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Canned Fruits

General Rules

All fruits should, if possible, be freshly picked for preserving, canning, and jelly making. No imperfect fruit should be canned or preserved. Gnarly fruit may be used for jellies or marmalades by cutting out defective portions. Bruised spots should be cut out of peaches and pears. In selecting small-seeded fruits, like berries, for canning, those having a small proportion of seed to pulp should be chosen. In dry seasons berries have a larger proportion of seeds to pulp than in a wet or normal season, and it is not wise to can or preserve such fruit unless the seeds are removed. The fruit should be rubbed through a sieve that is fine enough to keep back the seeds. The strained pulp can be preserved as a purée or marmalade.

When fruit is brought into the house put it where it will keep cool and crisp until you are ready to use it.

Begin by having the kitchen swept and dusted thoroughly, that there need not be a large number of mold spores floating about. Dust with a damp cloth. Have plenty of hot water and pans in which jars and utensils may be sterilized. Have at hand all necessary utensils, towels, sugar, etc.

Prepare only as much fruit as can be cooked while it still retains its color and crispness. Before beginning to pare fruit have some syrup ready, if that is to be used, or if sugar is to be added to the fruit have it weighed or measured.

Decide upon the amount of fruit you will cook at one time, then have two bowls--one for the sugar and one for the fruit--that will hold just the quantity of each. As the fruit is pared or hulled, as the case may be, drop it into its measuring bowl. When the measure is full put the fruit and sugar in the preserving kettle. While this is cooking another measure may be prepared and put in the second preserving kettle. In this way the fruit is cooked quickly and put in the jars and sealed at once, leaving the pans ready to sterilize another set of jars.

The preserving kettle should be porcelain-lined, and no iron or tin utensils should be used, as the fruit acids attack these metals and so give a bad color and metallic taste to the food.

Sterilizing Jars, etc.

The success of canning depends upon absolute sterilization and not upon the amount of sugar or cooking. Any proportion of sugar may be used, or fruit may be canned without the addition of any sugar.

It is most important that the jars, covers, and rubber rings be in perfect condition. Examine each jar and cover to see that there is no defect in it. Use only fresh rubber rings, for if the rubber is not soft and elastic the sealing will not be perfect. Each year numbers of jars of fruit are lost because of the false economy in using an old ring that has lost its softness and elasticity.

Have two pans partially filled with cold water. Put some jars in one, laying them on their sides, and some covers in the other. Place the pans on the stove where the water will heat to the boiling point. The water should boil at least ten or fifteen minutes. Have on the stove a shallow milk pan in which there is about two inches of boiling water. Sterilize the cups, spoons, and funnel, if you use one, by immersing in boiling water for a few minutes. When ready to put the prepared fruit in the jars slip a broad skimmer under a jar and lift it and drain free of water.

There are several methods of canning; the housekeeper can use that method which is most convenient.

The three easiest and best methods are: Cooking the fruit in jars in an oven; cooking the fruit in jars in boiling water; and stewing the fruit before it is put in the jars.

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Source

The International Jewish Cook Book (1919).


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