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Berry jubilee: Canning recipes to enjoy this summer

Jul 4th, 2017 | Category: Cooking

by Jennifer Bryan-Goforth

July is berry season, and canning is a great way to preserve the harvest. Whether you purchase raspberries at a local market or roadside stand, grow blueberries in your backyard, or hunt for wild blackberries, there is a recipe to help you enjoy those delicious flavors all year long.

PHOTO BY JENNIFER BRYAN-GOFORTH

PHOTO BY JENNIFER BRYAN-GOFORTH

For those new to food preservation, jam is a great place to begin. Most fruits are considered “high acid” foods, meaning that their pH level generally prohibits the growth of dangerous bacteria like botulism. Because of this, fruits or acidified foods (foods to which the proper amount of an acid such as vinegar has been added, e.g. pickled green beans) may be safely preserved using the water bath method. This technique does not require special canning equipment, although many opt to purchase a canning kettle with removable rack and jar lifter.

Only glass mason canning jars should be used as they are designed to withstand temperature fluctuations and intended for repeated use, these are often manufactured by Kerr or Ball.Canning jars are different than “packer jars” like recycled mayonnaise jars which are made of thinner glass and often break during processing as they are not intended for this purpose.  Two part lid systems manufactured by Ball/Kerr are used in canning, with the lid designed for one use only and rings as a reusable component. Aside from a large pot or canning kettle, canning jars and lids, the only other requirement are recipe ingredients.

It is important to use only approved recipes and processes for canning, which have been thoroughly tested by the USDA or universities. The recipes were developed and tested to ensure the highest level of food safety for home preservation, while privately written cookbooks or websites are not regulated and may contain unsafe recipes or practices.Because testing and research is an ongoing process, some protocols have changed over the years and even those with years of food preservation experience will find updated information to improve safety and food quality. or instance, the USDA approved a new process for canning pickles which should result in a crunchier pickle. When making jams or jellies, the USDA recommends following recipes provided by pectin manufacturers such as Ball or Pomona’s as these recipes meet USDA standards.

Food preservation has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years due to increased interest in local food, desire to minimize food waste, reduce household food costs, and to create healthful products with less sugar/salt and without common additives like coloring or preservatives.

Jennifer Bryan-Goforth works with WSU Extension in the Family and Consumer Sciences department, offering a range of classes and workshops relating to health and nutrition, food access, gardening, food preservation, and more.

 

Canned Blackberries

 

Ingredients 

6 quarts blackberries

3 cups sugar

6 quarts water

 

Directions

Choose ripe sweet berries with uniform color. Wash and rinse quart jars, let stand in hot water on rack in canning kettle, wash lids in warm soapy water and keep at room temp. Prepare and boil very light syrup (ratio is 1/2 cup of sugar to 4 cups water if more is needed).  Wash 1 or 2 quarts of berries at a time and drain.  Place ½ cup of hot syrup in each jar. Fill hot jars with raw berries, shaking down gently while filling, leaving a ½ headspace.  Fill jars to ½ inch from top with more hot syrup. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe jar rims with dampened clean paper towel. Cover with lids and tighten.  Place in canning kettle with 1-2 inches of water to cover jars, replace canning kettle lid. When water is boiling, begin processing time of 10 minutes, then turn off heat, remove canner lid, and wait 5 minutes before removing jars using a lifter and holding upright. Place jars on a towel and sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  When completely cool, check lids for seal (should be curved downward in middle and do no move when pressed), refrigerate unsealed jars or follow USDA guidelines for reprocessing.

Chocolate Raspberry Sundae Topper 

Yield: About six 8-ounce jars

 

Ingredients 

½ cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (1.75 oz) package regular powdered fruit pectin

4½ cups crushed red raspberries

4 tablespoons lemon juice

6¾ cups granulated sugar

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and pectin, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.

Place crushed raspberries and lemon juice in large pot. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle into hot jars and leave a ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace. Wipe rim and place lids and screw bands. Place jars in prepared canner, with jars covered by 1” of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain gentle but steady boil and process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid. Allow jars to sit in canner for 5 minutes before removing. Set jars on rack or on towel out of drafts and allow to cool. Remove screw band, label and store. –Utah State University Cooperative Extension

 

Pomona’s Classic Berry Jam 

Classic jam recipes contain high amounts of sugar-sometimes twice as much sugar as fruit! For a healthier but equally delicious option, choose a low or no sugar pectin and follow manufacturer’s recipe. Pomona’s Universal Pectin has easy to follow, customizable, low or no sugar recipes resulting in an array of delicious jams!

 

Ingredients 

4 cups of crushed berries

¼ cup lemon juice

¾ to 1 cup sugar

2 t Pomona’s Pectin

2 t calcium water (included in Pomona’s pectin box)

 

Directions

Wash and rinse jars (4 oz to 16 oz), let stand in hot water on rack in canning kettle. Lids should be washed in warm soapy water and kept at room temp until ready to use.  Wash berries, remove any stems, and mash. Measure mashed fruit and juice into pot, add calcium water and stir well. Measure sugar and pectin into separate bowl and thoroughly mix. Bring fruit mixture to full boil over medium high heat, add pectin/sugar. Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin while mixture returns to full boil. Remove jars from heat, replace cover on kettle and bring water bath to boil.  Fill jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with dampened paper towel, cover with lid and ring, and tighten. Using jar lifter and holding jars upright, place jars on rack in kettle and submerge into boiling water, which should cover jars by 1-2 inches. When water is boiling, begin processing time of 10 minutes, turn off heat, remove canner lid, and wait 5 minutes before removing jars using a lifter and holding upright. Place jars on a towel and sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  When completely cool, check lids for seal (should be curved downward in middle and do no move when pressed), refrigerate unsealed jars or follow USDA guidelines for reprocessing.

 

Upcoming classes

WSU Skagit Extension offers a range of community classes including a four-part Food Preservation intensive which begins Aug. 1. More information may be found at http://skagitfoodpreservation.bpt.me .WSU Skagit also offers a help line at (360) 428-4270 ext. 238 for any questions about safe processing guidelines, recipes, or troubleshooting. Free tutorials, recipes, and even full books may be downloaded at the National Center for Home Food Preservation www.nchfp.uga.edu/ , and at www.pubs.wsu.edu.

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