For my family, it doesn't matter that the fruit fills only half the jar, but I had hope to give some as gifts. I can't now. I'm feeling embarrassed. Does anyone have any advice for me?
By cielalday from Pittsburg, CA
I have canned plums, peaches, figs, just about any fruit you can name, having been for years in a plant and produce business (even at 70 I still make special things like jams, marmalade, relishes, etc.). Here is the absolute fact! Fruits, when canned, do tend to rise to the top of the jar. The best plan, follow instructions in canning book, pamphlet, or ?, But do try to pack firmly, without smashing fruit to pieces, and fill just about to top of jar, leaving just enough room for expansion that happens when syrup heats. Hope this helps. Don't be upset with a space of syrup at the bottom, it is natural. Also, if an edge of fruit is above syrup after canning, and canning was done properly, the fruit is still perfectly safe.
Instead of scooping the plums into the jars, try packing them as tightly as you can, pushing them in with a wooden spoon or something all the way up to the neck of the jar and then add your liqud to cover the fruit.
I have a really old Kerr Canning book. I don't know if this will help or not, but the instructions to can plums are:
Plums (Cold Pack)
"Select plums not too ripe: wash and prick skin with needle to prevent bursting. Pack into clean KERR Jars and fill to fill within 1 1/2 inches of top of jar with medium or heavy syrup. Put on cap, screwing band Firmly Tight. Process according to time table, page 8." Boiling Water Bath: Pints 20 min. Quarts 25 min. Pressure Cooker: Pints. & Quarts 10 min. at 5 lbs. of pressure.
"Boil sugar & water together until sugar is dissolved. Juice of the fruit may be used in place of water.
Keep syrup hot but do not let it boil down.
Medium----1 cup sugar and 2 cups water
Heavy----1 cup sugar and 1 cup water
The Heavy syrup is for sour fruit and those to be extra sweet. There is no recipe for hot pack plums. Hope this helps.
I wondered if you have a good tasting recipe for plum jam? Most of the store varieties are bland, not like a plum tastes. Do you use any of your canned plums to make jams?
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