Almost any fruit will be canned in a hot water bath. If you have never canned before you will need to buy some extra equipment. You will have saucepans and ladles or big spoons in your home; but, you might not have canning utensils.
- water bath canner
- set with funnel, tongs, lid lifter, and headspace measure
- lids and bands
- Fruit Fresh (prevents darkening of fruit)
- thick towel
Note: Don't go to your great grandma's attic or basement for the jars. In 1989 there were some new requirements placed on canning jars so if you have antiques, take them to the antique dealer.
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.
Preparing the Mangoes
To handle mangoes, especially really green ones, wear plastic gloves. The mango is related to the same family as poison ivy and needs our respect. Be sure that you don't touch your mouth, nose, or eyes with the gloves. The mango should be firm but not rock hard. It should be ready to eat. Probably the best bet for finding mangoes would be the big outlets such as Costco, Sam's Clubs, or one like those. They have bigger and more mangoes than other places. It takes 5 good sized mangoes for a quart jar.
This is a good time to make the simple syrup. I always use a light syrup to can the fruit. If a person wants fruit juice, white grape juice is suggested. For mangoes, I use 2 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water. Put the water in a saucepan and turn on the heat. Pour the sugar in slowly to let it dissolve. Once the sugar is dissolved keep the syrup boiling gently.
Canning the Mangoes
- The mangoes need to be washed. Once they are clean, drop them into a pan of boiling water for 60 seconds and then drop them gently into a bowl of cold water and ice. The skin should slide right off. Once they are peeled, check for any dark spots and cut them out. Slice the mangoes as you like. (There is a mango splitter for sale at Amazon. It looks rather like the apple slicer and corer but only has the blade in the middle.)
- When there is a bowlful of mangoes sliced, use 1/4 cup of Fruit Fresh or lemon juice to sprinkle all sides of the fruit. Once it is covered, fill the jars with the mangoes and add your hot syrup until the jar is filled to 1/2 inch from the top.
- Since the fruit is not boiled in the syrup, this is called cold-packing. If you don't want the fruit to have too much space in the jar and float about in it, you need to pack the jar tightly. It helps to use the simple syrup rather than a heavy one also. This is one time that the air bubbles are checked several times. The plastic headspace utensil needs to be pushed down the side of the jar. Press the utensil against the fruit firmly but gently. Check the air several times before the jar is closed.
- Place the sealed jars in the canner with at least an inch of water over the jars. Keep the water boiling. The mangoes need to be processed for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the jars and place them at least an inch apart on the thick towel on the counter.
- Once the jars are cool, take off the bands. If the bands are left in place, they should be loosened or they could rust in place. Store jars in a cool, dark place. Never store any canned food near heaters, furnaces, or other heat producers. You should be enjoying your mangoes for some time.
By Mary Belk
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