This post was most recently updated on March 18th, 2020
I have grown up without a pressure canner and not knowing what water-bathing is. But I know how to preserve fruit. This is a super easy technique for canning fruit that is great for beginners to learn.
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Stone fruit is one of my favourite things to eat canned. There is nothing quite like opening a bottle of sunshine in the middle of the cold winter!
Overflow method for canning stone fruit
Below I will show you the overflow canning method for preserving stone fruit – this includes peaches, plums and apricots. Many people prefer not to use the overflow method, but for a high sugar syrup with fruit, it is quite safe.
Water bath canning stone fruit
If you prefer to water-bath as recommended by the FDA you will need to leave a 1cm/.5inch gap at the top of the jar, seal as usual then, cover the jars completely with hot water and simmer for 20 minutes in a large pot. Remove carefully and allow to cool.
Fruit selection is quite key when it comes to canning fruit. You want to choose fruit that is only just ripe. If it is juice-runs-down-your-arm ripe it is going to turn to a squishy mess when you try to can it.
Choose fruit that smells fragrant, but is still firm to the touch. Avoid green fruit, but maybe 24 hours later it will probably be perfect.
Avoid using bruised fruit for canning. Cut the bruised pieces of stone fruit off and keep them and the pits for making stone-fruit vinegar with your leftover fruit syrup.
What you need to can peaches and stone fruit safely at home
You will need peaches or other stone fruit
Some canning bottles or jars – these are the ones made specifically for preserving fruit at home in. They usually have a two part lid consisting of a seal (the flat metal bit) and a band (the ring)
A large pot or a water bath pot
A rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot so they don’t explode
A jar lifter so you don’t burn your fingers!
A canning funnel is not totally required, but it does make things MUCH easier!