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Friday, October 24th, 2014
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An Experiment in Canning


By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Jun 27th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Happy Birthday to Chad Danielson today!

It was a quiet Sunday last weekend with my husband and son away at a movie and I had raspberries and jalapenos defrosted and calling my name. My original plan was to do canning with some friends, including my friend Kari who cans all the time and was going to be my “go-to-girl.” But even the best laid plans go awry. So, instead, I was going it alone that Sunday but I was not worried. After all, how hard can it be? (smile)

Well, it would have been even harder if it wasn’t for my friend’s canning contraptions that I borrowed. My canning memories date back to using a fork and tongs to try to get the burning hot lids and rings out of the water. I definitely saved on a few hand burns last weekend by using her cool tool with the magnet on the end that quickly picked up my lids and rings from the water. Score!

The other tidbit of advice I will share about canning is to follow the recipe. Many of you who are experts at this already are probably saying, “Well, of course!” But for this novice, I did not see an issue with putting it all together at once. That is, until my first batch was done and it was runny---my head then quickly turned to read the recipe. For the next two batches, I followed the recipe and added sugar AFTER first ingredients came to a boil. The second and third batches were beautiful, thick, and looked like they were purchased at a store.

So what to do with this jam? It is a welcomed friend at all of our neighborhood parties. Place a block of cream cheese on a plate, spread this jam to cover the cheese, and put out your favorite crackers and dig right in! It also is a great compliment to your summer grilled pork chops or pork loin. Enjoy!

Raspberry - Jalapeno Jam

Ingredients ---Makes 8 - half pint jars

4 cups crushed raspberries

1 cup minced jalapeno peppers ---I used ½ cup

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin

7 cups white sugar

8 half pint canning jars with lids and rings

Directions

1. Place the crushed raspberries, minced jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, and pectin into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.

2. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.

3. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart. Allow to cool overnight. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.

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