Archive for the ‘Canning Recipes’ Category

This time of year pineapple is fairly cheap and filling the farmers markets, local groceries and back of pickup trucks.  While you can buy pineapple in stores, I find it just as easy to can it from home.  Pineapple being a high acid fruit does not need pressure canning just hot water bath.  The process is simple, trim your pineapple, cut into bite sized cubes and place in clean jars.  Make a batch of simple syrup to your personal liking and pour over the fruit in jars.  Seal and process in hot water for 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.

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Home canned cranberry sauce is so simple to prepare, and unlike store canned varieties it has no artificial ingredients or sweeteners.  Another wonderful element of this is you don’t need to own a canner. You just need the ability to do a hot water bath to seal.

Home Canned Cranberry Sauce.

Choose the type you wish to make, if whole berry simply cook and mash the berries using a potato masher once the skins split.  If you desire more jelly, run the cranberries through a food grinder, or put in your blender and puree before cooking.

Cook your berries. 1 cup water per 1 bag of cranberries.  You want to boil them until the skins split.  For making whole berry, mash them at this point.  If you are making more Jelly style, lay a piece of cheesecloth inside a strainer, or using a fine sieve strainer run liquid through. Press the puree to get all the liquids.  Return to pot.  (Don’t discard the puree, put it in your food dehydrator to flavor foods or freeze in ice cube trays to put in muffins.)

To the cooked berries add 1 cup sugar per bag of cranberries you used.  Add more if you desire it sweeter.  (Remember always taste test what you cook.)

Let boil 10 minutes before processing in sterile jars.  Seal and hot water bath for 15 minutes per pint.

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This is a wild persimmon tree that showed up at my backdoor one summer, literally. What made this tree special is that it came during a time when we were low in funds, struggling with putting food on table and that fall she offered us a blessing of her abundance and the children a treat during the seeming dreary holiday season where food much less presents were questionable. She grew fast, produced several offspring’s and now I have a little grove of wild persimmons to enjoy.

They sure arn’t pretty fruits are they? But when ripe they are very flavorful.  My favorite method of preserving them is simply to dehydrate or “candy” them before dehydrating. To candy I use 1 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup to 2 cups water and peel, slice the fruit and let fruit sit in hot syrup for 30 minutes before putting on dehydrator.  Persimmon pudding and jams are also delicious.

Some wonder why I bother to year after year gather her fruits and even plant her seeds to grow saplings to share with others.  To me, it just feels the right thing to do.

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I’ll admit, I cheated on this one and took the simple route.  I still ended up with a dozen cans, plus 1/2 a margarine container for immediate use, from this batch. First my grapes have not struck the first frost to be ready to harvest for their delicate sweetness.  Second we were out of grape jelly from last years batch and with all the canning I have done lately, I wanted to whip some up quickly.  I’ve used this recipe and the fresh grapes style alternatively, both work wonderful and honestly there isn’t much difference in taste.  I know numerous people are unable to harvest their own Concord Grapes, and honestly they are not easy to grow in Texas, having lost many plants in the beginning years before finally getting a decent established soil and location they seemed to accept.

With this recipe anyone, anywhere can make their own homemade Concord Grape Jelly, or White Grape Jelly.

Grape Jelly – Canned

6 cups bottled grape juice (be sure its 100% juice)

6 1/2 cups sugar

2 boxes sure-gel

Mix pectin into 1/4 cup sugar.  Add to grape juice and stir to dissolve.  Over medium-high heat bring to full boil.  Add sugar and bring back to boil and hard boil for 1 minute.  Test “Stiffness” by dipping a metal table spoon into ice water, then into the jelly.  Let cool slightly and see if it balls up upon spoon like a thin jelly should.  (It will thicken more as it cools).  Fill jars and HWB for 5 minutes for 1/2 pints and pints.

**Please note, this is for making grape jam using store bought grape juice.  You can also use other juices.**

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12 lbs ripe tomatoes

1 lb onions

1/2 lb sweet red peppers

1/2 lb sweet green peppers

4.5 cups vinegar

4.5 cups sugar

1/8 cup canning salt (optional)

Into spice bag or cheesecloth add

1 tbsp dry mustard

1/2 tbsp ground red pepper

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tbsp whole cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Select your tomatoes and put in water to boil.

2. Once skins are split, remove from hot water into ice bath and when cold, peel skins off “meat”.  (Save the skin for tomato powder).

3. Slice tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Place in strainer over catch bowl and let drain out extra waters.

4. Prepare peppers and onions.

5. Put tomatoes, peppers and onions in blender in batches to puree.

6. Place in canning kettle and heat to boiling. Simmer 1 hour.

7. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and spice bag.

8. Move contents to a crock pot and reduce over low heat until ketchup is reduced by half volume (this takes about 12 hours in a crockpot). Stir occasionally.

9. Once reduced, can and seal.

10. Hot water bath 15 minutes.

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I am not sure where it began, but I know it happened sometime in my childhood out in my Grandfather’s woods during one of our quiet walks picking huckleberries that the concept of “waste not-want not” began and grew.  It has over and over become a saying used in this house, from foods, hand me down clothing, or transitioning something into something completely different.  Nothing gets wasted if possible to salvage.  Fruit vinegars one of those examples.  Many of us would just discard the tops, peels and pits without thought.  But they hold so much potential, especially in fruit vinegars that can be sweetened and used with fruit or summer salads for that extra “pick-me-up”.  They are so simple yet so versatile  I bet you never look at those pieces ready to be discarded the same way again.

Fruit Vinegars

Strawberry tops, orange peels, plum or peach pits, apple rinds.

White vinegar (enough to cover the fruits)

Heat vinegar and fruit parts on stove until boiling, let boil 3 minutes and pour into sterilized jars (not canning) and let steep for 24 hours.  Strain to discard fruit and can the fruit vinegar by reheating and placing in sterilized canning jars.   You can also just leave in refrigerator if making small batches.

To use, add sugar or honey to taste and pour over salads for a sweet fruit vinegar dressing.

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We eat a lot of jelly. On toast, in homemade yogurt, in oatmeal, on PB&J sandwiches, it just seems to disappear from this house.  With a recent good deal on strawberries and mango’s I decided to whip together some jelly.  Both the fruits were past their “prime” but not past being able to be made into a nice jelly.  For record, those two flavors are just amazing mixed together. I do not have exact amounts of the fruits, it’s pretty much a wing it but for each pint of strawberries it is one mango.

Strawberry-Mango Jelly

Strawberries, cleaned and sliced.  (I used 3 pints)

Mango, peeled and sliced off pit. (3 mangos)

3 cups sugar

1 box sure-gel

Take clean fruit and put in blender with 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Puree then transfer to pot on stove.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Add sure-gel and return to boil stirring frequently 10 minutes.  Add sugar and bring to boil again, boil 5 minutes or until desired thickness set.

Process in hot water bath 20 minutes for 1/2 point and pint jars.

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I make a lot of pizza’s…we have pizza night once a week at this house which the kids just love.  I also make pizza pockets for my son’s take to school lunch and my daughters eat at home lunch so she can be “just like the big kids”.  I can in pint jars as it seems to be just the right amount for what I need at a given time to make several pizzas and pockets.  This sauce also makes a good dipping sauce for bread sticks and mozzarella sticks.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

5 pints tomato sauce (or make sauce from scratch with what tomatoes you have on hand, recipe follows).
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped sweet peppers or bell peppers
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salt
5 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons basil
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

Place your sauce in a big canning kettle.  Cook the onions, pepper and garlic in a little tomato juice or water until tender.  Place them in blender and puree before adding them to the sauce in kettle.  Add your herbs, sugar, salt and pepper and let cook.  Bring to boil on medium heat stirring frequently to keep from scorching.  Keeping a soft rolling boil going, let the tomatoes cook down and mingle for one hour or longer until reduced and thickened.  Mix cornstarch with a bit of water and add for further thickening if desired or needed.  Ladle into jars and cap.  Process 25 minutes for pints, 35 minutes for quarts in hot water bath.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

20 lbs of tomatoes (1.5 peck)

Put in canning kettle of boiling water and boil until skins split.  Plunge into ice bath and let cool slightly before peeling off the skin.  (Do not discard this as it can be dried, powdered and used in flavorings).  Put the skinned tomatoes into a food processor or blender and puree.  (You can also use a Squeezo if you want to be rid of the pulp and seeds, I personally don’t mind them…again if you do, don’t discard the pulp mix as it can also be dried and powdered).

Place the tomato “juice”  into canning kettle and bring to rolling boil over medium heat.  Stir frequently to keep from burning.  It will boil up and foam, and boil down again.  Keep boiling and stirring until it’s well reduced and thickened.  This will take a while and expect roughly two to three hours.

Once reduced, ladle into jars and process 25 minutes pints, 35 minutes quarts in hot water bath.

**If you like, you may add a cup or two of sugar to the sauce.**

***I like a smoky taste to my tomato sauce I plan to use for pizza or spaghetti, so at point before jarring,  I take the canning kettle out to the grill filled with hickory wood.  Setting it on the grill I let it sit in and over the produced smoke for three hours or longer to allow the smoky flavor to absorb into the sauce. ***

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I love mushrooms, in sauces, making gravies, on pizza’s or in general dishes. There is nothing better then mushrooms.  Often times our local groceries or the farmers markets have sales on mushrooms “past prime” meaning they don’t look as white and beautiful as they desire for eye appeal.  When this happens I make sure I’m first in line to snatch up the shipment boxes full of these little gems.

Canning Mushrooms

Button mushrooms, morel mushrooms, shitake, portabella mushrooms.

Citric acid (Fruit Fresh)

Salt (if you desire)

Wash mushrooms and sort by size for Button, Morels, shitake and baby portabella’s.  For large portabella’s slice into thumb tip size chunks.

Leave soak in water for 10 minutes before beginning processing.

Place in large sauce pot and add 1/2 tsp citric acid (to prevent browning).  Cook gently for 15 minutes and hot pack in jars covered with fresh boiling water.  (I personally like to use the water I boil them in, so my mushrooms are not as “clean” looking as fresh water would offer. but then it holds extra nutrients lost in fresh boiled water).

Process in pressure canner, 10 pounds pressure for 45 minutes for pint jars.

Hint: If you do prefer to use fresh water to cover mushrooms, don’t throw out the nutrient water you boiled them in. Rather cool it to room temperature and use to water houseplants, herbs or garden plants.  They will thank you for it.

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I had frozen some cherries that I planned to make into jelly earlier this year.  Today as I was already hip deep in canning, I figured it a good time to pull them out and make them into jelly.

Canned Cherry Jelly

6-8 cups pitted cherries, ground.  (I put them in a blender with a little water it works wonderful.)

4-6 cups sugar (4 for sweet cherries, 6 for tarts)

1 box sure-gel

Place the ground cherries in sauce pan and heat to boiling. Simmer 10 minutes stirring frequently.  Some at this stage then drain them through a cheese cloth to get the liquid but not the cherry bits. I don’t bother. I personally like the little pieces of cherry in my jelly as it is slathered on hot toast or muffins.

Add pectin and 1/4 cup sugar to cherries and bring to boil over medium heat.  Stir for 5 to 10 minutes constantly to keep from burning.

Add sugar and continue to stir. Bring to boil once more and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Test for “thickness” by keeping a metal tablespoon in ice water nearby.  Ladle some of the jelly onto the spoon and let it cool to room temperature.  You want it to stay on the spoon.  If it does not, add a bit more pectin (1/4 package at time) and test again.

Once at thickness desired, ladle into jelly jars and lid/ring.

Place in hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Remove and let cool, enjoy the “Ping” of a job well done.

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