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Apple cider vinegar recipes are delicious and good for you. Salad dressings, pickles, jams, salsas, hot sauces, chutneys, fruit sauces (pear sauce recipe below) that do not contain enough acid, or just a shot in a glass of water. Apple cider vinegar aides with digestion and makes your food delicious.
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Canning blueberry jam, or any fruit jam or preserve, is gratifying. Especially if there's no sugar, and the taste is divine. The key is using the right ingredients.
I like to use apple cider vinegar instead if lemon juice in my jam recipes. Go to your farmers market, and find the apple farmer who makes sweet delicious apple cider vinegar. My friend Amara at Little Tree Orchards is one such farmer. Her apple cider vinegar is sweet enough to be sipped like a cordial.
Make sure your blueberries are naturally sweet. A hot, steamy, sunny, summer with a decent amount of rain will make sweet berries.
The right pectin is essential. My jam looks like it may even be too thick, but the leftover 1/2 jar that we ate, was delicious. I use Pamona's Universal Pectin. It is pure citrus pectin, and works beautifully. You can use another pectin, but make sure it's 100% fruit pectin.
The water for sterilizing the jars is also important. Ideally your water should taste great. If you can avoid the chlorine taste from city water, even better.
Click here for Apple Ginger Chutney recipe using Amara's vinegar.
The tasks for canning are simple, but it is critical that your jars are perfectly clean, otherwise you could be sealing in unwanted bacteria.
I use the jam recipe in the pectin box as a guide, since in my recipe, I eliminate the sugar, and replace the lemon juice with Amara's Apple Cider Vinegar. Remember, one key to great canned goods is the quality of the ingredients.
Another key is the dish soap you use when washing your jars. I think it's important that there is absolutely no soap residue or smell, especially those headache inducing artificial perfumes that are in many dish soaps.
Tools are important. A bunch of dish towels, a good canning pot with a jar holder and a jar handling tool are necessary. This way the likelihood of breaking any hot jars filled with sticky blueberry jam is significantly reduced. I break about 1 jar for every 100 jars canned.
This recipe makes 16 1/2 pint jars (1 cup each)
1 gallon (4 quarts or 16 cups) pureed or mashed fruit
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
8 teaspoons of Pomona's Pectin
8 teaspoons of Calcium Water (you'll get the calcium mix in the pectin box. Follow the directions)
DO NOT lick the rubber spatula (or any of your utensils during this process) and put it back in the pot. Also AVOID using your fingers and touching your jam mixture. Use clean utensils exclusively. This is a critical to successful canning. Everything, including the food, must be very clean. Soap and water work best.
If you must taste your jam during this process, use a clean spoon to take your taste out of the pot and wash and dry it between tastes.
1. Wash your canning jars and lids thoroughly. Bring to a boil and boil in your canning pot for 5 minutes. This is the sterilizing process. I use filtered water. My canning pot has room for 7 jars, so I do 3 rounds, filling the extra jars with spare pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, or anything else hanging around from the garden that I intent to preserve. Or you can fill 14 jars and have a pint for the fridge.
2.While the jars are sterilizing, wash your fruit, and put it in a big pot. Mine has gallon measurements on the side. I like to can jams in 1 gallon quantities, making 16 1/2 pint jars. My pot is 3 gallons, so there's room to mash up the fruit, apple cider vinegar, and pectin without splattering it all over the kitchen.
3. Take a stick blender and whiz bang (Andy's stick blender action word) the fruit into a nice even puree. Measure the fruit at this stage. I use the markings on my pot.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and whiz bang again. Heat til it's just about boiling, Whiz bang again. Make sure your jam is thoroughly mixed. Scrape the sides of the pot with a rubber spatula and whiz bang again. DO NOT lick the rubber spatula and put it back in the pot. Also AVOID using your fingers and touching your jam mixture. Use clean utensils exclusively.
5. Fill your jars with the apple cider vinegar blueberry jam recipe. I use a 1/4 up measuring cup. It pours well into a small mouth canning jar.
Below are photos of the book I learned from.
This book was available on eBay. You will have to go to the library or a book shop.
This could seem like a daunting task until you get the hang of it. I put dishtowels on the counters to put the hot jars on. Then I cycle out the hot jars and use the boiling water to carefully fill the next round of jars to be sterilized. This way you are preheating the jars, to avoid breakage, before plunging them into the boiling water. This can be messy, but it's only water, and is soaked up by the dishtowel.
While the 2nd round of jars are sterilizing, I fill my sterilized jars with the hot blueberry jam mix. Next, carefully wipe the rims so there's nothing to get in the way of a good seal. I boil the lids for 5 seconds and immediately place them on the hot filled jars, and close with the ring. Do not tighten the rings too tight. By this time, your 2nd round of jars should have boiled for 5 minutes.
Take them out and fill the 3rd round of jars with the boiling water. Put the 1st round of jars, filled with your jam, in the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Take them out, carefully place them on another dish towel and wait for the lids to "pop". Let them rest for 24 hours to secure the seal.
This particular apple cider vinegar recipe popped the lids in less than a minute after removing them from the canning pot. I was really pleased. Enjoy!
Pear sauce is a special treat. Apple sauce is everywhere. Pear sauce is exactly the same recipe and canning technique, as apple sauce except for the fruit. I love apple sauce, but pears are a delightful addition to any desert or meat dish.
This recipe is for 1/4 bushel of fresh, perfectly ripe pears and yields about 10 pints. I made 2 batches. If you are not familiar with what a bushel looks like, it's about 2 paper grocery bags 2/3 full. Another way to look at it is a bushel is about 50 lbs, so a 1/2 bushel is about 25 lbs, each grocery bag 2/3 full is about 10-12 lbs.
However many pears (or apples) you have, when they are prepped and in your stock pot, This recipe is somewhere around the 6-8 quart measure (the number on the side of your stock pot).
Follow the Canning Tips instructions above.
Serve alone, with yogurt and nuts, with meats, anyplace you would use apple sauce. Bon appetite!
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