I’ve made yogurt, pretzels and Pop Tarts – all from scratch. However, none of these scare me like canning does.
First of all, canning looks complicated. There’s a long process, sterilization, following a recipe exactly and then getting a good seal at the end. On the other hand, I see neighbors with their stockpile of homemade dill pickles and vendors at the farmers market with rows of homemade jam, and I think, I really want to do this.
I helped Brenton’s parents make applesauce in the fall of 2009 (I know this because I just recently used up my last jar and that was the date on it). My part was cooking the apples down. I vaguely remember the jars being washed beforehand in the dishwasher and the huge burner outside that processed the applesauce. Other than that, I’m at a loss for what went on.
Although I was still a little intimidated, I did a bunch of research online beforehand to get comfortable with the process. I found this great video from Lowes.com that was very informative. The National Center for Home Food Preservation was another helpful resource as was the blog Food in Jars.
For my first canning experience, I decided to adapt Marisa’s Meyer Lemon Curd.
According to the blog post, the recipe made 1 pint. I wanted to fill four half-pint jars (2 pints) so I doubled it. However, I easily had enough for six half-pints.
First, I washed all my jars in the dishwasher. While I was making my lemon curd, I put the jars and lids in simmering water in a small pot.
At the same time, I filled half of the water bath canner with water, put it on the stove over medium-high heat and let it simmer.
During this process, you want to make sure everything you need is within reach.
Once the lemon curd was finished and I was ready to can, I used the jar lifter from my canning kit to remove the jars. This tool is essential for canning. It gets the jars out easily with no mess.
Next, I used the funnel to fill the lemon curd in the jars leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Afterward, I wiped the rim of the jar with a clean rag. Then I used the kit’s magnetic lid lifter to secure the lid.
Next, I screwed on the metal screw band. Since the water bath canner is meant to hold seven 1-quart jars, I was worried that my tiny half-pints wouldn’t fit. I fixed the problem by putting them side-by-side, which worked out perfectly.
After all of my jars were ready, I lowered the metal crack and let the water come up to a boil. Then I processed the lemon curd for 20 minutes. After that time, I turned off the burner and brought the rack back up to the top to rest and waited five minutes. I heard a bunch of popping (a good sign!), but Oliver was confused.
The finished product…
Here is what I had leftover…
Canning Homemade Lemon Curd
Adapted from Food in Jars
Makes 3 pints (or 6 cups)
12 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 large lemons, juiced (to yield 1 cup juice)
2 sticks of butter, cut into chunks
zest from the juiced lemons
In a small, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the lemon juice and switch to stirring with a wooden spoon, so as not to aerate the curd. Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, adjusting the heat as you go to ensure that it does not boil. Your curd is done when it has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Drop in the butter and stir until melted.
Position a fine mesh sieve over a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the curd through it, to remove any bits of cooked egg. Whisk in the zest.
Pour the curd (a single batch will make one pint of curd) into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If you want to process them for shelf stability, process them in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (start the time when the water returns to a boil). According to So Easy to Preserve, it is best to process only in half-pint jars or smaller, as they allow better heat infiltration.
The people at West Bend gave me an extra home canning kit to give away to one lucky She’s on the Run reader.
1. (Mandatory) Leave me a comment telling me what you would can if you won the home canning kit.
For an extra entry ***Make sure you leave an extra comment telling me you have done any of the following:
2. Tweet about the giveaway: Alysha @Shesontherun has an awesome @WestBendKitchen Giveaway! http://shesontherun.com/?p=2383
3. Follow me on Twitter @Shesontherun
4. Follow me on Facebook
That’s 4 chances to enter! I’ll be choosing a winner on Saturday morning, July 28, 2012. Good luck!
Disclaimer: West Bend has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.