***Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
You see, while I can make any breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizer out there, desserts are something I don't personally eat, so I never really had the desire to make them. (Much to my husband's dismay.) Yes, I am one of those odd women who doesn't care for cupcakes, chocolate, or ice cream.
Canning is another thing I have always found incredibly intimidating. I have heard so many horror stories about shards of glass flying everywhere, as well as explosions in the kitchen. Eeek! But now that I have a huge fruit and veggie garden in the works, canning is something I want to do to preserve the many different crops we grow. I'd love to make some yummy preserves, jams, and of course, pickles! Plus, canning has tons of health benefits, since it takes fruits and veggies at the peak of freshness and preserves all of their nutrients.
So when the awesome folks at Fagor America contacted me to see if I'd like to check out their new Pressure Canning Set, I decided to take the plunge. I was already curious, so this was the perfect opportunity to learn the process myself. (And hopefully not "blow anything up" in the process!)
Using the ladle and funnel, carefully deposit your food into the jars. Then, using a thin knife or spatula, make sure all air bubbles are out of the jars. Then add the lids and seals, making sure to leave just a little "wiggle room" so the pressure canning process can do its job.
Place the rack into the bottom of the pressure cooker, and place your jars onto it. Make sure there is a little room between them so steam can properly circulate.
Also, it's very important to have 2-3 inches of boiling water in the bottom of the cooker. You can add and remove water until you're at the proper level.
To make my preserves, I set the pressure to the high setting. Since I have an electric stove, I turned my burner to a medium heat setting while pressure built.
After I was absolutely sure that the pressure was released, I used the jar lifting tool to carefully remove my jars. I then placed them on a cloth-covered wooden surface to cool. Cooling takes between 12-24 hours, and the jars will be VERY, VERY hot during much of this time. So no touching, please!
And our strawberry jalapeno preserves turned out to be absolutely amazing. It is tasty, has a different flavor, and isn't even spicy! Here's the recipe for those who might want to try it, too!
The Recipe :
- 4 cups crushed strawberries
- 1 cup minced jalapeno peppers
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 package powdered fruit pectin
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8 half pint canning jars with lids and rings
- Place the crushed strawberries, minced jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, honey, and pectin into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.
- Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of your Fagor pressure cooker. Make sure there is 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of the cooker so the steam will be able to reach the cans. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars.
- Turn on your stove top and set your pressure cooker to high. (If using an electric stove, set heat to medium at this point.) As pressure builds, you will see steam escaping and hear a hissing sound. This is normal! Once full pressure is reached, begin your cook timing. This recipe calls for 10 minutes. (Note: If you're using an electric stove, set heat to low at this point!)
- Remove pressure cooker from the heat. Allow it to release pressure naturally. (Do not use the release valve!) This should take about 10-15 minutes. You will know when the pressure has released by checking the pressure indicator. To be safe, wait 2-3 more minutes and carefully open the lid.
- Remove the jars from the pressure cooker and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart. Allow to cool overnight Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.