Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I finally had my first canning experience :) I have been wanting to try making jam, jelly or salsa for awhile, but could never get all the supplies/time/energy together. But...the other night, I went for it and it was EASY! Seriously, even in my small apartment with limited counter space. I started simple so I could get the canning process down - I made pomegranate jelly.

Ball's website is great - they provide step-by-step tutorials for canning all types of foods. Here is a snapshot of a portion of their tutorial for high-acid canning (find the tutorial here).
Pomegranate Jelly (adapted from Freshpreserving.com)
3-1/2 cups prepared or bottled pomegranate juice
1 (1.75 oz) pkg Ball® Original Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp butter or margarine, optional
5 cups sugar
6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands [I used smaller sized jars and had leftovers]

1. Prepare boiling water canner by adding water and bringing up to a simmer [I did not do this early enough so I ended up having my jelly ready to be canned, but my canner not ready for me; find more directions here]. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. Place pomegranate juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Add up to 1/2 tsp butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired. [Note: I added the butter and it did not reduce foaming too much for me, so I will leave it out next time around]
3. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
4. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
5. Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace - use funnel, it makes things much easier! Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

I'm going to try to make apple butter later this week, so stay tuned - I promise to post a picture of my seemingly giant canner on top of my small stove...
Tips: Definitely read through all the instructions on canning prior to doing it - this way you know what equipment you need.

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