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Making preserves at home

Allison Carroll Duffy shows us how to make strawberry vanilla preserves at home.

PORTLAND, Maine — Allison Carroll Duffy is the author of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin. She joined us in the 207 kitchen to show us how to make preserves in your own kitchen.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients:

  • Two ¼ pounds strawberries
  • ½ cup water
  • One vanilla bean
  • One ½ teaspoons calcium water, see Step #1
  • ¼ cups sugar
  • One ½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener

The recipe is as follows:

  1. Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
  2. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
  3. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  4. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add one extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
  5. Rinse strawberries and remove stems.
  6. Combine strawberries and ½ cup of water in a large saucepan. Using a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds and the bean pod itself to the strawberries. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir carefully -- you don’t want to crush the berries. Remove from heat.
  7. Measure four cups of the cooked strawberry mixture (saving any extra for another use), and return the measured quantity to the saucepan. Add calcium water and mix well.
  8. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  9. Bring strawberry mixture back to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for one to two minutes to dissolve pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil. Once the preserves return to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the vanilla bean pod from the preserves and discard.
  10. Can your preserves: Remove jars from canner and ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least one to two inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude if necessary). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for five minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.

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