Canning juice at home is generally very similar to canning fruits, vegetables, and meats. Fruits and vegetables should usually be peeled, chopped, and steamed or boiled until very, very soft. The exception is normally tomatoes, which can be peeled and then crushed or pureed. The jars and rings for canning juice should be sterilized in hot water beforehand, and the lids warmed in hot water to soften the sealant material. Once the juice has been strained from the cooked fruit pulp, it should generally be brought back to a boil, and put into the jars that are then submerged in boiling water for several minutes.
When selecting fruit for canning juice, many people like to choose the sweetest fruit possible. Using very sweet fruit can eliminate the need for additional sugar. Sugar can typically be added to the juice before canning, according to taste. Other spices, such as cinnamon, may also be added to enhance the taste of the canned juice.
It is generally considered necessary to peel and chop fruit before cooking it for juice canning purposes. Tomatoes are usually simply peeled and crushed. Fruit for canning juice should usually be cooked until it is soft enough to crush in the hands.
The soft fruit mixture can then be cooled and the juice strained out in one of two ways. The mixture can be poured into a cheesecloth, suspended above a basin and aloud to drip dry. This method can take several hours. Some people simply press the cooked fruit through a sieve. This method is typically fastest, but will also usually provide a pulpy fruit juice.
Once strained, the juice for canning should typically be brought back to a boil, before being ladled into hot, sterilized jars. Most people advise filling the jars for canning juice up to about 0.25 inch (0.64 centimeters) from the jar's top. Lids and rings should then be placed on the jars, and the jars should be submerged in boiling water to a depth of about 2 inches (5.08 centimeters).
Quart-sized (0.94 liter) jars should typically be boiled in this manner for about five minutes at sea level, while gallon-sized (3.8 liter) jars should usually be boiled for ten minutes. At altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 feet (304.8 to 1828.8 meters), it's considered sufficient to add an additional five minutes to the cooking times. At even higher altitudes, an additional ten minutes of cooking time will usually suffice. After the jars have been properly cooked, they should be gently and carefully removed from the hot water, and positioned in a safe place in such a manner that they do not touch one another. They will usually need to be left alone for at least 12 hours to cool properly.