is a great use for the pears that are coming in fast and furious now.

                                                                                    I just used Clapp pears, sugar, a bit of water. And then for spices I was really unsure. I knew I wanted to use whole spices tied in a bag so that the butter itself didn't turn dark brown. Then I remembered that I had a tin of "mulling spices". So I picked out a couple of star anise, some cinnamon sticks, some whole allspice berries, and whole cloves -- put them all in a large tea ball and simmered it with the pears. Oh wow - I am so proud of myself because this tastes so wonderful. I'm definitely getting more pears next week and making more of this.

                                                                                    Happy Canning!

                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: LNG212

                                                                                      Seasonal coincidence! I made pear butter last night too! Don't know what kind of pears they were, a friend showed up with two bags full that a coworker had given her from his tree. She didn't want them, couldn't refuse them, knew I'd do something with them. I used minced crystallized ginger, a thin sliced lemon, a little bit of white wine, tasted the puree and only needed about a cup more or less of sugar. Ended up with a nice gingery butter with a hint of tang and a light gold color. Wish I had tossed in a vanilla bean....
                                                                                      Pumpkin butter's next!

                                                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                                                        Crystalized ginger sounds great. So you didn't use a lot of sugar at all? How does the butter set up without the sugar (I'm still new to all this)? Maybe I'll try your combination next week.

                                                                                        I also have some seckel pears to can -- I'll do them with almonds and almond liqueur. They are much firmer than the Clapp pears so hopefully they will hold their shape well.

                                                                                        ETA: how many pounds of pears did you use to your 1 c. sugar? I've not stopped thinking about your ginger/white wine pears. I'm definitely do that next week.

                                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                                          I just kept cooking it down in the oven until it reached the consistency I was after. I dunno, maybe 4-5 hrs until it set up on the spoon and no liquid separated out. I'm guessing there were 15 lbs of pears - 2 plastic grocery bags full. The guideline I use for butter says 1/2 cup sugar to every cup of pulp but that's generally way too much for my taste. I taste the puree plain first to see how tart/sweet it is. I start out low (1/2 c sugar or less to 2 cups pulp) and add if needed tasting all along. The sweetness concentrates as the butter reduces and I want it to taste of fruit and not so much sugar.

                                                                                          So I tasted the pear pulp before adding the crystallized ginger, then added the ginger and tasted again because there's a good bit of sugar on the ginger, then tasted and added the cup of sugar.

                                                                                          1. re: morwen

                                                                                            Thanks for the guidance! I guess because this is my first year canning, I've been so slavish following the recipe instructions. I'm terrified one of my "holiday gifts" might make someone sick. That's great to know that I can adjust the sugar without messing up the whole fruit/acid/canning thing. I, like you, would prefer the fresh clean taste of the fruit to the powerful sweetness of the sugar. That's one of the reasons I was careful with my spice sack, not wanting it to overwhelm the pear taste. But I didn't realize that I was also "allowed" to adjust the sugar in the same way.

                                                                                            Thanks again for all the tips!

                                                                                            1. re: LNG212

                                                                                              In things like fruit butters and chutneys you can do some playing without much worry, I just make sure I've got lemon or lime in there to add to the acidity. For jams and jellies and things that rely on pectin, I've switched to low/no sugar pectin because it allows me to reduce the sugar without messing with the setting of the jam or jelly. Regular pectin requires a lot of sugar to get the proper set and you should follow those directions exactly where the sugar is concerned. You can still play with add-ins.
                                                                                              Following the instructions as a novice is a good thing because you learn the basics and what to look for during the process. As you get more comfortable and experienced, you'll be more confident about making the recipes your own. "First you learn the rules, then you tweak them."

                                                                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                Check out my crab apple butter post:


                                                                                                Crockpot made it a snap!

                                                                                                1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                  Your recipe looks great. One of the orchards at our greenmarket has been selling crabapples. Now if I get excited about your recipe too then I'll have to go buy more jars!!

                                                                                                  This canning thing is really amazing and has taken over my kitchen. I love it.

                                                                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                    You left the lid off and I take it that worked well. I'll have to try it.

                                                                                                    Last night was applesauce. We're out of freezer space and my hub had to have apple sauce so I canned it. Made the sauce (1 bushel of Stayman apples) last night, brought it up to boiling today, added 1 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Pretty pink color, very tasty. Got it in the jars and in the bath and disaster strikes! Spent the next 20 minutes continually mopping off the stove because 5 qt jars at a full boil makes the water spew out from under the canner lid. Why has it never done that before? Okay, 20 minutes are up and the bottom of the last jar falls off as I lift it out of the bath! Never had that happen in 30 years of canning! Must've been a faulty jar. Next year we buy another chest freezer and the sauce gets frozen!

                                                                                                    1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                      Here's the crab apple butter post...not sure why it linked the other one:


                                                                                                      What I did was put the crab apples and a little water in the crock pot with the lid before I went to bed on LOW, and in the morning, I put it through the strainer, added the spices and finished it off on HIGH without the lid. It cooked down great and didn't burn. I occaisionally stirred it. It's always a challenge not to burn apple butters on the stove top when I cook them down.

                                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                        I've been doing this with apples (skins and all) in my crockpot, works great. How does the taste compare with crabapples? I've never had them...

                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                          Crab apples are more sour than apples....they are rarely eaten right off the tree. The color of the butter is a beautiful deep ruby red in the final product, because the crab apples often have very red skins (although not all varieties are that way). The best part about it is that many people have crab apple trees as ornamental plants in their yard, and so the fruit is free!

                                                                                          2. I just finished processing Raspberries with Chocolate from the Christine Ferber book Mes Confitures. My raspberries were very prolific this year which was a consolation prize for not getting any tomatoes. I had to put the pot under water immediately or I would have licked it clean. Serious good stuff!

                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                              That sounds wonderful! Would you post the recipe?

                                                                                              1. re: morwen

                                                                                                Sorry this is so late!

                                                                                                From Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber here is a paraphrase of the recipe for Raspberry with Chocolate

                                                                                                2 ¾ lb raspberries or 2 ¼ lb raspberries, net of bad berries
                                                                                                3 ½ cups sugar
                                                                                                Juice of 1 lemon
                                                                                                9 ounces bittersweet (68%) chocolate

                                                                                                Take picked over berries and put them through the fine disc of a food mill. Mix the raspberry puree and sugar into a preserving pan with the lemon juice. After it comes to a boil, stirring gently and skimming it carefully, and cook for 5 minutes. Grate chocolate and add to raspberry puree mixture. Stir it until combined and pour into a ceramic bowl. Refrigerate overnight covered with a sheet of parchment paper.

                                                                                                In the preserving pan bring the jam to a boil, stirring and skimming if needed cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil again and after checking the set put the jam into jars and seal.

                                                                                                1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                  Thanks! I have tons of berries in the freezer and small pots of this will be perfect to add to the Christmas baskets!

                                                                                                  1. re: morwen

                                                                                                    5 months after the last post about canning...Finished planting the garden today and it is almost time to start this years canning with some rhubarb conserve and to get ready for the strawberries. Thanks to Morwen for the reference to Cooperative Extension...every county in every state has an extension office and if you are ever in doubt about the safety of home canned food they would love to help you out...many give classes and demos on home canning and food safety and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension web site hosts the national ctr for home canning safety and is a great resource for recipes, safety and techniques. Canning is a lot more than cooking, it is a scientifically based procedure. I dont mean to make it sound like drudgery..it is great fun and incredibly rewarding but to do it correctly and safely requires great attention to detail. Take a class from the great folks at extension and reap the rewards and benefits..there is nothing better than knowing where your food comes from.

                                                                                                    1. re: grammywheels

                                                                                                      Many local cooperative extensions are now running Master Food Volunteer programs. They teach you the ins and outs of home food preserving and safety. The classes are free in exchange for something like 50 volunteer hours helping the agents out with other classes and projects. Availability of the course seems to be based on demand so check with your local agent and sign up or ask for the course.

                                                                                                      Oh...I finally conquered my fear of pressure canners!

                                                                                                  2. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                    I really want to try this recipe... but don't have a food mill (and considering how packed my tiny condo kitchen is.. won't be getting one!). How would it be without the the food mill? Too seedy? Any expert recommendations?

                                                                                                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                      Hi AGM, just wondering what the final product is like? I am really intrigued, but not sure what I will get:) I just saw another recipe in her book this morning that uses pears and chocolate and I was considering that as well, as picking pears is on the to do list for this weekend!

                                                                                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                        Pears and chocolate??? I will have to google that!

                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                          The chocolate raspberry jam is a smooth dark chocolate with undertones of raspberry. Not so chocolate that it hardens in the fridge. Great as a filling for cookies and cakes, with ice cream, by the spoonful!

                                                                                                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                            I did end up making it.. and based on what I ate out of the pot that I was "cleaning" (with a spoon, apparently), it's really really good.. I got "Mes Confitures" out of the llibrary right away!!!

                                                                                                  3. Attending waaaaay too many weddings this July is cutting into my canning, HOWEVER! I just made LOTS of hot pepper jelly (its a favorite of my family) they practically drink it. I hope that when CT local peaches arrive, and ofcourse pickles, lots and lots of pickles. Have all you new canners screwed up my canning jar sources?!?!? Tag sales and old Italian ladies seem to be fresh out! Hoping to do Dilly Beans and dilled Brussel Sprouts when their season arrives.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: jillcooks

                                                                                                      I want to try the dilled brussel sprouts....sounds great! I have found some canning jars at estate sales.

                                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                        You have plenty of time to get around to the brussel sprouts as they really are not in season just yet, BUT dare I say it, Kroger's brand makes an excellent dilled Brussel Sprouts, till you get around to making your own. We dont have a Kroger's in our area, but when we travel south I pick them up. As for canning jars, canning has become a trendy thing around here lately.

                                                                                                    2. We try to grow as much of our own veggies as we can. This summer I've put up dill and sweet pickles; blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, and tomato jams and jellies; green beans; corn; tomato sauces and plain tomatoes; green tomato hot dog relish; and hot peppers in bread and butter brine. I also freeze radish sauce and shredded zucchini. By the way, zucchini custard pie is the current favorite at our house.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                          I was wondering the same thing! Also, do you have a recipie for the custard pie? And also curious about the tomato jam...what do you use it on and can I water bath or is it a pressure canner? Thanks!

                                                                                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                            Wow! I've been busy canning and grading papers, so I've not been here much. Here's one recipe.
                                                                                                            Radish sauce - take a large black Spanish radish, peel it, grate it. For every cup of radish add a few tablespoons of cider vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Yummy with cheese and crackers and wonderful on hot roast beef and cheddar.
                                                                                                            I'll have to look up the other recipes and post later this weekend.

                                                                                                      1. This summer I have done:

                                                                                                        blueberry jam
                                                                                                        blueberry syrup (not a success--too sweet and gritty)
                                                                                                        blueberry pie filling (some seal failures)
                                                                                                        strawberry jam
                                                                                                        fig jam from free figs from a neighbor's yard--really good!
                                                                                                        pearsauce from free pears from an abandoned house's yard (pears were sort of iffy but it came out really well! cooking helped a LOT)
                                                                                                        and the best thing I have canned so far--this peach salsa:


                                                                                                        I opened a jar yesterday and it was all I could do not to eat the whole thing with a spoon. Made as written except I left out the habanero.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: loraxc

                                                                                                          What recipe for blueberry syrup did you use? I made the Blueberry Lemongrass syrup from "Tart & Sweet" this year. It's a lot of extra work with all the straining. But it's totally worth it. The end product is delicious.

                                                                                                        2. As my kids point out, what haven't I canned this year? Blueberry, blackberry and strawberry jellies; pickled hot peppers; dill pickles; bread and butter pickles; green beans; pickled green beans; tomatoes and all kinds of tomato sauces; corn; pickled peaches and pears; fig preserves and chutney; apple chutney; ketchup; zucchini relish; green tomato relish; hot pepper butter; pickled cherry tomaotes; salsa; vegetable soup; tomato soup; chili; blueberry and blackberry cordials; and I think that's it.

                                                                                                          It's a lot of work, but I just love the satisfaction of those gleaming jars of fresh veggie.

                                                                                                          1. 2011 pantry so far:
                                                                                                            Apple Sauce (qt) 8, (pt) 2
                                                                                                            Apple Craic (pt) 16
                                                                                                            French Apple Pie Filling (qt) 6
                                                                                                            Apple Pie Filling (qt) 6
                                                                                                            Spiced Crab Apples (pt) 4, (½ pt) 3
                                                                                                            Dried Apples (gal) 3
                                                                                                            Asparagus Soup (qt) 7
                                                                                                            Pickled Asparagus (pt) 4
                                                                                                            Autumn Olive Jam (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 2
                                                                                                            Frozen Blueberries (qt) 4
                                                                                                            Dried Blueberries (cup) 2
                                                                                                            Blueberry Jam w/Coriander & Lime (4 oz) 1
                                                                                                            Cabbage Roll, plain (1/2 doz) 4
                                                                                                            Cabbage Roll, cranberry walnut (1/2 doz) 3
                                                                                                            Cherry Vanilla Pie Filling (qt) 3, (pt) 1
                                                                                                            Black Forest Cherry Preserve (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 3
                                                                                                            Smokey Chipotle Cherries (½ pt) 6
                                                                                                            Dried Cherries (cup) 4
                                                                                                            Corn, Frozen Kernels (2 serving bag) 5
                                                                                                            Dill Pickles (pt) 6
                                                                                                            Sweet Gherkins (½ pt)1
                                                                                                            Cornichons (½ pt) 2
                                                                                                            Seedless Black Currant Jam (½ pt) 2, (4 oz) 3
                                                                                                            Red Current Jelly (4 oz) 7
                                                                                                            Red Current & Raspberry Jelly (½ pt) 4, (4 oz) 6
                                                                                                            Edamame, frozen (qt) 4
                                                                                                            Dried Fig Jam w/Port Wine (½ pt)1
                                                                                                            Grape Juice (qt) 7
                                                                                                            Romano Beans (qt) 6
                                                                                                            Blue Lake Green Beans (qt)34
                                                                                                            Dried Green Beans (cups) 16
                                                                                                            Sweet Basil Beans (pt) 5
                                                                                                            Dilled Baby Green Beans (½ pt) 10
                                                                                                            Herbs (frozen)
                                                                                                            Wild Garlic Paste (snack bag) 2
                                                                                                            Wild Garlic Dust (spice jar) 2
                                                                                                            Sage Paste (snack bag) 4
                                                                                                            Chive Paste (snack bag) 3
                                                                                                            Fines Herb Paste (snack bag) 2
                                                                                                            Genovese Pesto (snack bag) 11
                                                                                                            Lime Pesto (snack bag) 6
                                                                                                            Lemon Pesto (snack bag) 6
                                                                                                            Sage Poultry Blend Paste (snack bag) 3
                                                                                                            Tuscan Blend Paste (snack bag) 3
                                                                                                            Boursin-style Cheese Spread (6 oz) 3
                                                                                                            Salted Quebec Herbs (pt) 1
                                                                                                            Venison (qt) 4
                                                                                                            Venison Stock (qt) 4
                                                                                                            Mandarin Oranges (½ pt) 9
                                                                                                            Single Malt Marmalade (½ pt) 3, (4 oz) 1
                                                                                                            Orange-Cran Marmalade (½ pt) 5, (4 oz)1
                                                                                                            Dried Orange Wheels (cup) 3
                                                                                                            Clementine Dust (spice jar) 1
                                                                                                            Pear Sauce (qt) 1
                                                                                                            Pear Butter (pt) 1
                                                                                                            Poached Pears in Wine (qt)1
                                                                                                            Salted Caramel Pear Butter (½ pt) 3, (4 oz) 2
                                                                                                            Peach Halves in Earl Grey Tea Syrup (qt) 9
                                                                                                            Peach Jam with Lime Basil (½ pt) 4, (4 oz) 4
                                                                                                            Spicy Peach Maple Jam w/Cherry Peppers (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 4
                                                                                                            Peach Butter (½ pt) 15, (4 oz) 6
                                                                                                            Peach Sauce (pt) 6, (qt) 2
                                                                                                            Dried Peaches (cup) 5
                                                                                                            Hot Honeyed Cherry Peppers (pt) 4
                                                                                                            Zavory Pepper Jelly (4 oz) 4
                                                                                                            Roasted Poblano Pepper Strips, frozen (snack bag) 5
                                                                                                            Cranberry Pepper Jelly ( ½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 7
                                                                                                            Hot Pepper & Honey Jelly (4 oz) 8
                                                                                                            Chili Rellanos con Quesa (sm each) 16, (lg each) 12
                                                                                                            Dried Marconi Peppers (cups) 5
                                                                                                            Dried Zavory Peppers (½ cup) 1
                                                                                                            Sweet & Spicy Zavory Mini Bell Peppers (pt) 2
                                                                                                            Roasted Red Pepper Spread (½ pt) 2
                                                                                                            Roasted Red Pepper Strips, frozen (snack bag) 7
                                                                                                            Diced Bell Pepper, frozen (gal) 1
                                                                                                            Red Pepper Spread, frozen (4 oz) 2
                                                                                                            Stuffed Peppers frozen (each) 22
                                                                                                            Stuffed Peppers frozen, side (qt bag)1
                                                                                                            Stuffed Peppers frozen, app (qt bag) 1
                                                                                                            Dried Plums (cup) 4
                                                                                                            Rhubarb Lime Jam (½ pt) 3
                                                                                                            Rhubarb Rosemary Jam (½ pt) 1, (4 oz) 3
                                                                                                            Pickled Shallot Scapes (½ pt) 1
                                                                                                            Shallot Scape Pesto, frozen (snack bag) 4
                                                                                                            Vegetable Soup (qt) 4
                                                                                                            Leek & Potato Soup (qt) 7
                                                                                                            Squash (frozen)
                                                                                                            Butternut, roasted cubed (qt bag) 2
                                                                                                            Butternut, roasted pureed (qt bag) 1
                                                                                                            Acorn, roasted cubed ( ½ qt bag) 1
                                                                                                            Strawberries, Whole Preserves w/Vanilla Syrup (pt) 6
                                                                                                            Strawberry Jam (4 oz) 12
                                                                                                            Strawberry Jam, Balsamic & Black Pepper (4 oz) 8
                                                                                                            Strawberry Jam with Basil (4 oz) 6, (½ pt) 3
                                                                                                            Strawberry Vanilla Syrup (½ pt) 4
                                                                                                            Dried Strawberries (cup) 4
                                                                                                            Tomato Lime Salsa (½ pt) 9
                                                                                                            Tomato Paste (4 oz) 17
                                                                                                            Diced Herbed Tomatoes (pt) 15
                                                                                                            Marinara Sauce (pt) 10, (½ pt) 1
                                                                                                            Tomato Sauce (pt) 7, (½ pt) 7
                                                                                                            Roasted Tomatoes, frozen (snack bag) 16
                                                                                                            Ketchup (½ pt) 9, (pt) 9
                                                                                                            Plain Dried Tomatoes (cup)2
                                                                                                            Maple Syrup Vinegar Marinated Dried Tomatoes (cup) 2
                                                                                                            Dried Currant Tomatoes (½ cup) 1
                                                                                                            Spicy Currant Tomato Preserves (4 oz) 2
                                                                                                            Red Wine
                                                                                                            Red Wine with Tuscan Herbs
                                                                                                            White Wine with Chive Blossoms
                                                                                                            Plum Sherry

                                                                                                            Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti Squash
                                                                                                            Sweet Potatoes

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: morwen

                                                                                                              Wow, morwen, as always you are incredible!

                                                                                                              What is single malt marmalade? And would you share a recipe?

                                                                                                              Thanks so much.

                                                                                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                After you've filled the jars with your favorite orange marmalade recipe, just top them off with a teaspoon of your favorite single malt scotch! Then seal and process as usual. I let these age a good 6 months to a year before opening them.

                                                                                                              2. re: morwen

                                                                                                                Wow, morwen, as always you are incredible!

                                                                                                                What is single malt marmalade? And would you share a recipe?

                                                                                                                Thanks so much.

                                                                                                                1. I remember trying some really delicious, crispy pickled garlic when I was at Borough Market in the UK this summer. Does anyone have a recipe for a variation of this? I don't understand how they were able to make the garlic so crispy and eliminate the spiciness!

                                                                                                                  1. My preservation highlights for this year = 2011

                                                                                                                    McClure's Style Pickles - Brooklyn and Detroit natives will recognize McClure's pickles...they are delicious. My take on them is one of my most popular canned goods. Hubby and I canned them when both the kids were at camp this past summer and we were in the midst of a power outage. I made well over 24 pints - we're down to 17 jars left.

                                                                                                                    Strawberry Jam with Natural Pectin - my second most popular blog post of all time - well over 6,000 page views just this year. My family eats strawberry jam by the gross. I currently have 12 half pints and some various and sundry jelly jars full left. This jam was the subject of several farmer's market demos this past summer.

                                                                                                                    Grape Jam - My sister in law sent my husband home with a grocery bag full of Concord grapes so I tried the grape jam recipe from Linda Ziedrich's great book about sweet preserves. Have you seen her blog? It rocks.

                                                                                                                    Salsa #5 - this salsa recipe is the best home canned salsa recipe I have ever made. We ate so much of it already that I had to call a farmer friend in October to see if she had any tomatoes left so I could make some more. Luckily, our mild autumn gave me a reprieve....I got some more put up and right now I have 24 pints left and a few extra quarts. This recipe was also the subject of a farmer's market demo.

                                                                                                                    Cherry Berry Spoon Fruit - I adore American Spoon Foods, a northern Michigan purveyor of all sorts of wonderful fruit preserves. This is my take on their Cherry Berry Spoon Fruit, which is a no sugar added fruit spread they make specially for our hometown Ann Arbor Zingerman's Deli. I made just 4 pints of this treat this year, because I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it worked out very well. I'll make more spoon fruit next year.

                                                                                                                    Cherry Preserves - I had to fix my first attempt, but my 5 half pints came out fantastic! They will be great holiday gifts

                                                                                                                    Peaches - My friend Ellen and I canned these one Friday night in August. I have 6 quarts total left to get us through the winter.

                                                                                                                    Stewed Rhubarb - It's what I do every May at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. Can't wait to make a crisp in January. Rhubarb tastes like spring to me, and tonight on my way home it was all snow squalls. I will need rhubarb in January.

                                                                                                                    Pickled Green Beans - My friend Martha and I made these beauties early in the season. I have only one jar left.

                                                                                                                    Sauerkraut and Jalapeno peppers - I wild fermented both of these, and the currently reside in our garage. I will make some kapusta for Thanksgiving and I have already made several batches of pickled eggs with the peppers.

                                                                                                                    1. I've done a ton of jam, some tomato sauce, some pickled cherries, and I'm just beginning to do more pickles! My spiced blueberry jam has been my favorite so far!