Keeping it clean is the most important thing to remember when doing your own canning according to Everett Bell, chef de cuisine at the Sherwood Inn located in beautiful Port Carling, Ont. Chef Bell demonstrated the secrets behind proper canning as part of Ford of Canada’s recent Back to Basics blogger program. Check out recipes for Cranberry Orange Lime Marmalade and Pickled Beets at the bottom of this post. Canned preserves are a thoughtful and festive DIY holiday gift for friends and family.
“The most common mistake people make when canning is not fully sterilizing jars, lids and ring bands,” said Chef Bell.
Jars should be boiled for 10 – 12 minutes, lids and ring bands should be boiled for 5 – 6 minutes.
“You have to boil the lids before putting your preserves in to get a proper seal,” said Chef Bell.
Once you’ve boiled the jars and lids, pour in your preserves, put on the lid and ring band and tighten – but be careful not to tighten the lid too much, just hand tight is fine. Then place the entire jar back into boiling water for about 10 – 12 minutes to ensure there is no bacteria. By following these steps you’ll have a shelf life of approximately one year for the recipes below.
Canning is a great way to use locally-sourced fruits, vegetables and meats. For many, the idea of farm-to-table and of getting back to basics with natural food choices is increasingly important. People still want the convenience of advanced technologies, but the consumer trend today is about how to use smart technology to get everyday tasks done quickly and conveniently, to make time for things that matter most to you, like friends, family and good health.
Cranberry Orange Lime Marmalade
2 medium oranges
3 cups of water
2 cups of fresh (or frozen) cranberries
4 cups of sugar
Remove the thin outer rind of the oranges and lime and cut into very fine strips, you can also use a zester.
Place the rind and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce the heat. Boil gently for 20 minutes.
Cut up the oranges and limes.
Finely chop the oranges, limes and cranberries in a food processor. Add to saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and cover and boil gently for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the sugar to the fruit mixture. Return to a boil over high heat and boil rapidly uncovered until the mixture forms a gel, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from the heat.
Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Ladle the mixture into sterilized jars.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a two-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least one inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot and process for 10 minutes.
Makes about 5 cups.
10 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 quart white vinegar
¼ cup whole cloves
Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending upon the size of the beets. (If beets are large, cut them into quarters). Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.
Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar and pickling salt to make the brine. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars and seal with lids.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a two-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least one inch about the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot and process for 10 minutes.