I found a recipe for Green Tomato Chutney. The recipe calls for boiling all the ingredients and then canning them. I don't have all the equipment to can. Is it ok to freeze instead?
How much does the recipe make? It should be ok to freeze, or you can probably refrigerate it for 3-4 weeks instead.
It says 4 cups. I can probably do a fridge/freezer combo. Thanks!
I imagine that you've already finished your chutney, but I wanted to let you and others know that t's actually easy to can a pickle or chutney without special equipment...and to do it safely! You need the canning jars and lids of course, but other than that you probably have everything else in your kitchen.
There's something very special about having jars of foods that you've made sitting in the pantry, and they make great long-distance gifts that you would be unable to send if stored any other way.
This will look long, I'm sure, but it's a very simple, straightforward process...really!
- Canning jars - inspect to be sure there are no chips on the top edge of the opening. I always use jars made specifically for canning (Ball, Kerr) but some use jars from commercially packed food...mayo, etc.
- Two-piece canning lids. These are flat lids and the rings that hold the lids in place.
*** In many areas of the country, these are sold in grocery and hardware stores. It's ok to use old jars and rings, but always use new lids. It's the rubber seal on the lids that is so important.
- A stock pot or stew pot that will hold your jars, upright, with at least two-three inches in height to spare.
- A second pot and a saucepan to use when sterilizing the jars and lids (or, you can sterilize the jars in your dishwasher if it has a high heat wash setting)
- Kitchen towel
- Ladle - small enough to use when filling jars
One thing you might not have is a funnel with a wide bottom, to use when filling the jars. This is very helpful, and might be worth a purchase.
1. Wash your jars and submerge them completely in a large pot filled with water. Bring to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, leaving the jars submerged in the water. OR, run the jars through your dishwasher's wash cycle, keeping them in the dishwasher when done.
***Sterilize your ladle and tongs in this step as well.
2. Separate the rings from the lids and cover them with water in a saucepan, boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, leaving the lids in the water.
PREPARE THE WATER BATH
3. Place the dish towel, folded to fit, in the bottom of the stock pot and fill with enough water to cover the jars as described. Bring to a boil before you start filling your jars with hot chutney.
***Ok to estimate this...if, when you put filled and sealed jars in, you find that , it's not deep enough, add more hot water. If there's too much, remove some as you're putting the jars in.
***The towel keeps the jars from moving around when they're being processed.
FILLING THE JARS
4. Bring the chutney to a boil.
5. Using tongs, remove a jar from the water (tongs aren't needed for jars in the dishwasher.
6. Ladle hot chutney into the jars, keeping the jar rim as clean as possible. Fill to within 1 inch of the top.
***This is where the wide-bottom funnel makes life easy
7. Using a paper towel, clean the rim of the jar well.
***Anything left on the rim will prevent the jar from sealing.
8. Using the tongs, remove a lid from the saucepan and place it on top of the jar, making sure it is centered over the opening and the rim is covered.
9. Place a ring over the lid and, using your hands, screw the ring onto the jar until it is tight, then back it off a half turn.
10. With the tongs, place the jar in the water bath. Repeat, making sure that the jars in the water bath aren't touching. If there's not room for all, it's fine to process in two batches.
11. Bring the water bath back to a boil and keep it boiling for the amount of time specified in the recipe.
12. Remove jars from the water bath and cool completely. As the jars cool, you should hear little *pings* as each jar seals. Check that all jars are sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. It should feel completely depressed and it shouldn't move up and down. If a jar is not sealed (very rare), process again, from the beginning, using a new lid.
omg - I wrote a book. Sorry!
Not too much of a book! I made the chutney already, but still have a ton more tomatoes. I'm going to try to can the next batch! Thanks for the advice.