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Canned Fruit, Preserves, and Jellies: Household Methods of Preparation Part 7

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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 over it.

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 jelly exposed.

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.

GRAPE JUICE.

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 JUICES.

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.

FRUIT SIRUPS.

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 gla.s.s of ice water.

RASPBERRY VINEGAR.

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 gla.s.s of water makes a refreshing drink.

Similar vinegars may be made from blackberries and strawberries.

FOOTNOTES:

[a] U. S. Dept. Agr., Farmers' Bulletin No. 175.

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Canned Fruit, Preserves, and Jellies: Household Methods of Preparation Part 7 summary

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