Home preserved summer berries in juice or syrup are a wonderful topping on cold weather desserts – hot or cold! Use ripe, sweet berries of uniform colour: blackberries, blueberries, currants, dewberries, elderberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, loganberries, Saskatoon berries, mulberries and/or raspberries.
Sugar syrup or unsweetened fruit juice (apple or white grape) or water
• Place the required number of clean 500 ml or 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
• Prepare syrup in canner batch quantities—approximately 5 cups (1250 ml) for 7-500 ml jars; 10 1/2 cups (2625 ml) for 7-1 L jars. In large stainless steel saucepan, combine water and sugar for desired syrup type (see chart); bring to a boil. If using water or fruit juice, place juice or water in saucepan; bring to a boil.
Syrup for 7 – 1 L jars
Syrup Type Water Granulated sugar
Very light 10-1/2 cups (2625 ml) 1-1/4 cup (300 ml)
Light 9 cups (2250 ml) 2-1/4 cups (550 ml)
Medium 8-1/4 cups (2050 ml) 3-3/4 cups (925 ml)
• For each 1 L jar, select 1 1/2 to 3 lb (680 g to 1.4 kg) berries. Wash berries under running water. Drain, cap or stem berries. For gooseberries, snip off heads and tails with scissors. For each 1 L jar of elderberries, add 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 ml) lemon juice to improve flavour. Use Raw Pack for red raspberries and other berries that do not hold their shape when heated. Berries such as blackberries or Saskatoon berries that hold their shape can be Hot Packed.
• RAW PACK – Prepare light or medium syrup, keep hot. Ladle 1/2 cup (125 ml) hot syrup into a hot jar. Fill with berries, gently shaking to pack berries without crushing.
• HOT PACK – Measure and place prepared berries in a large saucepan. For each 1 L berries, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (50 to 125 ml) sugar; stir. Let stand 2 hours in a cool place. Heat mixture slowly until sugar dissolves and berries are heated through. For berries to be used in baking recipes, eliminate sugar, heating berries with just enough water to prevent sticking.
• Pack hot berries into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot liquid to cover berries to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more berries and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining berries and hot liquid.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), heat process (Raw Pack AND Hot Pack) –boil filled jars – 500 ml jars - 15 minutes; 1 L jars – 20 min.
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.