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Preserving Summer


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327 replies to this topic

#271 kiliki

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:34 PM

This year I've been using Linda Amendt's Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and More, and I've been very impressed so far. I've had little luck with the Christine Ferber recipes (Sony, I can't get them up to temperature to set either!) but haven't been impressed with the standard powdered pectin recipes I've found. Amendt macerates the fruit like Ferber does, but uses liquid pectin, and it's worked great--the strawberry preserves and cherry preserves I've made are fantastic and beautiful. I don't think I ever realized what preserves actually were--WHOLE fruit, as opposed to crushed (jam). I can't wait to try more of her recipes--I've also been very disapointed with so many of the pickle recipes I've tried, and she has some that sound fabulous.

#272 Darren72

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 06:10 AM

I am making a cherry, honey, and mint jam from Christine Ferber's book.

The recipe calls for 7oz of green apple jelly (which adds pectin). I made this jelly, but it came out more like heavy syrup than jelly. I'm worried that adding this to my cherry jam recipe will not add enough pectin. The cherries, sugar, and honey are already combined, so I presume it is too late to use pre-made pectin.

Any advice? Should I proceed without the green apple jelly or other pectin and just deal with it? Will the final product be more like cherries in syrup than like jam?

Thanks.

#273 kermie

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 12:57 PM

I had a ton of blackberries that i've already made pies, desserts and ice cream out of and now i'd love some ideas for jam/jellies. Any interesting combinations - not sooo keen on the apple blackberry idea - anything else?

#274 kiliki

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:46 PM

The cherries, sugar, and honey are already combined, so I presume it is too late to use pre-made pectin.


You add liquid pectin after the fruit and sugar macerate, so it wouldn't be too late to add it.

#275 Darren72

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

The cherries, sugar, and honey are already combined, so I presume it is too late to use pre-made pectin.


You add liquid pectin after the fruit and sugar macerate, so it wouldn't be too late to add it.

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Thanks kiliki (although I got this reply after the jam was finished). For future reference, do I need to increase the sugar if I am adding liquid pectin? The original recipe I followed called for a ratio of fruit to sugar of 10 to 8 (i.e. 1 kg of fruit to 800 g of sugar).

#276 feste

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 12:01 PM

Hello,

I'm new to this forum although I've been on Spirits & Cocktails for a while. I am a bartender and cook, and I've been making jam for years. Mes Confitures is one of my favorite books!

My question is this: I've been making a lot of syrups for the bar, and I would like to process them so they can be stored on a shelf rather than just refrigerated. I've searched everywhere and can't find information on how to process bottles rather than jars. Do I use screw caps? Plastic corks? Do I need special bottles?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
Small Hand Foods
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#277 hathor

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 03:59 AM

Hello,

I'm new to this forum although I've been on Spirits & Cocktails for a while.  I am a bartender and cook, and I've been making jam for years.  Mes Confitures is one of my favorite books!

My question is this:  I've been making a lot of syrups for the bar, and I would like to process them so they can be stored on a shelf rather than just refrigerated.  I've searched everywhere and can't find information on how to process bottles rather than jars.  Do I use screw caps?  Plastic corks?  Do I need special bottles?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much!

View Post

Ciao Feste!
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking for a process that will enable you to keep the syrups on a shelf after they've been open? Or are you asking how you can seal bottles for long term storage without spoilage?
Depending on where you are, you can find bottles with either bottle cap or screw cap tops. Sterilize and seal as you would a jar. Wherever you have a good supplier of canning supplies, you should be able to find bottles.
If you want something to preserve after opening.... I have no idea! :laugh:

#278 feste

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:03 PM

Thanks Hathor!

I'm just looking for a bottle equivalent of a canning jar. The places that I normally buy my jars don't have bottles. If I buy a glass bottle with a screw top, can I process it like a jar? Does it need a special kind of top that pops in when cooling? I own a lot of books on canning, and none of them discuss bottles.

After opening, of course, they'll be refrigerated.

Thanks again!
Small Hand Foods
classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

#279 momcook

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:54 PM

The answer is "it depends". Only the bottle manufacturer can tell you if the bottle you have purchased is safe for a boiling water bath. Unless it is made for canning, it may shatter when you boil it. To be safe, you can make the syrup and process it in standard canning jars with two piece lids, and store it in those. When you are ready to use the syrup, decant it into a clean bottle and refrigerate the syrup.


I'm just looking for a bottle equivalent of a canning jar.  The places that I normally buy my jars don't have bottles.  If I buy a glass bottle with a screw top, can I process it like a jar?  Does it need a special kind of top that pops in when cooling?  I own a lot of books on canning, and none of them discuss bottles.

After opening, of course, they'll be refrigerated.

Thanks again!

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#280 Abra

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 12:45 AM

I just made an utterly awesome blackberry jam. I put the berries through the food mill first to remove the seeds. Then I cooked the jam, using about a 1 : 3/4 ratio fruit to jam, with the addition of a couple of star anise and a bay leaf. The subtle flavor of the added spice with the blackberry is exquisite and the texture is pure velvet.

#281 kermie

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 12:59 AM

Abra,
thank you so much for that as I've been experimenting with blackberry jam (i've done almost everyone to a blackberry one can do - haha). Your recipe sounds great. I just did a batch adding a bit of vanilla and amaretto which was nice but I was too lazy to remove the seeds (which I should have as thats the part i hate about blackberry jam). Thanks for the inspiration - i love star anise.

#282 kiliki

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:06 PM

Thanks kiliki (although I got this reply after the jam was finished). For future reference, do I need to increase the sugar if I am adding liquid pectin? The original recipe I followed called for a ratio of fruit to sugar of 10 to 8 (i.e. 1 kg of fruit to 800 g of sugar).


I've made jam with powdered and liquid pectin (and no pectin) and haven't noticed drastic differences in sugar amounts. But, I can't tell you for sure that your formula will work with liquid pectin and every fruit--I'd look at the chart in the liquid pectin box and use your judgement according to what that says.

#283 AmyKay

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:50 AM

So, I have been haunting this thread for a few weeks now, reading all of the updates and information that you guys have been sharing. I have spent some time pondering the idea that I could possibly can some of the peaches that are showing up in our farmer's markets (without causing a pressure canner explosion or killing someone from botchulism).

I have checked out books from our local library on canning, read through them, and allowed those ideas some time to simmer. Prior to reading this thread, my only canned goods encounters had been limited to stuff that was that way when I bought it.

Finally, last weekend I was able to put it all together . . . I canned some freakin' peaches!! That was SO cool! In fact, it was cool enough that the next day I made a strawberry and basil jam.

My boyfriend liked my peach jam enough that he wants more, so I have embarked on a project to provide him with a couple of month's worth of peach jam. He goes through a lot of it, so I want to give him a supply of several quart-size jars (because this is the size jar he is currently getting from Sam's, and because the man likes his jam). Because my current equipment won't easily accomodate jars of this size, we went out last night and bought a 21qt Granite Ware water bath canner.

This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop.

So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use the canner? Is this a "CYA" move on the part of the manufacturer? Can I safely ignore this restriction?

I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don't want to damage the cooktop. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on this??

#284 lperry

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:30 PM

Because my current equipment won't easily accomodate jars of this size, we went out last night and bought a 21qt Granite Ware water bath canner.

This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop.

So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use  the canner? Is this a "CYA" move on the part of the manufacturer? Can I safely ignore this restriction?

I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don't want to damage the cooktop.  Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on this??

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Look at the bottom of the pot - is it concave with just a rim of metal at the edge? If so, hardly any of the base will be in contact with the burner, if any at all (if the pot is very big and the concavity is wide). My old water bath canner is like that.

#285 AmyKay

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:58 PM

Because my current equipment won't easily accomodate jars of this size, we went out last night and bought a 21qt Granite Ware water bath canner.

This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop.

So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use  the canner? Is this a "CYA" move on the part of the manufacturer? Can I safely ignore this restriction?

I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don't want to damage the cooktop.  Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on this??

View Post

Look at the bottom of the pot - is it concave with just a rim of metal at the edge? If so, hardly any of the base will be in contact with the burner, if any at all (if the pot is very big and the concavity is wide). My old water bath canner is like that.

View Post


Crud.

I did not even think of that. I was just fixated on not breaking something. Oh well. I am also fixated on more peach jam, so I'll work something out. I can't wait until the farmer's market this weekend! Thanks for helping me figure out what I'm into!

#286 FauxPas

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:59 PM

This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop.

So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use  the canner?


when I was shopping for a new stove a couple of years ago, they told me I should stick with the coil-top type stoves for canning and when I asked why, they said that the glass or flat-top ones can't maintain a high enough heat or something - the heat fluctuates more, apparently.

#287 AmyKay

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:56 PM

Well, glass top stove or not, yesterday was officially jam fest 2008 in my house. I made 7 quarts of peach jam. The water bath canner seemed to work fine - water boiled like crazy for the full processing time.

By the end of the day yesterday I was pretty sure that it would be a while before I canned again. I was tuckered. Of course, that was yesterday and this is today, and now I am hatching a plan to convert a cranberry sauce recipe that my family loves into jam when cranberries show up in the stores. Also pears . . . maybe we will end up with some pear jam, too!!

Good thing my S.O. likes jam!

#288 JaneMC

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:25 AM

Hi Everyone,

I reread most of the notes and I haven't seen a question like this. I'm using pectin for the first time this year. There really are some things that need it. I'm having a heck of a time with the "floating" fruit! What the heck am I doing wrong? Yes, I've cooked it for the correct time, sugar and so on. I'm lost on this one.

Jane

#289 momcook

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 06:17 PM

Hi Jane,

Did the syrup/jam set up, even with the fruit floating? If so, then you need to let your jam set in the pot a few minutes after it finishes boiling :wink: , give it a stir, and then ladel into the jars. You can also let the jars cool a bit after the boiling water bath, and give them a gentle shake to redistribute the fruit in the cooling (and hopefully thickened) syrup. Just be very carefull not to pop the seals. Some fruits just seem to like to float.



Hi Everyone,

I reread most of the notes and I haven't seen a question like this. I'm using pectin for the first time this year. There really are some things that need it. I'm having a heck of a time with the "floating" fruit! What the heck am I doing wrong? Yes, I've cooked it for the correct time, sugar and so on. I'm lost on this one.

Jane

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#290 JaneMC

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:01 AM

[quote name='momcook' date='Aug 27 2008, 08:17 PM']
Hi Jane,

Did the syrup/jam set up, even with the fruit floating? If so, then you need to let your jam set in the pot a few minutes after it finishes boiling :wink: , give it a stir, and then ladel into the jars. You can also let the jars cool a bit after the boiling water bath, and give them a gentle shake to redistribute the fruit in the cooling (and hopefully thickened) syrup. Just be very carefull not to pop the seals. Some fruits just seem to like to float.



Hi Momcook,

I don't know if it set. It was thicker then it was but not real thick. I know what type of answer is that! It's hot pepper jam I made. I've read where if the fruit doesn't float when you put it into the jars then don't worry about it. Mine doesn't (did cherry also) but both times they float after the bath. So what I have done is real cook the pepper jam I didn't add any thing. Just real cooked and bathed it again. i'm going with what turns out. I've canned a lot I just don't use pectin. But with cherry, hot pepper and others you need too.

Thank You for you help.

Jane

Ps. I just taken the hot pepper jam out of the canner. We will see, I'm not excepting anything different.

#291 momcook

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:59 PM

Jane, is it hot pepper jam or jelly? I have made the pepper jely, and the jelly can take a few days to set up. Jelly is slower to set, so keep an eye on it, and when it starts to thicken, give it a gentle shake to distribute the peppers. Hopefully that will work.



Hi Jane,

Did the syrup/jam set up, even with the fruit floating?  If so, then you need to let your jam set in the pot a few minutes after it finishes boiling :wink: , give it a stir, and then ladel into the jars.  You can also let the jars cool a bit after the boiling water bath, and give them a gentle shake to redistribute the fruit in the cooling (and hopefully thickened) syrup. Just be very carefull not to pop the seals.  Some fruits just seem to like to float. 



Hi Momcook,

I don't know if it set. It was thicker then it was but not real thick. I know what type of answer is that! It's hot pepper jam I made. I've read where if the fruit doesn't float when you put it into the jars then don't worry about it. Mine doesn't (did cherry also) but both times they float after the bath. So what I have done is real cook the pepper jam I didn't add any thing. Just real cooked and bathed it again. i'm going with what turns out. I've canned a lot I just don't use pectin. But with cherry, hot pepper and others you need too.

Thank You for you help.

Jane

Ps. I just taken the hot pepper jam out of the canner. We will see, I'm not excepting anything different.

View Post



#292 Bubbles La Tour

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:25 PM

Hello,

I'm new to this forum although I've been on Spirits & Cocktails for a while.  I am a bartender and cook, and I've been making jam for years.  Mes Confitures is one of my favorite books!

My question is this:  I've been making a lot of syrups for the bar, and I would like to process them so they can be stored on a shelf rather than just refrigerated.  I've searched everywhere and can't find information on how to process bottles rather than jars.  Do I use screw caps?  Plastic corks?  Do I need special bottles?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much!

View Post


Personally, I think your best bet would be to use canning jars with a two-piece lid and ring closure.
You might also contact the folks at the National Center for Home Food Preservation directly with your question. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp. Are you looking for bottles rather than jars for a specific reason?

#293 Bubbles La Tour

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:32 PM

So, I have been haunting this thread for a few weeks now, reading all of the updates and information that you guys have been sharing.  I have spent some time pondering the idea that I could possibly can some of the peaches that are showing up in our farmer's markets (without causing a pressure canner explosion or killing someone from botchulism).

I have checked out books from our local library on canning, read through them, and allowed those ideas some time to simmer.  Prior to reading this thread, my only canned goods encounters had been limited to stuff that was that way when I bought it.

Finally, last weekend I was able to put it all together . . . I canned some freakin' peaches!! That was SO cool! In fact, it was cool enough that the next day I made a strawberry and basil jam. 

My boyfriend liked my peach jam enough that he wants more, so I have embarked on a project to provide him with a couple of month's worth of peach jam.  He goes through a lot of it, so I want to give him a supply of several quart-size jars (because this is the size jar he is currently getting from Sam's, and because the man likes his jam). Because my current equipment won't easily accomodate jars of this size, we went out last night and bought a 21qt Granite Ware water bath canner.

This morning, I noticed that the label says that the canner should not be used on a glass cooktop. I have a glass cooktop.

So, I wonder what this limitation is really about. Am I going to damage the cooktop if I use  the canner? Is this a "CYA" move on the part of the manufacturer? Can I safely ignore this restriction?

I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don't want to damage the cooktop.  Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on this??

View Post


The recommendation against use with a smooth-top range is likely because the kettle bottom may not be flat. Sometimes the graniteware kettles have circular 'ridges' in their bottoms rather than being perfectly flat. And some have smooth bottoms that are concave. Both of those will take longer to heat and boil water than a kettle with a nice smooth and flat bottom. You won't be damaging the cooktop, assuming your stove's literature says it's okay for canning.

#294 Bubbles La Tour

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:00 AM

Thanks Hathor!

I'm just looking for a bottle equivalent of a canning jar.  The places that I normally buy my jars don't have bottles.  If I buy a glass bottle with a screw top, can I process it like a jar?  Does it need a special kind of top that pops in when cooling?  I own a lot of books on canning, and none of them discuss bottles.

After opening, of course, they'll be refrigerated.

Thanks again!

View Post


Look up the 1-liter Quattro Stagioni jar by Bormioli; organizedliving.com has them. They are not inexpensive, though, at $4 each plus shipping. The Bormioli jars have lids with the plastisol compound for vacuum sealing. I use the jars for dry storage and like the bottle for lemonade. I don't can in them because I prefer Kerr jars. Syrup would be a fine thing to process in the Bormioli bottle. The organizedliving link shows the bottle with pickles in it. I think that's just funny! The opening is all of 2" in diameter. Your trick with the B-QS jars will be having spare lids for it. Look it up; I'm thinking it is exactly the bottle you are looking for although I wouldn't spend that kind of money for my own shelf storage. YMMV.

A commercial packaging supplier will have lots of options for bottles and closures; their CS people are usually very helpful and may send a couple samples—Freund Container comes to mind. Good luck in the hunt and let me/us know what you find.
-Bubbles

#295 Bubbles La Tour

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:10 AM

Hi Everyone,

I reread most of the notes and I haven't seen a question like this. I'm using pectin for the first time this year. There really are some things that need it. I'm having a heck of a time with the "floating" fruit! What the heck am I doing wrong? Yes, I've cooked it for the correct time, sugar and so on. I'm lost on this one.

Jane

View Post

Floating fruit is the bane of every canner, I think, Jane. :angry: Best I can tell you is to slowly stir your jam for a full five minutes after you remove it from the heat. That may help. After cooking the jam, I pour it from the cooking kettle to a 3-quart pitcher, skim and stir, then pour into jars. I prefer the pitcher to a ladle and funnel for filling the jars; it's less messy for me.

Edited by Bubbles La Tour, 04 September 2008 - 07:10 AM.


#296 JaneMC

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:41 PM

Momcook and Babbles,

Thank you for your reply. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one having problems. I will say, the jam tastes so good and it does set up nicer after being cooled down. I just can't be so picky.

Jane

#297 JaneMC

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:59 AM

Hi Everyone,

Just a little up date. I do fair showings. I do good with my toppings (none pectin) but for the first year I decided to do one with pectin. Well I took 1st place. I'm amazed. It was with my cherry jam. Now thinking about it I should have done the hot pepper jam, next year.

Thank you everyone for help with the floating fruit. We must get over it's not going to look like the stuff from the store.

Jane

#298 Bubbles La Tour

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:31 AM

Hi Everyone,

Just a little up date. I do fair showings. I do good with my toppings (none pectin) but for the first year I decided to do one with pectin. Well I took 1st place. I'm amazed. It was with my cherry jam. Now thinking about it I should have done the hot pepper jam, next year.
Jane

View Post


Congratulations on the blue ribbon for your cherry jam! What fairs do you enter, Jane? State? Regional? County? When you say "toppings," do you mean jam or do you mean something else?
-Bubbles
http://web.me.com/barbschaller

#299 andiesenji

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:32 AM

Hi Everyone,

I reread most of the notes and I haven't seen a question like this. I'm using pectin for the first time this year. There really are some things that need it. I'm having a heck of a time with the "floating" fruit! What the heck am I doing wrong? Yes, I've cooked it for the correct time, sugar and so on. I'm lost on this one.

Jane

View Post

Floating fruit is the bane of every canner, I think, Jane. :angry: Best I can tell you is to slowly stir your jam for a full five minutes after you remove it from the heat. That may help. After cooking the jam, I pour it from the cooking kettle to a 3-quart pitcher, skim and stir, then pour into jars. I prefer the pitcher to a ladle and funnel for filling the jars; it's less messy for me.

View Post



My favorite "method" for preserves and jams, so as to avoid the "floating-fruit problem," is to use a slotted ladle and transfer just the fruit into the jars, using the wide-mouth funnel, until the jar is full of fruit.
THEN I ladle in the syrup until the fruit is covered.
I continue until all the fruit has been jarred. Usually I have some syrup left over and that gets jarred separately.
I learned this 60 years ago when watching my grandma prepare cherry preserves, as well as peach, pear, gooseberry, huckleberry, raspberry, strawberry and etc.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#300 Terrasanct

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 11:21 AM

This seems to be the appropriate thread to ask this question--I have two pear trees and a lot of unripe pears that had to be picked. I want to make pear butter out of them but wondered if they have to be ripe. I need to use the unripe pears right away for various reasons. Does anyone have experience with unripe pears? I know they'll ripen eventually but I don't want to wait.