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Home and Farm Food Preservation
Food Preservation Recipes
Chapter XIX - Fruit Canning Recipes

The following recipes contain directions for the can- fling of the most important fruits.

A discussion of the principles of fruit canning will be found in Chapter III.

(1) Canning Peaches.

1. Pick the fruit when firm ripe. It should be canned as soon after picking as feasible. If for sale sort into three grades for quality. These may be called Extra Fancy, Fancy, and Pie grade. The largest and most perfect fruit forms the first grade; medium size and quality, the second grade; and the soft, small, and blemished fruit is placed in the Pie grade.

2. Peel the fruit, preferably by hand. The peeling knife illustrated in Fig. 2 will be found very useful. Lye peeling is not recommended for small quantities of fruit. See Recipe 4. The skin may be slipped from some varieties of peaches after scalding in hot water and chilling in cold water.

3. Cut freestone peaches in half and remove pit. Cut clingstone peaches to pit around narrow side of the fruit. Insert pitting spoon at stem end, cut one-half of fruit from pit; the peach then falls in halves and the pit may be scooped from the adhering half by means of the pitting spoon. See Fig. 2. If the clingstone peaches are soft or difficult to pit when peeled, they should be pitted before peeling.

4. Addition of Sugar. If three grades of fruit have been made, add 3/4 pound of sugar to each pound of fruit of first grade; to the second grade 1/2 pound, and to the pie grade, no sugar. If no grading has been done, add 1/2 to 3/4 pound of sugar per pound of fruit, depending on the degree of sweetness desired. Add just enough water to prevent scorching. Heat slowly to boiling and 1)011 two or three minutes. This causes the fruit to shrink before canning. Do not cook too long.

5. Pack boiling hot into scalded jars or cans; fill with sirup formed in heating Place scalded rubbers and caps on jars but do not screw down tightly. Place caps on solder top cans; seal and tip as directed in step 7.

6. Sterilizing. Place jars in washboiler or other sterilizer (see Fig 14), with hot water in boiler half-way up sides of jars. Heat water to boiling and keep boiling about 15 mm. for freestone varieties and 20 to 30 mm. for firm clingstone varieties, such as Philips and Tuscan. Remove and seal. Wax top cans are treated in same way as jars; the wax is not added until the fruit is sterilized in the cans. Sterilize solder top cans in boiling water after sealing; No. 1 and No. 2 cans 10 min. for soft fruit, 15 min. for firm clingstone peaches; No. 2 1/2 and No. 3 cans 15 min. for soft fruit and 20 min. for firm clingstone varieties; No. 8 and No. 10 cans, 30 to 40 min. Chill in cold water after sterilizing. The times given will vary somewhat with the condition of the fruit. It is a good plan to first sterilize two or three cans as a test before canning any large quantity of the fruit.

7. Sealing Solder Top Cans.


(1) capping steel,
(2) tipping steel,
(3) soldering fluid,
(4) small bristle brush,
(5) a gasoline torch or gas flame to heat the irons.
(6) wire solder.

Tinning the Steels. The points of the soldering steels must be kept bright and coated with solder to be usable. Often the steels become overheated and the coating is burned off. The steel must then be heated hot enough to melt solder readily. The encrustations of burned solder must then he filed off with a sharp file until the iron surface is well exposed. The hot steel is then dipped momentarily in soldering fluid and the surface is coated with solder or "tinned" by melting wire solder against the working surface; or the filed hot steel is tinned by turning it in a mixture of crystals of sal ammoniac and small pieces of solder. The steel must be kept clean and free from carbonized sirup, corroded solder, etc., by wiping with a stiff rag and occasional filing. Disappointment always ensues when dirty steels are used. See appendix for method of making soldering fluid.

Heating the Steels. To start the gasoline torch, pump the reservoir to good air pressure; fill the cup of the burner with gasoline by opening the cock; close the cock and burn off the gasoline to heat the burner jet hot enough to vaporize the gasoline; open the cock and light the burner. It should burn with a roaring blue flame, not a smoking luminous one. If it does not do so, increase the air pressure and heat the vaporizing jet of the burner until a good flame results. Place the steels in the flame and heat until they will melt solder quickly, but not hot enough to burn off the "tinning." Experience is the only guide.

Cleaning the Surface of Can and Can Top. After the can is filled, wipe out groove carefully with a clean cloth. Apply lid. Clean the surface of groove and edge of lid for soldering by brushing lightly with a small bristle brush dipped in soldering fluid.

Soldering the Cap. Clean the point of the hot capping steel with a cloth. Dip the steel in soldering fluid an instant. Apply the steel to the groove of the can. If solder hemmed caps are used no solder need be added. If plain caps are used, a little solder must be melted into

the groove by pressing a strip of wire solder against the lower part of the steel. Turn the steel around two or three times in the groove to distribute the melted solder. Raise the steel and press down on the rod through the center of the steel a second or two to permit the solder to set enough to hold the lid in place. Remove the steel. One heating of the steel is usually enough for six to ten cans.

Tipping. After the can has been capped and "exhausted " or heated to expand its contents, the small hole in the center must be closed before sterilizing the can. To do this, heat the small pointed tipping steel. Clean the point. Dip it in soldering fluid. Clean the vent hole with the bristle brush dipped in soldering fluid. Melt a drop of solder over the hole with the point of the steel. With a little practice this can be (lone quickly-and neatly.

(2) Alternative Methods for Canning Peaches.

Alternative Method A

In this method all of the cooking of the fruit is carried out in the can or jar. Do not cook before canning.

1. Make a 60º Balling sirup for first grade fruit (12 pounds of sugar per gallon water); see table 3; a 40° sirup for second grade fruit, and use plain water for pie stock.

2. Pack the peeled and pitted fruit in cans or jars. Fill with boiling hot sirup or water (according to grade of fruit).

3. Sterilize in jars as in Recipe 1 for 20 min. at 212° F. for freestone peaches and 25 to 30 min. for clingstone peaches; 15 min. in cans for freestone peaches and 20 to 25 min, for clingstone peaches.

Alternative Method B. Use of Fruit Juices Instead of Sugar

When sugar is very scarce and expensive the amount needed for canning can be greatly reduced or in some cases sugar may be omitted entirely by using the following method:

1. Press and strain the juice from ripe grapes or apples or other fruit available. It should be strained boiling hot.

2. To the strained juice add baking soda in very small amounts. Stir after each addition and taste. Continue the additions until almost all of the acid or tart taste has disappeared. If this is not sweet enough add sugar to taste. Omit soda if juice is very sweet.

3. Pack the prepared fruit in cans or jars. heat the juice to boiling and fill the jars and cans with it. Sterilize in the containers as directed in Alternative Method A above.

(3) Canning Apricots.

1. Use ripe fruit that is not too soft. Grade into Extra Fancy, Fancy, and Pie Grades.

2. Wash, cut in half and remove pits. Do not peel.

3. Add 3/4 pound sugar to each pound of best grade fruit; one-half pound to second grade, and none to third grade. Add a small amount of water to prevent scorching. Bring to a boil for 2 or 3 min.

4. Pack hot into jars or cans. Seal and tip cans, but leave caps and rubbers loosely on jars.

5. Sterilize cans of No. 1 and No. 2 sizes, 8 mm.; No. 2 1/2 and No. 3, 15 min.; No. 8 and No. 10 cans and jars 20 to 25 min. Count time after the water boils. Use washboiler or other convenient sterilizer. Chill cans in water after sterilizing. Seal jars and wax top cans after sterilizing.

6. Alternative Methods for Apricots.

Alternative Method A

Make 60% and 40% sirups. Pack pitted fruit in cans or jars cold. Add hot 60% sirup to Extra Fancy, 40% to Fancy, and water to pie fruit. Seal cans. Sterilize as in above method but increase the time 5 min. in each case.

Alternative Method B. Canning in Fruit Juice

The method for canning peaches in fruit juice de-acidified with baking soda may be used for apricots. Omit soda if juice is sweet. See Recipe 2, Part B.

Alternative Method C. Lye Peeling

Apricots may be lye peeled by the method given in Recipe 4. It is, however, not recommended for home use.

(4) Lye Peeling Peaches and Apricots.

This method of peeling is not strictly suited to home use, but may be useful in larger scale operations.

1. Prepare a 10% lye solution, 12 ounces of lye per gallon of water. Heat this to boiling in an iron pot or tank; do not use aluminum or tin. Keep at the boiling point.

2. Cut peaches and apricots in half and remove pits. The fruit must be firm.

3. Immerse the fruit in the boiling lye long enough to separate the skins from the flesh. This will take 30 to 60 seconds. A metal conveyer is used in factories to carry the fruit through the boiling lye. A wire basket will answer for home use.

4. Immerse the fruit in cold water after dipping and wash off the loosened peels. Rinse in water till all lye is removed. The loosened skins can also be removed by vigorous sprays of cold water. All lye must be removed or the fruit will darken.

5. The peeled fruit is then ready for canning or drying.

(5) Canning Pears.

The Bartlett pear is the most popular for canning.

1. Gather the fruit when it has reached full size but is still hard in texture. Allow it to ripen in a cool, shady place. The flavor and texture of fruit so ripened are superior to those of tree ripened fruit.

2. Peel; cut in half and remove cores. See Fig. 2 for appearance of peeling and coring knives.

3. Grade into three grades. If pears are held very long after peeling, cover with water to prevent darkening.

4. Add 1/2 pound of sugar to each pound of best grade; and about 1/4 pound to each pound of second grade, and only water to pie grade,-Add water to cover to all grades to prevent scorching. Pears will require more water than peaches or apricots. Boil 2 to 3 min. and pack hot. Seal solder top and sanitary cans.

5. Sterilize No. 2 1/2 and No. 3 cans 20 min; No. 8 and No. 10 cans 30 to 35 min; and jars 25 min, in boiling water. Cool cans in water and seal jars after sterilizing.

6. Alternative Methods.

Alternative Method A

Prepare a 40% sirup and a 20% sirup; 5 3/4 and 2 pounds sugar per gallon respectively. Pack uncooked fruit, peeled in cans and jars Add boiling hot 40% sirup to best grade; 20% to second grade, and water to pie grade. Seal cans. Sterilize as above but add 5 min. time of cooking in each case. Pears do not shrink very much in canning and therefore this method is well suited to them.

Alternative Method B. Use of Fruit Juices

Fruit juices may be substituted for sugar sirups if method B of Recipe 2 is used.

(6) Canning of Cherries.

Cherries for canning should be of the sweet varieties and thoroughly ripe.

1. Stem and grade into three grades.

2. Pit with small kitchen size pitter, if desired. Unpitted canned cherries develop a slight pit flavor that many prefer to the flavor of the pitted fruit.

3. To best grade add 1/2 pound of sugar per pound of fruit; to second grade 1/4 pound. Add water to cover. Add only water to pie fruit. Heat very slowly to boiling. Pack boiling hot in cans or jars.

4. Sterilize as directed for apricots and for same lengths of time. (See Recipe 3.)

(7) Canning of Apples.

Apples are usually canned for pie making, and for thiS purpose sugar is ordinarily omitted. Use ripe, sound fruit.

1. Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Grading is not necessary. (See Fig. 4 for small peeling and coring machine.)

2. Add a small amount of water to apples in pot. Heat to boiling. Pack boiling hot into cans or jars.

3. Sterilize No. 2 1/2 or No. 3 cans, and wax top cans 10 min.; No. 8 and No. 10 cans 15 min. and jars 15 min: in washboiler or similar sterilizer, counting time after water boils.

4. Sugar may be added in "2" at rate of 1/2 pound of sugar per pound of fruit, if desired.

(8) Canning of Plums.

Plums tend to break up badly during cooking and sterilization because the fruit is soft when ripe. The white egg plum is popular for canning purposes.

1. Remove stems and grade fruit into three grades. To each pound of best grade add one pound of sugar; to second grade 1/2 pound. Add a little water to all three grades. Heat to boiling and boil 2 or 3 min. Pack hot into jars or cans.

2. Sterilize for same lengths of time as directed for apricots. (See Recipe 3, 5.)

3. Alternative Methods. Plums may also be canned by the methods given in Recipe 2.

(9) Canning of Rhubarb.

Rhubarb, although a vegetable, resembles the sour fruits in composition. It is canned as a fruit rather than as a vegetable. It cooks down badly during sterilization; it is therefore advisable to cook it before canning. Plain tin cans cannot be used because of the high acidity of the rhubarb. Enamel lined cans or glass jars must be employed.

1. Wash the rhubarb and cut into lengths 1 to 2 inches long and place in a pot. If for sauce, add 1 pound of sugar to each pound of rhubarb with a little water; if for pie stock, only, add a little water. Bring to boil. Boil 3 to 4 min. and pack hot into jars or cans. Use enamel lined cans; plain tin will corrode.

2. Sterilize in a washboiler or other sterilizer in boiling water; No. 2 1/2 or No. 3 cans 10 min. and jars 15 min.

(10) Canning of Rhubarb without Sterilization.

1. Choose clean sound stalks. Cut in lengths to fit the jars used. Wash the rhubarb thoroughly and scald the jars and caps.

2. Pack the rhubarb into the jars and fill jars to overflowing with cold water. Seal tightly and store in a cool place.

Rhubarb because of its extreme acidity will keep several months to a year put up in this way.

(11) Canning of Figs.

Figs are canned as preserves. White figs are preferred to black. Pick the figs firm ripe but not too soft. Handle carefully.

1. To each pound of figs in a pot add 1 pound of sugar and 2 pints of water. Cook very slowly down to a heavy preserve or until the sirup boils at 220° F., or until the hot sirup tests 28° Baumé or to 60° Balling. This will take at least one hour. The figs should hold their shape. Some varieties of figs will show shriveling during cooking unless the fruit is pierced in a number of places with a tooth pick or large needle or table fork, so that the sirup will penetrate. The figs will usually be more plump if punctured in this way before cooking.

2. Pack the boiling hot figs and sirup into cans or jars. Sterilize cans 15 min. and jars 20 min. at the temperature of boiling water as directed for peaches and other fruits.

3. Figs in Water or Light Sirup. During the rush of the season, it may be inconvenient, to make the figs into preserves. If so, they may be canned in water or a 25% sirup. Pack the fresh figs into cans or jars. Cover with a hot 25% sirup (1 cup sugar to 3 cups water or 2 3/4 pounds per gallon), or with water. Seal cans except wax top cans. Place covers and rubbers on jars and wax top cans loosely. Sterilize 1 1/4 hours in boiling water. Figs are very difficult to sterilize under these conditions and require at least one hour at 212° F. Later these jars or cans may be opened and the figs cooked down to a preserve with sugar. The Kadota, Brown Turkey, and White Endich are the best of California grown figs for canning. The Adriatic is fairly satisfactory. The Smyrna breaks up badly and the Mission is dark colored. The Magnolia is used in Texas for canning. The Celeste fig is excellent.

(12) Canning of Strawberries.

Strawberries are usually preserved in a heavy sirup; but are also canned more or less extensively in medium sirup. Strawberries shrink badly during sterilization. Therefore, they should be cooked before canning. Use sound, ripe, well colored fruit.

1. Wash, sort, and stem.

2. Place the fruit in a kettle and add an equal amount of sugar by weight. Heat slowly to boiling. Boil slowly about 5 min. Allow to stand in the pot over night. This allows the sirup to penetrate.

3. Pack into cans or jars. Heat solder top and sanitary cans iii boiling water 3 to 5 min. before sealing.

4. Sterilize cans 10 min. and jars 15 min. in boiling water.

(13) Canning of Blackberries.

1. Sort into two grades: one Fancy and the other Pie Grade.

2. To the better grade, add an equal weight of sugar. Cook slowly until the sugar dissolves. Pack into cans or jars. To pie grade add very small amount of water and heat to boiling. Pack hot. Use enamel lined cans and glass jars only.

3. Sterilize cans 10 min, at the boiling point of water and jar's 15 min.

4. Alternative Methods.

Alternative Method A

In this method pack the berries into cans or jars before cooking. Add hot 50% sirup (1 pound sugar to 1 pint of water), to better grade and water to pie grade. Sterilize 20 min. at temperature of boiling water. Blackberries canned in this way will shrink badly in volume after canning.

Alternative Method B

The berries may also be canned as directed in Method B, Recipe 2.

(14) Canning of Raspberries and Loganberries.

These berries may be canned as directed for blackberries. (see Recipe 13.)

(15) Canning of Oranges.

Oranges must, be sterilized below the boiling point of water; not above 180° F. The fruit must be very ripe or almost overripe in order that it will not turn bitter in the can. A thermometer is necessary.

1. Peel and cut in slices about 3/ inch thick. Pack into enamel lined cans or glass jars.

2. Prepare a 50% sirup (1 pound sugar to 1 pint of water). Heat the sirup to 150º F. and fill the cans or jars. Seal the jars and cans tightly.

3. Place in a large pot or boiler of water at about 120° F. The pot or boiler should contain a false bottom of wire screen or wooden slats to protect the jars from the direct heat of the fire. The jars and cans must be completely immersed.

4. Heat the water slowly to 175° F. Keep it at this temperature for 45 min. Keep thermometer inserted in the water and watch the temperature carefully; it should not exceed 180° F.

Canned oranges do not retain their flavor for any great length of time, usually not longer than three months. After that time they become "stale" in flavor but are still edible.

(16) Canning of Grape Fruit.

Grape fruit after sterilization in cans or jars is very satisfactory as a base for fruit cocktails, "before breakfast dishes," etc.

1. Peel and cut fruit in small pieces about 34 inch square or of proper size for fruit cocktails, etc. Pack into jars; if not in jars, in enamel lined cans. Plain tin corrodes and cannot be used. Fill the jars or cans with fresh grape fruit juice which has been heated to 150° to 160° F. Use a thermometer.

2. Sterilize as directed for oranges for 30 min. at 175° F. (See Recipe 15.)

(17) Canning of Grapes.

The Muscat is the most popular grape for canning. Use large, thoroughly ripe fruit. They are used largely for pies. Other varieties may be used.

1. Wash and remove from stems. Cut the grapes in half and remove seeds if a high quality product is desired.

2. Pack in cans or jars without previous heating. To fruit for dessert purposes add a hot 40% sirup, and to pie fruit, hot water.

3. Sterilize in a washboiler or other sterilizer at 212° F.; cans 10 min.; jars 20 min. Grapes may also be canned without removing seeds, but the quality of the finished product is much better if seeds are removed.

(18) Canning of Pineapples.

Pineapples are extensively grown for canning in the Hawaiian Islands. Only fruit thoroughly ripened in the field is used.

The fruit is first topped and butted by machinery. It is next, peeled or cut to the diameter of a No. 2 1/2 can and the core is removed in the same machine. The fruit is then sliced. It is packed in cans, several grades being made according to appearance of slices. A 50% (1 pound of sugar to 1 pint of water), sirup is added to the best grade. The poorest grade is shredded and canned in a light sirup. The cans are sterilized 35 to 40 min. at 212° F.

Canned pineapple may be purchased more cheaply than fresh pineapple and unless there is a supply of home grown material, it will not pay to can.

(19) Canning of Currants, Cranberries, and Gooseberries.

These fruits may be put up in jars for use in jams, jellies, and pies. Do not use tin because of the high acidity of the fruit.

1. Wash and pack in jars uncooked.

2. Add water hot and sterilize with caps on jars loosely 10 min. in a washboiler or similar sterilizer, counting the time from the time the water boils. Remove jars and tighten caps.

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