Canning Ahead

There are two main types of canning methods shown here. Below, we describe each.

Boiling-Water Canner

Boiling-water canners are made of aluminum or porcelain-covered steel. They have removable perforated racks and fitted lids. The canner must be deep enough so that at least an inch of briskly boiling water will be over the tops of jars during processing. Either a flat or ridged-bottom canner can be used on a gas burner, but a flat bottom must be used on an electric range. To ensure uniform processing of all jars with an electric range, the canner should be no more than four inches wider in diameter than the element on which it is heated.

Steam Pressure Canner

Modern pressure canners are lightweight, thin-walled kettles. They have a jar rack, gasket, dial or weighted gauge, an automatic vent/cover lock, a vent port (steam vent) to be closed with a counterweight or weighted gauge, and a safety fuse.

Following strict canning guidelines, like the ones detailed here, is important. If done improperly, growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum in canned food may cause botulism—a deadly form of food poisoning.  For more information on proper canning procedures, visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation website at nchfp.uga.edu.

Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation

Bread and Butter Pickles

Rae Bond

ca-2

Ingredients:

4 quarts thinly sliced small pickling cucumbers
6 medium onions (preferably sweet), thinly sliced
1/3 cup canning salt
garlic powder
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 Tbsp. allspice berries plus a pinch of allspice
6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves

Scrub, rinse, and slice the cucumbers into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. Add the sliced onions, canning salt, and garlic powder. Mix together in a bowl so salt is evenly distributed. Cover with crushed ice and a clean cloth. Chill for four hours. Rinse and drain residue from the cucumber/onion mixture carefully.

Bring white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and remaining ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Add the cucumbers and onions and bring back to a boil. Heat for about five minutes until thoroughly hot.

Pack in sterilized hot jars with 1/2-inch headspace.
You can add Pickle Crisp to the jars before adding the
pickles if you desire. Be sure the pickle juice covers the
pickles. Cover and process in a steam pressure canner for 10 minutes. Best served chilled!

Yields 7 pints

Watermelon Jelly

Leslie Hartsell

ca-4
Ingredients:

3 cups watermelon, pureed with no seeds
3 Tbsp. bottled lemon juice
3 1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. pectin
1/4 tsp. butter to keep foam down

Puree watermelon in a food processor. Transfer watermelon puree into a clean, large, deep stainless steel pot. Stir in lemon juice and sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin and butter. Boil hard, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

Quickly pour hot jelly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in boiling-water canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait five minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.

Yields 5 jars

From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Tip: Leslie also mixes 1/3 cup of sugar with the pectin.

Peach Syrup

Pat Stewart

ca-6
Ingredients:

1 quart peaches
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
sugar to taste

Wash and drain peaches. Cut peaches in half, then coarsely chop. Add one cup of water to a saucepan and boil. Cook peaches in water until soft. Puree peaches through a food mill and add back to saucepan (for a clearer syrup, strain puree before adding to saucepan).

Add one tablespoon of lemon juice and sugar to taste (for a simple syrup, it takes one cup of sugar for each cup of syrup). Reheat slowly until sugar dissolves, stirring to prevent sticking. Ladle syrup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process half-pints and pints 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

From the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Classic Canned Green Beans

Sue Postell

ca-8
Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lb. green beans
1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. salt
water

Wash beans and drain excess water. Remove string, trim ends, and break or cut freshly gathered beans into 2-inch pieces. Pack beans tightly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to each pint jar, 1 tsp. to each quart jar, if desired. Ladle boiling water over beans, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 20 mins, or quarts 25 mins, at 10 lbs. pressure in a steam pressure canner.

From the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Pickled Baby Carrots

Janice Hartman

ca-9
Ingredients:

8 1/2 cups peeled baby carrots
5 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. canning salt
8 tsp. mustard seed
4 tsp. celery seed

Wash and rinse pint canning jars and keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids and bands according to manufacturer’s directions. Wash carrots well and peel, if necessary. Wash again after peeling.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and canning salt in an eight quart Dutch oven or stockpot to create pickling liquid. Bring to a boil and boil gently for three minutes. Add carrots and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and heat until the carrots are half-cooked (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, place 2 tsp. mustard seed and 1 tsp. celery seed in the bottom of each hot, sterilized pint jar. Fill hot jars with the carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover with hot pickling liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids.

Process in a boiling-water canner. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals. For best flavor, allow carrots to sit in processed jars for three to five days before consuming.

Yields 4 jars

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Apple Pepper Jelly

Lisa Fowler

ca-12
Ingredients:

30 oz. chopped apples
1 cup finely chopped sweet peppers
1 cup finely chopped hot pepper mix (jalapeño, habanero, poblano)
4 oz. apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 oz. box Sure-Jell Powder Pectin
9 cups sugar

Combine apples, sweet peppers, hot pepper mix, and vinegar into an eight quart pot. Bring mixture to a simmering boil. Add pectin. Return to a low boil and maintain for one minute. Add three cups sugar and return to a boil. Add the remaining sugar in thirds and return to a boil each time. On adding final sugar, return to full boil and maintain for one minute. Turn off heat and immediately begin filling sterilized jars. Place jars in hot water. Bring to a hard boil. Time for five minutes, then remove jars from hot water and allow to cool.

Yields 10 jars

Jake’s Fresh Market & Cannery is certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture as a low-acid shared kitchen facility.

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