Today I made blueberry syrup.  This was a request from Jacob, who loves the taste of blueberries but doesn’t care for the texture of the skins or the seeds.

It looks strange in a jar, I know, but I can keep it in the pantry this way. I have a Good Seasons dressing cruet that can hold the current syrup in the fridge for day-to-day use.

The recipe I used was mainly from the Ball Blue Book canning guide and I chose it because it called for two quarts of blueberries, which was exactly how much I had in the freezer. Just ignore the part of boiling the sugar water to 260 degrees, that doesn’t seem right to me…that’s “hard ball” candy stage so I only boiled to 225F, which is syrup stage.

In terms of the technique, this blog post from Simple Bites fits the bill for describing the steps.

While canning foods is old hat for me — I’d been doing it since canning homemade pasta sauce from homegrown Ohio tomatoes in 2001 —  boiling sugar and double-straining berry juice, such as what you might do for making jelly, were new techniques for me.  I didn’t realize how SLOW straining berry juice would be, nor did I realize how long it would take to boil down the sugar water to syrup stage.  Allow 2 hours for straining the berries and about 30 minutes for boiling down the sugar enough to make the syrup.

Now that I know this, I can be sure to multi-task during those stages 🙂

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28. April 2012 · Comments Off on Canning Homemade Fresh Salsa · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

I tried canning two pints of fresh salsa.

You know it happens to you, right?  Those food cravings.

Come on…admit it!

Sometimes you just feel like having something that isn’t sitting in your fridge or pantry.  In my case, it was homemade fresh salsa.  I like the salsa that you get in Mexican restaurants.  The kind that comes to you in a carafe and you pour it into a bowl with some fresh corn tortilla chips.

Last year — at about this time — the boys and I made Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa with cilantro and jalapeños fresh from my garden.  Since I put in my garden about 3 weeks late, I had no such freshness in my backyard and I had to settle for the ingredients from my local grocery store.

The recipe makes about 48 oz. of salsa…so this year I tried canning two of the three pints of it.  I had some wide-mouth pint jars, and it was simple to process the two jars in a smaller pot.

I consulted my handy-dandy Ball Blue Book for some guidance on how long to process the jars.  And here’s where I’m in a conundrum: I didn’t cook the salsa ahead of time.  I want “fresh” salsa.  So except for the cooking process during the 15 minutes in the water canner, I otherwise did NOT cook this salsa.

It appears there are numerous guides suggesting that a salsa mix needs to be boiled for 10+ minutes but found this recipe on where the author didn’t cook the salsa ahead of time.  There was plenty of lemon juice in the recipe (mine had the same amount of lime juice).  Seemed to be good reviews.

Since all of us in the house are blasting through this salsa at breakneck speed, I don’t think we’ll be letting these jars sit for more than a month or so.  The pint that I put in the fridge on Thursday is already almost gone.

What say you?  Do you think the 1/4 c. of lime juice that I squeezed into this recipe is enough to keep the yuckies at bay without boiling the salsa first?