Friday, July 15, 2011

Home Canned Fruit 101

If you're interested in learning to preserve food at home, canned fruit is the perfect place to start. Canning fruit is easy to learn and requires the least specialized equipment, perfect for the beginner! An excellent resource for all things canned is the Ball Blue Book, they walk you step by step through canning peaches; however, my method is slightly different than theirs and yields a vastly superior product. Generally fruit today is canned using a sugar/water syrup the proportions of sugar making either a light, medium or heavy syrup. Canning fruit with water necessitates adding more sugar since you're in effect making "fruit soup"; the overall effect is a watered down, super sugary, vaguely fruit tasting product. My method is easy to implement and I think you'll be pleased with the result.

1. Wash fruit to remove pesticide, bugs and unripe/overripe fruit.

2. Peel and slice fruit if needed (such as peaches) most berries can be left whole.

3. Layer fruit and sugar in a mixing bowl or bucket. I use 1/3 cup sugar per pineapple and 1/2 cup sugar per quart of Black Raspberries for instance. The amount of sugar is a personal preference and some things, like rhubarb, need more sugar.

4. Cover and allow to set at room temperature for 12-18 hours. Fruit doesn't juice up well in a refrigerator or other cold environment.

5. Place fruit in jars with a slotted spoon and top off jars with reserved juice.

6. Affix lids and can for the amount of time specified in the Ball Blue Book.

That's it! If you're used to canning fruit using the syrup method you won't find switching over to be difficult at all. Allowing fruit to make its own juice really makes sense when you think about it!


  1. Stephanie, I know, I just love bail jars. It's my yearly tradition to go on and on about the merits of using them to can in. I canned peach jam in them just today, no seal failures and no broken jars. They are constructed to last, which I love. Thanks for loving them too. :D

    Mrs. G---who is getting really tired of being anonymous on her own blog

  2. This is fantastic! I really want to try it. I'm canning peaches with a few friends in one Sat at another house, luckily I'm the one picking the peaches and can do the "extracting" part with my portion at home before taking them to my friends to can.I will be doing a whole bushel and I'm assuming this can get messy with the amount and having to transport them.
    I have only canned peaches once before, so I have a couple of questions.
    1)Can I use raw honey instead of sugar? Or a mix of raw honey and sugar?
    2)Can I put the whole bushel (layered with sugars) in a huge aluminum steamer pot? It's been used a lot and the bottom is darker than the rest, would it leave a metallic taste?

  3. Alicia, yes this definitely gets messy, we let our fruit juice up in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. We have 2 of these buckets and they're labeled "FRUIT" in giant letters so that no one else makes off with them. :-) I have no idea about the honey buy you could try it and see, that method works well for me. Try a small batch (like a quart of so) and see what happens, if they don't juice up you can just eat them. About the aluminum, I guess you could use that pot, but if you can avoid aluminum you should. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimers and a host of other maladies. Anyway, good luck with your peaches!
    Mrs. G


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