How To Can Plums ?
Plums can add a special tinge of sparkle and freshness to a cold winter day or even a holiday. This fruit is eaten with equal zest by adults and children. One can eat fresh plums during the season and in fact, not miss out much by preserving and storing them for long term use. Canning plums in light syrup is the most preferred method of preserving these fruits.
The ingredients and material for canning them are fresh plums, steam canner or boiling water-bath , jars for canning, lifter for jars, tongs, pot for boiling syrup, colander for draining the plums, ladle, funnel for canning, thin bladed knife or sewing pin or needle for piercing the plums.
Check the jars for cracks, rust, bends, chips or improper sealing rubber in the lids. Wash and sterilize them by placing them in a hot water-bath filled two-thirds with water. Lids can be simmered gently or placed in a pan and covered with hot water.
Light syrup can be prepared in order to give mild sweetness and not load the plums lest people without a liking for not so sweet taste may not enjoy eating them. The syrup can be prepared by mixing sugar and water in the ratio of 30:60. Pour water in to a pot and add sugar granules. Boil till the syrup thickens slightly. More syrup can be prepared maintaining the sugar to water ratio at 1:2.
Wash and dry the plums and pierce them using a sharp object like needle, sewing pin or knife. Pack them in to a jar. Pour hot syrup so as to cover them and leave about ½ inch gap between the top and the lid. Place these sealed jars in a water bath with boiling water. Cover the canner rack and process the jars depending on their size. Jars measuring a pint or half-pint can be processed for 20 minutes while quarts need 25 minutes of processing. From the water bath of canner rack, use tongs or jar lifters for removing the processed jars.
Leave the jars on towels or boards away from thee drafts for cooling. Leave them overnight for best results. As and when the jars cool down, the lids will seal making a ‘ping’ sound. Once they are cooled fully, check the seals and the correctly sealed jars can be stacked in cool and dark place. The jars which are not sealed well must be put through the entire process in the canner rack again and then stored. They can also be placed in refrigerators in the interim period.
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