PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES
Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money. A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Raspberries and Home Canned Raspberry Pie Filling.
LET’S TALK RASPBERRIES
The Raspberry plant is a perennial with woody stems and edible fruit. There are multiple varieties of raspberry plants each producing a berry that is unique and colorful. The red raspberry is the most popular and is by far the largest crop of commercially grown raspberries. If you are fortunate enough to have a farmers market nearby, you may find black, blue, yellow and golden raspberries for sale. All the raspberries are similar in taste with a very distinctive rich raspberry flavor.
If you plan on growing raspberries it’s a good thing to think about what type of crop you want to have. Raspberry plants are either Summer bearers (grow one crop per season in the summer) or ever-bearers (two crops grown in the spring and fall). I have both types planted. My raspberries begin producing in late spring and I have continuous berries all the way until fall. Raspberries prefer cooler climates but are adaptable and can be grown almost anywhere. They are relatively easy to grow, but must be tended to regularly so they do not get out of hand. Pruning is a must to get good fruit production. It is not difficult, but can not be neglected.
Guide on growing raspberries: Organic Gardening – Growing Raspberries
Guide on how to prune raspberries: About Home – Pruning Raspberry and Blackberry Plants.
CARING AND STORAGE OF RASPBERRIES
Raspberries should be stored in a single layer in a moisture proof container. Do not rinse berries until they are ready to be eaten. Fresh raspberries will store in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Raspberries may be frozen with great results. To freeze, rinse berries lightly and place on paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Arrange raspberries on baking sheet in single layer and place in freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove berries and place in heavy duty freezer bag or use vacuum sealer. Frozen berries can be stored up to a year.
HOME CANNED RASPBERRY PIE FILLING
Raspberry pie filling is easy to make and is a great way to preserve the harvest while raspberries are in season; saving you money and enabling you to enjoy the great taste of raspberries throughout the year. Raspberry pie filling can be enjoyed for more than just pies. With a little imagination you can put those beautiful berries to good work. Spoon a little raspberry pie filling on top of ice cream for a delicious ice cream sundae or spread some between two chocolate cake layers for a decadently rich treat.
The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.
Supplies You Will Need
- Water Bath Canner
- Quart Jars with Lids and Bands – Just the right size for 1 pie.
- Clear Jel – a necessity for a thickener when canning any type of pie filling. Corn starch can be used in a pinch but in my experience the finished product is clumpy, with a chalkier taste. Clear jel is relatively inexpensive and works beautifully every time. I buy mine on Amazon because it is readily available there and can be hard to find in the regular supermarket.
- Utensil Set – Not absolutely necessary, but makes the job of canning a whole lot easier.
- Large non- reactive pot
- 10 cups raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup clear jel (not instant)
- Rinse berries.
- Combine water, sugar and ClearJel® in a large, non reactive heavy pan and slowly bring to a boil.
- Stir continuously until mixture begins to thicken.
- Add lemon juice, fold in raspberries and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Spoon hot mixture into sterilized quart jars, leaving 1" of headspace at the top for expansion.
- Wipe rim of jar and place sterilized lid on jar and lightly fasten with screw type band.
- Process in a Water Bath Canner for 30 minutes for quart jars.
- After processing, remove jars and place on a towel to cool. Jars should be spread apart to allow for circulation when cooling. Allow to sit for 24 hours.
- Check jars to make sure they have sealed properly. If proper sealing did not occur, place jar in refrigerator. Can be stored in refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Recipe from Canning USA: Making and Canning Raspberry Pie Filling
Preserve the Harvest Series: Raspberries and Home Canned Raspberry Pie Filling shared with:
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