A site for sore tastebuds and a woeful wallet

A Special Gift

It’s true, (and fortunately for me) a home-made gift is more meaningful than something store-bought.  I’d go broke trying to buy something for everyone in my giant family so I knuckle down after Thanksgiving and get out the yarn and needles, or the recipe books, and make things…lots of things.  This year canning preserves turned out to be a very time-saving way to treat everyone to a special gift that’s also very tasty and made with love.

The pressure cooker has turned out to be one of the handiest tools I’ve ever purchased.  It has made the canning process way easier and safer.  With it, I’m sure that all bacteria have been eliminated.  To begin I used it to sanitize my jars, lids, and rings, in water that was 180° (pasteurization temperature) for just a minute.  Boiling the lids may destroy the seal so avoid boiling. 

For this batch of raspberry preserves I started with two bags (1 lb each) of frozen berries,  two cups sugar, two cups apple cider, and about 6 tbsp pectin powder.  I boiled all this for about 30 minutes.  Then (and here comes the love)  I used a mesh strainer and a wooden spoon to remove the seeds.  This was a tedious process  but those with sensitive innards will really appreciate this step.

With nothing but the good stuff left, I brought it back to a boil, poured it into the jars leaving about 1/2 inch of head space, placed the lids and bands on and took them to the pressure cooker now full of boiling water, and boiled them under pressure for ten minutes or until the temperature reached 300°. 

Out they came, sure to be germ free and ready to cool.  I had a tiny bit left in the pot that wasn’t enough to can so I just had to taste a little of that yummy looking jam on a piece of toast.   The folks that get these lovingly made jewels might not ever want anything else for Christmas it was that good!

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3 responses

  1. Your family and friends will be so happy to receive a jar on Christmas! I give baking for Christmas and haven’t yet done any canning.. you prefer a pressure cooker to a regular canning pot?

    December 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    • Since I have never made jelly before, I guess I prefer the pressure cooker. It’s good for telling me when I’ve reached a certain temperature…no guessing. It’s fast too! I still will do some baking as well. It was inspired by a blogger (http://wp.me/p16doM-bM) who did blackberry pino noir jelly…now that sounded good! Just not sure the kids will be OK with it. I’ll have to make a private grown-up stash 😉

      December 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm

  2. I’m just now catching up with my blog reading! I just wanted to say: Yes! The preserves are AWESOME. You are so talented! Thanks again.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

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