Fall is officially here, and with the colors changing on the trees comes the perfect time to make the best of your late summer harvest! Here are a few tips to help you get started on your canning extravaganza, along with a few ideas on what to can:
Equipment and Supplies
Canning jars: Obviously these play an integral role in your canning projects. However, the jars you use must be canning safe (think brands like Kerr, Ball, and Mason). You can easily find these in your local grocery store in a variety of sizes.
Lids and rings: When it comes to canning, you must use a brand new lid on every jar that you put in your canner. Lid cannot safely be reused. Rings can be used over and over.
Canning rack: This is an essential component of your canning supplies. It keeps your jars from touching the bottom of the canner during processing (jars that are processed sitting on the bottom of the canner are more likely to crack). Most water bath canners come with a wire rack.
Water bath canner: This is perfect for beginners. Usually, a water bath canner is an enameled pot that comes with a rack inside for your jars and a lid. You can find them new at affordable prices or easily thrift one from a garage sale or secondhand store. However, be aware that you can only use this tool for high acid foods like jam, fruits, and pickled vegetables. If you don’t feel like buying equipment, a very tall stockpot will do the trick.
Jar lifter: Keep your hands burn-free and get a jar lifter to help you safely remove your jars in and out of boiling water.
Funnel: This will allow you to fill your jars cleanly with minimal mess before you add your lids.
Timer: Canning processing times are extremely precise and rely heavily on sticking to a punctual timeline. No need to go out and buy one, just use the timer on your oven, phone, or microwave!
Things to Can
Pears: Pear jam is fantastic with some butter on your morning toast, or even on its own! If you want to really branch out, try pickling them instead.
Apples: Apples are a fruit with many uses, from applesauce to apple butter and cider jelly.
Cranberries: Thanksgiving is right around the corner and a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce is sure to wow the whole family! Additionally, like pears, you can try your hand at pickling them.
Figs: Fig jam is a fantastic addition to any fall charcuterie board. Pair it with a soft cheese like brie or camembert for a sweet and salty bite.