Peaches are still coming in from Georgia and the pears are starting to arrive so it’s that time of year to can up some homemade fruit cocktail. I used the last 4 pints of last years canning season for ambrosia for my dad’s birthday last month, so timing is perfect!
This recipe is in Ball Blue Book guide to preserving described as Mixed Fruits.
from the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving
Whatever types of fruits you want in your fruit cocktail, this is the fun part, its your choice! Apricots, Cherries, Grapefruit, Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Pineapples, White Grapes,etc.
2 to 3 pounds mixed fruit per quart jar or half that much is using pint jars.
Light Syrup ( 2 1/4 cups sugar to 5 1/4 cups water) Heated together until sugar is dissolved. This will make 6 1/2 cups of light syrup.
Prepare the jars and boiling water canner.
Use at least three or more varieties of fruit. Prepare the fruits as needed for each individual fruit, wash, core,peel, cut into cubes or chunks. I cut the fruit to about 3/4 inch to 1-inch chunks for the peaches, pears and pineapples and I leave the grapes whole. If I use fresh cherries I cut them in half, the canned bright red maraschino cherries I keep whole. Treat fruit with lemon juice or commercial fruit preserver to prevent darkening.
Prepare the light syrup and bring the syrup to a boil and then add the prepared fruit. Cook fruit until hot throughout. Pack hot fruit into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. If you are using the bright red maraschino cherries from the store , heat them separately and then if you put them in the bottom of the jar before adding the rest of the hot fruit they won’t turn the whole jar of fruit cocktail pink. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 20 minutes, quarts 25 minutes in a boiling water canner. Adjust for altitude.
Note: If fruit is to be used for salad or dessert, leave in large pieces, cut fruit into small pieces if using for cocktail.
Verdict ; I like the homemade fruit cocktail because I can add extra pineapple and grapes! I got 8 pints jars of fruit from the fresh fruit. I used the bright red maraschino cherries from the store for this batch as my family likes these for the fruit cocktail and I can save the dark red maraschino cherries I canned earlier in the summer for chocolate covered cherries at Christmas.