When my brother and sister-in-law came to visit over Christmas, they first went to Costco and bought fruit - apples, grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. And I meant they bought fruit - veritable cataracts of it! (They don't have kids and completely overestimated how much fruit the four of us could eat.)
So this week the fruit was getting old and starting to go dry and mealy. I hate to see good food wasted - all those beautiful oranges and tangerines! - so I decided to try something different: canning citrus.
According to my beloved Putting Food By (highly recommended), canning citrus was a fairly simple matter. So I tried it.
I peeled the oranges and tangerines (keeping them in separate piles) and packed them in pint jars.
The book said to use a thin syrup (2:1 ratio of water:sugar). Here I'm making the syrup. While the oranges are packed cold, the syrup should be boiling.
The citrus is ready and the lids are on.
Into the boiling bath. Once it's boiling, keep it boiling for ten minutes. Citrus are high acid so they don't need to be pressure canned.
While the citrus was boiling, I peeled and cored the apples to make applesauce. They were so dry and mealy that I couldn't use the apple peeler (you can see it off to the right side) so I peeled them by hand.
I used some of the extra syrup from the citrus and added it to the applesauce. Normally I don't sweeten my applesauce, but trust me, this time it needed it.
So out of what would have been mere fodder for the compost pile, I emerged with nine pints of fruit. Whoo-hoo!
By the way, some people may wonder why I would bother canning citrus. Haven't you ever seen those tiny tins of canned tangerines in the grocery store? I've bought them a few times to use in dessert recipes. Now I have my own.