Sample Recipes for High-Acid Canned Food Products

 

The following are sample recipes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  With any food preparation,  but especially with canned items, it’s important to educate yourself about proper food safety procedures. Some great sources for more information and recipes include the following:

 

•  The National Center for Home Food Preservation

 

•  Your state's University Extension site; for example, in Wisconsin it would be our University of Wisconsin-Extension.

 

•  Ball Corporation

 

•  The Ball Blue Book (current edition)

 

•  The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (current edition)

 

Strawberry Jam

 

Yield: About 9 or 10 half-pint jars

 

Ingredients:

 

5½ cups crushed strawberries (about 3 quart boxes strawberries)

1 package powdered pectin

8 cups sugar

 

Directions:

 

See Using Boiling Water Canners before starting.  If this is your first time canning, study Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

 

To prepare fruit. Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries; remove stems and caps. Crush berries.

 

To make jam. Measure crushed strawberries into a kettle. Add pectin and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full boil with bubbles over the entire surface. Add sugar, continue stirring, and heat again to a full bubbling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim.

 

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.  See chart for recommended processing times based on altitude.

 

Source:  "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint. National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2005.

 

Grape Jelly

 

Yield: About 8 or 9 half-pint jars

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cups grape juice (about 3½ pounds Concord grapes and 1 cup water)

1 package powdered pectin

7 cups sugar

 

Directions:

 

See Using Boiling Water Canners before starting.  If this is your first time canning, study Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

 

To prepare juice. Sort, wash, and remove stems from fully ripe grapes. Crush grapes, add water, cover, bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Extract juice. To prevent formation of tartrate crystals in the jelly, let juice stand in a cool place overnight, then strain through two thicknesses of damp cheesecloth to remove crystals that have formed.

 

To make jelly. Measure juice into a kettle. Add pectin and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add sugar, continue stirring, and heat again to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly.

 

Pour hot jelly immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.  See chart for recommended processing times based on altitude.

 

Source:  "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint. National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2005.

 

Citrus Marmalade

 

Note:  When peeling citrus fruits for marmalades, be sure to include some of the white membrane found just under the skin. This is where most of the pectin is located.

 

Yield: About 3 or 4 half-pint jars

 

Ingredients:

 

 ¾ cup grapefruit peel (from grapefruit)

¾ cup orange peel (1 orange)

1/3 cup lemon peel (1 lemon)

1 quart cold water

pulp of 1 grapefruit

pulp of 4 medium-sized oranges

2 cups boiling water

3 cups sugar

 

Directions:

 

See Using Boiling Water Canners before starting.  If this is your first time canning, study Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

 

To Prepare Fruit:  Wash and peel fruit. Cut peel in thin strips into a saucepan. Add cold water and simmer, covered, until tender (about 30 minutes). Drain. Remove seeds and membrane from peeled fruit. Cut fruit into small pieces.

 

To Make Marmalade:  Sterilize canning jars. Combine peel and fruit in saucepan, add boiling water and sugar. Boil rapidly over high heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature measures 8°F above the boiling point of water (220°F at sea level), about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; skim. Pour hot marmalade into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.  See chart for recommended processing times based on altitude.

 

Source:  "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.  This recipe was also printed in "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint.

 

Bread-and-Butter Pickles

 

Yield: About 8 pints

 

Ingredients:

 

6 lbs of 4- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers

8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)

1/2 cup canning or pickling salt

4 cups vinegar (5 percent)

4-1/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp mustard seed

1-1/2 tbsp celery seed

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 cup pickling lime (optional- for use in variation below for making firmer pickles)

 

Directions:

 

See Using Boiling Water Canners before starting.  If this is your first time canning, study Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

 

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt. Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.

 

Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes. Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling. Fill jars with slices and cooking syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment. The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way with warm (120º to 140ºF) water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180 to 185ºF water temperature for 30 minutes for pint or quart jars. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180ºF during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185ºF may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.

 

Variation for firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and 1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamelware container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices in lime water for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution, rinse, and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle. Drain well. With this option, the onions are not limed.

 

Storage: After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.

 

Variation: Squash bread-and-butter pickles. Substitute slender (1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter) zucchini or yellow summer squash for cucumbers. Do not use the liming variation.

 

Source:  "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009 (reviewed 2014)

 

Choice Salsa

 

Yield: About 6 pints

 

Ingredients:

 

6 cups peeled, cored, seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes

9 cups diced onions and/or peppers of any variety (See Notes below)

1 and ½ cups commercially bottled lemon or lime juice

3 teaspoons canning or pickling salt

Yield: About 6 pint jars

 

CAUTION:  Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers.  If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes. 

 

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners for steps in managing the process before using this recipe.

 

Directions:

 

Wash and rinse pint or half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and ring bands according to manufacturer’s directions.

 

To prepare tomatoes: Dip washed tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins split. Submerge immediately in cold water. Peel off loosened skins and remove cores.  Remove seeds and chop (¼- to ½-inch pieces).

 

To prepare onions: Peel, wash, core and dice onions (¼-inch pieces).

 

To prepare bell peppers: Wash and core bell peppers.  Remove the seeds and membranes before dicing (¼-inch pieces).

 

To prepare hot peppers: Wash and remove stems of hot peppers.  Keep or remove as much of the seeds and membranes as you wish, depending on the ‘pepper heat’ of the salsa that you desire. Dice peppers (¼-inch pieces).

 

Combine prepared ingredients in a large pot; add lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer salsa for an additional 3 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent scorching.

           

Fill the hot salsa into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  If needed, remove air bubbles and re-adjust headspace to ½-inch. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel.  Adjust lids and bands.  

           

Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.  Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

 

Note:  This is a fairly acidic salsa, but was tested with a wide variety of tomatoes, peppers and onions to ensure the necessary acidification for boiling water canning and still allow for some consumer choice in the ingredients.

 

The peppers used may be sweet bell peppers (of any color) and/or hot peppers. 

 

The purpose of the commercially bottled lemon or lime juice is to standardize a minimum level of acidity in the recipe.  For the purposes of our testing, we used lemon juice as it was deemed the most acceptable flavor for the proportions in this particular recipe. For safety reasons, do not substitute vinegar for the lemon or lime juice. Do not use bottled key lime juice.

 

Do not alter the proportions of tomatoes, vegetables and acid because that might make the salsa unsafe when this canning process is used. The chopped tomatoes and diced peppers and/or onions are to be measured level in dry measuring cups; the lemon or lime juice is measured in a liquid measuring cup.  We did not test other vegetables for flavor or acidity.

 

Additional Note:  Refrigerate any leftover salsa after filling jars, and enjoy freshly made!  Refrigerate the canned salsa once jars are opened for use.

 

Source:  The University of Georgia, Athens.  Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  August 2013.