U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
FARMERS' BULLETIN No. 203.
Canned Fruit, Preserves, and Jellies:
HOUSEHOLD METHODS OF PREPARATION.
PREPARED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS,
A. C. TRUE, DIRECTOR.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
CANNING AND PRESERVING FRUIT.
The common fruits, because of their low nutritive value, are not,
as a rule, estimated at their real worth as food. Fruit has great
dietetic value and should be used generously and wisely, both fresh
and cooked. Fruits supply a variety of flavors, sugar, acids, and a
necessary waste or bulky material for aiding in intestinal movement.
They are generally rich in potash and soda salts and other minerals.
Most fresh fruits are cooling and refreshing. The vegetable acids
have a solvent power on the nutrients and are an aid to digestion
when not taken in excess.
Fruit and fruit juices keep the blood in a healthy condition when
the supply of fresh meat, fish, and vegetables is limited and salt or
smoked meats constitute the chief elements of diet. Fresh fruit is generally
more appetizing and refreshing than cooked. For this reason it
is often eaten in too large quantities, and frequently when underripe
or overripe; but when of good quality and eaten in moderate quantities
it promotes healthy intestinal action and rarely hurts anyone.
If eaten immoderately, uncooked fruit is apt to induce intestinal
disturbances. If eaten unripe, it often causes stomach and intestinal
irritation; overripe, it has a tendency to ferment in the alimentary
canal. Cooking changes the character and flavor of fruit, and while
the product is not so cooling and refreshing as in the raw state, it can,
as a rule, be eaten with less danger of causing stomach or intestinal
trouble. If sugar be added to the cooked fruit, the nutritive value
will be increased. A large quantity of sugar spoils the flavor of the
fruit and is likely to make it less easily digested.
Nowhere is there greater need of a generous supply of fruit than
on the farm, where the diet is apt to be restricted in variety because
of the distance from markets. Every farmer should raise a generous
supply of the kinds of fruit that can be grown in his locality. Wives
and daughters on the farms should find pleasure in serving these fruits
in the most healthful and tempting form. There are a large number
of simple, dainty desserts that can be prepared with fruit and
without much labor. Such desserts should leave the pie as an occasional
luxury instead of allowing it to be considered a daily necessity.
In the season when each kind of fruit is plentiful and at its best a
generous supply should be canned for the season when both fruit and
fresh vegetables are scarce. A great deal of the fruit should be
canned with little or no sugar, that it may be as nearly as possible in the
condition of fresh fruit. This is the best condition for cooking purposes.
A supply of glass jars does cost something, but that item of
expense should be charged to future years, as with proper care the
breaking of a jar need be a rare occurrence. If there be an abundance
of grapes and small, juicy fruits, plenty of juice should be canned or
bottled for refreshing drinks throughout the year. Remember that
the fruit and juice are not luxuries, but an addition to the dietary
that will mean better health for the members of the family and greater
economy in the cost of the table.
FRESH AND PRESERVED FRUIT FOR THE MARKET.
If the supply of fruit is greater than the family needs, it may be
made a source of income by sending the fresh fruit to the market, if
there is one near enough, or by preserving, canning, and making jelly
for sale. To make such an enterprise a success the fruit and work
must be first class. There is magic in the word "Homemade," when
the product appeals to the eye and the palate; but many careless
and incompetent people have found to their sorrow that this word
has not magic enough to float inferior goods on the market. As a
rule large canning and preserving establishments are clean and have
the best appliances, and they employ chemists and skilled labor. The
home product must be very good to compete with the attractive goods
that are sent out from such establishments. Yet for first-class homemade
products there is a market in all large cities. All first-class
grocers have customers who purchase such goods.
To secure a market get the names of several first-class grocers in
some of the large towns. Write to them asking if they would be willing
to try a sample of your goods. If the answer is favorable, send
samples of the articles you wish to sell. In the box with the fruit
inclose a list of the articles sent and the price. Write your name and
address clearly. Mail a note and a duplicate list at the time you send
Fixing the price of the goods is important. Make it high enough
to cover all expenses and give you a fair return for your labor. The
expenses will be the fruit, sugar, fuel, jars, glasses, boxes, packing
material, wear and tear of utensils, etc., transportation, and commission.
The commission will probably be 20 per cent of the selling price. It
may be that a merchant will find that your prices are too high or too
low for his trade, or he may wish to purchase the goods outright. In
any case it is essential that you estimate the full cost of the product
and the value that you place on your labor. You will then be in a
position to decide if the prices offered will compensate you for the
labor and expense. Do not be tempted, for the sake of a little money,
to deprive your family of the fruit necessary to health and pleasure.
PACKING AND SHIPPING.
Each jar or jelly glass must be wrapped in several thicknesses of
soft paper (newspapers will answer). Make pads of excelsior or hay
by spreading a thick layer between the folds of newspapers. Line the
bottom and sides of the box with these pads. Pack the fruit in the
padded box. Fill all the spaces between the jars with the packing
material. If the box is deep and a second layer of fruit is to go in,
put thick pasteboard or thin boards over the first layer and set the
wrapped jars on this. Fill all the spaces and cover the top with the
packing material. Nail on the cover and mark clearly: GLASS.
THIS SIDE UP.
The great secret in packing is to fill every particle of space so that
nothing can move.
PRINCIPLES OF CANNING AND PRESERVING.
In the preservation of foods by canning, preserving, etc., the most
essential things in the processes are the sterilization of the food and
all the utensils and the sealing of the sterilized food to exclude all
BACTERIA, YEASTS, AND FERMENTATION.
Over one hundred years ago François Appert was the first to make
practical application of the method of preserving food by putting it
in cans or bottles, which he hermetically sealed. He then put the
full bottles or cans in water and boiled them for more or less time,
depending upon the kinds of food.
In Appert's time and, indeed, until recent years it was generally
thought that the oxygen of the air caused the decomposition of food.
Appert's theory was that the things essential to the preservation of
food in this manner were the exclusion of air and the application of
gentle heat, as in the water bath, which caused a fusion of the principal
constituents and ferments in such a manner that the power of
the ferments was destroyed.
The investigations of scientists, particularly of Pasteur, have shown
that it is not the oxygen of the air which causes fermentation and
putrefaction, but bacteria and other microscopic organisms.
Appert's theory as to the cause of the spoiling of food was incorrect,
but his method of preserving it by sealing and cooking was correct,
and the world owes him a debt of gratitude.
In their investigations scientists have found that if food is perfectly
sterilized and the opening of the jar or bottle plugged with sterilized
cotton, food will not ferment, for the bacteria and yeasts to which
such changes are due can not pass through the cotton. This method
can not be conveniently followed with large jars.
Bacteria and yeasts exist in the air, in the soil, and on all vegetable
and animal substances, and even in the living body, but although of
such universal occurrence, the true knowledge of their nature and
economic importance has only been gained during the last forty years.
There are a great many kinds of these micro-organisms. Some do
great harm, but it is thought that the greater part of them are beneficial
rather than injurious.
Bacteria are one-celled and so small they can only be seen by aid
of a microscope. The process of reproduction is simple and rapid.
The bacterium becomes constricted, divides, and finally there are two
cells instead of one. Under favorable conditions each cell divides,
and so rapid is the work that it has been estimated that one bacterium
may give rise, within twenty-four hours, to seventeen millions of
similar organisms. The favorable conditions for growth are moisture,
warmth, and proper food.
Yeasts, which are also one-celled organisms, grow less rapidly. A
bud develops, breaks off, and forms a new yeast plant. Some yeasts
and some kinds of bacteria produce spores. Spores, like the dried
seeds of plants, may retain their vitality for a long time, even when
exposed to conditions which kill the parent organism.
Yeasts and nearly all bacteria require oxygen, but there are species
of the latter that seem to grow equally well without it, so that the
exclusion of air, which, of course, contains oxygen, is not always a
protection, if one of the anaerobic bacteria, as the kinds are called
which do not require oxygen, is sealed in the can.
Spoiling of food is caused by the development of bacteria or yeasts.
Certain chemical changes are produced as shown by gases, odors, and
Bacteria grow luxuriantly in foods containing a good deal of nitrogenous
material, if warmth and moisture are present. Among foods
rich in nitrogenous substances are all kinds of meat, fish, eggs, peas,
beans, lentils, milk, etc. These foods are difficult to preserve on
account of the omnipresent bacteria. This is seen in warm, muggy
weather, when fresh meat, fish, soups, milk, etc., spoil quickly. Bacteria
do not develop in substances containing a large percentage of
sugar, but they grow rapidly in a suitable wet substance which contains
a small percentage of sugar. Yeasts grow very readily in dilute
solutions containing sugars in addition to some nitrogenous and mineral
matters. Fruits are usually slightly acid and in general do not
support bacterial growth, and so it comes about that canned fruits are
more commonly fermented by yeasts than by bacteria.
Some vegetable foods have so much acid and so little nitrogenous
substance that very few bacteria or yeasts attack them. Lemons,
cranberries, and rhubarb belong to this class.
Temperature is an important factor in the growth of bacteria and
yeasts. There are many kinds of these organisms, and each kind grows
best at a certain temperature, some at a very low one and others at
one as high as 125° F., or more. However, most kinds of bacteria are
destroyed if exposed for ten or fifteen minutes to the temperature of
boiling water (212° F.); but, if the bacteria are spore producers, cooking
must be continued for an hour or more to insure their complete
destruction. Generally speaking, in order to kill the spores the temperature
must be higher than that of boiling water, or the article to
be preserved must be cooked for about two hours at a temperature of
212° F., or a shorter time at a higher temperature under pressure.
Yeasts and their spores are, however, more easily destroyed by heat
than bacteria spores. Hence, fruits containing little nitrogenous
material are more easily protected from fermentation than nitrogenous
foods in which in general fermentation is caused by bacteria. Of
course, it is not possible to know what kinds of organisms are in the
food one is about to can or bottle; but we do know that most fruits
are not favorable to the growth of bacteria, and, as a rule, the yeasts
which grow in fruits and fruit juice can be destroyed by cooking ten
or fifteen minutes at a temperature of 212° F. If no living organisms
are left, and the sterilization of all appliances has been thorough, there
is no reason why the fruit, if properly sealed, should not keep, with
but slight change of texture or flavor, for a year or longer, although
canned fruits undergo gradual change and deterioration even under
the most favorable conditions.
When fruit is preserved with a large amount of sugar (a pound of
sugar to a pound of fruit) it does not need to be hermetically sealed
to protect it from bacteria and yeasts, because the thick, sugary sirup
formed is not favorable to their growth. However, the self-sealing
jars are much better than keeping such fruit in large receptacles, from
which it is taken as needed, because molds grow freely on moist,
sugary substances exposed to the air.
MOLDS AND MOLDING.
Every housekeeper is familiar with molds which, under favorable
conditions of warmth and moisture, grow upon almost any kind of
organic material. This is seen in damp, warm weather, when molds
form in a short time on all sorts of starchy foods, such as boiled potatoes,
bread, mush, etc., as well as fresh, canned, and preserved fruits.
Molds develop from spores which are always floating about in the
air. When a spore falls upon a substance containing moisture and
suitable food it sends out a fine thread, which branches and works its
way over and into the attacked substance. In a short time spores are
produced and the work of reproduction goes on.
In the first stages molds are white or light gray and hardly noticeable;
but when spores develop the growth gradually becomes colored.
In fact, the conditions of advanced growth might be likened to those
of a flower garden. The threads—mycelium—might be likened to
the roots of plants and the spores to the flower and seeds.
Mold spores are very light and are blown about by the wind. They
are a little heavier than air, and drop on shelves, tables, and floor,
and are easily set in motion again by the movement of a brush, duster,
etc. If one of these spores drops on a jar of preserves or a tumbler
of jelly, it will germinate if there be warmth and moisture enough in
the storeroom. Molds do not ordinarily cause fermentation of canned
foods, although they are the common cause of the decay of raw fruits.
They are not as injurious to canned goods as are bacteria and yeasts.
They do not penetrate deeply into preserves or jellies, or into liquids
or semiliquids, but if given time they will, at ordinary room temperature,
work all through suitable solid substances which contain moisture.
Nearly every housekeeper has seen this in the molding of a loaf of
bread or cake.
In the work of canning, preserving, and jelly making it is important
that the food shall be protected from the growth of molds as well
as the growth of yeasts and bacteria.
To kill mold spores food must be exposed to a temperature of from
150° F. to 212° F. After this it should be kept in a cool, dry place
and covered carefully that no floating spore can find lodgment on its
To sterilize a substance or thing is to destroy all life and sources of
life in and about it. In following the brief outline of the structure
and work of bacteria, yeasts, and molds, it has been seen that damage
to foods comes through the growth of these organisms on or in the
food; also that if such organisms are exposed to a temperature of 212°
F., life will be destroyed, but that spores and a few resisting bacteria
are not destroyed at a temperature of 212° F., unless exposed to it for
two or more hours.
Bacteria and yeasts, which are intimately mixed with food, are not
as easily destroyed as are those on smooth surfaces, such as the utensils
and jars employed in the preparation of the food.
Since air and water, as well as the foods, contain bacteria and yeasts,
and may contain mold spores, all utensils used in the process of preserving
foods are liable to be contaminated with these organisms.
For this reason all appliances, as well as the food, must be sterilized.
Stewpans, spoons, strainers, etc., may be put on the fire in cold or
boiling water and boiled ten or fifteen minutes. Tumblers, bottles,
glass jars, and covers should be put in cold water and heated gradually
to the boiling point, and then boiled for ten or fifteen minutes. The
jars must be taken one at a time from the boiling water at the moment
they are to be filled with the boiling food. The work should be done
in a well swept and dusted room, and the clothing of the workers and
the towels used should be clean. The food to be sterilized should be
perfectly sound and clean.
As in this bulletin we have only to do with fruits, it will not be necessary
to say anything more about long cooking at a high temperature.
In canning fruits it is well to remember that the product is more
satisfactory if heated gradually to the boiling point and then cooked
the given time.
UTENSILS NEEDED FOR CANNING AND PRESERVING.
In preserving, canning, and jelly making iron or tin utensils should
never be used. The fruit acids attack these metals and so give a bad
color and metallic taste to the products. The preserving kettles should
be porcelain lined, enameled, or of a metal that will not form troublesome
chemical combinations with fruit juices. The kettles should be
broad rather than deep, as the fruit should not be cooked in deep
layers. Nearly all the necessary utensils may be found in some ware
not subject to chemical action. A list of the most essential articles
Two preserving kettles, 1 colander, 1 fine strainer, 1 skimmer, 1
ladle, 1 large-mouthed funnel, 1 wire frying basket, 1 wire sieve, 4 long-handled
wooden spoons, 1 wooden masher, a few large pans, knives
for paring fruit (plated if possible), flat-bottomed clothes boiler,
wooden or willow rack to put in the bottom of the boiler, iron tripod
or ring, squares of cheese cloth. In addition, it would be well to
have a flannel straining bag, a frame on which to hang the bag, a
sirup gauge and a glass cylinder, a fruit pricker, and plenty of clean
The regular kitchen pans will answer for holding and washing the
fruit. Mixing bowls and stone crocks can be used for holding the
fruit juice and pared fruit. When fruit is to be plunged into boiling
water for a few minutes before paring, the ordinary stewpans may be
employed for this purpose.
Fig. 1.—Wire basket.
Scales are a desirable article in every kitchen, as weighing is much
more accurate than the ordinary
measuring. But, knowing that a
large percentage of the housekeepers
do not possess scales, it has
seemed wise to give all the rules in
measure rather than weight.
If canning is done by the oven
process, a large sheet of asbestos,
for the bottom of the oven, will prevent
the cracking of jars.
The wooden rack, on which the
bottles rest in the washboiler, is
made in this manner: Have two
strips of wood measuring 1 inch
high, 1 inch wide, and 2 inches shorter than the length of the boiler.
On these pieces of wood tack thin strips of wood that are 1½ inches
shorter than the width of the boiler.
These cross-strips should be about
1 inch wide, and there should be an
inch between two strips. This rack
will support the jars and will admit
the free circulation of boiling water
about them. Young willow branches,
woven into a mat, also make a
good bed for bottles and jars.
Fig. 2.—Wire sieve.
The wire basket is a saver of time
and strength (fig. 1). The fruit to
be peeled is put into the basket, which is lowered into a deep kettle
partially filled with boiling water. After a few minutes the basket is
lifted from the boiling water, plunged for a moment
into cold water, and the fruit is ready to
have the skin drawn off.
Fig. 3.—Fruit pricker.
A strong wire sieve is a necessity when purées
of fruit are to be made (fig. 2). These sieves
are known as purée sieves. They are made of
strong wire and in addition have supports of
still stronger wire.
A fruit pricker is easily made and saves
time (fig. 3). Cut a piece half an inch deep
from a broad cork; press through this a dozen or more coarse
darning needles; tack the cork on a piece of board. Strike the
fruit on the bed of needles, and you have a dozen holes at once.
When the work is finished, remove the cork from the board, wash and
dry thoroughly. A little oil on the needles will prevent
rusting. With needles of the size suggested there
is little danger of the points breaking, but it is worth
remembering that the use of pricking machines was
abandoned in curing prunes on a commercial scale
in California because the steel needles broke and
remained in the fruit.
Fig. 4.—Wooden vegetable masher.
A wooden vegetable masher is indispensable when
making jellies and purées (fig. 4).
Fig. 5.—Glass cylinder (A) and
sirup gauge (B).
A sirup gauge and glass cylinder (fig. 5 A and B)
are not essential to preserving, canning, and jelly
making, but they are valuable aids in getting the
right proportion of sugar for fruit or jelly. The
sirup gauge costs about 50 cents and the cylinder
about 25 cents. A lipped cylinder that holds a little
over a gill is the best size.
Small iron rings, such as sometimes come off the
hub of cart wheels, may be
used instead of a tripod for slightly raising
the preserving kettles from the hot stove or
To make a flannel straining bag, take a square
piece of flannel (27 by 27 inches is a good size),
fold it to make a three-cornered bag, stitch
one of the sides, cut the top square across,
bind the opening with strong, broad tape,
stitch on this binding four tapes with which to
tie the bag to a frame.
To use this bag, tie it to a strong frame
or to the backs of two kitchen chairs. If the
chairs are used, place some heavy articles in
them; or the bag may hang on a pole (a
broom handle) which rests on the backs of the
chairs. A high stool turned upside down
makes a good support for the bag. Put a
bowl on the floor under the bag, then pour in
the fruit juice, which will pass through comparatively
Before it is used the bag should be washed and boiled in clear
SELECTION AND PREPARATION OF THE FRUIT.
The selection of fruit is one of the first steps in obtaining successful
results. The flavor of fruit is not developed until it is fully ripe, but
the time at which the fruit is at its best for canning, jelly making,
etc., is just before it is perfectly ripe. In all soft fruits the fermentative
stage follows closely upon the perfectly ripe stage; therefore it is
better to use underripe rather than overripe fruit. This is especially
important in jelly making for another reason also: In overripe fruit
the pectin begins to lose its jelly-making quality.
All fruits should, if possible, be freshly picked for preserving, canning,
and jelly making. No imperfect fruit should be canned or preserved.
Gnarly fruit may be used for jellies or marmalades by cutting
out defective portions. Bruised spots should be cut out of peaches
and pears. In selecting small-seeded fruits, like berries, for canning,
those having a small proportion of seed to pulp should be chosen. In
dry seasons berries have a larger proportion of seeds to pulp than in a
wet or normal season, and it is not wise to can or preserve such fruit
unless the seeds are removed. The fruit should be rubbed through a
sieve that is fine enough to keep back the seeds. The strained pulp
can be preserved as a purée or marmalade.
When fruit is brought into the house put it where it will keep cool
and crisp until you are ready to use it.
The preparation of fruit for the various processes of preserving is
the second important step. System will do much to lighten the work.
Begin by having the kitchen swept and dusted thoroughly, that
there need not be a large number of mold spores floating about. Dust
with a damp cloth. Have plenty of hot water and pans in which jars
and utensils may be sterilized. Have at hand all necessary utensils,
towels, sugar, etc.
Prepare only as much fruit as can be cooked while it still retains its
color and crispness. Before beginning to pare fruit have some sirup
ready, if that is to be used, or if sugar is to be added to the fruit have
it weighed or measured.
Decide upon the amount of fruit you will cook at one time, then
have two bowls—one for the sugar and one for the fruit—that will
hold just the quantity of each. As the fruit is pared or hulled, as the
case may be, drop it into its measuring bowl. When the measure is
full put the fruit and sugar in the preserving kettle. While this is
cooking another measure may be prepared and put in the second preserving
kettle. In this way the fruit is cooked quickly and put in the
jars and sealed at once, leaving the pans ready to sterilize another set
If the fruit is to be preserved or canned with sirup, it may be put
into the jars as fast as it is prepared. As soon as a jar is full, pour
in enough sirup to cover it.
If several people are helping and large kettles are being used for
the preserving, or where fruit (like quinces and hard pears) must be
first boiled in clear water, the pared fruit should be dropped into a
bowl of cold water made slightly acid with lemon juice (one tablespoonful
of lemon juice to a quart of water). This will keep the fruit white.
All large, hard fruit must be washed before paring. Quinces should
be rubbed with a coarse towel before they are washed.
If berries must be washed, do the work before stemming or hulling
them. The best way to wash berries is to put a small quantity into a
colander and pour cold water over them; then turn them on a sieve to
drain. All this work must be done quickly that the fruit may not
absorb much water.
Do not use the fingers for hulling strawberries. A simple huller
can be bought for five cents.
If practicable pare fruit with a silver knife, so as not to stain or
darken the product. The quickest and easiest way to peel peaches is
to drop them into boiling water for a few minutes. Have a deep
kettle a little more than half full of boiling water; fill a wire basket
with peaches; put a long-handled spoon under the handle of the basket
and lower into the boiling water. At the end of three minutes lift the
basket out by slipping the spoon under the handle. Plunge the basket
for a moment into a pan of cold water. Let the peaches drain a minute,
then peel. Plums and tomatoes may be peeled in the same
If the peaches are to be canned in sirup, put them at once into the
sterilized jars. They may be canned whole or in halves. If in halves,
remove nearly all the stones or pits. For the sake of the flavor, a few
stones should be put in each jar.
When preparing cherries, plums, or crab apples for canning or preserving,
the stem or a part of it may be left on the fruit.
When preparing to make jelly have ready the cheese-cloth strainer,
enameled colander, wooden spoons, vegetable masher, measures, tumblers,
preserving kettles, and sugar.
If currant jelly is to be made, free the fruit from leaves and large
stems. If the jelly is to be made from any of the other small fruits,
the stems and hulls must be removed.
When the jelly is to be made from any of the large fruits the
important part of the preparation is to have the fruit washed clean,
then to remove the stem and the blossom end. Nearly all the large
fruits are better for having the skin left on. Apples and pears need
not be cored. There is so much gummy substance in the cores of
quinces that it is best not to use this portion in making fine jelly.
MAKING SIRUP FOR USE IN CANNING AND PRESERVING.
Such sirups as are used in canning and preserving are made with
varying proportions of water and sugar. When the proportion of
sugar is large and that of the water small the sirup is said to be heavy.
When the water predominates the sirup is light.
There are several methods of measuring the proportion of sugar in
a sirup. The most scientific and accurate is with the sirup gauge. Careful
measurement or weighing is, however, quite satisfactory for all
ordinary work if the sirup need not be boiled a long time. In boiling
the water evaporates and the sirup grows thicker and richer. The
amount of evaporation depends upon the surface exposed and the
pressure of the atmosphere. For example, if a large quantity of sirup
is boiled in a deep kettle the evaporation will not be rapid. If the
same quantity of sirup were boiled the same length of time in a broad,
shallow kettle the water would evaporate more rapidly and the sirup
would be thicker and heavier. If a given quantity of sirup were
boiled the same length of time in a high altitude, Colorado for example,
and at the sea level, it would be found that the sirup boiled at the
sea level would be thicker and less in volume than that boiled in Colorado.
From this it will be seen that it is difficult to say what proportion
of sugar a sirup will contain after it has been boiling ten or more
minutes. Of course by the use of the sirup gauge the proportion of
sugar in a sirup may be ascertained at any stage of the boiling. After
all, however, it is possible to measure sugar and water so that you can
know the percentage of sugar when the sirup begins to boil. The following
statement gives the percentage of sugar at the time when the
sirup has been boiling one minute and also what kind of sirup is suitable
for the various kinds of fruit:
One pint sugar and 1 gill of water gives sirup of 40° density: Use for preserved
strawberries and cherries.
One pint sugar and one-half pint water gives sirup of 32° density.
One pint sugar and 3 gills water gives sirup of 28° density: Use either this or the
preceding for preserved peaches, plums, quinces, currants, etc.
One pint sugar and 1 pint water gives sirup of 24° density: Use for canned acid
One pint sugar and 1½ pints water gives sirup of 17° density.
One pint sugar and 2 pints water gives sirup of 14° density: Use either of these
two light sirups for canned pears, peaches, sweet plums, and cherries, raspberries,
blueberries, and blackberries.
The lightest sirups may be used for filling up the jars after they are
taken from the oven or boiler. The process of making a sirup is very
simple, but there are a few points that must be observed if sirup and
fruit are to be perfect. Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and
stir on the stove until all the sugar is dissolved. Heat slowly to the
boiling point and boil gently without stirring. The length of time
that the sirup should boil will depend upon how rich it is to be. All
sirups are better for boiling from ten to thirty minutes. If rich
sirups are boiled hard, jarred, or stirred they are apt to crystallize.
The sirup may be made a day or two in advance of canning time.
The light sirups will not keep long unless sealed, but the heavy sirups
keep well if covered well.
The sirup gauge is a graduated glass tube, with a weighted bulb,
that registers from 0° to 50°, and that is employed to determine the
quantity of sugar contained in a sirup.
If this gauge is placed in pure water the bulb will rest on the bottom
of the cylinder or other container. If sugar be dissolved in the water
the gauge will begin to float. The more sugar there is dissolved in
the water the higher the gauge will rise. In making tests it is essential
that the sirup should be deep enough to reach the zero point of the
gauge. If a glass cylinder holding about half a gill is filled to about
two-thirds its height, and the gauge is then placed in the cylinder, the
quantity of sugar in the sirup will be registered on the gauge.
Experiments have demonstrated that when sugar is dissolved and
heated in fruit juice, if the sirup gauge registers 25°, the proportion of
sugar is exactly right for combining with the pectin bodies to make
jelly. The sirup gauge and the glass cylinder must both be heated
gradually that the hot sirup may not break them. If the gauge
registers more than 25°, add a little more fruit juice. If, on the other
hand, it registers less than 25°, add more sugar. In making sirups
for canning and preserving fruits, the exact amount of sugar in a
sirup may be ascertained at any stage of boiling, and the sirup be
made heavier by adding sugar, or lighter by adding water, as the case
This method of preserving fruit for home use is from all points the
most desirable. It is the easiest and commonly considered the most
economical and the best, because the fruit is kept in a soft and juicy
condition in which it is believed to be easily digested. The wise
housekeeper will can her principal fruit supply, making only enough
rich preserves to serve for variety and for special occasions.
The success of canning depends upon absolute sterilization. If the
proper care is exercised there need be no failure, except in rare cases,
when a spore has developed in the can. There are several methods of
canning; and while the principle is the same in all methods, the conditions
under which the housekeeper must do her work may, in her case,
make one method more convenient than another. For this reason
three will be given which are considered the best and easiest. These
are: Cooking the fruit in the jars in an oven; cooking the fruit in the
jars in boiling water; and stewing the fruit before it is put in the jars.
The quantity of sugar may be increased if the fruit is liked sweet.
It is most important that the jars, covers, and rubber rings be in
perfect condition. Examine each jar and cover to see that there is no
defect in it. Use only fresh rubber rings, for if the rubber is not
soft and elastic the sealing will not be perfect. Each year numbers
of jars of fruit are lost because of the false economy in using an old
ring that has lost its softness and elasticity. Having the jars, covers,
and rings in perfect condition, the next thing is to wash and sterilize
Have two pans partially filled with cold water. Put some jars in
one, laying them on their sides, and some covers in the other. Place
the pans on the stove where the water will heat to the boiling point.
The water should boil at least ten or fifteen minutes. Have on the
stove a shallow milk pan in which there is about 2 inches of boiling
water. Sterilize the cups, spoons, and funnel, if you use one, by
immersing in boiling water for a few minutes. When ready to put
the prepared fruit in the jars slip a broad skimmer under a jar and
lift it and drain free of water. Set the jar in the shallow milk pan
and fill to overflowing with the boiling fruit. Slip a silver-plated
knife or the handle of a spoon around the inside of the jar, that the
fruit and juice may be packed solidly. Wipe the rim of the jar, dip
the rubber ring in boiling water and put it smoothly on the jar, then
put on the cover and fasten. Place the jar on a board and out of a
draft of cold air. The work of filling and sealing must be done rapidly,
and the fruit must be boiling hot when it is put into the jars. If
screw covers are used, it will be necessary to tighten them after the
glass has cooled and contracted. When the fruit is cold wipe the jars
with a wet cloth. Paste on the labels, if any, and put the jars on
shelves in a cool, dark closet.
In canning, any proportion of sugar may be used, or fruit may be
canned without the addition of any sugar. However, that which is
designed to be served as a sauce should have the sugar cooked with it.
Fruit intended for cooking purposes need not have the sugar added
Juicy fruits, such as berries and cherries, require little or no water.
Strawberries are better not to have water added to them. The only
exception to this is when they are cooked in a heavy sirup.
- 12 quarts of raspberries.
- 2 quarts of sugar.
Put 2 quarts of the fruit in the preserving kettle; heat slowly on
the stove; crush with a wooden vegetable masher; spread a square of
cheese cloth over a bowl, and turn the crushed berries and juice into
it. Press out the juice, which turn into the preserving kettle. Add
the sugar and put on the stove; stir until the sugar is dissolved. When
the sirup begins to boil, add the remaining 10 quarts of berries. Let
them heat slowly. Boil ten minutes, counting from the time they
begin to bubble. Skim well while boiling. Put in cans and seal as
RASPBERRIES AND CURRANTS.
- 10 quarts of raspberries.
- 3 quarts of currants.
- 2½ quarts of sugar.
Heat, crush, and press the juice from the currants and proceed as
directed for raspberries.
The same as for raspberries.
- 12 quarts of currants.
- 4 quarts of sugar.
Treat the same as for raspberries.
- 6 quarts of berries.
- 1½ quarts of sugar.
- 1 pint of water.
For green gooseberries dissolve the sugar in the water, then add the
fruit and cook fifteen minutes. Ripe gooseberries are to be treated
the same as the green fruit, but use only half as much water.
Green gooseberries may also be canned the same as rhubarb (see
- 12 quarts of berries.
- 1 quart of sugar.
- 1 pint of water.
Put water, berries, and sugar in the preserving kettle; heat slowly.
Boil fifteen minutes, counting from the time the contents of the kettle
begin to bubble.
- 6 quarts of cherries.
- 1½ quarts of sugar.
- ½ pint of water.
Measure the cherries after the stems have been removed. Stone
them or not, as you please. If you stone them be careful to save all
the juice. Put the sugar and water in the preserving kettle and stir
over the fire until the sugar is dissolved. Put in the cherries and heat
slowly to the boiling point. Boil ten minutes, skimming carefully.
- 6 quarts of grapes.
- 1 quart of sugar.
- 1 gill of water.
Squeeze the pulp of the grapes out of the skins. Cook the pulp
five minutes and then rub through a sieve that is fine enough to hold
back the seeds. Put the water, skins, and pulp into the preserving
kettle and heat slowly to the boiling point. Skim the fruit and then
add the sugar. Boil fifteen minutes.
Sweet grapes may be canned with less sugar; very sour ones may
Cut the rhubarb when it is young and tender. Wash it thoroughly
and then pare; cut into pieces about 2 inches long. Pack in sterilized
jars. Fill the jars to overflowing with cold water and let them stand
ten minutes. Drain off the water and fill again to overflowing with
fresh cold water. Seal with sterilized rings and covers. When
required for use, treat the same as fresh rhubarb.
Green gooseberries may be canned in the same manner. Rhubarb
may be cooked and canned with sugar in the same manner as gooseberries.
- 8 quarts of peaches.
- 1 quart of sugar.
- 3 quarts of water.
Put the sugar and water together and stir over the fire until the
sugar is dissolved. When the sirup boils skim it. Draw the kettle
back where the sirup will keep hot but not boil.
Pare the peaches, cut in halves, and remove the stones, unless you
prefer to can the fruit whole.
Put a layer of the prepared fruit into the preserving kettle and
cover with some of the hot sirup. When the fruit begins to boil,
skim carefully. Boil gently for ten minutes, then put in the jars and
seal. If the fruit is not fully ripe it may require a little longer time
to cook. It should be so tender that it may be pierced easily with a
silver fork. It is best to put only one layer of fruit in the preserving
kettle. While this is cooking the fruit for the next batch may be
If the fruit is ripe it may be treated exactly the same as peaches.
If, on the other hand, it is rather hard it must be cooked until so
tender that a silver fork will pierce it readily.
- 4 quarts of pared, cored, and quartered quinces.
- 1½ quarts of sugar.
- 2 quarts of water.
Rub the fruit hard with a coarse, crash towel, then wash and drain.
Pare, quarter, and core; drop the pieces into cold water (see p. 13).
Put the fruit in the preserving kettle with cold water to cover it generously.
Heat slowly and simmer gently until tender. The pieces
will not all require the same time to cook. Take each piece up as
soon as it is so tender that a silver fork will pierce it readily. Drain
on a platter. Strain the water in which the fruit was cooked through
cheese cloth. Put two quarts of the strained liquid and the sugar into
the preserving kettle; stir over the fire until the sugar is dissolved.
When it boils skim well and put in the cooked fruit. Boil gently for
about twenty minutes.
- 6 quarts of apples.
- 1½ quarts of sugar.
- 2 quarts of water.
Put the sugar and water into the preserving kettle. Stir over the
fire until the sugar is dissolved. When the sirup boils skim it.
Wash the fruit, rubbing the blossom end well. Put it in the boiling
sirup, and cook gently until tender. It will take from twenty to
fifty minutes, depending upon the kind of crab apples.
- 8 quarts of plums.
- 2 quarts of sugar.
- 1 pint of water.
Nearly all kinds of plums can be cooked with the skins on. If it is
desired to remove the skin of any variety, plunge them in boiling
water for a few minutes. When the skins are left on, prick them
thoroughly to prevent bursting. (See fruit pricker, p. 10.)
Put the sugar and water into the preserving kettle and stir over the
fire until the sugar is dissolved. Wash and drain the plums. Put
some of the fruit in the boiling sirup. Do not crowd it. Cook five
minutes; fill and seal the jars. Put more fruit in the sirup. Continue
in this manner until all the fruit is done. It may be that there will
not be sufficient sirup toward the latter part of the work; for this
reason it is well to have a little extra sirup on the back of the stove.
Wash the tomatoes and plunge into boiling water for five minutes.
Pare and slice, and then put into the preserving kettle; set the kettle
on an iron ring. Heat the tomatoes slowly, stirring frequently from
the bottom. Boil for thirty minutes, counting from the time the
vegetable begins actually to boil. Put in sterilized jars and seal.
- 8 quarts of medium-sized tomatoes.
- 4 quarts of sliced tomatoes.
Put the pared and sliced tomatoes into a stewpan and cook as directed
for stewed tomatoes. When they have been boiling twenty minutes
take from the fire and rub through a strainer. Return to the fire.
While the sliced tomatoes are cooking, pare the whole tomatoes and
put them in sterilized jars. Pour into the jars enough of the stewed
and strained tomato to fill all the interstices. Put the uncovered jars
in a moderate oven, placing them on a pad of asbestos or in shallow
pans of hot water. Let the vegetable cook in the oven for half an
hour. Take from the oven and fill to overflowing with boiling hot,
strained tomato, then seal. If there is any of the strained tomato
left, can it for sauces.
CANNED FRUIT COOKED IN THE OVEN.
This method of canning fruit, in the opinion of the writer, is the one
to be preferred. The work is easily and quickly done, and the fruit
retains its shape, color, and flavor better than when cooked in the preserving
Cover the bottom of the oven with a sheet of asbestos, the kind
plumbers employ in covering pipes. It is very cheap and may usually
be found at plumbers' shops. If the asbestos is not available, put into
the oven shallow pans in which there are about two inches of boiling
Sterilize the jars and utensils. Make the sirup; prepare the fruit
the same as for cooking in the preserving kettle. Fill the hot jars
with it, and pour in enough sirup to fill the jar solidly. Run the blade
of a silver-plated knife around the inside of the jar. Place the jars in
the oven, either on the asbestos or in the pan of water. The oven
should be moderately hot. Cook the fruit ten minutes; remove from
the oven and fill the jar with boiling sirup. Wipe and seal. Place
the jars on a board and out of a draft of air. If the screw covers are
used tighten them after the glass has cooled.
Large fruits, such as peaches, pears, quinces, crab apples, etc., will
require about a pint of sirup to each quart jar of fruit. The small fruit
will require a little over half a pint of sirup.
The amount of sugar in each quart of sirup should be regulated to suit
the fruit with which it is to be used. The data on page 14 will be a
guide. The quantities given will not make the fruit very sweet. The
quantity of sugar may be increased or diminished to suit the taste.
CANNED FRUIT COOKED IN A WATER BATH.
Prepare the fruit and sirup as for cooking in the oven.
Fill the sterilized jars and put the covers on loosely. Have a wooden
rack in the bottom of a wash boiler (see p. 10). Put in enough warm
water to come to about 4 inches above the rack. Place the filled jars
in the boiler, but do not let them touch one another. Pack clean white
cotton rags, or perhaps better, cotton rope, between and around the
jars to prevent them from striking one another when the water begins
to boil. Cover the boiler and let the fruit cook ten minutes from the
time the water surrounding it begins to boil.
Draw the boiler back and take off the cover. When the steam
passes off take out one jar at a time and place in a pan of boiling
water beside the boiler, fill up with boiling sirup, and seal. Put the
jars on a board and do not let cold air blow upon them. If screw
covers are used tighten them when the glass has cooled and contracted.
In the case of most fruits, canning with a little sugar is to be preferred
to preserving with a large quantity of sugar. There are, however,
some fruits that are only good when preserved with a good deal
of sugar. Of course, such preparations of fruit are only desirable for
occasional use. The fruits best adapted for preserving are strawberries,
sour cherries, sour plums, and quinces. Such rich preparations
should be put up in small jars or tumblers.
Use equal weights of sugar and strawberries. Put the strawberries
in the preserving kettle in layers, sprinkling sugar over each layer.
The fruit and sugar should not be more than 4 inches deep. Place
the kettle on the stove and heat the fruit and sugar slowly to the boiling
point. When it begins to boil skim carefully. Boil ten minutes,
counting from the time the fruit begins to bubble. Pour the cooked
fruit into platters, having it about 2 or 3 inches deep. Place the
platters in a sunny window, in an unused room, for three or four
days. In that time the fruit will grow plump and firm, and the sirup
will thicken almost to a jelly. Put this preserve, cold, into jars or
Select large, firm fruit, remove the stems, and proceed as for strawberries.
The sour cherries, such as Early Richmond and Montmorency, are
best for this preserve. Remove the stems and stones from the cherries
and proceed as for strawberry preserve.
CHERRIES PRESERVED WITH CURRANT JUICE.
- 12 quarts of cherries.
- 3 quarts of currants.
- 2 quarts of sugar.
Put the currants in the preserving kettle and on the fire. When
they boil up crush them and strain through cheese cloth, pressing out
all the juice.
Stem and stone the cherries, being careful to save all the juice. Put
the cherries, fruit juice, and sugar in the preserving kettle. Heat to
the boiling point and skim carefully. Boil for twenty minutes. Put
in sterilized jars or tumblers. This gives an acid preserve. The
sugar may be doubled if richer preserves are desired.
- 4 quarts of green gages.
- 2 quarts of sugar.
- 1 pint of water.
Prick the fruit and put it in a preserving kettle. Cover generously
with cold water. Heat to the boiling point and boil gently for five
minutes. Drain well.
Put the sugar and water in a preserving kettle and stir over the fire
until the sugar is dissolved. Boil five minutes, skimming well. Put
the drained green gages in this sirup and cook gently for twenty minutes.
Put in sterilized jars.
Other plums may be preserved in the same manner. The skins
should be removed from white plums.
- 4 quarts of pared, quartered, and cored quinces.
- 2 quarts of sugar.
- 1 quart of water.
Boil the fruit in clear water until it is tender, then skim out and
Put the 2 quarts of sugar and 1 quart of water in the preserving
kettle; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let it heat slowly to the
boiling point. Skim well and boil for twenty minutes. Pour one-half
of the sirup into a second kettle. Put one-half of the cooked and
drained fruit into each kettle. Simmer gently for half an hour, then
put in sterilized jars. The water in which the fruit was boiled can
be used with the parings, cores, and gnarly fruit to make jelly.
Purées of fruit are in the nature of marmalades, but they are not
cooked so long, and so retain more of the natural flavor of the fruit.
This is a particularly nice way to preserve the small, seedy fruits,
which are to be used in puddings, cake, and frozen desserts.
Free the fruit from leaves, stems, and decayed portions. Peaches
and plums should have the skins and stones removed. Rub the fruit
through a purée sieve. To each quart of the strained fruit add a pint
of sugar. Pack in sterilized jars. Put the covers loosely on the jars.
Place the jars on the rack in the boiler. Pour in enough cold water
to come half way up the sides of the jars. Heat gradually to the boiling
point and boil thirty minutes, counting from the time when the
water begins to bubble.
Have some boiling sirup ready. As each jar is taken from the
boiler put it in a pan of hot water and fill up with the hot sirup. Seal
Marmalades require great care while cooking because no moisture
is added to the fruit and sugar. If the marmalade is made from berries
the fruit should be rubbed through a sieve to remove the seeds.
If large fruit is used have it washed, pared, cored, and quartered.
Measure the fruit and sugar, allowing one pint of sugar to each
quart of fruit.
Rinse the preserving kettle with cold water that there may be a
slight coat of moisture on the sides and bottom. Put alternate layers
of fruit and sugar in the kettle, having the first layer fruit. Heat
slowly, stirring frequently. While stirring, break up the fruit as
much as possible. Cook about two hours, then put in small sterilized
FRUIT PRESERVED IN GRAPE JUICE.
Any kind of fruit can be preserved by this method, but it is particularly
good for apples, pears, and sweet plums. No sugar need be used
in this process.
Boil 6 quarts of grape juice in an open preserving kettle, until it is
reduced to 4 quarts. Have the fruit washed and pared, and, if apples
or pears, quartered and cored. Put the prepared fruit in a preserving
kettle and cover generously with the boiled grape juice. Boil
gently until the fruit is clear and tender, then put in sterilized jars.
When the apple crop is abundant and a large quantity of cider is
made, the housekeeper will find it to her advantage to put up a generous
supply of boiled cider. Such cider greatly improves mince-meat,
and can be used at any time of the year to make cider apple sauce.
It is also a good selling article.
The cider for boiling must be perfectly fresh and sweet. Put it in
a large, open preserving kettle and boil until it is reduced one-half.
Skim frequently while boiling. Do not have the kettle more than two-thirds
Put in bottles or stone jugs.
CIDER APPLE SAUCE.
- 5 quarts of boiled cider.
- 8 quarts of pared, quartered, and cored sweet apples.
Put the fruit in a large preserving kettle and cover with the boiled
cider. Cook slowly until the apples are clear and tender. To prevent
burning, place the kettle on an iron tripod or ring. It will require
from two to three hours to cook the apples. If you find it necessary
to stir the sauce be careful to break the apples as little as possible.
When the sauce is cooked, put in sterilized jars.
In the late spring, when cooking apples have lost much of their
flavor and acidity, an appetizing sauce may be made by stewing them
with diluted boiled cider, using 1 cupful of cider to 3 of water.
CIDER PEAR SAUCE.
Cooking pears may be preserved in boiled cider the same as sweet
apples. If one prefers the sauce less sour, 1 pint of sugar may be
added to each quart of boiled cider.
METHODS OF MAKING JELLY.
In no department of preserving does the housekeeper feel less sure
of the result than in jelly making. The rule that works perfectly one
time fails another time. Why this is so the average housekeeper does
not know; so there is nearly always an element of uncertainty as to
the result of the work. These two questions are being constantly
asked: "Why does not my jelly harden?" "What causes my jelly to
It is an easy matter to say that there is something in the condition
of the fruit, or that the fruit juice and sugar were cooked too short or
too long a time. These explanations are often true; but they do not
help the inquirer, since at other times just that proportion of sugar
and time of cooking have given perfect jelly. In the following pages
an attempt is made to give a clear explanation of the principles underlying
the process of jelly making. It is believed that the women who
study this carefully will find the key to unvarying success in this
branch of preserving.
PECTIN, PECTOSE, PECTASE.
In all fruits, when ripe or nearly so, there is found pectin, a carbohydrate
somewhat similar in its properties to starch. It is because of
this substance in the fruit juice that we are able to make jelly. When
equal quantities of sugar and fruit juice are combined and the mixture
is heated to the boiling point for a short time, the pectin in the fruit
gelatinizes the mass.
It is important that the jelly maker should understand when this
gelatinizing agent is at its best. Pectose and pectase always exist in
the unripe fruit. As the fruit ripens the pectase acts upon the pectose,
which is insoluble in water, converting it into pectin, which is soluble.
Pectin is at its best when the fruit is just ripe or a little before. If
the juice ferments, or the cooking of the jelly is continued too long,
the pectin undergoes a change and loses its power of gelatinizing.
It is, therefore, of the greatest importance that the fruit should be
fresh, just ripe or a little underripe, and that the boiling of the sugar
and juice should not be continued too long.
Fruits vary as to the quantities of sugar, acid, pectin, and gums in
their composition. Some of the sour fruits contain more sugar than
do some of the milder-flavored fruits. Currants, for example, often
contain four or five times as much sugar as the peach. The peach
does not contain so much free acid and it does contain a great deal of
pectin bodies, which mask the acid; hence, the comparative sweetness
of the ripe fruit.
SELECTION AND HANDLING OF FRUIT FOR JELLY MAKING.
An acid fruit is the most suitable for jelly making, though in some
of the acid fruits, the strawberry, for example, the quantity of the
jelly-making pectin is so small that it is difficult to make jelly with
this fruit. If, however, some currant juice be added to the strawberry
juice a pleasant jelly will be the result; yet, of course, the
flavor of the strawberry will be modified. Here is a list of the most
desirable fruits for jelly making. The very best are given first: Currant,
crab apple, apple, quince, grape, blackberry, raspberry, peach.
Apples make a very mild jelly, and it may be flavored with fruits,
flowers, or spices. If the apples are acid it is not advisable to use any
Juicy fruits, such as currants, raspberries, etc., should not be
gathered after a rain, for they will have absorbed so much water as to
make it difficult, without excessive boiling, to get the juice to jelly.
If berries are sandy or dusty it will be necessary to wash them, but
the work should be done very quickly so that the fruit may not absorb
much water. (See washing fruit, p. 13.)
Large fruits, such as apples, peaches, and pears, must be boiled in
water until soft. The strained liquid will contain the flavoring matter
It requires more work and skill to make jellies from the fruits to
which water must be added than from the juicy fruits. If the juicy
fruits are gathered at the proper time one may be nearly sure that
they contain the right proportion of water. If gathered after a rain
the fruit must be boiled a little longer that the superfluous water may
pass off in steam.
In the case of the large fruits a fair estimate is 3 quarts of strained
juice from 8 quarts of fruit and about 4 quarts of water. If the
quantity of juice is greater than this it should be boiled down to 3
Apples will always require 4 quarts of water to 8 quarts of fruit,
but juicy peaches and plums will require only 3 or 3½ quarts.
The jelly will be clearer and finer if the fruit is simmered gently and
not stirred during the cooking.
It is always best to strain the juice first through cheese cloth and
without pressure. If the cloth is double the juice will be quite clear.
When a very clear jelly is desired the strained juice should pass through
a flannel or felt bag. The juice may be pressed from the fruit left in
the strainer and used in marmalade or for a second-quality jelly.
To make jelly that will not crystallize (candy) the right proportion
of sugar must be added to the fruit juice. If the fruit contains a high
percentage of sugar, the quantity of added sugar should be a little
less than the quantity of fruit juice. That is to say, in a season when
there has been a great deal of heat and sunshine there will be more
sugar in the fruit than in a cold, wet season; consequently, 1 pint of
currant juice will require but three-quarters of a pint of sugar. But
in a cold, wet season the pint of sugar for the pint of juice must be
Another cause of the jelly crystallizing is hard boiling. When the
sirup boils so rapidly that particles of it are thrown on the upper
part of the sides of the preserving kettle they often form crystals.
If these crystals are stirred into the sirup they are apt to cause the
mass to crystallize in time.
The use of the sirup gauge and care not to boil the sirup too violently
would do away with all uncertainty in jelly making. The
sirup gauge should register 25°, no matter what kind of fruit is used.
(See p. 15.)
Jellies should be covered closely and kept in a cool, dry, dark place.
The simplest method of making currant jelly is perhaps the following:
Free the currants from leaves and large stems. Put them in the
preserving kettle; crush a few with a wooden vegetable masher or
spoon; heat slowly, stirring frequently.
When the currants are hot, crush them with the vegetable masher.
Put a hair sieve or strainer over a large bowl; over this spread a
double square of cheese cloth. Turn the crushed fruit and juice into
the cheese cloth, and let it drain as long as it drips, but do not use
pressure. To hasten the process take the corners of the straining
cloth firmly in the hands and lift from the sieve; move the contents
by raising one side of the cloth and then the other. After this put
the cloth over another bowl. Twist the ends together and press out
as much juice as possible. This juice may be used to make a second
quality of jelly.
The clear juice may be made into jelly at once, or it may be strained
through a flannel bag. In any case, the method of making the jelly is
Measure the juice, and put it in a clean preserving kettle. For
every pint of juice add a pint of granulated sugar.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then place over the fire; watch
closely, and when it boils up draw it back and skim; put over the fire
again, and boil and skim once more; boil and skim a third time; then
pour into hot glasses taken from the pan of water on the stove and
set on a board. Place the board near a sunny window in a room where
there is no dust. It is a great protection and advantage to have sheets
of glass to lay on top of the tumblers. As soon as the jelly is set cover
by one of the three methods given. (See p. 29.)
To make very transparent currant jelly, heat, crush, and strain the
currants as directed in the simplest process. Put the strained juice in
the flannel bag and let it drain through. Measure the juice and sugar,
pint for pint, and finish as directed above.
To make currant jelly by the cold process follow the first rule for
jelly as far as dissolving the sugar in the strained juice. Fill warm,
sterilized glasses with this. Place the glasses on a board and put the
board by a sunny window. Cover with sheets of glass and keep by
the window until the jelly is set. The jelly will be more transparent
if the juice is strained through the flannel bag. Jelly made by the
cold process is more delicate than that made by boiling, but it does
not keep quite so well.
RASPBERRY AND CURRANT JELLY.
Make the same as currant jelly, using half currants and half raspberries.
Make the same as currant jelly.
Make the same as currant jelly.
To 10 quarts of strawberries add 2 quarts of currants and proceed
as for currant jelly, but boil fifteen minutes.
An acid grape is best for this jelly. The sweet, ripe grapes contain
too much sugar. Half-ripe fruit, or equal portions of nearly ripe
and green grapes, will also be found satisfactory. Wild grapes make
delicious jelly. Make the same as currant jelly.
Make the same as apple jelly.
Use an underripe acid plum. Wash the fruit and remove the stems.
Put into the preserving kettle with 1 quart of water for each peck
of fruit. Cook gently until the plums are boiled to pieces. Strain
the juice and proceed the same as for currant jelly.
Wash, stem, and wipe the apples, being careful to clean the blossom
end thoroughly. Cut into quarters and put into the preserving kettle.
Barely cover with cold water (about 4 quarts of water to 8 of apples)
and cook gently until the apples are soft and clear. Strain the juice
and proceed as for currant jelly. There should be but 3 quarts of juice
from 8 quarts of apples and 4 of water.
Apples vary in the percentage of sugar and acid they contain. A
fine-flavored acid apple should be employed when possible. Apple
jelly may be made at any time of the year, but winter apples are best
and should be used when in their prime, i. e., from the fall to December
or January. When it is found necessary to make apple jelly in
the spring, add the juice of one lemon to every pint of apple juice.
CIDER APPLE JELLY.
Make the same as plain apple jelly, but covering the apples with
cider instead of water. The cider must be fresh from the press.
Make the same as plain apple jelly.
Rub the quinces with a coarse crash towel; cut out the blossom end.
Wash the fruit and pare it and cut in quarters. Cut out the cores,
putting them in a dish by themselves. Have a large bowl half full of
water; drop the perfect pieces of fruit into this bowl. Put the parings
and imperfect parts, cut very fine, into the preserving kettle.
Add a quart of water to every 2 quarts of fruit and parings. Put on
the fire and cook gently for two hours. Strain and finish the same as
apple jelly. The perfect fruit may be preserved or canned.
To make quince jelly of a second quality, when the parings and
fruit are put on to cook put the cores into another kettle and cover
them generously with water and cook two hours. After all the juice
has been drained from the parings and fruit, put what remains into
the preserving kettle with the cores. Mix well and turn into the
straining cloth. Press all the juice possible from this mixture. Put
the juice in the preserving kettle with a pint of sugar to a pint of
juice; boil ten minutes.
WILD FRUITS FOR JELLIES.
Wild raspberries, blackberries, barberries, grapes, and beach plums
all make delicious jellies. The frequent failures in making barberry
jelly come from the fruit not being fresh or from being overripe.
PREPARATION OF THE GLASSES FOR JELLY.
Sterilize the glasses; take from the boiling water and set them in a
shallow baking pan in which there is about 2 inches of boiling water.
Jellies are so rich in sugar that they are protected from bacteria
and yeasts, but they must be covered carefully to protect them from
mold spores and evaporation. The following methods of covering
jellies are all good:
Have disks of thick white paper the size of the top of the glass.
When the jelly is set, brush the top over with brandy or alcohol.
Dip a disk of paper in the spirits and put it on the jelly. If the
glasses have covers, put them on. If there are no covers, cut disks
of paper about half an inch in diameter larger than the top of the
glass. Beat together the white of one egg and a tablespoonful of
cold water. Wet the paper covers with this mixture and put over the
glass, pressing down the sides well to make them stick to the glass; or
the covers may be dipped in olive oil and be tied on the glasses, but
they must be cut a little larger than when the white of egg is used.
A thick coating of paraffin makes a good cover, but not quite so safe
as the paper dipped in brandy or alcohol, because the spirits destroy
any mold spores that may happen to rest on the jelly. If such spores
are covered with the paraffin they may develop under it. However,
the paper wet with spirits could be put on first and the paraffin poured
If paraffin is used, break it into pieces and put in a cup. Set the
cup in a pan of warm water on the back of the stove. In a few
moments it will be melted enough to cover the jelly. Have the coating
about a fourth of an inch thick. In cooling the paraffin contracts,
and if the layer is very thin it will crack and leave a portion of the
CANNED OR BOTTLED FRUIT JUICES.
Fruit juice is most desirable for drinking or for culinary purposes.
Grape juice is particularly good as a drink. It may be canned with
or without sugar but, except where the grapes have a large percentage
of sugar, as is the case in California, some sugar should be added
to the juice in canning.
Currant juice may be sterilized and canned without sugar. This
juice may be made into jelly at any season of the year.
Fruit juices that are designed for use in frozen creams and water
ices should be canned with a generous amount of sugar.
For grape juice good bottles are to be preferred to fruit cans. If
you can get the self-sealing bottles, such as pop or beer comes in,
the work of putting up grape juice will be light. If bottles are
employed, be very careful to sterilize both bottles and corks.
Wash the grapes and pick from the stems. Put the fruit in the
preserving kettle and crush slightly. Heat slowly and boil gently
for half an hour. Crush the fruit with a wooden spoon.
Put a sieve or colander over a large bowl and spread a square of
cheese cloth over the sieve. Turn the fruit and juice into the
cheese cloth; drain well, then draw the edges of the cheese cloth
together and twist hard to press out all the juice possible.
Put the strained juice in a clean preserving kettle and on the fire.
When it boils up, draw back and skim. Let it boil up again and skim;
then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil five minutes, skimming
carefully. Fill hot sterilized jars or bottles. Put the jars or
bottles in a moderate oven for ten minutes, in pans of boiling water.
Have some boiling juice and pour a little of it into the jars as they are
taken from the oven; then seal. Place on boards and set aside out of
a cold draft.
A good proportion of sugar and juice is 1 gill of sugar to a quart
of juice. The preparation and use of grape juice has been discussed
at length in an earlier bulletin of this series.[a]
RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRY, STRAWBERRY, AND CURRANT
With all these fruits except currants, proceed the same as for grape
juice, but adding half a pint of sugar to each quart of juice. Currants
will require 1 pint of sugar to a quart of juice.
CHERRY, PLUM, AND PEACH JUICES.
To preserve the juice of cherries, plums, peaches, and similar fruits,
proceed as for jelly, but adding to each quart of juice half a pint of
sugar instead of a quart as for jelly. If it is not desired to have the
fruit juice transparent, the pulp of the fruit may be pressed to extract
all the liquid.
The only difference between sirups and juice is that in the sirup
there must be at least half as much sugar as fruit juice.
These sirups are used for flavoring ice creams and water ices. They
also make a delicious drink, when two or three spoonfuls are added
to a glass of ice water.
Put 4 quarts of raspberries in a bowl and pour over them 2 quarts
of vinegar. Cover and set in a cool place for two days. On the second
day strain the vinegar through cheese cloth. Put 4 quarts of
fresh raspberries in the bowl and pour over them the vinegar strained
from the first raspberries. Put in a cool place for two days, then
strain. Put the strained juice in a preserving kettle with 3 quarts of
sugar. Heat slowly, and when the vinegar boils skim carefully. Boil
twenty minutes, then put in sterilized bottles.
About 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar to a glass of water makes a
Similar vinegars may be made from blackberries and strawberries.
The following typographical errors were corrected:
- p. 10: crackng to cracking (the cracking of jars)
- p. 17: 22 to 18 (see p. 18)
- p. 19: 17 to 13 (see p. 13)
- p. 19: 14 to 10 (See fruit pricker, p. 10.)
- p. 20: 18 to 14 (The data on page 14)
- p. 21: 14 to 10 (see p. 10)
- p. 26: crytallize to crystallize (to crystallize in time)
Irregularity in hyphenation (e.g. jelly-making vs. jelly making) and
compound words (e.g. wash boiler vs. washboiler) has not been