Canning Herb Jelly

It’s summer and it’s time for canning all the bountiful fruits and vegetables. The Richmond Food Security Society once again is hosting a number of Canning Drop-in.

The Canning Drop-in started on Aug 2nd and for the month of August, it will be held at Garratt Wellness Center. The Canning Drop-in is scheduled every Tuesday from 5PM to around 8PM. You can bring your own produce to can and use the equipment and jars there or you can help to preserve produce from the Sharing Farm for the food bank.

Some of the participants did take advantage of the facilities and brought their own fruits for canning.


The above are apricot jam and raspberry jam made by some of the participants.


For the first Canning Drop-in, chef Karen DW showed us how to can herb jelly and made some garlic herb pesto. Here is the link to the recipe of making easy herb pestos that Karen DW did last year.


We made two types herb jellies, i.e. basil jelly and mint jelly. The herbs are harvested from the Richmond Sharing Farm that morning.


Karen brought some of the jelly that she made earlier for us to taste. The green color is mint jelly (with food coloring) while the amber color is basil jelly. They were delicious. Anyone has any idea of how to use these herb jelly other than enjoying them with bread?


  • 2 cups (500 ml) coarsely chopped fresh herbs, loosely packed
  • 1  1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened apple juice or dry white wine
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 5 1/4 cups (1300 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 pkg (57 g) powdered Fruit Pectin


Source: Karen DW; Bernadin

Yield: 6 x 250ml jars

Chef Karen DW will demonstrate how to can Tomatillo Salsa in the next Canning Drop-In.


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Spiced Golden Plum Jam

The Richmond Sharing Farm had some golden plums for the food preservation workshop. The plums were donated by people who has plum trees in their backyard. For those of you who like to donate your fruits to the sharing farm, give them a call and volunteers from the farm will be arranged to pick the fruits. You do not have to pick them yourself.  The Richmond Sharing Farm contacts can be found here:


Initially, Karen wanted to make pickled plums. However, when she saw the ripeness of the plum which is not suitable for pickled plums which require firmer plum, Karen switched to make Spiced Golden Plum Jam. Hence, the photo of the ingredients is not so accurate.


  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 10 cm or 4 inches, broken into pieces
  • 4 to 6 cardamon pods
  • 1.6 kg yellow plums, halved and pitted (about 3 1/2 lbs)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened apple juice, optional if the golden plum is very juicy
  • 1.65 litre (6 2/3 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 pouch (85 ml/3 oz) liquid pectin


Maria brought up a concern on the liquid pectin which has sodium benzoate which when combine with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which naturally exists in fruits, will form benzene, a known carcinogen. However, Karen said the amount that is consumed via such preserved food is considered below the dangerous level. If you are concern, try to use those powder form or make your own pectin which I will cover next.

Source: this recipe is from Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving via Karen DW

Prep time: 30 minutes + preparation of jars and lids;  Yield about 7, 250ml (8oz) jars


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No Sugar Pectin Jam

The Richmond Food Security Society started a regular drop-in canning session every Tuesday night at the Garratt Wellness Center since 20th July 2010. The event is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Participants can either preserved their own produce or help to preserve fruit and vegetables harvested from the Sharing Farm in Terra Nova for food bank and community meals.

These sessions are free and child care will be provided upon request. For more information, check out the Richmond Food Security Society website here.

These informal canning sessions allow participants to learn the canning techniques hands on. An instructor will also be on hand on certain dates to guide the participants. Hot water bath canners and jars will be provided for those participants who wish to can their own fruits. Just bring the ingredients like fruits, pectin, sugar, etc.

No Sugar Pectin Jam-19

I attended the second session of this wonderful drop in program this week. I’m so pleased to see Karen DW again who volunteered as the instructor. For this session, two participants brought their own fruits for canning; blueberries and apricot.

No Sugar Pectin Jam-3

Both of the participants used Bernadin No Sugar Needed Pectin to make the jam. This pectin do not require substantial quantities of sugar to gel.


  • 4 cups chopped or crushed fruits
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 package No Sugar Needed Pectin
  • Sweetener, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (to reduce foaming, optional)

No Sugar Pectin Jam-1No Sugar Pectin Jam-8

Yield: 4 to 6 250ml jars


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Orange Plum Jam

In the plum canning workshop, we also made an Orange Plum Jam.  The color of this jam will wary from golden to jewel purple, depending upon the colour of the plums.  In our case, it’s golden yellow as we are using the Golden Plums.


This Orange Plum Jam is delicious as a spread on toast, or as a topping for angel food cake or cheesecake.  You can substitute the orange flavoured liqueur with almond flavour liqueur, or with flavoured syrups.  If you choose to omit the syrups, the final yield will be slightly less.


  • 5 cups plums, pitted and finely chopped (about 2-3 lbs or 1-1.25 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, grated (about 1 large, or 2 small oranges)
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin (1.75oz or 49-57g)
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange flavoured liqueur (optional)



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Dr. Oetker Jam Express

It’s strawberry season. Ben brought home a 4 lb pack one day after work as he found a good deal at the groceries store, $4.98 for 4 lbs. Ben usually does not do groceries shopping. It just happened that he was looking for some stationery in the Real Canadian Superstore and saw the good deal.


With so much strawberries, I quickly check my pantry and found a pack of Dr. Oetker Jam Express Gelling Powder which I bought a couple of months ago. I wanted to make some blueberries jam but do not get down to do it. So, this is just great for making strawberry jam.

I like Dr. Oetker Jam Express Gelling Powder for it’s simplicity to use and no additional sugar is required. You can use it to make jam from various fruit like raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and other fruits or blends. If you use defrosted frozen fruit, include the juice which will enhance the flavour and recipe only requires 1 3/4 cup of chopped defrosted frozen fruit.


Nothing beats some freshly home-made strawberry jam on a toast.


  • 3 cups fresh chopped strawberries, about 400g/1 lb
  • 1 package of 200g Dr. Oetker Jam Express
  • Two 250ml washed, rinsed and dried jam jars with sealing lids



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Cranberry Fruit Compote

We had another great cooking session in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Membership has risen this year from just a few people to more than ten people now. Minoo made a Turkey Chilli and a Cranberry Fruit Compote while Ade made a Japanese Squash and Tapioca Dessert. I had blogged about the Turkey Chili here before.


The lunch was great. It would be great if we have some crusty bread or spaghetti to go with the Turkey Chilli. What I enjoy most is to have two desserts in a meal.


The Cranberry Fruit Compote is great dish for Thanksgiving, to go with the turkey. It can be served as a dessert alone or to be topped with vanilla ice-cream. It is also great as breakfast or brunch when served on yogurt.

Fruit compote is also good for people who cannot eat fresh fruit for some health reason. You can make fruit compote with fresh fruit too like pear, apple, etc when they are in abundance. It is much easier to consume a cup of cook down fruit compote than eating 3 fresh fruits. When you make fruit compote with fresh fruit, you will need much less juice to start with since the fresh fruit will have a lot of juice in them.


  • 1 cup dried mission figs
  • 1 cup dried Turkish apricots, pitted
  • 1 cup dried prunes, pitted
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries


Click on Read More for the instructions.


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Strawberry Freezer Jam

Karen showed us how to make this beautiful Strawberry Freezer Jam. Summer is the time where we get all the delicious, nutritious and antioxidant laden berries and what better than preserving them in freezer jam for enjoyment all year round.


The Freezer Jam can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 8 months.


This is a no-cook freezer jam using light pectin crystals. The freezer jam pectin requires less than half the sugar used in freezer spreads made with regular pectins.


  • 8 cups (2L) strawberries (about 2 lbs), hulled
  • 1 box (49g) light pectin crystals
  • 3 1/4 cups (800ml) granulated sugar


Do not use overripen strawberries for making freezer jam. This is due to the need for the acidity in the strawberries to react with the sugar and pectin to form the jam.

Click on the link below for the instructions.


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