Canning recipes from American past

A Taste of Tradition: 4 Canning Recipes from America's Past 馃

May 02, 2023Karl Guzman

Step back in time and rediscover the lost art of heirloom canning recipes passed down through generations. This guide will walk you through the process of preserving some of America's most cherished culinary traditions.

Fun fact: Did you know that Canning in America Canning emerged in the early 19th century as a solution to preserving food for soldiers during wartime? The technique quickly spread to American households, becoming an essential part of the country's culinary landscape. Canning played a crucial role in sustaining families during the Great Depression and has experienced a resurgence in recent years as modern homesteaders and self-sufficiency enthusiasts have embraced traditional food preservation methods.

Now let鈥檚 take a closer look into classic canned recipes you can try! 馃憞馃徎


馃搶Classic Dill Pickles: A Timeless Recipe for Preserving Summer's Bounty


Classic dill pickles are a staple in American canning history, preserving the fresh taste of cucumbers for enjoyment year-round. This recipe for homemade dill pickles is simple, delicious, and full of tangy flavor. With step-by-step instructions, safety tips, and helpful tricks, you'll be well on your way to making and enjoying these classic American pickles in no time.


馃搵 Ingredients:


  1. 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  2. 2 cups white vinegar
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 1/4 cup pickling salt
  5. 8-10 fresh dill heads (or 4 teaspoons dill seeds)
  6. 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  7. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)


馃懇馃徎鈥嶐煃 Instructions:


  • Prepare your cucumbers: Wash and trim the ends of the cucumbers, leaving about 1/4 inch of the stem attached to prevent the pickles from becoming too soft during the canning process. Cut larger cucumbers into halves or quarters.

  • Sterilize your jars and lids: Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly. Place the jars in a water bath canner, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep the jars hot until ready to fill. Place lids in a small pot of simmering water until ready to use.

  • Make the pickling brine: In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Keep the brine hot until ready to use.

  • Fill the jars: Remove a hot jar from the water bath canner and add a dill head (or 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds), one garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns (if using) to the bottom of the jar. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace at the top. Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace.

  • Remove air bubbles and seal the jars: Run a non-metallic utensil around the inside of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal. Place a hot lid on the jar, then screw on the band until fingertip-tight.

  • Process the jars: Place the filled jars into the water bath canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then process the jars for 10 minutes. Adjust processing time for altitude if necessary.

  • Cool and store the jars: Carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel or cooling rack to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lids; if the lids do not pop back, they are sealed properly. Label and store your pickles in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks before enjoying. Properly canned pickles can be stored for up to a year.

Safety Tips:


  • Always use pickling cucumbers, as they have a lower water content and will result in crispier pickles.

  • Use a tested recipe from a reputable source to ensure food safety.

  • Check jars for any cracks or chips before use, as they may not seal properly.

  • Adjust processing times for altitude




馃搶 Grandma's Apple Butter: A Comforting, Old-Fashioned Recipe for Your Canning Collection


There's something undeniably nostalgic and heartwarming about a classic recipe passed down through generations. Grandma's apple butter is one of those cherished recipes, combining slow-cooked apples, spices, and a touch of sweetness to create a spread that evokes memories of home and family. With detailed instructions, step-by-step guidance, and helpful tips, you'll be able to master this timeless apple butter recipe and share the comfort of this delicious treat with your loved ones.


馃搵 Ingredients:


  1. 6 pounds of apples (choose a variety such as Granny Smith, Gala, or Golden Delicious)
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 tablespoon lemon juice

馃懇馃徎鈥嶐煃 Instructions:

  • Prepare your apples: Wash, peel, core, and chop the apples into small pieces. Place the apples in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or slow cooker.

  • Cook the apples: Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to the apples. Stir to combine. Cook the mixture on low heat for 8-10 hours (or on high for 4-5 hours in a slow cooker), stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and dark brown in color. The mixture should be thick and spreadable.

  • Blend the apple butter: Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a countertop blender to puree the apple butter until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.

  • Sterilize your jars and lids: Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly. Place the jars in a water bath canner, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep the jars hot until ready to fill. Place lids in a small pot of simmering water until ready to use.

  • Fill the jars: Remove a hot jar from the water bath canner and ladle the warm apple butter into the jar, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace at the top. Use a non-metallic utensil to remove any air bubbles.

  • Seal and process the jars: Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal. Place a hot lid on the jar, then screw on the band until fingertip-tight. Place the filled jars into the water bath canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then process the jars for 10 minutes. Adjust processing time for altitude if necessary.

  • Cool and store the jars: Carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel or cooling rack to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lids; if the lids do not pop back, they are sealed properly. Label and store your apple butter in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Additional Tips & Tricks:


  • Try using a combination of apple varieties for a more complex flavor profile.
  • If your apple butter is too thin, continue to cook it on low heat until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • For a more intense flavor, add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the apple mixture before cooking.
  • Apple butter makes a great gift for friends and family during the holiday season.





馃搶 Old Fashioned Peach Preserves: A Time-Honored Recipe for Capturing Summer in a Jar


When you want to savor the essence of summer all year long, there's nothing quite like homemade peach preserves. This old-fashioned recipe, passed down through generations, is a delightful way to enjoy the natural sweetness and juicy goodness of ripe peaches. With detailed instructions, step-by-step guidance, and helpful tips, you'll soon be an expert in creating these delectable peach preserves, ready to share with friends and family or enjoy on your morning toast.


馃搵 Ingredients:


  • 4 pounds ripe peaches
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

馃懇馃徎鈥嶐煃 Instructions:

  • Prepare the peaches: Rinse and peel the peaches. To easily remove the skins, score an "X" on the bottom of each peach and blanch them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath to cool, then gently peel the skins off. Remove the pits and slice the peaches into wedges.

  • Macerate the peaches: In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir gently, then cover and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until the sugar has dissolved and the peaches have released their juices.


  • Cook the preserves: Transfer the peach mixture to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Continue to cook until the preserves reach a gel-like consistency, which may take 20-30 minutes.


  • Add almond extract (optional): Remove the preserves from the heat and stir in the almond extract, if desired.


  • Sterilize your jars and lids: Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly. Place the jars in a water bath canner, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep the jars hot until ready to fill. Place lids in a small pot of simmering water until ready to use.


  • Fill the jars: Remove a hot jar from the water bath canner and ladle the warm peach preserves into the jar, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace at the top. Use a non-metallic utensil to remove any air bubbles.


  • Seal and process the jars: Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal. Place a hot lid on the jar, then screw on the band until fingertip-tight. Place the filled jars into the water bath canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then process the jars for 10 minutes. Adjust processing time for altitude if necessary.


  • Cool and store the jars: Carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel or cooling rack to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lids; if the lids do not pop back, they are sealed properly. Label and store your peach preserves in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Additional Tips & Tricks:


  • Choose ripe, but firm peaches for the best preserves.
  • If you prefer chunkier preserves, simply cut the peaches into larger pieces.
  • For a spiced twist, add a cinnamon stick or a pinch of ground ginger to the peach mixture before cooking.
  • Peach preserves make a wonderful topping for ice cream, pancakes, or yogurt parfaits.






馃搶 Vintage Tomato Ketchup: Crafting a Classic American Condiment from Scratch


Homemade ketchup is a flavorful and wholesome alternative to store-bought versions, and this vintage recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Bursting with the taste of fresh tomatoes and a perfect balance of spices, this ketchup takes your dishes to new heights. With easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips, you'll be able to craft this classic American condiment from scratch and rediscover the authentic taste of old-fashioned tomato ketchup.


馃搵 Ingredients:


  1. 10 pounds ripe tomatoes
  2. 2 cups chopped onions
  3. 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  4. 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  5. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  6. 1/4 cup salt
  7. 1 tablespoon paprika
  8. 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

馃懇馃徎鈥嶐煃 Instructions:


  • Prepare the tomatoes: Rinse the tomatoes and remove the stems. Cut them into quarters and set aside.


  • Cook the vegetables: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.


  • Puree the vegetables: Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture directly in the pot, or carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If desired, strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds and skins


  • Add the remaining ingredients: Return the tomato puree to the pot, then add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices. Stir well to combine.


  • Cook the ketchup: Bring the ketchup mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.


  • Sterilize your jars and lids: Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly. Place the jars in a water bath canner, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep the jars hot until ready to fill. Place lids in a small pot of simmering water until ready to use.


  • Fill the jars: Remove a hot jar from the water bath canner and ladle the warm ketchup into the jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace at the top. Use a non-metallic utensil to remove any air bubbles.


  • Seal and process the jars: Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal. Place a hot lid on the jar, then screw on the band until fingertip-tight. Place the filled jars into the water bath canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then process the jars for 15 minutes. Adjust processing time for altitude if necessary.


  • Cool and store the jars: Carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel or cooling rack to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lids; if the lids do not pop back, they are sealed properly. Label and store your vintage tomato ketchup in a cool, dark place for up to a year.



With a newfound appreciation for America's rich canning history, you're now equipped to preserve the flavors of the past in your own kitchen. By following these heirloom recipes and modern safety guidelines, you can enjoy a taste of tradition while keeping the culinary heritage alive for future generations. Happy canning!

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