This is a delicious way of preserving fruit which is not enough of one type to can. It is done with a light syrup and in a water bath. The choice of fruit is up to what you have. You can make traditional fruit cocktail with peaches, pears, grapes, pineapple and maraschino cherries. The jars are sterilized first and the fruit is raw packed into the jars. A light sugar syrup is poured over the fruit with the addition of citric acid. Then sealed and processed in a hot water bath for 15 minutes for pints. It depends on your location and the size of your jars on how long you process the fruit. I live at sea level so my processing time is short. There are charts on line and in canning cookbooks that give the processing times with the elevations. You can also can fruit without sugar if you need to.
If you are thinking about trying some small batch canning, jams and fruit is a good place to start. You don’t need a pressure canner which is expensive when bought new. Water bath canning only needs a large pan that is deep enough to hold enough water to cover the jars by one or two inches. A large stock pot works well. One thing you need to remember is you cannot put your jars directly on the bottom of the pan. Just take some jar rings and place them on the bottom first. You can also use a old pot holder or a smashed aluminum pie pan on the bottom. I use my instapot rack insert on the bottom of my stock pot for this. My stock pot will hold 3 quarts or 4 pints, which is nice for small batch canning.
If you have a friend or relative that cans, ask them if you can watch and help. I have not met a canner that won’t help another learn to can. There are techniques from the past that are still being used successfully that don’t have the FDA approval. If an older person wants to show you a non approved technique, learn it anyways and take good notes because you may not be able to pressure can at one point. And knowing how to can without one will see you through until you can use a pressure canner again. Right now I don’t have enough flat lids to do a batch of jam. I do have some paraffin wax so I will probably use that to seal my small batch instead of letting the oranges go to waste until I get paid. That is the way my mother sealed all her jams. The jam lasted all winter like that. If there was some mold on the top of the wax, we would wash it off before breaking the wax seal.
An other important thing is to use jars and lids that are designed for canning. You don’t want to risk anything reusing jars from commercial products. In the summer you can find flats of canning jars on sale that has a dozen jars with lids. After that you will only need to buy the flat lids to reuse the jars. So when you first start out you will have the one time expense of equipment. After that canning will start to save you money on your food budget. If you watch and hunt around you can get used jars and equipment very inexpensively. I was give several boxes of jars from a 80 year old gentleman that had them stored in his garage. People will also sometimes give you produce that they have too much of.
The reason I am pointing this all out, is because there has been an increase interest in canning and food preservation. There are many reasons why. Last month someone on you tube did a video on why canning doesn’t save money and you can save money better by other ways. This person thought it was dangerous and had never done any canning. That person considered canning a hobby. Needless to say….they kicked over a big bee hive. There is a large community of people on you tube who do food preservation. They were quick to pounce on that. The discussions are very good and you can learn a lot of ways that does save money canning. The comments were very interesting because of the stories as to why they started canning. So if you are thinking about getting into canning, take a look at you tube by searching ” Does canning save money?” There is also canning groups on Face Book that you can join where you will learn a lot about canning.
Canned Mixed Tropical Fruit
14 cups of chopped fruit will make about 5-6 pints. Raw pack water bath method with light syrup.
- 5-6 cups chopped mangos
- 3 cups chopped fresh pineapple
- 3 -4 cups seedless grapes
- 2 cups orange sections
- powdered citric acid enough to do 1/4 teaspoon per pint
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar ( sugar holds the flavor in the fruit)
Prepare fruit and place in separate bowls of water with a little lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
Wash jars and lids in soapy water. Sterilize jars in hot boiling water bath in canner for 10 minutes. Place lids and rings in hot water but do not boil. This is to soften the seal.
In a large pan mix sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. If you let the syrup cool down some before using you will have less syphoning of juice out of the jars while processing.
Layer the fruit starting with mangos, then grapes. Ending with pineapple and orange sections. Push fruit down in sterilized jars to fill. The fruit will soften during processing.
Place 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid on the top of fruit. Fill jars with warm syrup. Run a knife around the outside of fruit to remove air bubbles. Wipe tops of rims with white vinegar. Place warm lids and rings on. Screw rings down to finger tight. Which is when the jar starts to move when tightened with one hand.
Place on rack in canner. Lower rack when all jars are filled and sealed. The water will still be fairly warm. Cover canner with lid and start timing when the canner reaches a hard full rolling boil. Process for 15 minutes adjust up for elevation where you are.
When finished processing, turn heat off. Let jars sit in water for 5-10 minutes before removing. Place on a towel to prevent shock from a cooler surface and break jar. Tighten lids again and let cool. The jars will seal while cooling. Remove rings the next day and wipe off jars. If you have a jar that didn’t seal place in refrigerator to use. Leave rings off during storage they will rust on.