My First Canning Experience

by Kelsey Norwood

in Food

canned bottled peaches

This weekend I canned fruit for the first time ever. Because I have never canned before, I was a bit nervous to give it a go all on my own. I had my mother-in-law to ask questions over the phone, but I pretty much just jumped in and hoped for the best. It was thrilling. And my peaches turned out wonderfully – every bottle sealed and hearing those little pops was just music to my little ears.

Now is a great time to can lots of things, especially peaches and apples. I have some more peaches to do and some apples that I haven’t quite yet decided on a recipe for. I’m thinking applesauce or maybe apples butter. Anyone have a great apple canning recipe/idea? Send it my way.

peach raspberry jam bottled canned peaches preserving steam canner

I also did peach raspberry jam, and it is divine. I got the recipe from my fabulous friend Jeri, and here it is for your enjoyment. She has recently been posting about all sorts of canning recipes if you need some help.


Peach Raspberry Jam

  • 7 cups blended peaches
  • 2 packages frozen raspberries thawed and blended (3 1/2 cups)
  • 10 cups sugar
  • 2 small packages raspberry Jell-O

1. Peel and slice peaches – you can put them in lemon juice to keep from browning or not. I never do.2. Blend peaches in food processor, blender, or with a potato masher.

3. Combine peaches, raspberries, and sugar in a thick-bottomed pot.

4. Cook on low stirring often. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.

5. Skim foam.

6. Remove from heat.

7. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved.

8. Ladle into jam jars using a jar funnel and put on your lids and rings.

9. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes to preserve.

10. Let sit until cool (about 12 hours), and store in a cool dry place for up to 18 months for your winter-long enjoyment.


I am officially nuts about canning. I felt so domestic and powerful, knowing that I was defying nature by preserving fruit that is meant to last only a few days or weeks. Hahaa. This is definitely at activity that children should experience. I can’t wait until I have lots of kids and they’re all old enough to help. Won’t that be so fun? With way too many people in the kitchen and all the laughing and talking that will go on. Aaaahh, that is what I dream about at night.

Anyway, I had so much fun working while my husband occupied our wrecking ball. I’m going to have to finish up the jam tomorrow while Boyd is at work, so I hope we can avoid broken glass and third degree burns. Wish me luck. And please share your favorite things to can and your secret recipes. Email me at kelsey[at]vanillajoy[dot]com. Toodles!

{photos taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi}


1 Tammy October 7, 2008 at 12:50 am

I love to can just about anything….mostly jams.
It is so gratifying when it is done.
I am definately going to try your recipe…it sounds yummy!

2 Colleen October 7, 2008 at 5:04 am

Your peaches look yummy and you will really enjoy them this winter. Congrats and what is next to try????

3 Marne October 7, 2008 at 5:51 am

Good job! Canning is a gratifying experience…welcome to the canning world!
I can applesauce every year…I LOVE doing it! I have a Victorio strainer that makes it super easy. I recommend getting something like that to assist your applesauce making. I found a FABULOUS recipe on allrecipes a few years ago for apple butter that we love. But I found the sugar amount WAY too high so I cut it in 3/4 and the apple butter is still plenty sweet.

You peaches look great! If you want to cut down on the sugar, after you pack your peaches in the bottles, sprinkle your sugar and fruit fresh on top (I do a Tbl of sugar per quart) then pour in your hot water. It dissolves evenly when it cooks. Way easy and healtheir too!

It IS fun when the kids can help…but also more frustrating sometimes. But it is a good thing for them to grow up doing, I think!

4 Oh2122 October 7, 2008 at 6:19 am

The only thing I have ever canned was Apple Butter, and I do think it was more applesauce than butter…

They all look great. I’d love to try canning again, and that jam sounds heavenly!

5 Julie B October 7, 2008 at 7:07 am

Wow, I have never canned before, it kind of intimidates me I guess.
I would really love to try it though, thanks for sharing your recipe for the jam

6 Stevie October 7, 2008 at 7:26 am

Yum! love canning…

Growing up my mom used to can apple pie filling–it was always so good!

7 Aunt LoLo October 7, 2008 at 8:14 am

I love applebutter…but I never can it. HOWEVER…I have a FABULOUS recipe for apple pie filling, if that sounds interesting. The pies always taste like they were made with fresh apples because the apples aren’t cooked before they’re canned…you just peel and slice the apples, pack them in jars, cover them in the syrup, and then stick them in a water bath. It’s pretty simple, especially if you have (or can find) one of those apple twirly peelers…

Let me know if you want it.

8 Baba October 7, 2008 at 8:57 am

You did a great job. They turned out wonderful! Good Going!

9 sharla October 7, 2008 at 10:46 am

Hi, get job. I did my first last week-although I just did freezer stuff. Applesauce in the crockpot is incredible!! So yummy. I have instructions on my blog:
and I also put it in the freezer. Martha Stewart today said to make applesauce and put it in the freezer- so it must be a good thing. I have a great applebutter recipe too. And easy apple crisp that is delicious. Let me know :)

10 sharla October 7, 2008 at 10:46 am

oops I meant GREAT JOB!! (sorry for the type-o)

11 Jen T October 7, 2008 at 12:20 pm

We have two apple trees, and we have had a TON of apples this year. We did 21 quarts of apple pie filling and even more than that of applesauce. We love the applesauce. We canned a lot and then also just froze it. My kids really like it frozen. They eat it like ice cream. For the applesauce I just fill my hug pot full of apples, add about 2 cups sugar and about 3 cups of water and then let it cook, and cook, and cook–about 45 minutes. You can add cinnamon and more sugar after to taste if it needs it. They mush themselves and then it is soooo good! You can process from there or just freeze it. Yummy! The apple pie filling so way good too, and very easy. I saw another girl does that too. Way good stuff! Happy canning!

12 Trish October 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Congrats! Looks like your first canning experience went well. I canned last year for the first time, with help from my mother-in-law. Several people mentioned apple pie filling – I did that last year also. I think the recipe was okay, but I think I will search for a better recipe, there has to be a more tasty version out there somewhere.
I grew up making applesauce and freezing it. I never tried canning applesauce. According to my MIL, she prefers the taste of freezer applesauce over canned applesauce.
Another suggestion, add other fruits with applesauce, such as peach applesauce, mango applesauce, etc. I have not tried it, but I hope to try mango applesauce this year.

13 Allanna October 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm

My mom cans … but I’ve been too scared to do it on my own. I need to get her up here for a scheduled canning session next summer or something.

And peach-raspberry jam?? OH, that sounds wonderful! I’m drooling!!

14 Erin W. October 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Canning is so fun because you can see that you are setting aside such YUMMY fruit for your family to enjoy all winter-much better than store bought!! My boys love it when we can pears as well, and we dried a bunch of fruit with our dehydrator! It is great for on the go snacks that are healthy. As for apples I make up my apple pie recipie and then freeze it in a freezer bag. That way when I want a pie I just pull it out of the freezer thaw it out, pop it in a pie crust and away we go. Or I can use it for apple crisp, or apple spice cake-seriously delicious-especially in a dutch oven!!! Next year I’m going to tackle tomatoes-homemade salsa!

Here is my apple pie filling recipie:

¾ c. sugar
1 TBSP flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
6 c. thinly sliced apples


15 Kelsey October 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Since you asked, I have peach butter going in the crock pot right now. My house smells wonderful and it’s going to be really yummy when it’s finished. I finished up my second box of peaches with this peach butter, and I’m feeling like I need to go get some more just to have something to can…

I think I will pick some apples tomorrow and try out applesauce. Thanks for asking!

16 Kelsey October 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for the sugar tip. I do cringe every time I see how much sugar I’m going to have to use. Gag. I love your idea.

And I’m sure canning with kids is frustrating at times, and probably takes twice as long too. But that’s how teaching goes, and kids need activities to keep them busy while learning useful skills and cultivating relationships with family. It’s a great time for Mom to learn patience!

17 Stephanie Shumway October 8, 2008 at 12:27 am

will you do a post on how to can fruit? I saw this post the same day that I decided I needed to can a bunch of pears, but I don’t know what to put in there with them?

18 Sue D October 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Your peaches look great! Thanks for the jam recipe–it sounds really good. I usually can a lot but the garden didn’t do well this year. Pretty much just enough to eat fresh but I did make blackberry jam.

19 Sheila Oxley October 9, 2008 at 6:35 am

OOOh I always wanted to try canning!!!! I even bought the jars!!! I would love to learn….I need to find someone local who can show me…then I won’t feel so intimidated! Your peaches look yummy!!!!

20 Angela October 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I don’t know if anybody made a comment with this idea but these could also work as Christmas gifts for especial neighbors and for family.

21 Cheryl October 12, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Hi There — Was reading this blog and wanted to ask about getting the recipe for apple pie filling. I have canned before (grape jelly from wild grapes) and this year have loads of apples to do something with. Never have sent an e-mail on a blog before, but would love to have that recipe. Thanks! — Cheryl

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