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Thread: Pressure canning sweets?

  1. #1
    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Default Pressure canning sweets?

    I have a question about pressure canning. Tonight I canned up the last of my tomatoes. I like using the pressure canner guide lines for canning tomatoes instead of a hot water bath. I had a couple of quart jars of ripe tomatoes and a small amount of green tomatoes and a small amount of yellow pear tomatoes. I decided to make yellow pear tomato preserves from the pear tomatoes and green tomato relish from the green tomatoes. Both the preserves and the relish contain a good bit of sugar in them. Because I was already going to pressure can my ripe tomatoes I decided to put the preserves and relish in the pressure canner with them for the 15 min. at 11 psi recommended for quart jars of tomatoes (normally I always do a hot water bath for sweets). After the time was up and the pressure relieved I opened the canner and the tomatoes looked great, as normal, but the relish and preserves were very dark. My question is, is the temperature reached in the pressure canner at 11 psi. ( I think about 240 degrees) to much for the sweets? In other words did I scorch them in the canner or is the dark color no big deal?
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  2. #2

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    Having canned pie fillings with a pressure cooker I've learned it really is determined by the amount of sugar and the length of the time in the pressure cooker. I usually won't put them in a pressure cooker if they have anything more than 3 tablespoons per pint (1.5 tablespoon her half-pint). I'm by no means an expert, but I think the sugar actually melts and burns. Sometimes I have pressure cooked items with lots of sugar and they also come out brown (the texture is a bit chewey and odd with them as well). The few items I pressure cook are whole berries, apples, and other large fruits with just a bit of sugar and salt to help preserve them. For pie fillings I usually add the sugar and flour once I have actually opened the canned fruits (still makes a wonderful pie). I have never canned relish but I am guessing the sugar scorched while you were canning them. Possibly it could have just begun to burn and is actually fine (just brown looking), but it will take opening a can to determine the actual outcome. I myself would water-bath items with lots of sugar. Soungs yummy though! Hope it turned out decent, just an odd color.
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  3. #3

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    I agree, sounds like caramelization to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramelization

    Caramelization of sucrose usually happens at a higher temperature (320*F-340*F), but both the higher pressure and the acid pH of most tomato recipes would accelerate the process. Also, in the case of canned fruit, fructose caramelizes at a much lower temperature than sucrose. Should all still be perfectly edible though!

  4. #4
    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good info. guys. It looks like my product is OK. I did notice some thing else though. The higher temps. from the pressure canner I think broke down the pectin in the preserves and they did not set up as I wanted. I'll just play it safe next time and use a water bath.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

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