Equipment needed

  • A large pot and lid.
    • Any pot is suitable, as long as it’s tall enough to hold your jars, and that it allows the jars and lids to be fully submerged and covered by 2-3cm of water. This is very important.
  • A piece of old linen or a tea towel on the bottom of the pan to stop the jars having direct contact with the bottom of the pot.
  • Preserving jars – small or large. Well cleaned but no need to sterilize.
  • Preserving seals and rings – no sterilizing necessary.
  • Tongs for lifting jars.

Method

  • Choose fruits that are well ripened but not over-ripe or mushy.
  • Remove any blemishes.
  • Where possible, I leave fruits unpeeled (apricots, peaches), just removing the stones.
  • Wash fruit well, cut into halves or quarters, or slice, as preferred.
  • Pack fruit into clean jars.
  • Pour 1 rounded dessertspoon of liquid honey over each jar of fruit. Some very sweet fruits need no honey at all.
  • Fill each jar to overflowing with cooled boiled water.
  • Carefully slide a knife down the inner edge of each jar in a few places to help release any pockets of air. Add a little more water if necessary, so each jar is overflowing.
  • Place a clean seal on each jar.
  • Screw on the preserving ring, fingertip tight, (not too tight).
  • Place a cloth on the base of your empty, large cooking pot.
  • Once all the jars have lids and rings, lower them into your large pot.
  • Cover the jars with cold tap water, at least 2-3 cm above the seals.
    • You need that much to ensure that they won’t become exposed during boiling.
  • Cover the pot with the lid
  • Turn the element to high
  • It takes about an hour from the time I put the jars in the pot to when they are ready to be taken out.

(I have a big pot that holds 7 jars)

If it is longer than this the water changes colour.

  • Lift each jar out of the pot very carefully, on to a clean large plate using sturdy tongs. There can be a little overflow from the jar.
  • Using a dry cloth, screw down the preserving ring more tightly.
  • Place sealed jar on a folded newspaper until completely cool.
    • if you have countertops made from marble, stainless steel or some other surface that stays cool, the paper is really important so that you don’t shock your jars.
  • Leave the jars for several hours undisturbed, before removing the rings and check to see if each jar has sealed completely.

Any jars that do not seal can be stored in the fridge and used within a week or so.

  • Wash jars before you put them away. Any sticky residue can attracts ants and other pests, so make sure your jars are well cleaned, especially around the rim.
  • Sealed jars should be stored in a cool, dark place without the rings.
  • Label jar including the date.

Trouble Shooting

There are many good web sites giving guide lines on preserving which are very helpful.