Can Fruit

I really wanted to put these instructions in the Desserts section because Dad always used to complain about how “fruit is not a dessert” when Mom would served us canned peaches or pears or whatever as dessert. These instructions are copied verbatim from a (farm?) handout labeled “—THIS IS HOW THE WILKENS FAMILY CANS PEACHES—”. There are also instructions for pears, plums, cherries, and tomatoes.

Preparation time: about 1 1/4 hours per twelve quarts

1/2 bushel RIPE peaches (we use all varieties) Sugar (about 4 or 5 cups) 12 mason jars, rings, and lids

First: Wash the jars and rinse thoroughly. Keep them in hot water until ready to fill. (a dishwasher is fine for this.) Put the rings and lids in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil them for a couple of minutes and let them stand in the hot water until you use them.

Second: Make a thin syrup by combining 4 cups of sugar with 12 cups of water to a large saucepan and bring to the boiling point. You may use more or less depending on how many peaches you put in a jar. Let the syrup stay hot until ready to use.

Third: Blanch all but six or seven peaches from your basket. This is done by plunging them in boiling water for ‘’4 minute and then immediately putting them in cold water. This loosens the skin so it comes off at just a touch. (continued on next page) Fourth: Drain the peaches & cut them in half using the line on the skin of the peach as a guide. Peel and pit them. (For tomatoes, cut out core, and then cut tomatoes in quarters).

Fifth: Pack the halves in the jars, flat side down. (We get about 12 or 13 halves in each jar.) Fill the jars with the hot syrup to 1” from the top (important for vacuum seal). (For tomatoes, omit hot syrup and fill with hot water to 1” from top. For tomato juice, make juice in food mill; fill jar to 1” from top, add 1 tsp salt per quart). Wipe any spilled liquid from the top of the jar before putting the lid on. Lay the flat lid on the jar and place the ring on loosely. DO NOT TIGHTEN.

Sixth: Carefully put the jars in the cold oven on a lower shelf. Turn on the oven to 250 degrees and leave the peaches in for one and one half hours or until the juice is bubbling (maybe 1 hour plus). As you remove them using potholders, tighten the lid as far as you can with your hand and set the jars where they will not be disturbed for several hours to cool. After several hours, rap the lids with a teaspoon to check the seal. A good seal will have a ring to it. A bad seal will have a dull thud. A jar with a bad seal may be refrigerated. (We almost never have a bad seal.

TOMATOES AND TOMATO JUICE, PEARS, PLUMS, AND SWEET CHERRIES may also be done this way with these slight changes: Pears — do not try to blanch — must be peeled Plums — do not blanch or peel — just wash and make a small slit in each one and pack whole Sweet Cherries — wash and remove stems — pack whole

Book 2 Recipes Without Pictures How Tos Peaches