Sunday, September 11, 2016

How to can, using zucchini ginger jam.

So, from the Internet, I'm getting a lot of vibes that people are really nervous about canning.  So I'm putting together a tutorial, along with a fabulous recipe from a British friend, for zucchini ginger jam.  This is my adaptation of her recipe, based on what I have here.  
So, to start, two pictures, one, what you need for basic canning, and the other for the zucchini ginger nirvana. 

A large pot, deep enough to cover your jars.  Jars with lids (you can reuse jars, but you need to buy new lids) a ladle, tongs, and a paper towel.  And a dishcloth.  I recently bought a funnel and canning tongs, but you can go without and use regular tongs.  I try to wash the jars and lids in the dishwasher right before I start so they are clean and still warm.  You can put the lids in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and boil the jars if you want.  I have not yet had a problem.

For the jam you will need at least one large zucchini, if not two (the first time I made this, I had one enormous one) salt, sugar, lemon, ginger, and an apple.  The original recipe calls for equal weight zucchini and sugar, once the zucchini is peeled and seeded.  

So once you chop the squash, sprinkle it with some kosher salt, and put it in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, pull it out, rinse it off, and put it in a pan with half the amount of sugar by volume, approximately (if you have four cups of squash then two cups of sugar), juice and zest of a lemon, a small Apple, peeled and chopped, and ginger to taste.  (You could also add a cinnamon stick or a teaspoon of vanilla to gild the lily), and cook until the squash is translucent. 

Ended up with three cups of squash.

Lemon zest, juice, a small cooking apple, cup and a half of sugar and 1/8 to 1/4 cup of chopped ginger onto the stove.  

While that is cooking, prep for canning.
Fill your tall pot with water.   Start it boiling.
If you are using clean but cool jars, not straight out of the dishwasher, you can pop the lidless jars into the boiling water, and use a bowl for the lids with boiling water poured on. (It is better to use warm jars and lids, basically). If you buy one of those accessory packs, it comes with a little magnetic lid lifter, just put the lids in the bowl seal side down!  Like so...

It makes it easier to lift and put on the hot jars.  
Once the jars are heated, and the jam is ready to go, line the jars up like so.

Don't forget something to wipe the rims for a good seal.  And you want to leave some headspace in the jar so you make a good seal.  I usually just fill to the neck, but you can look up specific headspace if you are worried.  Then it is just an assembly line of filling the jars, and putting the filled, lidded jars into the water bath for at least ten minutes.  Let them cool, press on the top to make sure you have a seal, and then label!   Voila!  You have canned!  Any questions?