I thought my first canning post should be one of my most favourite recipes that I have canned many times, so we will start with Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Filling. This recipe is modified from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving which is one of my favourite canning books.
I tend to be a “go big or go home” type of canner so I like to do more than the recipe calls for, but sometimes (like in the case of jam) that isn’t always the best idea. Here, however, as long as you have a big enough pot I think it’s totally the way to do it. I’ll write the proportions as in the book, but I did just over 1.5x the recipe for this venture, which yielded just over 4 quarts. As written the recipe will make 5 pints.
- 3 large apples (a good cooking variety) peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 7 cups sliced rhubarb
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 cups halved hulled strawberries
Here’s what I did:
Prepare the canner, jars and lids. I prefer to put pie fillings into quart jars since I use a quart for a pie, but it’s nice to prepare a smaller jar too in case the yield isn’t exact or you want a pint full for a crumble or something.
I like to cut all the rhubarb up first. Since I have it in my yard I harvest as much as I think the plant can handle (they say to harvest no more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant at a time so it can recover). Then I calculate how much I need of all my other ingredients based on how much rhubarb I have. Then I just eat the leftover strawberries since I always buy (or better yet you-pick) too many. For buying purposes, one good sized stalk of rhubarb when cut up is just a little more than a half cup. Cut the rhubarb into about one inch pieces.
Peel and core the apples and chop them very finely. Juice and zest the orange and combine with the apple in a large stainless steel pot. Stir to coat the apples then add in the chopped rhubarb and sugar.
Over medium-high heat bring this mixture to a boil. Stir constantly and boil until the rhubarb becomes soft, but not to the point that it turns to mush, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the strawberries and return to a boil.
mmmm pie filling.
Remove the mixture from the burner.
Fill the hot jars, leaving a one inch head space.
Once you have removed any air bubbles and adjusted your head space, place your lids on the jar, tighten the band finger tip tight, and place the jars in your hot water bath canner.
Ensure the jars are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. The processing time for this recipe is 15 minutes. Begin timing once the water reaches a full rolling boil.
Once the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes then remove the jars from the canner. Listen for the delightful sound of your jars sealing! When the jars are fully cool (12-24 hours), remove the bands, wipe the jars clean, label the lids, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Enjoy a delicious pie whenever you desire!
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