How to Sterilize Jars for Storing Jams and Preserves in the Refrigerator
From FRUIT: A SAVOR THE SOUTH® COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2017 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. www.uncpress.unc.edu
To ensure that the jams, jellies, preserves, cordials, and other homemade foods you store are safe and free from microbes, use sturdy jars and lids designed for storing food and sterilize them before use.
Look for sturdy, heatproof glass jars and lids designed for canning and food preservation at hardware stores and many large supermarkets.
To sterilize your jars, place them in a pot large enough to allow water to circulate around them. Place the jars in the pot and add enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring the water to a rolling boil over medium heat and boil for 10–12 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the lids and rings in a smaller saucepan with enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, and a simmer for 10–12 minutes.
While the jars are boiling, place a clean kitchen towel on a countertop where you will be filling the jars. When the time is up, using tongs, carefully remove the jars and place them upside-down to drain on the prepared towel. Transfer the lids and rings to the towel as well.
Prepare the jam or preserves according to the recipe and let it cool to room temperature. Carefully pour or spoon it into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom. Cover each jar with a lid and ring, twisting just enough to tighten it. Label each jar with the contents and date of preparation. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
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