How to Make Organic Preserves

With an abundance of fresh fruits in the fields and at the markets, now is the time to preserve the sunny taste of summer to savour all winter long. And yes – it can most definitely be done the natural way – without preservatives. Here are a few directional recipes – easy to make and definitely worth the effort!

1. Strawberry Raspberry Jam:

strawberry-raspberry-jam

Strawberry Raspberry Jam

Raspberry concentrate adds intense berry flavour to this ruby red, softly set preserve:

10 cups of hulled strawberries

2 cups of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of frozen raspberry cocktail concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup of lemon juice

  • In large Dutch oven, crush 4 cups of the berries, 1 cup at a time. Add remaining berries, sugar, raspberry concentrate and lemon juice; stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase heat to high, bring to s full boil, stirring often. Boil hard, stirring almost constantly with long wooden spoon, until setting point is reached and 1/2 teaspoon dropped onto chilled plate wrinkles when pushed. This should take about 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring to distribute fruit and skimming off any foam.
  • Using sterilized funnel and 1/2 cup measure, pour into hot sterilized 1 cup canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. If necessary, wipe of rims. Cover with prepared lids; screw on fingertip tight.
  • Process ion boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jar to rack and let cool, undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal, making sure lids curve downwards. If not, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.
  • Store in cool dry place for up to 1 year.

2. Wild Blueberry Preserve:

wild-blueberry-merlot-open-big

Wild Blueberry Preserve

This lightly set preserve is great on scones and biscuits and wonderful over vanilla ice cream:

4 cups of fresh or frozen wild blueberries

4 cups of granulated sugar

1 pouch of liquid fruit pectin

1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • In large Dutch oven, gently mash half the blueberries just to break them up. Add sugar and remaining blueberries. heat over low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin, return to full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon rind  and juice, return to boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes, stirring to distribute fruit and skimming any foam.
  • Using sterilized funnel and 1/2 cup measure, pour into 1 cup sterilized canning jars, leaving 1.4 inch headspace. If necessary, wipe off rims. Cover with prepared lids, screw on fingertips tight.
  • Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to rack; let cool, undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal, ensuring that lids curve downwards. If not, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.
  • Store in cool dry place for up to 1 year

3. Carrot Orange Marmalade:

Carrot Orange Marmalade

Carrot Orange Marmalade

Carrots add new dimension of flavour to familiar marmalade – not to mention vibrancy. Now that’s orange!

3 lemons

2 oranges

3 cups of water

5 cups of granulated sugar

3 cups of grated carrots

  • Scrub lemons and oranges in hot soapy water; rinse well. Cut in half and squeeze out juices. Set aside. Cut lemon and orange halves into 3 parallel strips. Cut crosswise into thin strips.
  • In large Dutch oven, bring lemon and orange strips, juice and water to simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer until mushy when pressed between fingers – about 45 minutes.
  • Add sugar and carrots. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat. Boil hard, stirring constantly with long wooden spoon, until thickened, setting point is reached and 1/2 teaspoon dropped onto chilled plate wrinkles when pushed with fork.
  • Remove form heat. Let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring to distribute fruit and skimming off any foam.
  • Using sterilized funnel and 1/2 cup measure, pour into hot sterilized 1 cup canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. If necessary, wipe rims. Cover with prepared lids; screw on fingertip tight.
  • Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool. undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal, ensuring that lids are curved downwards – if not, refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
  • Store in cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

Canning Tips:

  • Fill boiling water canner two-thirds full of hot water. About 30 minutes before filling jars, start to boil.
  • Use only new lids and canning jars that are free of nicks and cracks. Just before filling jars, heat lids in small saucepan of hot but not boiling water until sealing compound is softened.
  • Wash, rinse and air-dry jars. Ten minutes before filling, place jars, funnel and 1/2 cup measure to canning rack over boiling water.
  • Fill jars using funnel and measure, being careful to leave recommended headspace. If necessary, wipe rims with damp paper towel.
  • Centre lids on jars, screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Return jars to canner. Add boiling water to cover be at least 1 inch. return to b oil for specified time
  • Turn off heat. Let water stop boiling before removing jars. Removing jars too early may cause leakage due to change in pressure. Lift out rack with jars. With canning tongs, transfer jars to flat rack to elt cool and set – about 24 hours.
  • Check that lids curve downwards and refrigerate any that do not – use those within three weeks.
  • lavel and store jars in cool., dry place for up to one year.

These recipes may require little more time than you are thinking about – but believe me – they are worth it!

scan000322

About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: