How to Can Fruit

How to Can Fruit

Did your strawberry patch yield a bumper crop? Were the ripe peaches at the farmers’ market too tempting to pass up? Do you and your family enjoy “pick-your-own” days in local cherry orchards?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you’ve probably experienced TMF (Too Much Fruit) Syndrome. Good news—you can turn that surplus into long-lasting treats such as jams, jellies, fruit “butters,” and preserves that will delight your family and friends… and remind you of summer long into the cold, cheerless winter months.

“Canning” fruits (a misnomer, because you use glass jars rather than metal cans) is very satisfying and surprisingly easy. It’s all a matter of using the right equipment and following a few simple but essential rules.

Some Basic Guidelines for Preserving:

  • All preserves should be made in small amounts (about 4 cupfuls of fruit); recipes should never doubled.
  • Wash glasses and jars in hot, sudsy water.
  • Sterilize glasses and jars: Place a folded dish towel in the bottom of a deep pot and place the containers on it. Cover with hot water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cover and leave in hot water. Remove containers from the water about 5 minutes before using. They should be hot but not dry.
  • Fill glasses or jars immediately: glasses to within 1/4" of the top, jars to within 1/8". Place lids on filled jars immediately. Seal according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • If using paraffin instead of lids, melt it in a small container with a lip until it is hot but not smoking. Pour a 1/8" layer over the top of jelly, tilting the glass so that the wax touches all outer edges.
  • Cover the canner and process according to recipe directions.