Best Canning Fruits And Vegetables Recipes.Canning consists in sealing in air-tight cans or jars, fruit which has been previously boiled. It is a very simple process, but requires a thorough understanding of the scientific principles involved, and careful management, to make it successful.Cans and covers should be sterilized by boiling in water for half an hour, or by baking in an oven, at a temperature sufficient to scorch paper, for two hours. The cans should be placed in the water or oven when cold, and the temperature allowed to rise gradually, to avoid breaking. They should be allowed to cool gradually, for the same purpose.
Select only the best of fruit, such as is perfect in flavor and neither green nor over-ripe. Fruit which has been shipped from a distance, and which is consequently not perfectly fresh, contains germs in active growth, and if the least bit musty, it will be almost sure to spoil, even though the greatest care may be taken in canning.
Poor fruit will not be improved by canning; over-ripe fruit will be insipid and mushy; and though cooking will soften hard fruit, it cannot impart to it the delicate flavors which belong to that which is in its prime. The larger varieties of fruit should not be quite soft enough for eating. Choose a dry day for gathering, and put up at once, handling as little as possible. Try to keep it clean enough to avoid washing. If the fruit is to be pared, use a silver knife for the purpose, as steel is apt to discolor the fruit. If the fruit is one needing to be divided or stoned, it will be less likely to become broken if divided before paring.
Cook the fruit slowly in a porcelain-lined or granite-ware kettle, using as little water as possible. It is better to cook only small quantities at a time in one kettle. Steaming in the cans is preferable to stewing, where the fruit is at all soft. To do this, carefully fill the cans with fresh fruit, packing it quite closely, if the fruit is large, and set the cans in a boiler partly filled with cold water, with something underneath them to prevent breaking,—muffin rings, straw, or thick cloth, or anything to keep them from resting on the bottom of the boiler (a rack made by nailing together strips of lath is very convenient); screw the covers on the cans so the water cannot boil into them, but not so tightly as to prevent the escape of steam; heat the water to boiling, and steam the fruit until tender. Peaches, pears, crab apples, etc., to be canned with a syrup, may be advantageously cooked by placing on a napkin dropped into the boiling syrup.
Fruit for canning should be so thoroughly cooked that every portion of it will have been subjected to a sufficient degree of heat to destroy all germs within the fruit, but overcooking should be avoided. The length of time required for cooking fruits for canning, varies with the kind and quality of fruit and the manner of cooking. Fruit is more frequently spoiled by being cooked an insufficient length of time, than by overcooking. Prolonged cooking at a boiling temperature is necessary for the destruction of certain kinds of germs capable of inducing fermentation. Fifteen minutes may be considered as the shortest time for which even the most delicate fruits should be subjected to the temperature of boiling water, and thirty minutes will be required by most fruits. Fruits which are not perfectly fresh, or which have been shipped some distance, should be cooked not less than thirty minutes. The boiling should be very slow, however, as hard, rapid boiling will break up the fruit, and much of its fine flavor will be lost in the steam.
10 Best Canning Fruits And Vegetables Recipes
To Can Strawberries.—These are generally considered more difficult to can than most other berries. Use none but sound fruit, and put up the day they are picked, if possible. Heat the fruit slowly to the boiling point, and cook fifteen minutes or longer, adding the sugar hot, if any be used, after the fruit is boiling. Strawberries, while cooking, have a tendency to rise to the top, and unless they are kept poshed down, will not be cooked uniformly, which is doubtless one reason they sometimes fail to keep well. The froth should also be kept skimmed off. Fill the cans as directed on page 197, taking special care to let out every air bubble, and to remove every particle of froth from the top of the can before sealing. If the berries are of good size, the may be cooked in the cans, adding a boiling syrup prepared with one cup of water and one of sugar for each quart can of fruit.
If after the cans are cold, the fruit rises to the top, as it frequently does, take the cans and gently shake until the fruit is well saturated with the juice and falls by its own weight to the bottom, or low enough to be entirely covered with the liquid.
To Can Raspberries, Blackberries, and Other Small Fruits.—Select none but good, sound berries; those freshly picked are best; reject any green, over-ripe, mashed, or worm-eaten fruit. If necessary to wash the berries, do so by putting a quart at a time in a colander, and dipping the dish carefully into a pan of clean water, letting it stand for a moment. If the water is very dirty, repeat the process in a second water. Drain thoroughly, and if to be cooked previous to putting in the cans, put into a porcelain kettle with a very small quantity of water, and heat slowly to boiling. If sugar is to be used, have it hot, but do not add it until the fruit is boiling; and before doing so, if there is much juice, dip out the surplus, and leave the berries with only a small quantity, as the sugar will have a tendency to draw out more juice, thus furnishing plenty for syrup.
Raspberries are so juicy that they need scarcely more than a pint of water to two quarts of fruit.
The fruit may be steamed in the cans if preferred. When thoroughly scalded, if sugar is to be used, fill the can with a boiling syrup made by dissolving the requisite amount of sugar in water; if to be canned without sugar, fill up the can with boiling water or juice.
Seal the fruit according to directions previously given.
To Can Gooseberries.—Select such as are smooth and turning red, but not fully ripe; wash and remove the stems and blossom ends. For three quarts of fruit allow one quart of water. Heat slowly to boiling; cook fifteen minutes, add a cupful of sugar which has been heated dry in the oven: boil two or three minutes longer, and can.
To Can Peaches.—Select fruit which is perfectly ripe and sound, but not much softened. Free-stone peaches are the best. Put a few at a time in a wire basket, and dip into boiling water for a moment, and then into cold water, to cool fruit sufficiently to handle with comfort. The skins may then be rubbed or peeled off easily, if done quickly, and the fruit divided into halves; or wipe with a clean cloth to remove all dirt and the wool, and with a silver knife cut in halves, remove the stone, and then pare each piece, dropping into cold water at once to prevent discoloration. Peaches cut before being pared are less likely to break in pieces while removing the stones. When ready, pour a cupful of water in the bottom of the kettle, and fill with peaches, scattering sugar among the layers in the proportion of a heaping tablespoonful to a quart of fruit. Heat slowly, boil fifteen minutes or longer till a silver fork can be easily passed through the pieces; can in the usual way and seal; or, fill the cans with the halved peaches, and place them in a boiler of warm water with something underneath to avoid breaking; cook until perfectly tender. Have ready a boiling syrup prepared with one half cup of sugar and two cups of water, and pour into each can all that it will hold, remove air bubbles, cover and seal. A few of the pits may be cooked in the syrup, and removed before adding to the fruit, when their special flavor is desired.
ANOTHER METHOD.—After paring and halving the fruit, lay a clean napkin in the bottom of a steamer; fill with fruit. Steam until a fork will easily penetrate the pieces. Have ready a boiling syrup prepared as directed above, put a few spoonfuls in the bottom of the hot cans, and dip each piece of fruit gently in the hot syrup; then as carefully place it in the jars. Fill with the syrup, and finish in the usual way.
Peaches canned without sugar, retain more nearly their natural flavor. To prepare in this way, allow one half pint of water to each pound of fruit. Cook slowly until tender, and can in the usual manner. When wanted for the table, open an hour before needed, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
To Can Pears.—The pears should be perfectly ripened, but not soft. Pare with a silver knife, halve or quarter, remove the seeds and drop into a pan of cold water to prevent discoloration. Prepare a syrup, allowing a cup of sugar and a quart of water to each two quarts of fruit. When the syrup boils, put the pears into it very carefully, so as not to bruise or break them, and cook until they look clear and can be easily pierced with a fork. Have the cans heated, and put in first a little of the syrup, then pack in the pears very carefully; fill to overflowing with the scalding syrup, and finish as previously directed. The tougher and harder varieties of pears must be cooked till nearly tender in hot water, or steamed over a kettle of boiling water, before adding to the syrup, and may then be finished as above. If it is desirable to keep the pears whole, cook only those of a uniform size together; or if of assorted sizes, put the larger ones into the syrup a few minutes before the smaller ones. Some prefer boiling the kins of the pears in the water of which the syrup is to be made, and skimming them out before putting in the sugar. This is thought to impart a finer flavor. Pears which are very sweet, or nearly tasteless, may be improved by using the juice of a large lemon for each quart of syrup. Pears may be cooked in the cans, if preferred.
To Can Plums.—Green Gages and Damsons are best for canning. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Allow a half cup of water and the same of sugar to every three quarts of fruit, in preparing a syrup. Pick each plum with a silver fork to prevent it from bursting, and while the syrup is heating, turn in the fruit, and boil until thoroughly done. Dip carefully into hot jars, fill with syrup, and cover immediately.
To Can Cherries.—These may be put up whole in the same way as plums, or pitted and treated as directed for berries, allowing about two quarts of water and a scant pint of sugar to five quarts of solid fruit, for the tart varieties, and not quite half as much sugar for the sweeter ones.
To Can Mixed Fruit.—There are some fruits with so little flavor that when cooked they are apt to taste insipid, and are much improved by canning with some acid or strongly flavored fruits.
Blackberries put up with equal quantities of blue or red plums, or in the proportion of one to three of the sour fruit, are much better than either of these fruits canned separately. Black caps are much better if canned with currants, in the proportion of one part currants to four of black caps.
Red and black raspberries, cherries and raspberries, are also excellent combinations.
Quinces with Apples.—Pare and cut an equal quantity of firm sweet apples and quinces. First stew the quinces till they are tender in sufficient water to cover. Take them out, and cook the apples in the same water. Lay the apples and quinces in alternate layers in a porcelain kettle or crock. Have ready a hot syrup made with one part sugar to two and a half parts water, pour over the fruit, and let it stand all night. The next day reheat to boiling, and can.
Quinces and sweet apples may be canned in the same way as directed below for plums and sweet apples, using equal parts of apples and quinces, and adding sugar when opened.
Plums with Sweet Apples.—Prepare the plums, and stew in water enough to cover. When tender, skim out, add to the juice an equal quantity of quartered sweet apples, and stew until nearly tender. Add the plumbs again, boil together for a few minutes, and can. When wanted for the table, open, sprinkle with sugar if any seems needed, let stand awhile and serve.
To Can Grapes.—Grapes have so many seeds that they do not form a very palatable sauce when canned entire. Pick carefully from the stems, wash in a colander the same as directed for berries, and drain. Remove the skins, dropping them into one earthen crock and the pulp into another. Place both crocks in kettles of hot water over the stove, and heat slowly, stirring the pulp occasionally until the seeds will come out clean.
Then rub the pulp through a colander, add the skins to it, and a cupful of sugar for each quart of pulp. Return to the fire, boil twenty minutes until the skins are tender, and can; or, if preferred, the whole grapes may be heated, and when well scalded so that the seeds are loosened, pressed through a colander, thus rejecting both seeds and skins, boiled, then sweetened if desired, and canned.
To Can Crab Apples.—These may be cooked whole, and canned the same way as plums.
To Can Apples.—Prepare and can the same as pears, when fresh and fine in flavor. If old and rather tasteless, the following is a good way:—several thin slices of the yellow part of the rind, four cups of sugar, and three pints of boiling water. Pare and quarter the apples, or if small, only halve them, and cook gently in a broad-bottomed closely-covered saucepan, with as little water as possible, till tender, but not broken; then pour the syrup over them, heat all to boiling, and can at once. The apples may be cooked by steaming over a kettle of hot water, if preferred. Care must be taken to cook those of the same degree of hardness together. The slices of lemon rind should be removed from the syrup before using.
To Can Pineapples.—The writer has had no experience in canning this fruit, but the following method is given on good authority: Pare very carefully with a silver knife, remove all the “eyes” and black specks; then cut the sections in which the “eyes” were, in solid pieces clear down to the core. By doing this all the valuable part of the fruit is saved, leaving its hard, woody center. As, however, this contains considerable juice, it should be taken in the hands and wrung as one wrings a cloth, till the juice is extracted, then thrown away. Prepare a syrup with one part sugar and two parts water, using what juice has been obtained in place of so much water. Let it boil up, skim clean, then add the fruit. Boil just as little as possible and have the fruit tender, as pineapples loses its flavor by overcooking more readily than any other fruit. Put into hot cans, and seal.