Conserves are quite unique and something, quite frankly, I just can’t seem to find to buy in the grocery store. If you are not familiar with conserves then this is the recipe to try out. This Spring Conserve is a pectin based jam made with crushed pineapples and strawberries, chopped rhubarb, and white sugar. What makes it a conserve is the addition of nuts and raisins. In this recipe, it is finely chopped pecans and whole raisins. These two additions are optional. It is what makes it a conserve but can be left out to have a pineapple, strawberry, and rhubarb jam.
Making and canning anything strawberry gives a lot of foam as it cooks. I have found that skimming off as much of the foam as the jam boils is the best. Canning all that foam makes the jars look ugly and it traps lots of air into the jam and mason jar. It is one of my reasons I don’t love to can anything strawberry…so much foam. But don’t let that stop you from this recipe. It is exceptional and another family favorite.
Cost of this recipe.
The full price of all the ingredients to make this conserve recipe is about $16.33 for all 7-8 half pints. I can reduce the price considerably. First of all, I purchase my pineapples when they are on a giant sale in the winter months. We can buy whole fresh pineapples for $0.99 each during the months of January and February. Typically, that is my time to stock up for all my pineapple canning.
Secondly, I grow two other ingredients; pecans and strawberries. Now you may be saying, wait a second, wait a second. All these ingredients don’t correlate seasonally. And for me they don’t. Pineapples are, like I said, in January and February. Strawberries are in season in my garden in April and May. Rhubarb is usually in July and August. And finally pecan harvest is in November and December. We should really name this Full Season Conserve instead of Spring Conserve.
I can get around all the separate months of harvest by freezing my harvests. Strawberries and pecans are perfectly preserved by being frozen until you are ready to use. And did you know it is completely safe to can with frozen fruits and vegetables. Well, as long as you thaw them thoroughly first of course. Having frozen strawberries and pecans from last years harvest makes it very easy to whip up this conserve when pineapples are on sale a few months later.
So in conclusion, after all this I can reduce my canning price drastically. My price comes to about $6.42 for the entire batch of Spring Conserve. That is less than $1.00 per half pint. Not too bad if I do say so myself.
This canning recipe was from Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving. All images and text are all my own and original to One Acre Vintage Homestead – Pumpkin Patch Mountain Homestead.
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