So, remember when I wrote about seeing the canning demonstration over the weekend? Well, we all were so inspired during that demonstration to go out and immediately purchase the supplies to make our own preserves at home! I’m not even kidding. We were going to see a Candy Demonstration class, but cut that so we could try this out on our own. Luckily, I took excellent notes during the demonstration.
ITEMS YOU’LL NEED:
Firstly, we purchased this while attending the demonstration – man was this an awesome purchase – no burns here. Not even sure what this is actually called…maybe jar gripper???
You hold it by the black plastic part and this grips around the glass jars very nicely!
You will also need a rack or something for the bottom of your pot so that the jars don’t sit directly on top of the heat – Liana Krissoff said she made her own instead of buying a rack that can be inserted into the bottom of your pan. So, that’s what we did – the hubby was in charge of this task of course – he loves projects like this…this worked beautifully!!
You will also need a large – mouthed pot that’s about as wide as it is deep and a pretty tall one to “process” the preserves, which means you’ll need a pot tall enough to have your rack, jars, and enough water to cover the tops about 1″ to help seal the lids – all in one pot.
And the canning jars, which we bought at Wal-Mart for $6.00 for a set of 12 – we bought this brand – 12 – 1/2 pint jars. While we were there we also bought additional lids w/ seals, as seals are only good for one use. We also bought additional lids that hold the seals in place over the jars.
INGREDIENTS FOR PRESERVES:
- 3lbs Ripened Nectarines, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla (she used 1 whole vanilla bean, but I don’t have any)
You can use different types of sweetener, but we wanted to do it EXACTLY as we saw it in the demonstration, until we get some practice under our belts, which is why we used plain old sugar.
This yielded us 5, 1/2 pint jars
This recipe is based on Liana Krissoff’s book Canning for a New Generation. I definitely want to get a copy of this book – we briefly looked through it at the demonstration and it’s a beautiful book, well put together.
Place jars without their lids into the pot and fill up with water – enough water so that the jars are totally submerged. Turn heat up to high because you want this to boil.
Once the water boils, that’s when you start your timer for 10 mins to sterilize the jars you plan on using.
I set the lids with the seals in another bowl, alternating the lids. These will be added to the jars later.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, start cooking down the fruit in a large mouthed pot. Combine Nectarines, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and bring to a boil.
By the time the water bath for the jars comes to a boil and then are boiled for 10 mins, the fruit should be just about ready for you to add to the jars and then process for another 5 mins in the water bath.
Liana told us we can do a plate test to check to see if the mixture will gel or not. And that is by placing a plate into the freezer. Then remove the plate, add a small amount of the preserve mixture and place back into the freezer to cool down. Once this is removed, if you try to scrunch it up, it should wrinkle a bit – this will indicate that your mixture is ready and will gel. She said this more for making jam and jelly, but you can use it for preserves as well.
We actually did this test, but I forgot to snap a photo of it.
Scoop mixture into jars and then you want to make sure no preserves made it around the mouth of the jar, because this can prevent the seal from forming, so wipe the edges clean just to be sure.
To add the lids to the jars, pour some of the hot water that the jars were being sterilized in and pour over the seals. Then place lids onto the jars and secure the ring so that it’s finger tight, but not super tight.
Then place jars carefully, using your new gadget, back into the water bath to “process” them, which means to boil them for a certain amount of time to kill any harmful organisms and to seal the lids. They go back into the water bath and make sure that the water covers 1″ above the jars to ensure a good seal. Boil the water for 5 mins to activate seal.
Remove with your handy gadget and set on the counter to cool.
As they cool, they will suck the seals down and you’ll hear a popping sound. Be patient as it takes minute or two. We were fortunate enough that all of these sealed for us…this part was pretty cool! These preserves look exactly how they did at the demonstration.
Ta-Da!!! We have preserves people!
How appetizing does that look! I can’t believe how great these turned out. Thanks to the help of both my sister and hubby, we successfully canned our first batch of preserves. My sister wants me to make her some more this week, but I’m a little worried how it’ll turn out without her help. We shall see!
Preserves served up – Delicious!!
Here’s a good resource that she told us to check out for “processing” times on other items like pickles, tomato products, etc – it’s the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Can’t wait to try my hand at more things!!!
Peace out y’all….