Making homemade preserves will take some time, but the results can be worthwhile if you carefully follow the instructions in the recipe. Choosing the best quality of ingredients will help ensure that the finished product turns out well. The jars used for preserves must be prepared and sterilized properly before you place the hot fruit mixture in them.
Before starting to prepare the preserves, read over the recipe thoroughly to make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients. The fruit used for homemade preserves should be examined to look for bruises or soft spots before you cut into it. Keep in mind that the idea when preparing fruit for preserves is to leave it in fairly large chunks to give the finished product its distinctive texture.
To make a good batch of homemade preserves, use the specific ingredients listed in the recipe. They appear in the text for a reason, and no substitutions should be made when you are preparing a batch. Substituting ingredients or leaving out any ingredients can reduce the quality of the homemade preserves.
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If the recipe calls for combining the fruit and other ingredients and refrigerating the mixture overnight before cooking it, this is a necessary step. The ingredients usually should be combined for several hours before the mixture is cooked. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil and stir frequently to prevent the fruit-and-sugar mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
After the ingredients have been cooked, the next step in the process is to place the hot preserves into prepared jars. When the cooking pot has been emptied, put some water in the bottom of it to make cleaning it easier after the jars have been filled and the preserves have been canned. The preparation techniques used by previous generations are no longer appropriate for modern preserve makers. Before using jars for making preserves, they must be cleaned and sterilized by placing them in a pot of boiling water.
A boiling bath method can be used to can homemade preserves. This method of canning involves filling clean jars with the hot homemade preserves from the stove and placing the lid firmly in place before placing them in a large pot of water. The jars are completely covered in water and then boiled on the stove for a specific amount of time. The recipe will indicate the exact length of time that the jars should spend under the water.