Canning Fruits in Liquid

One of the simplest — and nicest — ways to preserve fruit is to can whole, halved or sliced fruit in a simple syrup, in fruit juice, or even in water. Canning liquids that contain sugar help fruit hold its plump shape and maintain its bright color and delicious flavor, but if you're watching your sugar and/or caloric in tack, unsweetened juice and water are safe alternatives.

Determining which liquid you use is up to you, but consider the final use for your canned fruit. For instance, if canned berries will be used in a fruit cobbler, boiling water may be the better choice because sugar will be added to the cobbler. If the canned fruit will be eaten out of the jar, use a sugar syrup or fruit juice.

Sweetened Syrups

Using sugar syrup is the most common method for canning fruit, as it helps fruit maintain its flavor, color, and produces a smooth, firm texture. Sugar syrup is simply a mixture os sugar and water. Traditionally, fruit was preserved in heavy syrup, but because more and more people prefer lighter syrups with fewer calories, you will now find recipes using ultra-light and extra-light syrups. A combination of sugar syrup and one sweetened with honey or corn syrup can also be used.

Use these guidelines for making your sugar syrup choice:

  • Super-light syrup. This syrup adds the least amount of calories. The sweetness level is the closest to the natural sugar level in most fruits.
  • Extra-light syrup. Use this syrup for a sweet fruit, such as figs.
  • Light syrup. This syrup is best with sweet apples and berries.
  • Medium syrup. This syrup complements tart apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and pears.
  • Heavy syrup. Use this syrup with sour fruit, such as grapefruit.

How to make syrups for canning. In a stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, other sweetener (if using) and water (see chart below for recommended measurements). Bring contents to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil the syrup down.

Allow 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid for each filled pint jar and 1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid for each filled quart jar of fruit. Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over high heat; stir to dissolve sugar, corn syrup or honey. Each recipe will indicate what type of syrup is best. In general, you can use even the lightest syrups with any kind of fruit, but the heavier syrups don't work well with everything. If you are watching your sugar intake or have special dietary needs, try using super-light, ultra-light or extra-light syrup.

After the liquid boils, keep it hot or refrigerate it up to two days. If you refrigerate your syrup. reheat it to a boil before adding it to your filled jars.

Canned goods made with honey should never be fed to children under 1 year of age due to the danger of infant botulism.


Type of Syrup

Granulated Sugar

Other Sweeteners

Water

Syrup Yield

Super-Light

1/4 cup

 

5 1/4 cups

6 cups

Ultra-Light

1/2 cup

 

5 cups

5 1/4 cups

Extra-Light

1 1/4 cups

 

5 1/2 cups

6 cups

Light

2 1/4 cups

 

5 1/4 cups

6 1/2 cups

Medium

3 1/4 cups

 

5 cups

7 cups

Heavy

4 1/4 cups

 

4 1/4 cups

7 cups

Corn Syrup

1 1/2 cups

1 cup corn syrup

3 cups

6 cups

Light Honey

1 cup

1 cup liquid honey

4 cups

5 cups

Light Honey

 

1 cup liquid honey

3 cups

4 cups

Medium Honey

2 cups

1 cup liquid honey

4 cups

6 cups

Medium Honey

 

2 cups liquid honey

2 cups

4 cups

Alway prepare your hot liquid before you prepare your fruit. The liquid should be waiting for you; you shouldn't be waiting for your liquid to boil.

Syrups Sweetened with Artificial Sweeteners

As a general rule, using artificial sweeteners isn't recommended when preserving fruit, as artificial sweeteners can produce a variety of negative effects. For instance, sweeteners containing saccharin may become bitter and present off-flavors during processing, and those containing aspartame may also lose strength during processing or storage.

Most sugar replacements tend to produce some degree of off-flavor when heated. For home canning sucralose — Splenda® — is known to be the most stable when heated, and thus mimics the sweetness of sugar with the least noticeable flavor differences. When using sucralose, start by substituting it for sugar in the extra-light recipe in the above chart. If this syrup is not sweet enough for your taste, increase the sucralose to the level of sugar in the light recipe. Then test one or two jars to make sure the flavor suits your preference once the fruit is processed. Remember, you can always add sweetness, but it is impossible to remove it. If you are watching your sugar intake, for the best quality, it may be preferable to preserve fruit in water or unsweetened fruit juice and add sweetener to taste just before serving.

Unsweetened Liquids - Water or Fruit Juice

Packing fresh fruit in boiling water or fruit juice produces fruit with a soft texture. While fruit is usually packed in sugar syrup, fruit juices such as unsweetened apple, pineapple or white grape juice — or juice from the fruit itself — can make good packing liquids. Use water you like to drink, without minerals and not the sparkling variety. Unsweetened fruit juice provides flavor without additional sugar. Water may also be used, although it will yield a less flavorful results. When canned without the addition of sugar, fruit will be less flavorful, will have a dull color and won't hold its shape as well. If your're preserving fruit using fruit juice or water, use the same amount of juice or water as you would syrup. You must use the hot-pack canning method.

Hot-Pack method for Preserving Fruit in Juice or Water

The hot-pack method is recommended for fruits preserved in fruit juice or water. If you choose to pack your fruit in fruit juice or water rather than syrup, here's how to do it. In a stainless steel saucepan, combine fruit with just enough water to prevent sticking. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil gently until hot throughout. In a separate saucepan, heat fruit juice or water just to a boil. Pack hot fruit into hot jars to within a generous 1/2-inch of top of jar. Ladle hot juice over fruit, leaving 1/2-inch headspace, and heat-process as directed in the recipe.

Follow From Karen's Kitchen on

Cake Decorating Ideas | Glossary of Terms | Recipes | Tips & Advice | facebook

Home | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Site Map