Now, before the attacks start, and the canning police come in with guns blazing, let me make a couple of things perfectly clear before I go any further with this post!  I have been canning for well over 30 years, and I am FULLY AWARE, that what I am about to post is not regarded as a safe practice by the extension services, the USDA, or other home canning agency that puts out notice for public safety when it comes to home canning.  I am also aware that there are many things that have been safely canned for years, that have not been studied.  To me, for my kitchen an my family, there is a huge difference between something proven unsafe, and something that is just proven safe due to lack of research.  With that in mind, I DO can pudding, and milk, for home use.  I use the standards used for non-acid foods, i.e. a pressure canner, and am NOT RECOMMENDING that you do this for your family, until you are well versed in home canning, have done the appropriate research, and have decided FOR YOURSELF that this is something you want to try.  I am IN NO WAY, thwarting the efforts of the powers that be in keeping home canning safe for all.  But I have been asked how I can pudding to be used up in a fairly short amount of time, so I am going to honor those requesting instructions, and provide my process.  Kapeesh?  I will not respond to any comments simply restating the obvious that I have already stated above.

With all that said, if you do try this for your own use, know that any risk involved, are yours and yours alone.  It works for me, and I feel safe doing this for my family, but I am in no way responsible for you or your family.  Ok, I think that horse is dead, as least I’ve beat it long enough that it should be.  Let’s move on to how I preserve pudding in my canning kitchen.

With our Jersey milk cows, we are blessed, with an abundance of fresh raw milk.  I use this to make yogurt, mozzarella, “velveeta”, etc…..and yes, more posts will follow as I have the time to get them ready.  One day, Papa was longing for some homemade pudding, and I had two gallons of milk to use up, so I decided to make a big batch and just see how canning it would go.  I’ve canned our fresh milk to use in cooking when the cows are dry, and it’s worked out beautifully, so did a bit of research, made sure there were no documented cases of illness due to home canned dairy, and set out on a canning kitchen experiment.

I made a large batch of dark chocolate pudding.  I chose dark chocolate because I had enough dark cocoa on hand to make the size batch I needed to use up the extra milk on hand.

I doubled the recipe below, since I had two gallons of milk.
Dark Chocolate Pudding for canning

1 cup clear jel (cook type)
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup black cocoa powder
1 gallon milk
1 stick butter
1 1/2 TBS vanilla

Mix cocoa and sugar together to help with later mixing and eliminate clumping; then combine first 5 ingredients in large pot, cook until thickened. (I brought it just up to rolling with almost constant stirring to prevent scorching). Add vanilla, drop in butter and stir until completely incorporated. Ladle into 1/2 pint hot jars, leaving 1” head space, add lids and rings. Place in pressure canner, vent per proper canning techniques for 10 minutes, bring up to 10# pressure (my altitude is 1300 feet), shut off heat and allow pressure to decrease naturally. Remove from canned and test for seal as usual.

This recipe was a little thin for eating prior to canning, but it worked great after coming up to temperature in the pressure canner.  The texture is a bit different from fresh pudding, with lots of tiny air bubbles noted, but it is “melt in your mouth” smooth when eating it.  I tested a jar after 2 weeks and it was as good as it was fresh.  Today marks two days shy of 8 weeks with the results being the same.  I recorded the taste test at 2 weeks and 8 weeks, and will share below.  Just don’t judge my messy appearance and messy canning kitchen….I worked hard and so does my canning kitchen!  😉

Mix all ingredients except for butter and vanilla.

Bring to a boil.

Add butter and vanilla, stir until incorporated.

And when you don’t leave a 1″ head space… have a mess and some siphoning.

The jars all sealed and look beautiful!

Taste testing home canned pudding at 2 weeks.

Taste testing home canned pudding at 8 weeks.

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