Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adventures in Canning

So, I've been interested in home preserving for a while. I've also been pretty intimidated by it for a while.

I got a canner for Christmas. Did lots of reading (which makes me all overwhelmed every time I read more on it!!)

We went strawberry picking over the weekend, so I figured this was a perfect time to give it a go!


So, I've read that you shouldn't use any recipes older than 1990. Because, especially in jams - they don't require canning, just the open kettle method. And that can kill you, or something. But I have a book, from later than 1990 that calls for open kettle. And a friend, who only does open kettle for jams. So I thought it can't be all bad, right?

I think that's right. But I'm a big worrier, so even though I did the open kettle (they all sealed too!) for the last two batches - I'm going to use a hot water bath from this point out. Just to be sure and all. I've already done the toxic fumes thing in the house, I'm going to try and avoid botulism.

I did some rhubarb jam a couple weeks ago, and strawberry jam on Sunday. I was a little shocked at how much sugar some recipes called for! 7 cups? Really? Blech.

I happen to have a book, it's pre-1990, but I'm trusting it cause it calls for all pressure canning or HWB (which I didn't follow) called Stocking Up. It's from the 70's and pretty much only calls for honey in the canning recipes. Sweet!

The Recipe

Honey Strawberry Jam

4 cups strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package powdered fruit pectin

1 1/2 cups honey

1. Mix the strawberries, lemon juice and pectin in a heavy-bottomed, stainless-steel pot.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the honey.

3. Return to a rolling boil and stir slowly for 10 to 12 minutes. The mixture will resemble a thick syrup when done 4. Quickly and carefully ladle jam into hot sterilized pint jars, filling to 1/4 inch from tops. Wipe rims of jars; top with lids. Screw on bands. Place jars on rack in canning kettle of hot water, adding water if necessary to bring water level to 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars carefully and cool.

From Stocking Up, 3rd Edition

ok - so SWEET is right! Yikes!

It's not bad, just very honey-ey. Honestly, I think I'll stick with sugar from now on. The honey way overpowered the fruit flavor. Maybe it was the honey. I used local from the market. Maybe I should have used something - less? Store clover honey? Dunno.

But . . .

turns out it still works wonderfully as a pancake/waffle syrup!

Heat, drizzle on homemade sour cream waffles - add fresh picked sliced strawberries and some whipped cream


Sour Cream Waffles

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
Maple syrup or jam, for serving

Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Lightly oil the grids. Meanwhile whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the center. Whisk the melted butter, milk, sour cream, and eggs in a medium bowl until well combined and pour into the well. Whisk just until smooth; do not over mix.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of each quadrant of the waffle iron and close the iron. Cook until the waffle is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the waffles hot, with the syrup passed on the side.

Makes twelve 4-inch waffles.

From Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith

So, now I've got my freezer stocked with strawberries - gave canning a go (and feel more prepared for next time!)

More adventures in home preserving to come!!

1 comment:

Valkyrie said...

Oh man, those waffles look delish! I have always been scared to try canning, but lots of people have told me it's not that hard. Maybe I will get around to trying it someday. And honestly, I think jam is just one of those things with lots of sugar! That's why they are nummy. :-) I love rhubarb sooooooooo much.