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Who wants to can some preserves?

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Westie and I were talking (again) about tough times...


My blackberries are starting to come in so her and I were talking about canning some blackberry preserves (without pectin). We thought it would be alot of fun for anyone who is interested, to pick a fruit they either have in season or enjoy eating, to join us in one of our infamous online canning classes, complete with pictures!


Her and I were talking about how awesome it will be this winter to have some of our home canned preserves on the homemade bread we will all be making!


We're going to follow the recipes out of the Ball Blue Book of Canning, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, try to get one soon. We'll be posting the recipes here too!


I'm excited...my blackberries are getting black and I'm SO ready to can!


We'll be starting this in 2 weeks, to let everyone that needs to think about what they'd like to make, or to get their supplies.

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We might be between berries here in two weeks. Strawberries are in now but in two weeks might be all gone and blueberries would be too early yet then...but...I would like join in if possible. I'll check all the U-picks, but I know blueberries here are an end of July thing and the blackberries and raspberries are sometimes an August thing!

I did make a batch of strawberry preserves just this week. If it quits raining, I will pick more next week but I'm sure they will be gone by in two. I could maybe freeze some and save them for the chat!! Yeah..that's it...!!

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I am going to be canning what ever is in season! I don't have blueberries here, maybe I will be doing peaches or apricots or ??


It doesn't matter what kind of fruit you choose.... just to let you know we are only canning with fruit and sugar and making preserves not jam or jelly.


The reason for this is because Pectin may not always be available or you may find that your pectin is out of date.


The difference between Jam and Preserves is ... Jam uses pectin. The pectin makes the Jam firm. When you put your spoon in the Jam and lift out a spoonful, it is mounded on the spoon. Preserves doesn't use pectin and when you put your spoon into the jar, the preserves on the spoon level with the spoon.


When I am making preserves, I use the plate test to see if the preserves are cooked enough... or not cooked too much! oh one time, I cooked elderberry preserves so long, turned to candy!


I take a saucer out of the cupboard, I get a little preserves on the spoon and drip some onto the plate. I let it sit for about 30 seconds and then tip the plate. The preserves will run freely and that means it hasn't cooked enough, the preserves will move slowly and be thick, done! if the preserves sit there in a lump... cooked too long! In time you will learn how thick you like your preserves.. a trial and error process which means, you need to can lots of batches of preserves.


Knowing how to can without pectin will be a feather in your cap. Besides... with the rising prices... not having to purchase pectin leaves more money to buy a couple bags of beans! (to can!)


Yes you can make pectin! but that is for another post.



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I want to do peach preserves.My Ball Blue Book recipe uses pectin.I will leave it out this time to see if it works without it.This is a great idea. There may come a time when we can't run to WM for supplise.

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Most stores, canning is a 'seasonal' item. This means that canning supplies aren't readily available.


Yeah I see the ball blue has jam using liquid pectin and preserves using powdered pectin!


We are gonna go pectinless!

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This is a great idea ! This is a good way to learn. If you get a jelly/candy thermometer it will help, too. Gel stage is at 220 degrees. Syrup is at 218. If you have a Ball Blue book, read up on the ways to test for a gel before you start your lesson. It will help you out.

The difference between jams and preserves is the size of the fruit. Jam has chopped or mashed pieces. Preserves are whole fruits, like strawberries suspended in the jelly part. Normally the berrie or fruit are put in a sugar solution to sit overnight to sort of candy them first in a preserve.

Jelly is just pure juice that is gelled.

Conserves have nuts added.

Chutney is a mix of fruits, spices, sometimes onions, etc.

Marmaldes are citrus based.


Some fruits are low in pectin so they need other fruits added to make them gel. Not all fruits will be able to be cooked and get a gel. Someplace there is a list that tells which are high in pectin and others low in natural pectin.

Brendajo, get a recipe that is for not using commercial pectin for your jam. If you try to use the same one and leave out the pectin it may not gel.


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2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups white sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice



Strawberry jam


In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal in BWB for 10 min.


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I would LOVE to be a student in this class! I just commited to learning how to can about a week ago, and this is just what I need. Thanks for doing this.

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I couldn't get pectin in February when I had blackberries, so I cooked the berries by themselves for a while until they had cooked down a bit, then I added the sugar, cooked until the plate test thing worked and enjoyed! I found that I could cook the berries down faster without the sugar as there was no threat of burning. I turned down the heat when I added the sugar. This worked really well


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storing a few recipes here


Chunky Peach Preserves

From Fresh From the Farmers' Market (Canada, UK), by Janet Fletcher and Victoria Pearson.


Spread on hot biscuits and whole-grain toast, or stir a spoonful into plain yogurt for breakfast. Be sure to sample the peaches at the farmers' market before you commit to three pounds; great jam starts with great fruit.




3 pounds freestone peaches, such as Elberta

ice water

5 cups sugar

2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice, or more to taste




Cut an X in the rounded end of each peach. Bring a saucepan full of water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add peaches a few at a time to the boiling water and blanch 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, lift out and peel. The skin should peel back easily from the X.


Cut peaches into wedges about 1/2 inch thick, then cut each wedge in half crosswise. Transfer to a large bowl, add sugar and lemon juice and stir well. Let stand several hours or overnight, stirring two or three times, until sugar dissolves and mixture no longer tastes grainy.


Transfer to a large pot, bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and simmer, skimming any white foam that collects on the surface, until peaches are tender and syrup thickens slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and let rest overnight to "plump" the fruit again.


Drain the fruit in a sieve set over a bowl. Taste the syrup and add more lemon juice if it seems too sweet. Return the syrup to a pot and cook over moderately high heat until it reaches 220°F 105°C). Or test for jamlike consistency by spooning a little onto a chilled saucer, then returning the saucer to the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool the syrup quickly. It should firm to a soft jelly consistency.


Return the peaches and any collected juices to the pot and cook a couple of minutes more, until mixture returns to 220°F (105°C). It will seem thin. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, then spoon into clean, hot jars to within 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe rim clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Place lids and rings on jars and seal tightly. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Or, for longer storage, place just-filled jars in boiling water to cover by 1 inch and boil 15 minutes for half-pint jars, 20 minutes for pint jars. Transfer with tongs to a rack to cool; lids should form a seal. Sealed jars may be stored in a pantry for up to a year.


Yield: makes 3 pints



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Sizzling Peach Preserves


3 lb ripe peaches, peeled and quartered

1/2 medium size orange, quartered and seeded

2 Red Savina habañeros, (seeds and all)

4 cups sugar

1/4 tsp almond extract

3/4 C honey (the lightest, mildest you can find)


Combine peaches, sugar, and honey in a Dutch oven; stir well. Cover and let stand 45 minutes. Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add orange quarters and chilies. Process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides.


Place orange, habañero chilies, and an equal amount of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until orange rind is tender.


Bring peach mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add orange mixture. Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until candy thermometer registers 221 degrees, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in almond extract. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.


Quickly pour hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands.


Process jars

in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Adjust time according to altitude.


Makes: 6 half pints

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