Canning Fruit

Canning fruit is an excellent way to save money and to provide your family with fresh, healthy fruit throughout the entire year. Getting started is relatively inexpensive and once you have made the initial investments for canning jars and equipment, you will find that the cost is significantly less than that of less-nutritious and less-flavorful store bought canned fruits.

There are multiple methods for canning fruit, but the most time-tested method is done using a water bath canner and mason jars. A water bath can be created in any metal pan or container that can be sealed tightly with a properly fitting lid. This could be a heavy stock pot or other kitchen item that you have on hand. You could also opt to use a pressure cooker, however it will be important to keep the steam release valve open and the lid slightly open so that built-up steam can escape and not build up around your canning jars. Mason, or canning, jars are normally clear glass jars with ring style lids and inserts that are vacuumed sealed to the jar tops using the water bath method.

Many fruits can be canned, but the harder the fruit in its natural state, the better results you will get from canning. Apples, pears and peaches can be easily and deliciously canned. Here are some ideas to follow when canning fruit. First, you will need to decide if you prefer a light or heavy syrup. Think about store-bought canned fruits to determine your preference.

Prepare your canning syrup by mixing together sugar and water. Two cups of sugar to four cups of water will make a nice light syrup. Double the sugar for a heavy syrup. It is possible to change the amount of sugar being used to change the consistency of the syrup.

To can apples, peel and core the apple and slice or cube it as you wish. You may want to soak the fruit in fruit fresh or another agent to keep it from darkening prior to cooking. Cook the apple pieces for about 5 minutes in the syrup and pour into clean canning jars. Pears can be canned in the same way. Consider adding some food coloring or small cinnamon candies while cooking in order to infuse the fruit with the added flavor. You can can the fruits together, if you like.

Softer fruits like citrus, apricots and berries can be canned as well. Just keep the cooking process to a minimum. Berries should not be cooked in the syrup. Instead, place the fruit in the jar and cover with the hot syrup for best results. Cook other soft fruits for one to three minutes depending on the initial consistency of the fruit.

After you have placed the cooked fruit in the jars, apply the lids and place into a boiling water bath. The water should cover at least an inch beyond the top of the jars. Allow the jars to boil for twenty minutes.