Home Canning may sound like a time-intensive activity reserved for Midwestern food bloggers, your friend’s cousin’s grandmother, and the mom from “Little House on the Prairie.”
But it’s actually a simple concept with a simple execution: You store food in jars and then let them sit. Once the preserves hit peak deliciousness, you eat them. (Note: If you’re planning to keep your creations through the winter, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure your food is safe.) Gathering the ingredients is also easy: You can take advantage of your farmer’s market spread—or use what’s growing in your own garden.
Canning comes with several great perks: It stocks our pantries, spares our wallets and makes us feel all kinds of capable and self-sufficient. Now that summer is rolling in and we’re full of can-do energy (no pun intended), we’re ready to tackle some expert-created, deceptively easy treats.
Click through the slideshow to see LearnVest’s nine favorite home canning recipes, and get the ingredients below.
Peach Maple Jam
Peaches are a summer treat that usually don’t last past September. Robin from Rurification has solved that dilemma, thanks to her peach maple jam recipe. She combines the fruit with homemade maple syrup (store-bought also works just fine) to make two versions of the jam: “light” using more peaches, and “dark” with more syrup.
4 cups peaches, cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons or 1 package Ball pectin
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup sugar
The perfect summer side dish—caprese salad—just got more interesting, compliments of Jill at EatBoutique, who puts a gourmet twist on the classic tomato/mozzarella/basil combo.
5 pounds (approximately 12 cups) tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups sugar
½ cup loosely chopped basil
Familiar with the book “Blueberries for Sal,” in which a little girl goes berry-picking with her mother and just can’t help but eat her entire score? We empathize. But if you’re going to make Chef Tyler Kord’s recipe for pickled blueberries, you’ll have to resist for at least a little while.
1 cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 ¾ tablespoons kosher salt
1 ¼ pound blueberries
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Vanilla Roasted Pears
Deb from Smitten Kitchen explains that her pear recipe “looks and tastes showy, but is simple enough that it’s no extra drama for you to assemble last-minute.” All you need to do is combine the ingredients, and let sit. The result: a perfect dessert to end an al fresco meal on the patio.
¼ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean
1 ½ pounds slightly underripe, fragrant, medium pears; peeled, if desired; halved through the stem and cored
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
White Wine Pickled Brussels Sprouts
It’s no secret that brussels sprouts are making a serious comeback. Kate from The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking has made these veggies decidedly upscale, thanks to a little white wine.
2 pounds brussels sprouts
¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon whole coriander
½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 small (or 1½ large) dried hot or smoky pepper
2 ½ cups filtered water
2 ½ cups white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling salt
Fridge Dill Pickles
Prepare to seriously upgrade your burgers, salads and snacks this summer using this spice-packed pickling recipe from Mary of One Perfect Bite.
1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
¼ to ⅓ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¾ teaspoon dill seeds
2 cups hot water
2 pounds kirby cucumbers, sliced ¼-inch thick ¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Pineapple Preserves With Vanilla and Rum
This recipe toes the line between preserves and piña colada. Can you think of anything better?
1 medium-large pineapple
3 cups sugar
¼ cup dark rum
1 vanilla bean
Pickled Red Onions
Maggie of DwellWellNW writes of her recipe: “In our house, pickled red onion rings have been canned, tested and shot to the top of our favorite condiment list. They are delicious and versatile.”
3 pounds red onions
2 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon pickling salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
This recipe definitely wouldn’t have made the cut in “Little House on the Prairie,” but it’s just about perfect for a leisurely summer Sunday brunch. Feeling particularly festive? Ministry of Alcohol likes to decorate their champagne strawberries with white chocolate and blue sprinkles for the Fourth of July.
1 package of fresh strawberries
1 bottle of champagne
1 canning jar