Recently, Acorn has had an abundance of fruit—between donations and our most recent peach harvest, we’ve had more than we’ve known what to do with! Our peaches, sadly, are diseased—peach trees don’t do well in our climate—so hours were spent cutting out the diseased parts for canning.
We also canned significant amounts of pineapple, and an experiment was made making fruit leather.
In case you are unfamiliar with canning fruit (as I was at the time), here are step by step instructions:
1. Cut them into bite-size chunks, spears, or whatever works for you. We didn’t remove the skin off of our peaches because ours were very small. Be sure to remove any bad brown bits (hopefully your peaches won’t have any!) and the pits. As you cut the peaches up, they need to be placed in water with lemon juice (any type of citric acid will do) so that they don’t turn brown while you prepare for canning.
2. Before canning, it’s important to sterilize the mason jars. Put the jars in boiling bath water for five seconds.
3. Make the canning syrup. We made ours by boiling turbinado sugar and water, although you can substitute sugar for honey.
4. Place the peaches in the mason jars, and be careful not to pack past the base of the rim. Fill with the syrup, place in boiling bath water for 25-30 minutes. This sterilizes the insides so that they keep well in the cans.
The fruit leather was a far more simple process—we pureed fruit, laid it on trays with wax paper, and baked overnight at a low temperature (150 degrees). We found it didn’t solidify enough by morning and ended up baking it until midday. The pineapple was harder to make into fruit leather because it had more water in it.