This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
The juice from any type of fruit may be canned, the method being the same for all kinds, the only difference being that if dry or hard fruits are used, it will be necessary to add a little water to start the juices, while if soft fruits are used, like grapes or blackberries, the water is not necessary. It is an economy of space and jars to make the fruit juice very condensed, diluting it, when using, with the desired amount of water.
A much better color and flavor is obtained if the fruit is not cooked directly over the heat, but rather is steamed.
The amount of sugar to be used depends upon the kind of fruit juice, but, generally speaking, from one-half to a cupful of sugar is ample for a quart of juice if a sweet result is desired. But if it is not practicable to add the sugar when the fruit juice is being put up, it will keep equally well without it, and if desired may be used later on in the season for making jellies.
When there are a great many apples on hand they may form the basis for delicious jellies made with an apple foundation combined with any desired proportion of canned fruit juices, the flavor of the jelly being almost as good as when the more expensive fruit is entirely used.
Wash and crush the fruit in a good-sized preserving kettle. To each peck of fruit allow a pint of water. Set this kettle in a hot-water bath, that is, a kettle of larger size containing hot water, and steam the fruit until it is tender and the juices run freely. Strain through a flannelette jelly bag. Pour the juice into jars or bottles with patent tops. Adjust the rubbers and tops and sterilize thirty minutes for pint jars and sixty minutes for larger jars, in the hot-water-bath pouring in water only to the necks of the bottles, if used.
Hard fruit juices may be obtained in the same way by using more water and cooking the fruit in the kettle for a longer time.
If sugar is to be added, it should be mixed into the strained juice. If the bag is squeezed, the juice will be cloudy, but it may be used as "seconds" for jelly-making. If ordinary bottles are used, they should be rilled with the liquid, and boiled in the water-bath as for the patent bottles, the tops being stuffed with absorbent cotton. The tops should be dipped in melted paraffine to form a perfect seal.