If you like papayas, canning them makes it easy to enjoy them any time of year.
- water bath canner
- set with funnel, tongs, lid lifter, and headspace measure.
- lids and bands
- Fruit Fresh (prevents darkening of fruit) and lemon juice
- thick towel
Preparing the Jars
To prepare the jars, they can be washed in a dishwasher if it has a sanitized cycle. The jars can be left in the dishwasher on a heat cycle. The lids need to be washed and left in the hot water. The canner needs to be filled so that there will be an inch of boiling water over the top of the jars.
Making Simple Syrup
Before cleaning the papayas, you need to make a simple syrup. Papayas need a medium to heavy syrup for canning. For medium syrup, you need 3 cups of sugar and 4 cups water. For heavy syrup, you need 4 3/4 cups sugar and 4 cups of water. The syrup should be heated slowly to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, the syrup needs to gently boil for a few minutes. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to each quart of syrup.
Preparing the Fruit
Papayas like any fruit to be canned need to be firm and ripe. They need to be washed in cool to lukewarm water. Once clean, they need to be peeled and the seeds need to be removed. The fruit then needs to be cut up into pieces.
Canning the Papayas
- Once the fruit has been preapred, they need to be placed in the hot syrup. The papayas need to cook in the syrup for about 2 or 3 minutes. Be sure all fruit is covered as it cooks.
- With a spoon, fill the jars with the hot fruit. Tap the jar on the counter gently to help get rid of any air bubbles. Pour the hot syrup over the fruit until all is covered and there is about 1/2 inch of headspace.
- Remove the air bubbles and add more syrup if needed. Wipe the rims of the jar and put the lids and bands in place.
- Using the jar holder, place each jar down in the canner and pour more boiling water into it to cover all the jars with at least 1 inch of water. The papayas need to be processed about 20 minutes. The water should be boiling the entire time.
- After the 20 minutes, the jars should be removed and placed on a thick towel on the counter about an inch apart to cool. Once cool and the lids are set, the bands should be removed and the fruit stored in a cool dry place.
By Mary Belk