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Last week the President and First Lady hosted a State Dinner for France with the White House Instagram account showing Chef Cris Comerford and Pastry Chef Bill Yosses using honey canned from the White House beehive and fresh herbs from their garden.

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Honey from the White House beehive.
White House Instagram

While most of us don’t have our own beehive (and good for you if you’re brave enough to cultivate one), we can all enjoy fresh veggies from the garden in the dead of winter just like the First Family by canning nature’s goodies while they’re in season during the warmer months.

The folks behind the iconic Ball brand canning jars share some of their favorite recipes for a truly Americana experience this President’s Day.

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George Washington Cherry Jam
Makes about 6 (8 oz) half pints

George Washington Cherry JamMake a deliciously fruity jam without sugar using Ball® RealFruit®Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.

You will need:
2 cups crushed strawberries (about 2 1-lb containers)
1 cup finely chopped sweet cherries (about 1.5 lb)
1 cup crushed blackberries (about 0.6 lb or 1/2 6-oz container)
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice
3 Tbsp Ball® ReaiFruit® Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin
6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:
1.) Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) Combine strawberries, cherries, blackberries and juice in a 6- to 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
3.) Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4.) Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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American Apple Pie Filling
Makes about 7 (16 oz) pints

In addition to the classic pie, this apple pie filling allows you to quickly make luscious desserts such as apple turnovers, apple crisp or apple dumplings.

You will need:
12 cups sliced peeled cored apples, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 12 medium)
Water
2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup ClearJel® (cooking starch used for preserving)
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2-1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1-1/4 cups cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice
7 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:
1.) Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) Blanch apple slices, working with 6 cups at a time, in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a covered bowl.
3.) Combine sugar, ClearJel®, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain apple slices and immediately fold into hot mixture. Before processing, heat, stirring, until apples are heated through.
4.) Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) Process jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

*To treat apple slices to prevent browning, apply Ball® Fruit-Fresh® Produce Protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions or submerge cut apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water.

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Presidential Pickles

Presidential PicklesSweet, crunchy and full of flavor. Start with fresh cucumbers and Ball® Bread & Butter Pickle Mix and you’re there. It has never been easier to make this traditional favorite.

You will need:
For every 2 quarts of pickles:
3 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 14 small to medium)
2 1/2 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup Ball® Bread & Butter Pickle Mix
2 Ball® Quart (32 oz) Fresh Preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:
Prepare Bread & Butter Pickles
1. CUT ends off cucumbers. Cut into 1/2 inch slices.
2. COMBINE vinegar, sugar, and Ball® Bread & Butter Pickle Mix in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil.
3. PACK based on ENJOY NOW or FRESH PRESERVE steps below.

Enjoy Now (Refrigerate up to 3 months):
1. Pour hot pickling liquid over cucumber slices in a large bowl. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. Pack cucumber slices into jars. Ladle pickling liquid over cucumbers. Place lids & bands on jars.
3. Refrigerate pickles. For best flavor, allow pickles to stand in refrigerator for 3 weeks.

-or-

Fresh Preserve (Store up to 1 year):
1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Pack slices into hot jars. Ladle hot pickling liquid over slices leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
3. Process in boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude*. For best flavor, allow pickles to stand for 4-6 weeks.

*Increase processing time: 5 minutes for 1,001 to 3, 000 ft; 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 ft; 15 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 ft; 20 minutes for 8,001 to 10,000 ft.

If you could attend an event at the White House, which would it be? Tell us in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.

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