Introduction: Fizzy Cranberries

Picture of Fizzy Cranberries

These lovely (and tasty) bottled cranberries have been a favorite in my home for years. They started as a practical way to store cranberries year round, and we were surprised to find that over time they become slightly carbonated adding a delightful fizz to muffins, pancakes, berry crumbles and other breads and desserts.

You will need:

*Fresh cranberries (available from any grocery store around Christmas time)
*Pint-sized jars made for canning
*Lids and bands
*Water
*White sugar
*Large cooking pot
*Home canning pot with lid and inner rack

Step 1: Prepare the Cranberries and Jars

Picture of Prepare the Cranberries and Jars

Put the cranberries in a collander and remove any squished, shriveled, or otherwise undersirable cranberries.

Wash the jars and rings in a dishwasher. It is very important that the jars are sanitized or the fruit may become contaminated.

Step 2: Fill the Jars

Picture of Fill the Jars

Fill each jar tightly with cranberries. Make sure to leave empty space between the level of cranberries and the top of the jar. A good rule of thumb is to stop filling the jar at the first screw line.

Bring several cups of water to boil in a large pot. The amount you will need is dependant upon how many jars of cranberries you are canning. After the water is boiling, add an equal part white sugar and stir until dissolved.

Fill each jar of cranberries with the syrup. Again, don't fill above the first screw line on the jar.

With a damp, clean cloth, wipe off the lip of each jar. Put a new canning lid on top and screw a band onto the jar.

Step 3: Boil!

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Place five or six jars into a home canning pot. Make sure the jars aren't touching each other. Fill the pot with water to an inch above the jars and cover with the lid.

Bring the water to a boil and keep boiling for 20 minutes. Take the finished jars out of the hot water immediately and let them cool on the counter top.

Before storing the jars of cranberries, remove the bands and write the year on the lid with a permanent marker.

These cranberries will keep for years without losing taste, fizziness, or their beautiful color.

Enjoy!

Comments

winterwindarts (author)2011-08-14

A couple of things: first, you shouldn't leave as much headspace (air) as is shown in the photos. Too much headspace is just as bad as too little. Cranberries do have air pockets inside of them-if the excess space is due to those bursting during the canning process, leave a little less before sealing the jars. I've never come across an "official" recipe for canned cranberries so I'm not certain what is required as it varies depending on what you are making...but what is shown is definitely too much. The recommendation of having the liquid to the bottom of the threads is a good generalization...but that is what you *probably* should be aiming for after the air inside the cranberries is added to the initial headspace.

Second, the "fizziness" is unlikely to be due to fermentation as the seals don't break (if it was actual fermentation the CO2 produced would most likely break the seal). The "fizziness" is a phenomenon I have noticed while mixing high acid fruit juices-often it occurs within minutes. As cranberries are very high acid this is something that I would expect would happen with them. It's an effect of the acid rather than fermentation even though it seems similar. If anything it's proof that the canned cranberries are SAFER than other canned food. The increased "fizziness" over time would be expected as the structure of the cranberries slowly broke down from the acid, allowing more juice and therefore even more acid to be released..

As a final note-and I'm glad to see that the author does do this-canned food should never be stored with the rings on. This is a detail that a lot of people keep forgetting. If the band is kept on it can cause problems with the rubber seal, making it stick on to the jar (possibly even with the button still down) even after the seal has failed, making it seem "safe". Botulism doesn't produce tell tale gas so it can grow with a failed seal even when the button remains down. Without the bands, if the seal fails, the lid becomes loose. Also, if a button pops up but stays down when you push it-it's still a bad/failed seal.

Winterwindarts,

Thanks for the comments, it seems as though you have a lot of experience with canning. We've been making these cranberries for years and have never had any problem with them. Please feel free to change the recipe as you see fit.

I did not know that about highly acidic fruit - what you describe seems to fit my canned cranberries well.

Happy canning!

Blainer (author)2011-08-08

That sounds rather dangerous, Yazzeldorf. If yeast are surviving you canning process to produce fermentation, then you may have bacteria that survive as well to cause food poisoning. If I were you, I would carefully check the temperatures you are using and the processing time and methods needed for your fruit. The information is available in a lot of places on the 'net. Also, I have read that the skins of the cranberries need to be broken or they will not be properly preserved, because the skins are so tough. Sorry to be a downer on this, but I wouldn't want anyone to get sick.

NoFiller (author)Blainer2011-08-08

I have to agree that this sounds pretty sketchy. Tasty... but sketchy.

Yazzrldorf, you say that you store them without the screw bands, do the lids pop open or does the vacuum hold?

yazzeldorf (author)NoFiller2011-08-08

You may be right, but thus far, I haven't had anyone get sick. Mind you, they only get a little bit fizzy, not fully carbonated by any means. We've been canning them for years, and have opened jars that are several years old, with no bad reactions yet. I have had other kinds of canned food go bad and usually there is discoloration or a foul smell, but both of these are absent in the cranberries. Still, I agree it's best to use your judgment.

I store all of my canned foods without screw bands and I've never had any of them pop open including the cranberries.

kill-a-watt (author)yazzeldorf2011-08-09

If the end result is acid enough then botulism cannot grow. That's the only real serious danger that I see here. You can taste food from a botulism infected jar, spit the food out and still die.

yazzeldorf (author)kill-a-watt2011-08-09

Be sure to follow all the normal precautions when canning any food. If the button pops up, don't eat them. I have not had the cranberries ever go bad on me.

NoFiller (author)yazzeldorf2011-08-09

That is really interesting. If there was fermentation going on I would not expect the vacuum to hold, any noticeable generation of carbon dioxide (fizzy bubbles) would pop the lid right off. I'm going to try this.

yazzeldorf (author)NoFiller2011-08-09

It must be a different process than fermenting beer or soda. These cranberries end up being a little fizzy, more of a "kick" than actual bubbles or anything. I'm not sure how it works, but it does :)

karossii (author)2011-08-06

The fizz is natural fermentation - the same thing that makes beer fizz...

yazzeldorf (author)karossii2011-08-07

Yes, that's true. The cranberries reach a certain level of fermentation or fizz and stop (perhaps they have used up all the sugar), so there is no worry of over fermentation or exploding bottles that home brewers sometimes face.

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