We had a blast with Marisa McClellan last week. She spent the day doing demos at Fillmore Container, Le Creuset at Tanger Outlets and Lemon Street Market.
We watched as she prepared variations of her Apricot Jam from Preserving by the Pint. We were partial to the version with red pepper! Before she left for the day she signed some of the Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint books that we have in stock, so the next few orders will get a signed copy. You can order your copies here.
For those that couldn’t attend, here are some of the canning tips Marisa shared during the demos.
- Use a measuring cup when filling jar. If you are filling a half-pint jar and using a 1-cup measuring cup, you know that one scoop will fill the jar. This takes away the guesswork and makes filling go quicker.
- You can use any kind of pot as a water bath canner. As long as there is about 1-2” of water covering the jars.
- Use a cake rack to stack jars. If you are using squatty jars and you have room to stack jars in your pot, it is okay to stack them. Use a cake rack to separate the jars.
- Screw lids till “fingertip tight”. If your lids are too tight during water bathing, there’s no way for the air to release from your jars and it could cause your lids to buckle. More on this here.
- Consider the bounce test as a guide for determining how much pectin a fruit contains. Fruits that are high in natural pectin will have a more rigid cell structure and tend to bounce if you drop them. For example, blueberries have more pectin and tend to bounce, strawberries tend to squash easier, so they are lower in pectin.
- Use the drip test as a way to determine if your jam is the right consistency. The longer the drips hang on your spoon or spatula the closer it is.
- Store your jars with the rings off. Free your jars of rings when storing, this will help you identify if a canned good has gone bad. If the contents begin to ferment and create gas, the lids will pop off.
You can find more canning tips from Marisa here.