Fruit Preserves

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This recipe will work with any berry or stone fruit. It is important to follow these directions exactly. I have only used Ball brand bulk “RealFruit Instant Pectin”. I have not tested the kind that comes in a box. I would hate to waste all the ingredients on a failed recipe.

4 cups sugar
6 cups fresh fruit
2 Tbsp lemon juice (not needed for berries)
4 1/2 Tbsp powdered fruit pectin
1/2 tsp butter

1. You will need 6 hot and sterile 1 cup canning jars with 2 piece lids. The band part of the lid can be reused, but the flat lid should be new in order to properly seal. Rather than boiling, I find the easiest way to prepare the jars is to run them through the dishwasher with hot water and a heated dry cycle. When the cycle turns to dry I begin the actual cooking process. Have the lids ready by submerging them in a pot of simmering water, but do not boil. It is also helpful to have a clean canning funnel, a ladle and tongs to remove the lids from their water.

2. Measure the sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Prepare the fruit by cleaning, then crushing it well to make 4 cups. Reserve any extra fruit for another use.

4. In a large Dutch oven, combine the prepared fruit and lemon juice, if needed. Stir in the dry pectin and add the butter to reduce foaming.

5. Stirring constantly over high heat, bring the fruit mixture to a full boil.

6. Quickly stir in the sugar. Continuing to stir constantly, return the preserves to a full boil. Boil for exactly one minute, then remove from the heat.

7. Working as quickly as possible, ladle the preserves into the hot jars to within 1/8″ of the top. Wipe the rim and threads of the jar clean with a damp cloth. Cover the jar with the hot lids and screw the bands on tightly. As each jar is filled invert it onto the countertop.

8. Wait 10 minutes after all the jars are filled, the turn them upright. After 30 minutes check to see that each jar has sealed by depressing the center of the lid. If the lid pops back up, the jar has not sealed and should be refrigerated. Sealed jars may be stored in a pantry until opened, then refrigerated.

9. You will probably be left with a partially filled jar. Enjoy it first.

Servings: 88
Yield: 5 1/2 cups

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