There's something special about the way the natural sugars in fresh pineapple take on an almost candy-like quality when cooked, then preserved. I love the flavors so much that on the rare occasion I find myself on a tropical vacation, I always find a way to put up a jar or two of pineapple preserves using local produce. Yes, even on vacation I can't resist the urge to preserve the freshness of something delicious.
Note: It helps to be sure to rent a place with a kitchen. Canning in a hotel room? Not recommended.
Makes ~3 half pints
- 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks (3 lb pineapple)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 fresh lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
- 1 cup water
Note: Prepare canning jars before starting your preserving project.
1.) Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan.
2.) Bring slowly to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir the fruit gently to reduce foaming. Once sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to a rapid boil.
3.) As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. After about 10 minutes the fruit should be softening and you can periodically mash the chunks with a potato masher if you want smaller pieces.
4.) Continue boiling for 10-15 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jam either thickens to your liking or until it reaches 220º on a candy thermometer.
5.) Ladle jam into clean hot jars to within 1/4" of the top, and use a plastic knife to pop any bubbles that appear in the jam.
6.) Wipe rims spotlessly clean using a damp paper towel.
7.) Place a sealing lid on top of jar then screw a band onto the jar until it's "fingertip-tight".
8.) Process for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath.
9.) Turn kettle off and let jars rest in kettle for 5 more minutes.
10.) Remove jars from kettle using jar-lifter tongs, and gently set aside to cool on the counter, on a kitchen towel, in a draft-free place.
10.) Let rest for 24 hours, then check for proper seal before storing.
> If jars lid seals it will easily keep for one year in a cool, dark place. If jar doesn't seal, place it in your refrigerator and eat within 3 months, and within one month after opening.
Recipe adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.