Canning is proving to be addicting. After my first test run of making strawberry/black currant jam, I went running back to the store and bought a bunch more jars and Mom chipped in for a fancy new pot.
The first batch of jam was made using a regular recipe with LOTS of sugar. It tastes good, but I prefer my jams less sweet. So for my next two batches, I started experimenting with alternate recipes I found online.
One really interesting one was for Blueberry Vanilla jam, using honey as the sweetener, and chia seeds to thicken it. It worked like a charm, and Mom really likes it. I’m not entirely sold on how the honey overwhelms the vanilla flavor. I’ll try it again, I think, using “less sugar” pectin. NOT the kind that calls for a Splenda substitution, however. That stuff is so bad for you, it could literally be called poisonous.
Since we have a ton of blackberries ripe right now in the back yard, I made Blackberry Jelly next, using the less sugar pectin. Worked really well, and I was able to add just enough sugar to sweeten it just enough, while leaving a little tartness. Loved this one, and I’ll be making more of it, I think.
I also canned about fifteen half-pint jars of sweet cherries. I used only a very small amount of sugar in the syrup, and YUM. So good!
I’m really excited about canning peaches, and making apricot jam. Two of my favorite things!
Start saving for a pressure canner now for next summer, if you find water bath canning addictive. You will want to get a good one, like the All-American that you can double stack quart jars in and that puppy is over $300. Well worth it, though.
I’m considering it! I have a glass top stove, though, which makes pressure canning a bit iffy. I’ve hated this stove since I got it….so maybe this will finally be what makes me replace it!