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Canning Fresh Pineapple
Having home canned pineapple on hand is such a treat and is such a cost-savings if you purchase fresh pineapple when they’re on sale at the market or grocery store. Pineapple has many health benefits and is such a pleasure during the cold, winter months. It is like bringing a bit of the tropics and sunshine into your home when the skies are dark and grey.
How to Cut a Pineapple in 5 Minutes or Less
There are many ways to cut a pineapple, but when you are home canning, time is of the essence. We need to find helpful ways to quicken our prep time, especially if we are doubling or tripling a batch. Or, for many of us who garden, we need to work quickly and efficiently when our crops come in all at once! In this case, saving time cutting a pineapple is crucial because we are likely staring at 10 or more pineapples who all need to have their precious yellow flesh chopped and preserved in jars.
At Evolving Table, they did an awesome job demonstrating each step so you can master prepping, cutting and using a fresh pineapple. Click here if you would like to see each of these steps in image form. Otherwise, the following is a quick break down of instructions from their site:
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut off the top of the pineapple as well as the bottom. You want to cut at least 1/2-inch off and no more than 1 inch from both ends.
- Next, place the pineapple flat side down on a cutting board. Starting from the top, place the knife into a piece of the pineapple flesh right next to the pokey skin. Cut in a downward motion along the curvature of the fruit, making sure to keep your knife completely in the flesh. Try and cut deep enough into the flesh that most of the dark eyes are removed.
- Rotate the pineapple and then repeat this around the entire circumference until all of the skin is removed. Use a paring knife to cut out any remaining remnants of the skin.
- Cut the pineapple in half.
- Set the pineapple on the cutting board with the flat side down. Use a sharp knife to slice through the length of the pineapple down the middle. Cut the halves in half again. Run the knife through the two pieces lengthwise to create four quarters.
- Remove the core from each quarter by cutting it out at an angle. Locate the core in each quartered wedge, it’s a paler-yellow color running down the middle. Slice about ½-inch into the flesh to cut it away from the fruit. Set aside the cores because you will use them later to make simple syrup.
- Cut into cubes to raw pack into jars, or cut into smaller cubes so you may then cook down and crush if canning your pineapple crushed.
Making Simple Syrup for Canning Fresh Pineapple chunks
Remember all those cores you set aside while cutting and prepping your fresh pineapples? Well now we are going to use them with water to create the syrup you will need to can your pineapple chunks. Aren’t you happy you didn’t toss the pineapple cores?!
Here is the math you will need to determine:
- How many fresh pineapples to buy/grow,
- How many jars you should have clean and ready, and
- How much syrup you will need to make to fill all of those jars.
Two Fresh Pineapples = Yield approx. 5 pints or 10 half-pints of Canned Pineapple Chunks
While you may be tempted to simply cover your pineapple with water when canning pineapple chunks, creating a very simple syrup using the cores of the pineapple will ensure your pineapple chucks retain their flavor during processing and long-term storage.
This will make approx. 5 pints or 10 half-pints worth of syrup
- Cores from 2 fresh pineapples
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar, optional
- Take the pineapple cores from 2 fresh pineapples and place them in a saucepan.
- Place the 6 cups of water into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar (if using) to the water. Using a whisk, whisk the sugar into the water until it is fully dissolved. Add the sugared water to the saucepan. If you are not using sugar, simply place the water into the saucepan with the pineapple cores.
- Using medium-high heat, bring the cores to a boil. Boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring often to avoid scorching.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to ladle into your jars of pineapple chunks.
- Do not be surprised if you have syrup left over after filling your jars. It is better to have more than not enough.
Now, depending on how many pineapples you have, you may do the math so you may have enough syrup on hand to adequately fill your jars prior to processing. For instance, if you have 4 fresh pineapples, you would double the recipe. Doing so would mean you would use the cores from 4 fresh pineapples, 12 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar, if using.
You get the picture!
Canning Fresh Pineapple Instructions
Here are the steps using everything from above to enjoy canning fresh pineapple chunks in jars. You will use the above math to determine your yield, but the following instructions ring true whether you are canning 5 pints or 50 pints.
- Using the instructions above, peel, core and chop your pineapple into 2-inch sized chucks, or as large/small as you would like to see them on the end of a fork. You may also crush your pineapple chunks using a potato masher.
- Create the simple syrup using the pineapple cores using the instructions above, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Raw pack the pineapple chunks, or crushed pineapple, into each pint jar. Be sure to really pack the chunks into each jar leaving as little space as possible, like playing a game of Tetris. Be sure to leave a 1-inch headspace in each jar.
- Using a funnel and ladle, pour the simple syrup into each jar slowly, being sure to fill the liquid to 1/2-inch of headspace.
- Gently tap each jar onto a cutting board to release any trapped air bubbles. If you have room, use your air bubble remover tool to help release any trapped air bubbles. Add additional syrup to maintain the 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe each jar with a washcloth dipped in vinegar. Add a lid and ring, and hand tighten.
- Place jars in a water bather and be sure all jars are covered by an inch of water. Place lid on canner and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water is at a full rolling boil, set timer and process pints (and half-pints) for 15 minutes. If you choose to preserve pineapple in quarts, process for 20 minutes.
- When processing time is complete, turn off the burner and remove the canner lid. Let the jars sit for 5 minutes before removing them to cool on a cutting board.
Have a wonderful time canning pineapple! I just purchased five fresh pineapples myself – all this writing made me hungry for some and I only had two jars left in my pantry. We just love having home canned pineapple sitting on-the-ready in our pantry – it truly is a treat!
So off to the kitchen I go…
Diane, The Canning Diva