Home canning is an ideal way to process surpluses from the garden or to create stockpiles of cheap seasonal products. Are you saying that you have never tried it? Even beginners can make fruit jams, compotes, and pickled cucumbers and other vegetables. When the winter comes, you will be ready!
The difference between marmalade and jam
Marmalade or jam? For most of us, it is the same. Someone could object that marmalades should be thicker, jelly-like and fine, while liquid jams contain pieces of fruit. The European Union ended the discussion by saying that marmalades are products with only a fifth share of citruses. The important thing, however, is that both marmalades and jams need not be sterilised.
How to preserve fruit at home
Cook the fruit with sugar, gelatine, and lemon (or citric acid) in a large pot. Let it boil for a few minutes; you can remove the foam by a spoon if needed. Then, use the hot mixture to fill glasses, for example from elevenses. Do not forget to boil all the containers and lids in advance. Everything needs to be clean so that mould does not get a chance.
When the glasses are filled, turn them upside down, and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This trick will replace sterilisation because when the warm air slowly leaks from the glass while boiling, the lid sticks to the glass and the content is conserved in vacuum. Store the cooled marmalades and jams in a dry dark place, in a cellar or a pantry.
How to preserve vegetables
Compotes and vegetables, for example, cucumbers need to be prepared directly in the cans. If you pickle cucumbers, you should first properly wash them and scrub them with a brush. If you want to make it easier, you can find instructions on the Internet on how to wash a larger amount of cucumbers in a washing machine. Anyway, the cucumbers and the glasses and lids need to be perfectly clean.
Fill the glasses with raw vegetables (or fruit if you make compotes). You can use screw-on lids or press lids that are pressed on the glass by a can sealer. If you do not have a canner that allows you to adjust the temperature, you can use an ordinary large pot and a thermometer for canning. Put the glasses with compotes or vegetables in the pot, and pour water over them. Sterilisation should be done at approx. 80 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
You can also use the oven or dishwasher
If you do not have a large pot with a thermometer, let alone canning pliers for taking the glasses out of the pot, you can sterilise the glasses in the oven. Place the glasses on a sheet, add water, and put the glasses in the lower part of the oven. You should ‘bake’ them for about 40 minutes at 95 degrees Celsius. The easiest way is to use the dishwasher. Just put the glasses with the lids upwards in the dishwasher, and turn on the programme with the highest temperature. Done!