Fruit Canning

Fruit Canning: Canned fruits can sell to consumers or food companies. Canned fruit is a pantry classic, and canned peaches are my favorite, you can apply the same steps to other fruits as well, like Pears, Plums, Apricots.

Canning Fruit: Pressure Canning Fruit & Water Bath Canning.

Equipment Preparation:
Assemble canning equipment, utensils and containers. Once you begin the canning process you need to work as quickly as possible without delays.

Ball Canning Jars:
Use authentic Mason or Ball canner jars. Examine and discard those with nicks, cracks and edges. These defects will not permit an air-tight seal. Jars should be washed in hot soapy water, rinsed well and then kept hot. This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing the jars in the water heating in your canner. The jars need to be kept hot to prevent breakage when they are filled with a hot product and placed in the kettle for processing.

Jars that will be filled with food and processed for less than 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner need to be sterilized by boiling in water for 10 minutes.

Fruit Preparation:
Gather fruit and vegetables early morning when they are at their peak of quality. Gather or purchase only prepare within 2 or 3 hours. Wash products by either quick soaking sure to remove all dirt and sand including any chemicals that may be present. Dirt contains some of the bacteria that are hardest to kill.

Cleaning Fruits:
Cleaner the raw foods, more effective preserving process. Do not let the food soak; it will lose flavor and nutrients.

Water Bath Canners:
Fill the kettle with hot water and begin heating it on the range. The water bath requires 1 to 2 inches of water above the tops of jars. Difficult to determine before the filled jars are in place but after a batch or two. Extra small pot of water heating just in case.

Packing Canning Jars:
packing ball canning jars, Packing Jars, Raw Pack (Cold Pack).
Pack raw fruit into jars and cover with boiling hot sugar syrup, juice or water.
Leave a head space between the lid and the top of food or liquid.
Space is needed for the bubbling of liquidshead space and fruit expansion.
Jars are filled too full the contents may overflow during processing.
The amount of head space is usually between 1/8 and 1/2 inch.
Check the individual recipe for the exact amount of head space.

Recipes: Peaches | Apricots | Berries | Cherries | Grapefruit Pears | Plumbs | Blackberries | Raspberries | Elderberries | Gooseberries | Huckleberries

Hot Pack: Heat fruit in syrup, in water or over steam before packing. Fruits with a high juice content and tomatoes can be pre heated without adding liquid and then packed in the juice that cooks out.

Fill Jars: Pack each jar to within 1/4 inch of top in individual recipe. For non-liquid foods (ie. peaches) Necessary to remove any trapped air bubbles by running a rubber spatula or table knife gently between the solid product and the edge of the jar. Add hot syrup as needed. Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth, place lid on top and screw bands on tightly and evenly to hold rubber sealing lid (or sealing ring) in place. Sometimes it is necessary to position and hold down sealing lid while you tighten the band to insure the lid is centered on the top of the jar. Jars are placed on the rack inside hot water canner.

Water Bath Method:
Place jars on rack immediately after packing. Jars should be covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. If you add more water, pour between jars and not directly on them (this is where the extra pot of heated water comes in handy). Cover pot with lid. When the water comes to a rolling boil, start to count the processing time. Boil gently and steadily for the time recommended for the food being processed. When the cooking time is up, remove jars at once and place on a rack or on towels away from heat and away from any draft.

Test for Seal:
After jars have cooled between 12 and 24 hours after processing, check seal. To do this press down on the center of the lid. The lid should be con-caved and not move when pressed. Another method is to tap the lid with the bottom of a tea spoon. If the jar is sealed correctly, it will make a high-pitched sound. If it makes a dull sound it means the lid is not sealed or possibly that food is in contact with the underside of the lid. This is a good sound to hear as it most often means that the vacuum effect has taken place which causes the lids to pop down and seal.

After jars have cooled thoroughly, the screw bands may be removed if desired. Label canned jars with content and processing date. Store jars in a cool dark, dry place.

Good Things to Know:
Canned fruits often times will float if the sugar syrup is too heavy, if jars are packed too loosely or if air remains in the tissues of the fruit after processing. Make sure fruit is firm and ripe and pack fruit tightly in jars without crushing.

Tilt the Jar Slightly:
To avoid this be sure fruit is covered by remove air bubbles from jars liquid while still leaving the recommended head space. Also be sure to remove trapped air bubbles with a slim rubber scraper, spatula or kitchen knife. Tilt the jar slightly while running the tool between the fruit and the edge of the jar and also pressing inward against the fruit a few times.

Canned Peaches: Canned peaches, pears and apples may show a red, blue or pink color change after processing. This is sometimes the result of natural chemical changes that occur as fruits are heated.

Stirring Sugar Syrup: Spatula-shaped wooden spoon that has a flat end instead of rounded, is good to have for stirring sugar syrup in a flat bottomed pan during the cooking process.

Store in a Dry Place: Avoid storing canned food near a furnace, water heater or hot water pipes. Jars need to be kept cool for longer storage life and to protect against spoilage. Be sure to store in a dry place. Rusting of the lid or band can cause seal to break.

Wrap Canned Jars with Newspaper: Avoid freezing in extremely cold storage environments, wrap canned jars with newspaper and place in heavy cardboard boxes. Cover boxes with a heavy cloth of blanket if necessary.

Wishing you all the best,