Monday, July 28, 2008

Canning Season Starts

The foodbank where I volunteer got in pallets of Crimson Heart Pluots. They are a cross between an apricot and a plum, with slick skin like a plum. They are sweet and juicy without the pithy taste you sometimes get from apricots. I adore them!!

I canned them all, doing 33 pints of jam and 33 quarts of pluots in a light syrup just for eating.

The jam turned out beautifully, the pluots alone? Not so much. They boiled over each time I removed them from the canner and the fruit rose to the top badly. While they won't win any blue ribons they will feed my family, and that is my ultimate goal.

I spoke to my Mom and she said maybe I was boiling them too hard, so the last batch I turned down to just a simmer and left them in the canner to cool a bit before I pulled them out. They didn't boil over and spew forth like the first batches did, but they still rose to the top and looked like they had had the life boiled out of them.

Any canners out there have any recommendations? I did a raw pack, and followed the directions for apricots in my Ball Blue book.
Oh, well. They still taste good.


Joanne said...

No words of wisdom as far as canning them goes, but I will say a few things about the finished results of what you have!
Maybe you can serve the fruit but save the juice/liquid and use it in sweet recipes in place of the milk?
Or you can put the juice in a pan with a little corn starch and make syrup for pancakes out of it? (might need to add a few things, but it could serve as a good base)
Do you have popsicle molds? You could make popsicles with it!
Make jelly with it?
Freeze it and use in in smoothies?
I'm sure I could come up with more ideas, but I must go!

FREE FOOD is always a good thing! Let me know how you like the jam :)

In Christ,

Anonymous said...

They raw pack is the reason they rose to the top. To get the fruit and syrup to be evenly distributed you need to do a hot pack. Personally, I would rather save time and do the raw pack. :) They are lovely though and how wonderful that they were free!


Sadge said...

Sometimes fruit rises to the top if the syrup is too heavy. You said you used a light syrup - maybe try canning them in apple juice or water, and with a raw pack you have to really pack the fruit in tight while still watching your headspace.

I always try to tout the advantages of drying fruit too - small storage space, no jar expense, no heating up the kitchen with boiling water and nor freezer reliant on electricity, kid-friendly treats. Just split and pit your fruit and place skin-side down on dehydrator screens in the sun or cookie sheets in the back window of your car. Later, when partially dry, push with your thumb on the skin side to turn the halves a bit inside-out and continue drying until pliant with no visible moisture inside. Store in plastic zip-lock bags in your pantry. Kids eat them up just like candy! Fruit leather is another option. Spread fruit puree 1/4" thick on plastic wrap covering a plate or screen, dry until shiny instead of soft and moist. Roll up plastic and leather together, and cut into 1" rounds. Just like fruit roll-ups from the store.

Karen said...

I feel I was led to this post..! I tried making jam today. I've made it loads of times in the past but today it went horribly wrong. I'm having to chill it and then buy more pectin in an attempt to save it tomorrow. I was all ready to put it down the drain but your acceptance of your canning gone wrong has made me realise that maybe I can do something else with the massive jampan of fruit in my fridge!! lol


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