Canning Saskatoon berries is very easy and a great way to free up some freezer space when you’re preserving a lot of summer berries. If you’ve ever made jam before (or even if you haven’t), you can easily can Saskatoon berries. You can also use this basic canning method and simple syrup to can other fruits as well.
When it comes time to use your canned Saskatoon berries, all you have to do is add them directly to things like yogurt and oatmeal, or thicken them up by cooking them with a little flour or cornstarch to go in pies, tarts, and more. No need to add sugar to those recipes, since you’ve already canned them in sugar.
Here’s how to do it. . .
Pick and Clean Saskatoon Berries
The best way to cut your work in half is to pick clean when you’re out in the berry patch. That means avoiding twigs, leaves, and any berry that doesn’t look ripe or has been eaten by a bird. While it’s impossible to avoid everything, just being conscious of it will help you avoid way more undesirable berries that you would have had to deal with later.
Once you get home, transfer the berries a little at a time into a cookie sheet or pan in a single layer as shown below:
Then you can easily go through and pick out any undesirable stuff. Once you’ve cleaned a pan, transfer those berries to another bowl and wash them.
Next, I like to transfer the berries into a colander and rinse them under the sink. Gently mix the berries around with your hands to make sure you’re getting everything.
Let the berries air dry on another cookie sheet or other flat and contained surface.
Sterilize & Fill Jars
To sterilize the jars, either run them through your dishwasher and time it so that they are done and steaming by the time you need to use them, cook the empty jars in the oven for 10 minutes at 235F, or fully submerse them in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. I personally like the oven method, but do whichever one works best for you.
Boil the lids and rims in a pot of water and set aside. Make sure all your lids are free of scratches or defects.
Once everything is sterilized, fill the clean berries into the jars. Pack the berries in the jars as tight as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with a bunch of liquid at the bottom and lots of wasted space.
Make a Simple Syrup
The simple syrup for canning Saskatoon berries is made up of two parts water to one part sugar. You can use less sugar if you like, but don’t use no sugar. If I want a less sweet version, I personally use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.
If you like, you can add an herb like mint or some flavoured alcohol to add flavour to your berries. I prefer to keep mine plain.
Boil the simple syrup until the sugar dissolves. Once it’s boiled, pour it over the tightly packed Saskatoon berries, leaving no less than 1/2 inch head space.
Brand new to canning? Headspace is just a fancy word for the distance between the rim of the jar and the liquid in your recipe.
Clean up any spills on the rim with a clean cloth.
Place the lid on top and lightly screw the lid closed.
Can in a Water Bath
Now it’s time to can the Saskatoon berries in a water bath. First, fill up a large canner or pot with water and set it to boil. Put the jars of Saskatoon berries in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Make sure that the jar has at least one inch of water covering the top of it.
After the 10-15 minutes, remove the jar, taking care not to tip it and keep it in an upright position. After a few minutes, or sometimes immediately, the jar lid should make a popping sound, meaning that it has sealed.
Leave the jars in the same location for a full 24 hours.
Gently press on the lids. If the lids do not move, the jar has sealed. If you have a jar that has not sealed, put it in the fridge and eat those ones first.
- Approximately 8 cups Saskatoon berries
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup white sugar
- Clean Saskatoon berries, removing all leaves, stems, or blemished berries.
- Sterilize jars, rims, and lids.
- In a separate pot, combine water and sugar. cook until the sugar dissolves and the water has boiled for 1 minute.
- Add cleaned Saskatoon berries to hot, sterilized jars, filling to the bottom of the rim.
- Fill jars with very hot water and sugar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch or 1 centimeter headspace. Seal with rims and lids.
- Transfer to the boiling water bath and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove and let sit for 24 hours. Put any jars that don't seal in the fridge for immediate use.
If, you've scrolled and skipped to the recipe, the blog post has some additional details like customizing the sweetness level.
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