Friday, June 11, 2010

Canning Extravaganza Final Installment: Preserving Berries

Here we are, the final day of the canning extravaganza. This last one is super simple. I wanted to save some of my blueberries, without using up all of my freezer space, for making cobblers, pies, crumbles, etc. I'm not going to go into as much detail today as I have previously, so if you need to see all the canning steps, click here or here.

All you need for this is jars, the canning equipment I've listed out in Part One and Part Two, fresh berries, water, sugar, and a saucepan.

First, make a sugar syrup to preserve the berries in. I used light syrup for mine (2 cups sugar + 1 quart water), but in hindsight, I probably should have used a medium syrup (3 cups sugar + 1 quart water), since my blueberries floated to the top of the jar. The heavier the syrup, the less likely it is that your fruit will float. To make the sugar syrup, simply combine the necessary amounts of water and sugar in a saucepan, heat, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Pack your jars with fruit. (Remember, the jars need to be sterilized and kept hot.) I filled mine to just under the rims. The berries cook and shrink a little during the canning process.

Now, using a funnel, add sugar syrup to the jars. Again, you can get them pretty full since the fruit shrinks in the hot water bath.

Add the lids and rings, then place jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Voila! Preserved berries. I'll be glad to be able to use mine once we switch to the maintain mode of this dieting mess.

Again, if anybody's interested in a book to help you start canning, check out this one: Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More. Everything I learned about preserving berries came from this book. 

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