How to Make Preserves: Jam, Jelly, Compote, Salsa and More
How to Preserve
Home canning is completely safe if you follow these steps. What you'll need is four 8-ounce canning jars with lids and bands and a large pot canning rack (or other wire rack that fits). In your pot you'll need: a jar lifter and/or tongs, a large spoon, a small rubber spatula and clean kitchen towels and paper towels. (Photographs by Charles Masters)
Sterilize the jars: Wash the jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Put the jars on a rack in a pot of water. Boil at least 10 minutes; keep in simmering water until ready to fill.
Put the lids and bands in a saucepan of simmering water until ready to use (do not boil).
Carefully remove a jar from the water with a jar lifter or tongs, empty out the water and place the jar on a clean kitchen towel.
Using a clean spoon, fill the jar with the hot preserves, leaving headspace as directed in the recipe. Repeat to fill the remaining jars.
Run a clean small rubber spatula along the inside of the jars to eliminate any air pockets.
Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a damp paper towel to remove any food residue.
Remove the lids from the simmering water with tongs and place on top of the jars.
Remove the bands from the water. Screw on the jars just until you feel resistance; don’t overtighten.
Put the jars upright on the rack in the pot; cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then boil, covered, for 15 minutes (this is called “processing”).
Lift the jars from the hot water and transfer to a kitchen towel or rack. Let sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours; a vacuum seal will form as the jars cool.
Check the seal: The lids should not pop in the center (if they do, keep the preserves in the fridge for up to one week). Store unopened vacuum-sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.
Use Food Network Magazine's preserving techniques to store this delicately-spiced stone fruit jam.
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