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canned food

RECIPES: Canned and Preserved Foods

Delicious ideas from Neighbor’s Club members

Inspired by Stephanie Thurow’s article on fermenting at home, we’re sharing three more ideas for preserved foods, all of which are family recipes from our Neighbor’s Club members.

Carol’s Apple Butter would make a tasty addition to your breakfast table; try it on scones, toast, and English muffins. Marie’s Harvest Marmalade is a delicious, unique way to use up any fresh pumpkin you have left over from the harvest season. And Stacie’s Cowboy Candy is a spicy-sweet spread we enjoy atop cream cheese-covered crackers.

Harvest Marmalade
By Marie Mahoney in Tilton, New Hampshire

Level: Intermediate

Time: 25 Minutes Prep

35 Minutes Cook

8 Minutes Water Bath

2 Hours Cool

Yield: 32 Ounces of Marmalade

“This marmalade tastes like honey and oranges,” Marie writes. “You can use less sugar, depending on your family’s preferences.”


  • One 3- to 5-pound pumpkin
  •  6 to 10 lemons. For every pound of pumpkin, you’ll need 2 lemons.
  • 3 to 5 pounds sugar. For every pound of pumpkin, you’ll need a maximum of 1 pound of sugar.


1.       Using a serrated knife, cut the top off the pumpkin, then cut it in half. Scoop out guts and save seeds for another use. Continue cutting the pumpkin into 2-inch strips. Carefully cut the skin away from the flesh.

2.       Cut strips into smaller chunks and place in a large pot.

3.       Cut lemons in half and juice them.

4.       Add lemon juice and sugar to the pot, mix, and slowly bring the heat to medium-low, stirring consistently.

5.       Cook for 35 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally, until pumpkin pieces dissolve and mixture reaches a marmalade consistency.

6.       Ladle marmalade into 4 sterilized 8-ounce jars. Run a thin spatula around walls of each jar to release air.

7.       Seal jars and carefully process in a water bath for 5 to 8 minutes.

8.       Using tongs, remove jars from the water bath. Let cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Store marmalade in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Old-Fashioned Apple Butter Made in the Oven

By Carol Lima in Yucaipa, California

Level: Intermediate

Time: 30 Minutes Prep

2 Hours Bake

20 Minutes Cool

Yield: 24 Ounces of Apple Butter

This recipe is from Carol’s grandmother, Emma Vinzant.


  • 8 pounds baking apples, such as Macintosh, Fuji, or Granny Smith
  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1.       Remove stems, blossoms, and cores from apples.

2.       In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring apples and juice to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until apples have softened, about 20 minutes.

3.       Allow mixture to cool slightly, then pour into blender. Blend until smooth and pour apple mixture into a large, deep baking pan or roaster.

4.       Heat the oven to 350 F.

5.       Mix sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, and salt into apple mixture.

6.       Bake uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until apple butter has thickened and reduced by 1 inch.

7.       Allow apple butter to cool, then spoon into three 8-ounce sterilized jars.* Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for 1 month.

*You can process the apple butter jars in a water bath to extend their shelf life.

Cowboy Candy
By Stacie Garafano from New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Level: Intermediate

Time: 15 Minutes Prep

10 Minutes Cook

15 Minute Water Bath

12 Hours Cool

Yield: 8 Ounces of Cowboy Candy

“This is amazing with Wheat Thins spread with a little cream cheese,” Stacie writes. “It’s also a great topper for crackers and cheese. Have the recipe ready because everyone will want it!”


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  •  1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 pound jalapeños, seeds removed if desired, sliced thin


1.       In a medium pot over medium heat, combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, garlic powder, turmeric, celery seeds, cayenne, and smoked paprika (if using), and bring to a boil.

2.       Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the liquid turns syrupy.

3.       Add jalapeños to the syrup and simmer for 5 more minutes.

4.       Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove jalapeños from the liquid and place in a bowl to cool slightly.

5.       Pour jalapeños into a sterilized 16-ounce canning jar and push them in using a spoon or small spatula.

6.       Carefully pour the leftover liquid over jalapeños, leaving 1/4-inch jar headspace.

7.       Seal jar and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

8.       Using tongs, carefully remove jar from bath and let it cool on counter for at least 12 hours, or overnight, without disturbing.

Store Cowboy Candy in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.