simple easy canning recipes

i took a canning class with my friend aimee about 7 years ago shortly after i got married and was in full on new wife duties. i had newly discovered my love of cooking, baking and all things food. don’t get me wrong i’ve always loved eaten it but even in growing up in a family of amazing cooks i never really took it on. once i started needing to feed joe and i for survival i discovered how much i truly enjoyed the art of it. which led me to take on all sorts of lessons.. smoking meat, pasta rolling, bread baking and canning. we both signed up for a free canning class at william sonoma one sunday morning and came home with a car load of supplies. to my defense though i still have the same canning pot and supplies from 7 years ago. it was worth the splurge.

i bought this multi use waterbath canning pot about 7 years ago and it’s still in like new condition (mind you i never put it in the dishwasher). now you can use really any large pot as long as the tray fits in it and water can swirl about an inch above the jars and below the jars but the thing i love about this pot is the lid has a gauge on it that signals when the water is hot enough and when to start your timer for the recipe. which for someone who is paranoid of bacteria in jars it’s worth the splurge.

i canned a bit on my own last week sunday and then met up with some friends this past week to can a few more recipes. sunday i made the triple berry champagne jam which is seriously joe and i’s favorite. this is one of the recipes that i make a double batch of because we eat the entire lot of it. the champagne gives it a tingly sparkly little edge. it’s fantastic on toast but also delicious on top of a cheese cake or a nice stinky blue cheese. this recipe came from one of my canning magazines i’ve collected over the years. if you watched my instagram stories it was reissued this year again and you can get it at readers world in holland if you are local or i’m sure your local barnes and noble has it. (note: link is an older issue)

later this week we canned from a new one i found while browsing the home depot (also available at readers world). we made the peach bellini sauce and a sour cherry jam. we ate the left over half jar of peach bellini sauce with spoons it was so good! it would make an awesome drink mixer, over toast or cream cheese and bread or even on ice cream. the sour cherry jam was FANTASTIC over a sharp white cheddar. the contrast between the sweet sour and the salt savory of the cheese was absolute heaven. i mean come on is there anything better than enjoying a sunny evening with your girlfriends inhaling cheese? (no there isn’t).

so here are a few great recipes to get you going. if you are new to canning i HIGHLY recommend the two magazines these recipes came from. great photos and instructions for newbies (and great reminders for people who have been doing it for years!)

NOTE: Canning is a science. Botulism is a rare but real thing. Do not leave out ingredients or add ingredient. Read the instructions on canning before attempting any of these recipes. 

sparkling berry champagne preserves from better homes and gardens
6 cups of fresh raspberries
4 cups of fresh black raspberries or black raspberries
2 cups of fresh blueberries
3/4 cup of champagne (can substitute sparkling apple juice but the alcohol does get cooked out)
1 tbsp finely shredded lemon peel
41/2 cups of sugar
1  1.75oz pkg of fruit pectin for lower sugar recipes or 3 tbsp powdered fruit pectin for low or no sugar recipes (you can find this at your grocery store or even tractor supply)

1. wash and let the berries drain. pour into a 6-8 quart pot and crush with a potato masher. stir in the champagne and lemon peel
2. in a separate bowl mix in 1/4 cup of sugar and the pectin. add to the berry mixture and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat stirring constantly. stir in the remaining 4 1/4 cups of sugar. return to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. remove from heat and skim off the foam.
3. ladle the hot preserves into hot sterilized (either in the hot water for canning or your dishwasher wash and heat cycle) into half pint jars. leave 1/4 inch of head space (space between jam and the tippy top lid of the jar). wipe the jar rims and put on lids and screw tops.
4. process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes and allow to cool and pop
makes about 9 half pint jars
recipe from better homes and gardens special issue jams and jellies

sour cherry preserves
4 cups of pitted, chopped, frozen or fresh cherries (about 3.5 lbs)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 oz box of premium fruit pectin

1. place the thawed or fresh cherries into a food processor and pulse 4-5 times to chop do not puree!
2. place the cherries in a large pot and add the lemon juice
3. measure the exact amount of sugar into a bowl and set aside.
4. stir in pectin and 1 tsp of butter into the chopped cherries to reduce foaming
5. bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down) over high heat
6. stir in sugar quickly and stir constantly bring back to a full rolling boil and boil for a full minute. remove from heat and skim off any foam
7. ladle the hot jam into sterilized half pint jars. leave 1/4 inch headspace. wipe the rims and place on lids and bands.
8. process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. remove jars and let cool.
this jam will last in the fridge (once opened) for 1 month and up to 1 year if processed correctly.
makes 6 half pint jars
recipe from harris farmers almanac canning and preserving

Peach bellini sauce
3 1/2 lbs fresh peeled and chopped peaches
3 cups of sugar
3 tbsp finely shredded lemon peel
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup champagne

1. place peaches in a large pot and mash slightly. add sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and champagne to the pot and stir. bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes until slightly thickened stirring occasionally.
2. ladle the sauce into sterilized half pint jars. leave 1/4 inch head space, wipe jars and place on lids and bands.
3. process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. remove from heat and let cool and seal.
makes 6 half pint jars
recipe from better homes and gardens special issue jams and jellies

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