What is the Best Way to can Fruit?

Diana Bocco

Canning is a process that was born out of necessity. Up until relatively recently, the lack of freezers and other preservation methods forced people to can fruit in order to have them available in the off season or during in especially difficult periods. Some cultures still can fruit as part of their traditional cuisine. Canning is common in Russia, for example, where cold climate prevents people from having access to many fruits and vegetables during the winter.

Peaches can be canned, but can get dark if not bleached.
Peaches can be canned, but can get dark if not bleached.

It's perfectly possible to can fruit at home, with the use of just a few utensils. Different fruits require a different process, but the basics are the same. Besides canning jars and lids, there is little else required to can fruit at home. However, it's important to keep in mind that canning requires a way of sealing the jars hermetically, so plain glass jars will not give the best results.

Apples need to be "bleached" with lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixed with water before being canned.
Apples need to be "bleached" with lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixed with water before being canned.

While you could, in theory, can fruit of any type, some are more apt for the process than others. It's also important to exclude any overripe fruit and bleach fruits like peaches and apples to avoid darkening. Bleaching can be done with lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixed with water. Simply put the fruit inside a bowl containing the mix for several minutes and then drain and prepare as any of the other fruits.

Canning preserves fruit for up to a year.
Canning preserves fruit for up to a year.

The best way to can fruit is to simply put the fruits, along with your liquid of choice, into the jars and to seal them airtight. Liquids can vary from fruit nectar to syrups to simple water. The best you can do before you can fruit is to research online for different recipes until you find one that fits your taste and level of experience. Once the jars have been sealed, they should be boiled in water for up to 10 minutes. Canning preserves fruits for up to a year, as long as you keep the jars out of direct sunlight and extreme heat. Once you open the jars, however, the contents should be eaten within four or five days.

Canned fruit should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Canned fruit should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Many fruits can be canned at home.
Many fruits can be canned at home.
Canning is popular in colder climates were access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited.
Canning is popular in colder climates were access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited.

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