The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Canning Pickles, Preserves and Jellies

By Susan M. Thigpen © 2013

Online: Summer 2013

At the end stage of any of these, whether you pack the jar cold and pour boiling liquid over the contents or have the contents boiling, this is the procedure to follow:

1. Make sure the jar is absolutely clean and have sitting in hot water ready for use.
2. Fill jar to 1/2 inch of top with boiling hot product.
3. Make certain the lip of the jar is absolutely clean (so you can get a good seal).
4. Put on flat inner lid and place outside ring on jars, tightening as tight as possible.
5. Immediately turn jar upside down and place on a dish towel.
6. Process all jars in batch this way, sitting them close together to retain heat.
7. When jars have completely cooled, turn them right-side up. The rings may be a little loose. Check for that and tighten if necessary.

All pickles, jams and jellies should seal this way because it forces the hottest heat in the jar to be on the seal. This also eliminates the need for a water bath to seal the jars. If one just doesn't seal, set it on the table and enjoy with your next meal.

Remember (wisdom from generations of cooks), if jelly doesn't get thick enough, you can always make it into gourmet fruit syrup for pancakes or ice cream sundaes. Makes wonderful presents!