Friday, April 27, 2012

Signs of Spring

One of the first signs of spring is rhubarb. It just seems to pop out and grow out of nowhere. The first rhubarb cake is heaven to eat. Rhubarb jelly is easy and delicious.

A simple and tasty rhubarb jelly from
Their website is chock full of wonderful recipes and they have a wonderful canning cookbook too. I know their recipes have been tested for safety so they're always the first place I look for a canning recipe. One of my favorite sites on the web.
Rhubarb Jelly

Makes 3 X 250 ml jars

4 cups (1000 ml) rhubarb, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
3 1/2 cups (875 ml) granulated sugar
1 pouch (85 ml) BERNARDIN® Liquid pectin

• Make Juice: in a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan, combine rhubarb and water. Bring to a boil; then simmer 5 minutes; remove from heat. Pour through a dampened cheesecloth lined strainer or jelly bag. Allow juice to drip 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

• Measure juice. If necessary, add water to yield 1 3/4 cups (425 ml) rhubarb juice.

• Place 3 clean 250 mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

• In a large deep stainless steel or enamel saucepan, combine rhubarb juice and all the sugar, mixing well. To reduce foaming, add 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add liquid pectin, squeezing entire contents from pouch. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam, if necessary.

• Quickly pour jelly into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jelly. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing discs on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jelly.

• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.

• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
These are my Saskatoon trees and they've been waiting to bud out for two weeks already. We had such lovely warm weather and then it went down to freezing again. Sometimes it takes a rain for the trees to actually bud out. My Saskatoon trees are three years old now so I'm really curious to see if they are going to flower this year. Nothing like fresh Saskatoons!

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