TO CAN PINEAPPLES.—The writer has had no experience in canning this fruit, but the following method is given on good authority: Pare very carefully with a silver knife, remove all the “eyes” and black specks; then cut the sections in which the “eyes” were, in solid pieces clear down to the core. By doing this all the valuable part of the fruit is saved, leaving its hard, woody center. As, however, this contains considerable juice, it should be taken in the hands and wrung as one wrings a cloth, till the juice is extracted, then thrown away. Prepare a syrup with one part sugar and two parts water, using what juice has been obtained in place of so much water. Let it boil up, skim clean, then add the fruit. Boil just as little as possible and have the fruit tender, as pineapples loses its flavor by overcooking more readily than any other fruit. Put into hot cans, and seal.
The excess of sugar commonly employed in preparing jellies often renders them the least wholesome of fruit preparations, and we cannot recommend our readers to spend a great amount of time in putting up a large stock of such articles.
The juice of some fruits taken at the right stage of maturity may be evaporated to a jelly without sugar, but the process is a more lengthy one, and requires a much larger quantity of juice than when sugar is used.
Success in the preparation of fruit jellies depends chiefly upon the amount of pectose contained in the fruit. Such fruits as peaches, cherries, and others containing but a small proportion of pectose, cannot be made into a firm jelly. All fruit for jelly should, if possible, be freshly picked, and before it is over-ripe, as it has then a much better flavor. The pectose, the jelly-producing element, deteriorates with age, so that jelly made from over-ripe fruit is less certain to “form.” If the fruit is under-ripe, it will be too acid to give a pleasant flavor. Examine carefully, as for canning, rejecting all wormy, knotty, unripe, or partially decayed fruit. If necessary to wash, drain very thoroughly.
Apples, quinces, and similar fruits may require to be first cooked in a small amount of water. The juice of berries, currants, and grapes, may be best extracted by putting the fruit in a granite-ware double boiler, or a covered earthen crock placed inside a kettle of boiling water, mashing as much as possible with a spoon, and steaming without the addition of water until the fruit is well scalded and broken.
For straining the juice, have a funnel-shaped bag made of coarse flannel or strong, coarse linen crash. The bag will be found more handy if a small hoop of wire is sewn around the top and two tapes attached to hang it by while the hot juice is draining, or a wooden frame to support the bag may be easily constructed like the one shown on page 74. A dish to receive the juice should be placed underneath the bag, which