This summer I’ve been making a conscious effort to up my canning game. Getting my act together for preserving takes setting a specific time aside for the job, penciling it on the digital calendar, and communicating with Danny that, dude, you so have all the kids on Saturday, but it’s going to be so worth it when we’re eating preserves all winter long.
Once the dates were set, I rounded up every canning jar in the house, took stock of my Tattler lids, invested in a few Weck jars, and purchased more standard jars that I anticipated I would need. It’s important to get your gear in order before you buy your fruit. Fruit can spoil quickly, but jars can sit around forever.
So far, it’s been going well, with my running list of preserves looking like this:
- Pickled Ramps
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Orange Jam
- Honey Strawberry Jam
- Zucchini-Pepper Relish (recipe coming soon)
- Cucumber Relish
- Strawberry Coulis (freezer)
- Peaches in vanilla syrup
- Preserved Sweet Cherries
- Roasted Strawberries in syrup (freezer)
The weeks are just flying by, though, and I feel like I am barely staying on top of the seasonal produce as it comes and goes at the market. I’ve already missed my chance to pickle asparagus, but they weren’t on my all-important list of ‘must-haves’. (Speaking of essentials, have you written up a practical assessment of what you need to can and you will eat? This helps keep your canning projects realistic – and your sanity intact.)
I thought an official canning week was just what we needed around here to keep up the momentum, share a few recipes, and inspire each other.
Read on for information on how to join in, as well as a recipe for cherry-plum jam.
Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam
I tend to make the same (classic, yet boring) varieties of jam each year and so I looked to Marisa for some inspiration for this week. Those of you who have thumbed through the new Food in Jars cookbook will understand when I say I had a tough time picking out a spread. (If you think her creations on Simple Bites are magical, wait until you get your hand on her beautiful cookbook.)
I had it narrowed down to Oven-Roasted Peach Butter, Nectarine-Lime Jam, and Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam – and then the cherries at the market caught my eye. Sweet, juicy and lower-priced than all the other stone fruit, they practically made my choice for me and cherry jam it was.
Marisa sagely says that with their assertive sweetness, cherries run the risk of becoming akin to cough syrup in a preserve. Since this was my first cherry jam, I placed my trust in her and added tart plums to balance out the flavor profile.
Oh my goodness. Yum. I’m eating more toast just so I can dip into a jar.
Join our canning week!
Instagram. Share a photo of your latest canning project on Instagram and use the hashtag #SBCanIt to link up your creations. You can follow me under the name @aimeebourque.
Twitter. Tweet a canning related tip, recipe, or photo and be sure to tag it with #SBCanIt. I’m @simplebites on Twitter and I’ll be tweeting canning tips all week under the same hashtag: #SBCanIt
Blog. Share your canning projects and photos on your blog and leave a link in the comments. I’d love to see what’s pickling in your kitchen.
Facebook. Share a photo or a link on the Simple Bites Facebook page.
Pinterest: Find inspiration on my Passion for Preserves board for your next batch of jam.
At the end of the week I’ll pick a photo or recipe that inspired me and (provided I can contact the individual) I’ll mail them a brand new copy of Marisa’s book: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.
I hope you’ll join in!
|Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam||
- 3 cups pitted and chopped plums (about 1-1/2 pounds/680 g whole plums)
- 4 cups pitted and chopped sweet cherries (about 2 pounds/910 g whole cherries)
- 3-1/2 cups/700 g granulated sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 (3-ounce/85 ml) packets liquid pectin
- Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular-mouth 1-pint/500 ml jars as per our canning basics post. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
- Combine the plums, cherries and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the jam looks molten and syrupy.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and the pectin. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Turn off canner, then carefully lift jars out and set on a towel on the counter to cool. Let sit 24 hours, then check that all have sealed. Label and store in a cool place.
Ready to get canning? Let’s do it.