Canning and Freezing Fruits

Generally, heavier syrups are used with sour fruits, and lighter syrups are recommended for mild-flavored fruits.


Enlarge Image Begin by peeling the fruit.

Wash fresh fruits with cool, clear tap water, but do not soak them; drain. Follow preparation directions below. If you choose to can or freeze fruits with syrup, select the syrup that best suits the fruit and your taste. Generally, heavier syrups are used with sour fruits, and lighter syrups are recommended for mild-flavored fruits. To prepare the syrup, place the specified amounts of sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Skim off foam, if necessary. Use the syrup hot for canned fruits and chilled for frozen fruits. Allow 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for each 2 cups of fruit. For very thin syrup, use 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4 cups syrup. For thin syrup, use 1-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4-1/4 cups syrup. For medium syrup, use 2-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4-2/3 cups syrup. For heavy syrup, use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 5-3/4 cups syrup.

Food Preparation Boiling-Water Canning, Raw Pack Boiling-Water Canning, Hot Pack Freezing
Apples Allow 21ΒΌ2 to 3 pounds per quart. Select varieties that are crisp, not mealy, in texture Peel and core; halve, quarter, or slice. Dip into ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain. Not Recommended Simmer in syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fill jars with fruit and syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints and quarts for 20 minutes. Use a syrup, sugar, or dry pack, leaving the recommended head space.
Apricots Allow 2 to 2-1/2 pounds per quart. If desired, peel as for peaches, below. Prepare as for peaches. See peaches, below See peaches, below Peel as for peaches, below. Use a syrup, sugar, or water pack, leaving the recommended head space.
Berries Allow 3/4 to 1 pound per pint. Can or freeze blackberries, blueberries, currants, elderberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, loganberries, mulberries, and raspberries. Freeze (do not can) boysenberries and strawberries. Fill jars with blackberries, loganberries, mulberries, or raspberries. Shake down gently. Add boiling syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes. Simmer blueberries, currants, elderberries, gooseberries, and huckleberries in water for 30 seconds; drain. Fill jars with berries and hot syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints and quarts for 15 minutes. Slice strawberries, if desired. Use a syrup, sugar, or dry pack, leaving the recommended headspace.
Cherries Allow 2 to 3 pounds per quart. If desired, treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain. If unpitted, prick skin on opposite sides to prevent splitting. Fill jars, shaking down gently. Add boiling syrup or water, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints and quarts for 25 minutes. Add cherries to hot syrup; bring to boiling. Fill jars with fruit and syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes. Use a syrup, sugar, or dry pack, leaving the recommended headspace.
Melons Allow about 4 pounds per quart for honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Not recommended. Not recommended. Use a syrup, sugar, or dry pack, leaving the recommended headspace.
Nectarines, Peaches Allow 2 to 3 pounds per quart. To peel peaches, immerse in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds or until skins start to crack; remove and plunge into cold water. (Peeling nectarines is not necessary.) Halve and pit. If desired, slice. Treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain. Fill jars, placing cut sides down. Add boiling syrup or water, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes. (Note: the hot-pack method generally results in a better product. Add fruit to hot syrup; bring to boiling. Fill jars with fruit (placing cut sides down) and syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Use a syrup, sugar, or dry pack, leaving the recommended headspace.
Pears Allow 2 pounds per quart. Peel, halve, and core. Treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain. Not recommended. Simmer fruit in syrup for 5 minutes. Fill jars with fruit and syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Not recommended.
Plums Allow 2 to 3 pounds per quart. Prick skin on two sides. Freestone varieties may be halved and pitted. Pack firmly into jars. Add boiling syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Simmer in water or syrup for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Fill jars with fruit and cooking liquid or syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Halve and pit. Treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain well. Use a syrup pack, leaving the recommended headspace.
Rhubarb Allow 1-1/2 pounds per quart. Discard leaves and woody ends. Cut into 1-2- to 1-inch pieces. Not recommended. In a saucepan sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over each 4 cups fruit; mix well. Let stand until juice appears. Bring slowly to boiling, stirring gently. Fill jars with hot fruit and juice, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints and quarts for 15 minutes. Blanch for 1 minute; cool quickly and drain. Use a syrup or dry pack, leaving the recommended headspace. Or use a sugar back of 1/2 cup sugar to 3 cups fruit.

How to Freeze Peaches
How to Freeze Peaches
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