If you’re ready to try your hand at canning, this recipe is a good place to start. It doesn’t call for amounts—rather, it uses a ratio that can vary depending on how much fruit you’re dealing with. Check out our story on canning for more info. Also, be sure to look at the USDA’s canning guidelines before you attempt canning of any sort to prevent any chance of botulism.
- Fruit (peaches or pears are good options)
- spices/herbs (optional)
Cover the whole fruit with water, then pour it off and measure the volume. Reserve.
Prepare the fruit: for peaches, cut an X on the bottom of each fruit, and blanch in boiling water for 10 seconds. Shock in an ice bath, then peel and quarter. For pears, peel the fruit, core, and quarter.
Make the syrup: For a light syrup, mix the amount of water you measured with 25 percent sugar; i.e., for 4 cups of water, use 1 cup of sugar. In an appropriately sized pot, mix the reserved water and sugar together and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. (If you‘re going to use a spice or herb, you’ll want to add it at this point.) Add the fruit and bring to a simmer, cooking until the fruit is tender, but not mushy.
Pack into jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace—the distance between the fruit/syrup and the top life of the jar. Use a small spatula (or a toothpick) to remove any and all air bubbles from the syrup. Seal with lids, and process according to USDA guidelines.