This month's notes: May 2013: The cool weather has delayed blooms and slowed growth by a couple of weeks, but don't miss strawberries: they started in most Southern areas in late April, and in late May up north. Click here for strawberry facts and picking tips, and this page for easy strawberry jam making directions. Blueberries will come in June in most areas. Of course, Florida, southern Texas, and other very warm areas are already picking both crops! See this page for hundreds of easy canning and freezing instructions/recipes, canning equipment guide! Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Then see each state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. Organic farms are identified in green! See our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals!. Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!
How to Easily Make Pineapple Jam! EASY, illustrated step-by-step instructions!
How to Make Homemade Canned Pineapple - Easily!
Click here for a PDF print version
Making and canning your own pineapple is also quite easy. Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. If your looking for a jam recipe and directions, click here! We also have directions to make applesauce, apple butter, pickles and others!
- Pineapple - An average of 21 pounds of fresh pineapple (just the body, without the tops) is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints – an average of 3 pounds per quart.
- Lemon Juice - 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Sugar - Sugar (or fruit juice, or Stevia, my preference (or if you prefer, Splenda), or just water!)
- Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
- At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
- Large spoons and ladles
- 1 Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.). Note: we sell canners and supplies here, too - at excellent prices - and it helps support this web site!
- Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)
- Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
- Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars) - Big box stores and
grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see
this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take
the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has
everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
- Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)
Canning Pineapple Directions
This example shows you how to make home-canned pineapple, using methods tested by the USDA and Ball. The yield from this recipe is about 4 or 5 eight-ounce jars.
Step 1 - Prepare the pineapple the Ingredients
Wash the pineapple in cold water. Core and remove eyes and tough fiber. Slice or cube (3/4 inch or 3 cm cubes).
Step 2 - Get the jars and lids washed
The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle; you don't really have to sanitize the jars - the boiling water bath sanitizes everything, jar, lid, contents and all; but you DO want to get the jars as clean as you can first. I get the dishwasher going while I'm preparing everything else, so the jars are clean and hot (and less likely to crack when you put boiling hot fruit in them) by the time I'm ready to fill the jars.
Lids: Put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars?
Step 3 - Make your syrup
Pineapple may be packed in water, apple juice, white grape juice, or in very light, light, or medium syrup. It's up to you which to use. Sugar is added to improve flavor, help stabilize color, and retain the shape of the fruit. It is not added as a preservative. Sugar solution is much less expensive (unless you have a supply of cheap grape juice), so I usually use a light solution to keep sugar (and the added calories) to a minimum.
|Light||2 cups||6 cups||7 cups|
|Medium||3 cups||6 cups||6 1/2 cups|
|Heavy||4 cups||6 cups||7 cups|
To prepare syrup, while heating water, add sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil and keep it simmering. After preparing the liquid syrup, keep it hot (but not boiling).
Step 4 - Hot Packing your pineapple
Hot packing is recommended for all fruits because it is a bit safer and makes fruit easier to pack in jars. Hot packed pineapples are also less likely to float than pineapples canned by the raw-pack method. Hot packing also helps top reduce air entrapment (bubbles) as the cell structure of pineapples tends to retain air; which is released during the heating prior to the jars being filled. Hot packing also tends to produce brighter colors.
Just put the cut pineapple into the barely boiling syrup solution for 10 minutes. ]
(If you still want to use the "cold pack" or "raw pack" method, just skip this step!)
Step 5 - Fill the jars
Pack the pineapples into sanitized jars (leaving 1/2 to 1 inch space at the top) and cover with boiling sugar syrup leaving 1/2 inch head space. (if you don't cook or heat the pineapples first, this is called "cold packing"). Run a rubber spatula or table knife gently between pineapples and jar to release trapped air bubbles. To do this more effectively, tilt the jar slightly while running the tool between the fruit and the edge of the jar and also pressing inward against the fruit a few times.
After packing the pineapples in the jar, pour the syrup solution up to 1/2 inch (1 cm) from the top. the fruit should be covered completely. If you have problems with fruit darkening (turning brown) later, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of FruitFresh or ascorbic acid into the top of the jar before you seal it.
Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth. Add lid, screw band
and tighten firmly and evenly. Do not over tighten.
fruits often will float if the sugar syrup is too heavy, if jars are
packed too loosely or if air remains in the tissues of the fruit after
processing. To avoid this use a light or medium sugar syrup, make sure
fruit is firm and ripe and pack fruit tightly in jars without crushing.
If fruit is not covered by liquid it may darken during storage (but does not necessarily mean it is spoiled, as all fruits will darken somewhat). To avoid this be sure fruit is covered by removing air bubbles from jars liquid while still leaving the recommended head space. Also be sure to remove trapped air bubbles as described earlier.
Pineapples, peaches, pears and apples may also show a blue, red or pink color change after canning. This is the result of natural chemical changes that sometimes occur as fruits are heated. It is harmless and won't affect flavor!
Also, avoid storing canned food near heat sources such as a furnace, water heater, hot water or sunny areas. Jars need to be kept cool and dark for longer storage life and to protect against spoilage. Be sure to store in a dry place. If the lid or band rusts, that can cause the seal to break.
Step 6 - Process the jars in the water bath
Keep the sealed jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for at 15 minutes (see the chart below).
|Recommended process time for Hot-Pack Canning Pineapple in a boiling-water canner.|
|Jar Size||Process Time at Altitudes of|
|0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 3,000 ft||3,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Step 7 - Done
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last about 18 months. After that, the get darker in color and start to get runny. They are safe to eat, but the flavor is bland. So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!
From left to right:
You can get all of the tools in a kit here:
Home Canning Kits
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to
make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and
spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts
for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a
plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball
Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll
never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!
There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure
canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see
more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Average Customer Review:
Canning & Preserving for Dummies
The Ball Blue Book of Preserving
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)
Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Canned Pineapple - makes 10 jars of 8 oz each*
|Item||Quantity||Cost in 20012||Source||Subtotal|
|Oranges||8 medium or large sized||$2.00||Grocery store||$2.00|
|Canning jars (8 oz size), includes lids and rings||10 jars||$6.50/dozen||Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.)||$5.50|
|Sugar||4 cups||$2.00||Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.)||$2.00|
|Pectin (low sugar, dry)||1 and a third boxes||$2.00 per box||Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.)||$2.70|
or about $1.32 per jar
* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars! Many products are sold in jars that will take the lids and rings for canning. For example, Classico Spaghetti sauce is in quart sized jars that work with Ball and Kerr lids and rings. Note that the Classico's manufacturer does not recommend reuse of their jars: see what they have to say on this page:
Can't find the equipment? We ship to all 50 states! Use our Feedback form!
- Why should cooked jam be made in small
If a larger quantity of juice is used, it will be necessary to boil it longer thus causing loss of flavor, darkening of the jam, and toughening of the finished product. It really doesn't work. Trust me; I've tried many times!
- Should jam be boiled slowly or rapidly?
It should be boiled rapidly, since long, slow boiling destroys the pectin in the fruit juice.
- What do I do if there's mold on my jam?
Discard jams and jellies with mold on them. The mold could be producing a mycotoxin (poisonous substance that can make you sick). USDA and microbiologists recommend against scooping out the mold and using the remaining jam or jam.
- Why did my jam ferment, and what do I do?
Jellied fruit products may ferment because of yeast growth. This can occur if the product is improperly processed and sealed, or if the sugar content is low. Fermented fruit products have a disagreeable taste. Discard them.
- What happens if my jam doesn't gel?
Remaking cooked runny jam or marmalade instructions can be found on the U.Ga. website. Directions about remaking uncooked jams or jellies can be found in a CES Publication from Ohio State University.
If you want to learn how NOT to make marmalade, read this entertaining account from this Australian woman who is either incredibly cheap or a slow learner... but either way, it's a funny story!
And if our recipe is too EASY for you and you would like a much more complicated approach that will take about 4 hours to complete, try Delia Smith's (a cook who is famous in the UK) pineapple jam recipe!
Don't forget about us
in the Spring for pick your own strawberries, vegetables oand other
fruit! See our companion websites,
www.pickyourownchristmastree.org for choose and cut Christmas tree
PumpkinPatchesAndMore.org to find a corn
maze, hay ride and more in October!
Remember to ALWAYS call the farm or orchard BEFORE you go - weather, heavy picking and business conditions can always affect their hours and crops!
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