Canning is a good way to preserve late harvest fruit.
Every summer I can a few jars of mixed fruit. It’s the grown-up version of that childhood treat, fruit cocktail. Earlier this summer it was a combination of early peaches, apricots, cherries, and mango. The jars were beautiful and I look forward to savoring the sweet summer fruit this winter while the wind is blowing and it’s below freezing.
But at the end of August I found myself with a few late peaches and thought I would try a different fruit combination this time. So I combined peaches, pears, and large green grapes. Since none of the flavors are assertive on their own, I used a light honey syrup this time.
Do keep in mind, if you purchase your pears from the grocery store they should be left to ripen on the counter for a day or two before canning. You don’t want them to be really soft, but unripe pears have absolutely no flavor, so we want them to be a bit ripe. Supposedly Bartlett pears are the best for canning as they hold together best.
- 12 cups mixed fruit (I used peaches, pears, and green grapes)
- 1½ cups honey
- 6 cups water
- Peel peaches and pears and cut into large pieces.
- Soak in a lemon juice/water combination if desired to reduce color change (optional).
- In a large pot, combine honey and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until well combined.
- Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Drain fruit and add to syrup mixture. Continue simmering until fruit is heated through.
- Spoon fruit into clean pint jars.
- Fill each jar with the hot syrup leaving ½ inch head space.
- Remove the bubbles (I use the handle of a rubber spatula, but there is an actual tool for this process. Just don’t use anything metal).
- Wipe the tops of the jars with a damp paper towel, and cover with two-piece caps. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes.
- Makes 6 pints with some syrup left over (use it for another batch or to make sorbet or to sweeten iced tea).