Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments & More

Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments & More

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Canning perfected the America’s Test Kitchen way.

The art of preserving produce by canning and preserving has come full circle from grandmother’s kitchen to a whole new generation now eager to learn it. This detailed guide to home preserving is perfect for novice canners and experts alike and offers more than 100 foolproof recipes across a wide range of categories, from sweet jams and jellies to savory jams, vegetables, condiments, pickles, whole fruits, and more. Let the experts at America’s Test Kitchen show you how to do it right with detailed tutorials, troubleshooting tips, equipment information, and insight into the science behind canning.

From the Publisher

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Canning 101 (and more)

100 Time-Honored Classics & Bold, Inventive Recipes


What’s your favorite kind of jam?


The Recipes

Take your pick from more than 100 intensely flavored recipes spread over six chapters: Sweet Jams and Jellies, Savory Jams and Chutneys, Pickles, Tomatoes Year-Round, Fruit in Syrup, and Condiments and Fruit Butters.

Step photos with captions

How long and how much? Prep, Cook, Process, and Yield times

How To Use suggestions (toss into pasta, serve with pound cake, etc.)

We tackled preserving head on, taking nothing for granted and exploring everything in great detail because the specifics are crucial; otherwise you may end up with jam that never sets, pickles that aren’t crisp, lids that don’t seal, and food you can’t eat. No variable was left untested, which means that you trust every recipe, and you’ll also know how and why they work.

We followed to the letter the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines on processing times for safety.

We bought an industrial-size pH meter to make sure all our recipes were in the safe zone, so you don’t need to worry when you make them at home.

We bought multiple wine refrigerators with exact temperature controls to determine the temperature range at which recipes like sauerkraut and kimchi become fully flavorful and fermented.

A Few of Our Favorites . . .









Blueberry–Earl Grey Jam

This sophisticated jam pairs the bright sweetness of blueberries with bergamot-infused Earl Grey tea. Using a large saucepan ensures that the delicate blueberries gently cook at the proper rate to simmer and release their juices. We found the best way to infuse the tea flavor into the jam was to steep Earl Grey tea bags with the blueberries while they cooked.

Bread-and-Butter Pickles

We combine several techniques to produce really crisp pickles, including salting the cucumbers to draw out excess water to help them stay firm and using a low- temperature pasteurization method for processing rather than a boiling-water bath so the pectin (and the crunch) would remain largely intact.

Roasted Tomatoes

Most roasted tomato recipes call for a low oven and hours of cooking only to yield subpar results. Looking for intense flavor in a shorter amount of time, we sliced plum tomatoes into thick rings that created lots of surface area from which water could escape, and we jump-started the roasting process in a very hot oven before reducing the temperature to finish cooking.

Clementines in Syrup

Preserved mandarin oranges in syrup are usually a big disappointment, swimming in such thick, sweet syrup that you can barely taste the fruit. Our recipe starts with widely available clementines; they are soft and sweet, usually seedless, and make a great snack. A syrup of equal parts sugar and water proved the perfect base.

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