Equipment: Pressure canner; six 1-pint jars or 3 quart jars
6 to 8 pounds 1/4-inch-diameter fresh, tender asparagus spears
2 tbsp strained fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
- Rinse asparagus 2 to 3 times in cool water. Drain well. Cut spears to 3 3/4 inches long for pints or 5 3/4 inches long for quarts.
- Bring two quarts of water in a four quart pan to a simmer. Add lemon juice. Blanch a handful of spears for 1 minute. Remove spears and immediately plunge into ice water for two minutes to halt cooking process. Remove and drain. Repeat with additional spears until all have been blanched.
- Place a sieve over a medium saucepan and line sieve with 3 or 4 layers of clean, damp cheesecloth. Strain the hot cooking liquid through the cheesecloth. Over medium-high heat, bring the liquid to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt to each hot pint jar or 1 tsp salt to each hot quart jar. Lay the jars on their sides and pack with asparagus, tips pointing up.
- Ladle hot cooling liquid into the jars, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Use a bubble freer or plastic knife to remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth.
- Cap, seal, and process in a pressure canner for 40 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure in a dial-guage canner or at 10 pounds in a weighted-gauge canner, adjusting for elevation if more than 1,000 feet above sea level.