Our canning club is careful only to endorse methods and practices that are USDA-approved. But . . . I've heard whisperings. At one meeting recently, we were making jelly and an older lady I was sitting by was surprised to see that we were putting the jelly-filled-jars into the boiling water bath at all. "I've never done that, and my jars seal just fine," she whispered.
What? This went against everything I'd ever heard! This would be BIG. This would make jelly-making accessible to the masses. The idea of "canning" is too big hurdle for some to get over. But, what if all you had to do was bring the juice, sugar, and pectin to a boil and pour it into jars? Would they really seal? Would they be shelf-stable?
I didn't do anything to test the theory then, but I filed this experience away in my mind.
Then, I came across a recipe for sugar-free jelly that RECOMMENDED not processing the jars in a canner. Once the sterilized jars are filled with jelly to 1/8" from the top, you just twist on the lids and turn them upside down for 5 minutes. Once you turn them back right-side-up, just listen for that wonderful "ping" that lets you know they've sealed.
So . . . listen. I tried it yesterday, and . . .
lean in . . . .
(you promised not to tell, right??) . . .
Every jar sealed beautifully.
I didn't love the particular recipe I tried, so I'm not reposting it today, but once I've got a good recipe to use with this, I'll let you know. This sealing business is BIG news, guys, BIG news.