If you are learning to can, you certainly will want to know how to can fruit. Nothing is more delicious than a fresh fruit pie or other fruit dessert made from your home canning in the midst of a cold winter; just think about the wonderful aroma seeping from your oven.
The first thing you need to know when learning how to can fruits is how to select the fruit to process. Always use firm ripe sound fruit which is free from any blemishes, bruises or bas spots. Reject all overripe fruit. Try to pick the fruit that is uniform; having the same ripeness and texture.
Once you have gathered the fruit together that you want to can, wash it thoroughly. Peel, core or seed and cut up according to what you will be canning. When learning how to can fruit blanch or cook as the directions tell you to do for whatever fruit you are processing.
For peeling fruit like tomatoes, peaches or apricots, dip in boiling hot water then quickly plunge them in cold water to loosen the skins; the skins now can easily be rubbed off.
When learning how to can fruit, you must know to pack prepared fruit loosely into hot sterilized jars without crowding or crushing. Pour boiling sugar syrup over the fruit leaving ½ inch head space at the top of the jar; do not fill all the way to the top. Run a thin knife down along the sides of the jar to release any air pockets. Processing by hot water bath is recommended for fruits, berries and fruit juices; immediately finish the processing.
After jars have been filled, wipe off the tops and seal completely if fruit has been hot packed; if fruit has been cold packed, seal the jars party. Use a large kettle with a tight fitting lid. It must have a rack on the bottom ½ inch above the bottom of the kettle to set the jars on. Pots with the rack can be purchased for this specific purpose; I bought mine at Wal-Mart but many stores have them and they are not expensive like the pressure canners. The racks with these have handles making it easier to remove the jars when completed.
If you are learning how to can fruit, know to have the water boiling; lower the jars slowly and carefully into the water; the water should come at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars .Cover the pot with the lid and start timing once the water has returned to boiling. When timing is complete, carefully remove jars from the pot without disturbing the lids; make sure lids are on tight.
As you learn how to can fruit, you will find the following recipes call for SYRUP. This is made by combing 1 cup of sugar with water; the amount of water depends on the type of syrup desired. Also, if desired you may substitute juice for part or all the water. For a thin syrup use 1 cup sugar to 3 cups liquid, for medium syrup use 1 cup sugar with 2 cups water and for thick syrup use 1 cup sugar with 1 cup liquid.
CANNING BERRIES AND GRAPES: (other than strawberries) Wash, hull and sort berries; save smaller imperfect ones for juice. Place berries in kettle and sprinkle 1 to 2 cups sugar over each quart depending on their sweetness; let stand for 30 minutes. Bring berries to boil and boil 3 minutes; stir gently. Pack in clean sterilized jars and process in boiling hot water bath 5 minutes.
CANNING STRAWBERRIES: Wash and stem berries. To each quart of berries add 1 cup of sugar; let stand 2 hours. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand overnight in syrup. The next morning bring to a boil again; pack and seal in hot sterilized jars. Process 5 minutes in boiling hot water bath.
CANNING CHERRIES: Wash, Stem and pit cherries. Precook pitted cherries in medium syrup adding sugar to taste. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Pack in hot sterilized jars and process in boiling hot water bath for 5 minutes.
CANNING FIGS: Wash and drain figs; sprinkle with ½ cup of baking soda for each 3 quarts of figs. Add 2 quarts of boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. Drain and rinse. Add 1 quart of medium to thick syrup; bring to a boil and boil gently for 1 hour. Pack in hot sterilized jars, seal and process 20 minutes in boiling hot water bath.
CANNING PEACHES: Peel, half and remove seeds. Precook peaches with medium syrup at a boil for a ten minutes. Immediate pack in hot sterilized jars. Seal and process in boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.
CANNING PEARS: Peel, half and core; precook for 4 to 6 minutes in medium syrup. Pack in hot sterilized jars, seal and process in boiling hot water bat for 20 minutes.
CANNING PINEAPPLE: Peel removing eyes, cut into slices, dices or spears. Precook in thin or medium syrup; pack in hot sterilized jars. Seal and process in boiling hot water bath for 15 minutes.
CANNING PLUMS: Wash and drain; prick skin to prevent bursting. Bring to a boil in medium syrup. Pack in hot sterilized jars; seal and process in boiling hot water bath for 5 minutes.
CANNING RHUBARB: Wash and trim; cut into 1 inch lengths. Precook in thick syrup; pack in hot sterilized jars and process in boiling hot water bath for 5 minutes.
BLACKBERRY COBBLER RECIPE
After you have learned how to can fruit, you can enjoy delicious recipes like this blackberry cobbler recipe.
Combine berries, 1 cup sugar, tapioca, water and butter; set aside while making dough.
Sift flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening.
Add milk all at once and stir to dampen; roll out and cut in 8 2 ½ inch rounds and sprinkle with sugar.
Add lemon to berries and pour into buttered baking dish; place rounds over berries.
Bake at 425F degrees for 30 minutes.
CHERRY WALNUT TORTE
Combine and blend the ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 2 cups flour and butter.
Press dough on bottom and sides of 10 inch pie plate.
Bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes; let stand to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 325F degrees.
In mixing bowl beat eggs, vanilla and 1 cup sugar until thick and frothy.
Blend in remaining ¼ cup flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
Fold in cherries and walnuts; pour into pie shell.
Bake for 40 minutes; cool and dust with extra powdered sugar.
RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE RECIPE
This rhubarb custard pie recipe is a favorite of those who have learned how to can fruit like canning rhubarb.
Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg and butter; add eggs and beat until smooth.
Pour rhubarb mixture into 9 inch pastry lined (metal) pie pan.
Top with crust, crimp around edges, slit pastry and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in hot oven at 450F degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350F degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
When you learn how to can fruit you will find brandied is add to increase the flavor and help preserve.
Peel and weigh fruit; tie spices in a bag.
Boil sugar and water with bag of spices until mixture is clear.
Drop a few peaches in the mixture at a time and cook until tender but not soft (keeping peaches whole)
Repeat process until all peaches have been cooked; place peaches on platter to drain.
When syrup has cooked add the brandy and stir well.
Place peaches in sterile jars, cover with brandy syrup and seal with hot lids to seal.
After you learn how to can fruit, you might want to experiment with some different recipes like these ginger pears. The combination of these ingredients makes this recipe very tasty.
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 3 hours or until thick.
Can in hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.