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Bulletin #4381, Canning Fruits & Tomatoes In a Boiling-Water-Bath Canner

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canned tomatoesCanning & Freezing Quick-Guides

Canning Fruits & Tomatoes In a Boiling-Water-Bath Canner

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension logo

Prepared by Extension Professor Catherine Violette, PhD, RD, LD, University of New Hampshire; reproduced with permission.

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Follow directions for hot or raw pack. Pack fruit or tomatoes into hot jars. Leave 1/2-inch head space except where indicated. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath canner.

Fruit Preparation Jar Size Processing Time
(in boiling-water
canner 0–1000 ft¹)

Apples, sliced Wash, peel, core, and slice into 1/2-inch wedges. Place into anti-darkening solution.² Drain slices.
Hot pack: Put 5 lbs. of slices in pan with 1 pint water, very light, light or medium syrup. Boil 5 minutes. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water. Pints or quarts 20 Minutes
Applesauce Wash, peel, core. Slice into anti-darkening solution.² Drain slices.
Hot pack: Place sliced apples in large pot, add 1/2 cup water. Heat until tender. Press through sieve for smooth sauce. Add sugar if desired: 1/8 cup per quart or to taste. Reheat to boiling, fill hot jars with hot sauce. Pints 15 minutes
Quarts 20 minutes
Berries, whole (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) Wash. Drain, cap, stem.
Hot pack: Heat 1 pound of berries in 1 gallon boiling water for 30 seconds, drain. Fill hot jars with 1/2 cup hot syrup, juice, or water. Pack berries into hot jars. Fill with more hot liquid. Pints 15 minutes
Quarts 20 minutes
Fruit purees of any fruit except figs, tomatoes, melons, papaya, ripe mango, or coconut Stem, wash, drain, peel, and remove pits.
Hot pack: Measure fruit into large pot, crushing slightly if desired. Add 1 cup hot water for each quart of fruit. Cook slowly until soft. Stir frequently. Press through sieve or food mill. If desired, add sugar to taste. Reheat until sugar dissolves. Fill hot jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Pints or quarts 15 minutes
Peaches, apricots, nectarines To remove skins from peaches, dip in boiling water for 30–60 seconds or until skins loosen. Dip in cold water. Slip off skins. Cut in half, remove pits and slice if desired. Skin removal is optional for apricots. Don’t remove nectarine skins. Dip into anti-darkening solution.² Drain.
Hot pack: Place in boiling juice or syrup, bring to boil. Fill hot jars with hot fruit. Place halves in layers, cut side down. Fill with hot liquid. Pints 20 minutes
Quarts 25 minutes
Raw pack: Fill hot jars with raw fruit, cut side down. Add hot liquid. Pints 25 minutes
Quarts 30 minutes
Pears, halved Wash, peel. Cut lengthwise in half, remove core. Place in anti-darkening solution.² Drain.
Hot pack: Boil pears 5 minutes in syrup, juice or water. Fill hot jars with hot fruit. Fill with hot liquid. Pints 20 minutes
Quarts 25 minutes
Plums, halved or whole Wash. To can whole, prick skin on two sides with fork. Freestone varieties may be halved and pitted.
Hot pack: Add plums to hot water or syrup. Boil 2 minutes, cover saucepan, let stand 20–30 minutes. Fill hot jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid or syrup. Pints 20 minutes
Quarts 25 minutes
Raw pack: Fill hot jars with raw plums, pack firmly. Add hot water or syrup. Pints 20 minutes
Quarts 25 minutes
Rhubarb,stewed Select young, tender stalks. Trim off leaves. Wash, cut stalks into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Hot pack: Add 1/2 cup sugar to each quart rhubarb and let stand until juice appears. Bring to boil. Fill hot jars without delay. Pints or quarts 15 minutes
Tomatoes, crushed (with no added liquid) Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water 30–60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water. Remove skins, core. Quarter.
Hot pack: Heat about 1 pound of the quarters quickly in large pot, crushing them with a spoon as they’re added to pot. Continue heating. Stir. Once boiling, gradually add remaining tomatoes, stir constantly. Remaining tomatoes don’t need to be crushed. Boil gently 5 minutes. Fill hot jars with hot tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar (1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint). Pints 35 minutes
Quarts 45 minutes
Tomatoes, whole or halved (packed in water) Prepare tomatoes as above. Leave whole or halve.
Hot pack: Place in pot, cover with water, boil 5 minutes. Fill hot jars with hot tomatoes, add hot cooking liquid to cover. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars (above). Pints 40 minutes
Quarts 45 minutes
Raw pack: Fill hot jars with raw, peeled tomatoes. Add boiling water to cover tomatoes. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars (above). Pints 40 minutes
Quarts 45 minutes

General Instructions

Preparing and Using Syrups
Measures of Water and Sugar for 9-pint load (or 4-quart load)
Type of syrup Sugar Water
10% (very light) 1/2 cup 4 cups
20% (light) 1 cup 4 cups
30% (medium) 1 3/4 cups 4 cups
40% (heavy) 2 3/4 cups 4 cups
50% (very heavy) 4 cups 4 cups
Procedure: Heat water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and keep hot until ready to use. Adding syrup to canned fruit helps retain flavor, color, and shape. It doesn’t prevent spoilage of these foods.

Canning Fruits Without Sugar: Select fully ripe but firm fruits of the best quality. Prepare fruit for hot packs as described above but use water or regular unsweetened fruit juices instead of sugar syrup. Juice from the fruits being canned is best. Blends of unsweetened apple, pineapple, and white grape juice are also good for filling over solid fruit pieces. Adjust head spaces and lids and use processing recommendations given for regular fruit.

Adapted from E. Andress, J. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Fifth Edition. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension bulletin 989, 2006.

1Altitude Adjustment: For altitudes of 1,001–3,000 feet, add 5 minutes to processing time.

2Antidarkening Solution: Mix one teaspoon or 3000 mg of ascorbic acid into one gallon of water. Commercially prepared mixes of ascorbic are also available in supermarkets. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Hold small batches of fruit in the solution until ready to use. Drain thoroughly.

Brand names are included for educational purposes. No endorsement is implied nor is discrimination intended against similar products.


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2007, 2009

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