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Daily Archives: September 18, 2013

The Fear of Canning …

… doesn’t have a name in the Phobia list, but it probably should.

I did find, in a Google search, a long list of blogs that used Fear of Canning in their title. So I was not alone when it came to having misgivings about canning.

I conquered that fear Monday morning. With Pineapple Habanero Jelly.

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The recipe said it would make six 8 ounce jars, but I ended up with an extra pint of jelly. Thankfully I had a large jar in the dishwasher with the six jelly jars, so I could cope.

I found the recipe here.

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And I promptly modified it. Here is what I used.

2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 jalapeño pepper, halved, seeded and with ribs removed
10 small orange habaneros, halved, seeded and with ribs removed
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 (3 fluid ounce) pouches liquid pectin
1 teaspoon pickled beet juice (to replace red food coloring)

Put the peppers and the cider vinegar in the blender and pulse until peppers are minced.

Pour this mixture into a heavy saucepan. Add the sugar, pineapple juice, and salt. Mix until all is dissolved. Add the beet juice to make it a deeper color. You can increase the amount of beet juice to get it darker. Bring to a rolling boil. Cut the heat back just a bit and cook for about 10 minutes stirring it constantly with a wooden spoon to keep it from sticking to the bottom. I think I didn’t keep the heat high enough so I didn’t get the evaporation to draw it down to 48 ounces.

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Add the two pouches of liquid pectin and get the mixture back to a boil again. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until thickened and syrupy. Mine didn’t get really thick, but it seems to have congealed OK in the jars. I checked them all today and they are no longer runny when I tilted them.

Before I put the liquid into the jars, I did skim off the foam, and I strained much of the pulp out of it to give me a fairly clear jelly.

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For the canning, I followed the recommendations in the Ball Blue Book of Canning. Used the dishwasher to sterilize instead of the canning pot. I filled all the jars, and put the six small ones in the pot.

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Processed them for ten minutes, and they all sealed properly. Put the large jar in by itself and processed it for 15 minutes. It sealed fine as well. That one will end up in the fridge and be the first one used. I intend to use it on a soft creamy goat cheese and crackers. And, I intend to mix it with butter to coat chicken wings to make a hot wing appetizer. I will report back to see how it tastes, and how it works in recipes.

All in all, this was pretty simple. Now, to be brave enough to move on to that green tomato bacon jam recipe I want to try.