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!