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Commercial Juice Jelly, Tattler Lids, a Steam Canner, and My Niece

Submitted by: cindyp on October 3, 2011
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Commercial Juice Jelly, Tattler Lids, a Steam Canner, and My Niece

Yes, I took on all of those challenges in one day, all at the same time! And maybe not in that exact order.

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You know that triumphant feeling you get when you try something new–the high, the ecstaticness–and it works? I think I’ve been having a craving …

Difficulty:

Ingredients

Directions

Yes, I took on all of those challenges in one day, all at the same time! And maybe not in that exact order.


You know that triumphant feeling you get when you try something new–the high, the ecstaticness–and it works? I think I’ve been having a craving for that lately. The Retreat was the last big thing I’ve done and yea, that was a while ago now. I think I’m back on my game again. I was having cravings for something new–so I was going to conquer four all at once. Though it only took not even an hour out of my day!

Challenge #1–My Niece

My niece (the same one with the Starbuck’s Mocha Frappuccino, Stacy’s Pita Chip, and BC’s Chicken Spi-roll addictions), Sam and I were grocery shopping the other day. She was reading ingredients and asking if this or that was doable. Knowing what the answer was going to be. Anything is doable!

We were in the juice aisle. Wouldn’t a strawberry banana jelly be great? Or how about this Cran-Promegrante? She evidently wanted to make jelly, since I’d never seen a strawberry-banana or cran-pomegrante jelly in the jam aisle.

We could have made Banana Split in a Jar, but I think using commercial juice can be a very easy introduction to canning. And she can use a small amount of the juice she’d normally buy to create some exotic jelly once a month. She was astounded to learn she could make jellies with her beloved juices. We will work with fresh fruits next year.

I was letting a non-cooking, sort of accident-prone 23-year old into my kitchen with boiling juice and sugar.

Challenge #2–Commercial Juice into Jelly

I’ve never done this before (local fresh is better in my humble opinion), but! Sam wanted to learn, I was not letting the lack of local fresh deter me and I knew it has been and could be done. Just needed some research.

As long as there has been no sugar added in the commercial process, you just need to continue on with your recipe as if you’ve juiced fresh fruit.

How to make Strawberry Banana Jelly:

Yield 4 (4 ounce) jars
1 1/2 cups juice
2 Tablespoons regular pectin
1 2/3 cups sugar

Follow the directions of the pectin you are using.


However, if there is sugar added commercially, there seemed to be a different process. According to Pick Your Own, using a No-Sugar pectin and adding in some sugar would allow a good set.

How to make Cran-Pomegrante Jelly:

Yield 4 (4 ounce) jars
1 1/2 cups juice
2 Tablespoons no-sugar added pectin
1 cup sugar

Follow the directions of the pectin you are using.

This set very well! Almost too well, too fast!

But after tasting and some thinking, we’ve determined the sugar was added because there was cranberry juice involved. We could have easily used the full amount of sugar and probably the regular pectin to have it set and taste good, too. We won’t be putting this on our toast, but it will be great in Lil’ Smokies Cocktails!

Challenge #3Tattler Reusable Lids

Yes, reusable. And BPA-free.

As quoted from the site, “Properly used, with any standard Mason jar and metal screw band, these reusable lids will last a lifetime. If you ever wear this lid out, we will replace it free! Follow standard directions and procedures, for two piece canning jar lids, with any normal home canning process, and obtain excellent results.” The rubber gaskets can be reused if no damage is visible. If they’re turned over for each use (you can tell by the grooves from previous sealings) to extend the lifetime.

I was gifted with them last winter, but I’ve only used them once (in the Canning Failure, you’ll see the lid and rubber ring) because I don’t want them to be on anything I’ll be giving away–it’s hard enough getting the jar back!–and I still have a freezer full of produce still waiting to be canned.

These jars of jelly were going to a home where I could walk in and take them back if I wanted, so I was not concerned. AND I needed to continue the experimentation–would a previously used gasket reseal? Would an investment in new lids/gaskets save me hundreds of dollars over a lifetime of canning (if everything goes right, I hopefully still have at least 20 years of canning in my future :)).

There are directions on the back of the box. Tattler has revised the directions since these were purchased–Step 5 no longer requires turning the ring back 1/4 inch. Below are the current directions:


1. Inspect top of jar for cracks and nicks.

2. Wash, rinse and sterilize jars. Scald lids and rubber rings. Leave in water until ready to use. I heated them right with the regular lids.


3. Fill jars as indicated per canning instructions for that food type.

4. Wipe top of jar after filling. Place lid and rubber ring combination on jar.


5. Screw band on jar loosely. Center lid on jar and hold in place with finger while tightening the metal screw band finger-tip tight. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. Product must be allowed to vent during processing.


6. Process as per instructions for various foods.


7. TIGHTEN METAL BAND FIRMLY IMMEDIATELY UPON REMOVAL FROM CANNER.


8. When jars have cooled, remove metal band and determine by feel if lids are securely sealed. Gently lifting on the lid will reveal any seal failure. Sealed jars may be stored without metal bands if desired.


9. When removing lid gently insert table knife between rubber and jar to release seal. DO NOT USE SHARP KNIFE.

10. Wash plastic lids and rubber rings, rinse, dry and store for future use. Do not save any rubber ring which is cut or deformed.

They all sealed. But that Ping!? There is NO Ping!…no ecstatic feeling hearing those pings after the canner is unloaded.

Stacked, the Tattler lidded jars are taller than with normal lids.

Challenge #4–Victorio Steam Canner

This new toy was a gift and I’ve been itching to use it. I haven’t canned anything since I got it over a month ago!

A steam canner is used for products you’d normally hot water bath. Those products required to be pressure canned cannot be safely processed in the steam canner.

This is dual-use–with the rack in the normal position, it is a normal boiling water bath.

By flipping the rack over and only adding 2 quarts of water, it becomes a steam-canner and allows you to fit 8 quart jars in it instead of 7 as with the BWB.

The gauge on top tells you when to start your processing time (normal BWB processing times), depending on your altitude. I’m in the 0-3,000 altitude level, so I begin my processing now, when the needle is in the green.

This was so much lighter using it as a steam canner and using 2 quarts of water, I was able to put the pan over onto the island to unload. Even if it was a full canner, I would be able to lift it over. Filling and emptying is so much easier!



It was a very satisfying day. Sam and I bonded. She can make exotic jelly. I love the Tattler Reusable Lids. And the Victorio? It’s a dream.


Cindy blogs at Our Life Simplified.

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Comments

10 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 10-3
    6:56
    am

    So glad y’all had a great canning day, I remember being the daughter and “niece” in the learning seat…
    I too am enamored with the Tattler Lids. However, I had a very nice pie for dinner yesterday because of the 1 Tattler lid that did not seal on my batch of Apple Pie Filling. I also miss the ‘ping’ of a sealing jar.

    Brenda

  2. 10-3
    7:01
    am

    Interesting, informative post; very fortunate niece! Thanks

  3. 10-3
    7:25
    am

    I’ve made jelly with commercial grape juice before. It was a great way to get grape jelly made with Splenda for a diabetic friend. We used 100% juice and the Low/No Sugar Ball Pectin. It set beautifully and was huge hit.

  4. 10-3
    8:14
    am

    Great news about the steam canner! Your hours in MI must be longer than ours in IL. I don’t think I could have accomplished all that in under an hour.

  5. 10-3
    10:15
    am

    I’ve been wanting to buy the Tattler lids for a while now, will have to order some. I also lovethe ping sound though.
    About the jelly with juice, I have made jelly with juice many times but my question is: if I have some tomato juice in a can from the store can I make tomato jelly with it? If so, what do I need to do differently if anything, because of it being tomato juice? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. 10-3
    11:58
    am

    Ooh, I so want a steam canner now! We have a new propane stove with a turbo burner that is supposed to boil water very fast, but it takes what seems like forever to get the water in the big graniteware canner to boil. Even then I worry that it didn’t get to a high enough temperature. I am off to do some research.

    Thanks Cindy!

  7. 10-3
    5:04
    pm

    Love you post CindyP, although reading it made me tired. You do get a lot done in a day! I love my steam canner. It is so much nicer than my BWB canner. Easier to fill and get another batch going. Now I’ve just got to try the Tattler lids. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. 2-9
    5:01
    pm

    I have used the tattler lids for two years of canning and I also miss the ping. The steam canner looks interesting. I might just invest in one I get tired of waiting for the water to boil!!

  9. 9-25
    12:19
    pm

    I’m looking to purchase a canner. I have a glass cooktop. Is your Victorio canner aluminum or stainless? What is the width of the base (sitting on the cooktop?) Wondering… could a person use a pressure canner to steam can by putting a taller rack in the bottom? I think I might just get a pressure canner and use it to steam can instead of water bath… that way I won’t have to buy one later if/when I want to can non-acidic foods.

  10. 3-15
    4:36
    pm

    It’s been quite a while since your initial post, CindyP and I wondered if you are still in love with your steam canner and are using the Reuseable lids?

    Anymore bonding sessions with your niece about canning?

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