Bernardin Home Canning.
If you are like me, the thought of canning is something you’ve always wanted to do and while it sounds amazing, it can be a bit scary too. Especially if you’ve never canned like me. But, I learned that all of my fears and apprehensions about canning at home were completely unfounded. Why? Simply because canning at home was unbelievably easy and I am definitely HOOKED.
Home canning is not complicated. According to Bernardin, “it is a simple procedure that applies heat to food in a closed glass jar to interrupt the natural decaying that would otherwise take place. The air we breathe and all foods in their natural state contain microorganisms, such as molds, yeasts, bacteria and enzymes. Food spoils when these factors are not controlled. Proper, safe home canning procedures control the growth of spoilage microorganisms allowing us to keep food beyond its normal storage period.” The process seems easy enough, right?
For 100 years, home canning has been an exclusive focus for Bernardin Ltd. It’s no wonder Bernardin continues to be Canada’s trusted leader in home canning products. Home canning has always been the best way to preserve the natural goodness of our foods. Today home canning is even more attractive to Canadians because of their growing concern and interest in knowing the source of the food we eat. We see this thinking everyday in the healthy lifestyle concerns, organic produce, and the proliferation of farmers’ markets. We understand that home canning is no longer a survival necessity, but a way of showing individual flare and creativity. Our range of products and recipes will help you create spreads that remind you of yesteryear, or exciting new taste combinations.
Tis the season.
Summer is in full swing and along with it comes the delicious and plentiful fruit seasons. I am a huge fan of jams and spreads, my only qualms with it was that I couldn’t have it as often as I’d like because of the high sugar content. The sugar-free ones tasted different and contained aspartame. So, when Bernardin asked me to try my hand at some summer canning, well, I knew I had to give it a whirl and make my own organic jams sweetened with stevia.
Bernardin sent over a Home Canning Starter Kit, perfect for lil ole me who has never canned before. It has everything you need to jump into the beautiful world of canning. It comes with an Instructional DVD, 21 quart canner, canning rack, jar lifter, funnel, lid lifter, bubble remover, decorative jam jars with lids, pectin and recipes. I also received an amazing Bernardin Cook Book with recipes and even decoration ideas.
Jam in Just a Few Steps.
It’s quite simple actually, you just wash your Bernardin cans with warm water and soap and then you place them inside the canner and let them boil. Place the lids into hot water (not boiling) and then move onto your fruit. What I love about living in the city, is the proximity to farm lands and a lot of small-town farmers. We had an abundance of organic strawberries and blueberries in the fridge and that meant one thing–let’s get to summer canning!
Cook, Pour and Measure.
Making the jam is super simple. You can read below for the entire recipe for Classic Strawberry jam. After you’ve prepared your jam, you can ladle it into the Bernardin cans using the funnel. Make sure that the jar is clean and free of any jam. For this recipe, we want to leave about 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Adding the top of the lids is simple with the lid lifter and once you’ve applied the lids, you only tighten them hand tight. Don’t tighten it too much as it will make a false seal. With the jar lifter, you add the cans into the boiling water and cover. You can use the Bernardin Home Canning Tool Kit.
Yes folks, making jam is amazingly easy with Bernardin and even more so with the Bernardin Home Canning Starter Kit. It has everything you need and is perfect for beginners. I was able to make healthy jam that I feel happy serving my family. What was the verdict? It was a hit, the kids loved both but, loved the strawberry the best! You can also fancy them up and give them away as gifts!
- 4 cups of crushed blueberries
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) lemon juice
- 1 pouch (85 ml) BERNARDIN Pectin Crystals
- 1/2 tsp of butter or margarine
- 2 cups stevia or to taste
- 4 250ml BERNARDIN jars
- 1 large saucepan
- 1 ladle
- 1 BERNARDIN Home Canning Tool Kit
- 4 squares of your favorite fabric
- 4 spring or rope of your choice
- Wash jars with warm water and soap.
- Place jars inside the BERNARDIN canner and boil. Fill with water to make them stay upwards.
- Wash and crush blueberries, one layer at a time.
- Measure your stevia and set aside.
- Measure your lemon juice, set aside.
- In saucepan, add the fruit mixture, lemon juice and BERNARDIN Pectin Crystals. Stir and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add 1/2 tsp of butter or margarine, this is to avoid foaming. Stir until fully melted.
- Add BERNARDIN Pectin Crystals and bring to a rolling boil.
- Boil hard for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and with a spoon, remove any foam that has formed.
- Get your BERNARDIN Home Canning Tool Kit and prepare to fill the jars. Use the jar lifter to remove jars from the boiling water, tip to remove all water and bring over to your station where you are working.
- Place funnel at the top of the jars, ladle in mixture until almost the entire jar is filled.
- Use bubble remover and measure the space to 1/4 inch headspace between the top of the jar.
- Make sure to wipe any mixture from the top of the jar.
- Use the lid lifter and center the lid onto the can. Screw the band only until it is finger tight, any more and it will create a false seal.
- Repeat for the rest of the jars and using jar lifter, return them into the canner.
- Once all jars are inside the canner, make sure that the jars are covered by at least one inch of water.
- Cover canner with lid and then bring to a rolling boil. Approximately 10 minutes or so.
- Once you've boiled, remove lid, shut off stove and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove jars using the jar lifter, place them on a protected surface and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Do not tilt or tighten the seal.
- Check the seal, you can do this by pressing down. You will see if the seal has taken.
- You can label and store jars in a dark and cool place.
- Or you can decorate to give away as gifts. Apply squares and wrap around top of the lid, use string or rope to tie it in place.
- Once the jam is open, it's optional for you to refrigerate.
- You can make the strawberry jam with the same recipe, just swap the blueberries for strawberries.
Delicious with Peace of Mind.
My jam was a big hit, it’s perfect to for breakfast. We enjoyed them on English Muffins with some butter. Dara and the girls most enjoyed the strawberry as it was true to taste. They swore it was store-bought but, I was happy and I have to admit, a bit proud that I am now able to make my own jams that my family approves of. The jam was perfectly sweet and since I knew everything that went into it, I had peace of mind.
Craving a Something Sweet and Tart?
Well, this is the jam for you. To make this jam, all you have to do is replace the strawberries in the recipe above. While I enjoyed the strawberry jam, I absolutely loved the blueberry. It was sweet, tart and absolutely delicious. My Dad came over to help us with a little home DIY and I offered him a cup of coffee with an English Muffin. For kicks, I used both jams to see which one he would like. He was just like me, he loved the strawberry but, loved the blueberry more!
Ready for Home Canning?
I am proud of my first venture into home canning. It was a fun learning experience that I was happy to convert into gifts for my loved ones too. The Bernardin Home Canning Kit and jars made the whole experience incredibly easy. I can’t wait to expand my home canning repertoire to garlic spreads, salsas and much more. Being so simple and oh-so-sanitary, I just have to!
Now, it’s your turn, if you’re a pro or a beginner–get started! Right now, raspberries are in season and if you still have strawberries and blueberries stored, why not preserve it?
For more information, you can check out Bernardin.ca and get started!
Have you ever made your own jam–how did it turn out?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!