|Photo credit: Tattler Reusable Canning Lid Website.|
Today I am canning up some cherries off of our tree. It's LOADED with fruit this year and I want to get some of it before the birds do. I'm using my most favorite canning lids in the whole, wide, wonderful world, Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. These are a 2 piece, easy to use canning lid that can be used up to 20 times before the rubber seals need replaced. So. Awesome.
Canning is one of those things that seems like a tremendous amount of work, and in fact it can be, but it's one of the most amazingly fulfilling "chores" you can do. Working your butt off in the kitchen in the heat of summer so you can relax and rest assured of a pantry full of wholesome, home canned produce andd fruits in the winter is a tremendously satisfying job. Kind of like childbirth, once it's over and you remove yourself from the actually work, you kind of forget how hard it really can be. But, also like childbirth, you always remember how much it was worth it.
Here is how I do my cherries. This is not how everyone does their cherries, but I find it most convenient to do ours this way. It leaves me with a vast number of ways to use them and it takes the least amount of time for me to prep and can them up. Cause when it comes right down to it, I'm busy and anything that can save me a little bit of time is my friend :)
Ok, take your beautiful cherries, pit them (I got this Norpro Cherry Pitter as a gift last year and it is so worth it. Makes all the difference!) and then I let them soak overnight in very cold water in the fridge overnight.
Why do I soak them? A couple of reasons. 1) It keeps the flesh of the cherries firm and helps to keep them from crushing each other with their weight. The water makes them sort of float-y and they just hang out. 2) Fresh fruit right off the tree is coming in straight from the outdoors. What's in the outdoors? Bugs! I know it's kind of gross to think about, but if you don't soak your fruit and let all of the foreign debris (and yes, that includes bugs) float out of your fruit, you would be canning them up in your jars. I kept myself from showing you what came out of my cherries, but let me tell you I wouldn't want to knowingly add it to my finished jars of fruit. Food for thought :)
The next morning you are going to gather your supplies BEFORE you get started. You will need:
- Canning jars
- Water Bath Canning Pot (or Other llarge, heavy bottomed pot with a lid)
- Lids of your choice
- Metal rings
- small pan for keeping your lids and rubber seals hot
- pan for making your syrup
- jar lifter
- measuring cup
- non metal item to use for getting all the bubbles out of your jars
Now that your supplies are gathered, you have a little work to do really quick.
- Wash your jars, lids and rubber seals in very hot, soapy water.
- In a small saucepan, bring some water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add your lids and rubber seals. this sterilizes the lids and keeps the rings soft and pliable, resulting in a good seal.
- Fill your canning pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil.
- Fill your sink with boiling water and add your jars to it. Refill the canning pot and let it come back to a boil.
While you are waiting for your canning pot to come back up to a boil, strain the water off of your cherries. I strain mine through a cheesecloth lined colander to catch any "stuff" that might make it through the colander slats.
If you ahev enough cherry juice/water to make your preferred syrup (I canned these in medium syrup) you can just add the sugar right to it and heat it up. I bring it to a boil and then lower it to a simmer.
Dump the water out of a canning jar, pop the funnel onto it and put about 1/2 cup of the hot syrup inside.
Fill the jar with cherries leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
See the big lip at the bottom of the neck of the jar? That's 1/2 inch headspace. Gently shake the jar to fill in any spaces and add cherries if you need to. Don't smash them in there or crush them, you want the jar full but not packed tight. Pop the funnel back on the top and fill with hot syrup to the level of the cherries. Using a non metal object (I use the handle of a plastic spatula), put it in the jar and wiggle it around the sides to get rid of any bubbles. WOrk your way around the jar, you'll see the bubbles rise to the top. Wipe the rim of the jar carefully, making sure that anything that is on there is fully removed before you add the lid and ring.
Take your lid.
Carefully place your rubber seal around the outside.
Center it on your jar.
Using your jar lifter, put your jars into the boiling water. Cover and set your timer for 25 minutes, the time that the Ball Blue Book reccomends for cold packed pitted cherries is quart jars. If you are canning ina different size jar, are at an altitude of more than 1000 feet, or are using a different packing method (hot pack or with pits still in tact), please check the book and follow the proper instructions.
After the 25 minutes is up, take out your jars and set them on a towel on your counter top. Immediately screw down the jar rings as tight as you can get them without going overboard, and please use a towel to protect your hands as the jar and the contents will be REALLY HOT. Let the jars sit for 24 hours undisturbed. Check to make sure that they have all sealed after 24 hours (the lids will be sucked down in the middles and the lid won't want to lift off easily) and remove the rings. Store ina cool, dry place until you are ready to make something fabulous with the cherries that YOU preserved.
And now for the really good part, Tattler Reusable Lids would like to give one of you 1 dozen widemouth and 1 dozen regular mouth Tattler Reusable Lids! That is an amazing gift for them to give, so generous.
CONGRATS TO CHERYL, OUR WINNER!!!! Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to reply.
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Good luck and Happy Canning!
*fine print: I was not paid or given product in return for this review/giveaway. I love Tattler lids and I want you to love them too. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.*