Monday, July 2, 2007

Canning Made Simple (Pink Grapefruit Marmalade)

There are much more complicated recipes for fruit preserves than this one, but the process is very simple. Jams and pickles have so much acid content that they do not need a water bath, but they do need sterile jars and lids and this is the easiest method I know, with the least amount of equipment.


4 large pink grapefruits
enough sugar to equal the amount of fruit

Equipment Needed for Canning:
canning jars
canning lids
canning rings
a large roasting pan bottom, or a metal 9x13x2 baking sheet
a pair of tongs
a small wire rack to fit into the pan and raise the jars up
Directions for Jam:

Start by peeling the grapefruits and boiling the rind for 30-60 minutes. Take pulp from the fruit, trying to eliminate as much of the pith, seeds and membranes as possible. Slice the boiled peels as thin as possible and measure all the fruit and peels together. Set aside an equal amout of sugar, place the fruit in a nonreactive pot and heat with a medium flame. Add the sugar and stir until the jam starts boiling. Lower the heat and let simmer until the jam visably thickens.
Directions for the Canning Process:
Fill the pan with water and the wire rack, making certian that both are clean. The rack allows steam to enter the jars that you place upside down in the water bath. Place the rims and lids into the same water bath or into a separate pan if you have one and need more room. After five minutes of steaming the jars are ready to fill. I picked mine up with a kitchen towel and filled them directly over the pot. Once the jar is filled within 1/2" - 1" of the rim, take your towel, dip it into the boiling water and clean the rim, then using the tongs, pull one of the lids from the water bath and cover the jar.
Immediately pick up a rim with the tongs and place over the jar with the lid and twist to help make a good seal. You do not need a really tight twist, but when the jar seals, you should not go back and tighten it or you could break the seal, so make it firm, but not excessively tight. Set the jars that are sealed aside until you hear the lids "pop". That indicates that the jars are sealed. Another way to test a seal is to tap the lid with a metal utensil and listen for a ring. If you hear a "thud" your jar has not properly sealed and you should refrigerate that jar and use within two weeks.

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