What’re pineapple preserves?

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Pineapple preserves are a condiment made with real fruit pieces and sugar. They can be made at home and stored for up to a year if properly sealed. The simplest version uses only pineapple and sugar, while more complex versions may include other fruits and require boiling the juice first. Homemade preserves require sterilized jars and an electric container for storage.

Similar to jelly and jam, pineapple preserves are a type of condiment made from pineapples. Unlike jelly, which uses fruit juice, and jam, which uses fruit pulp, preserves are made with real fruit pieces and therefore are heavier than the other alternatives. Although pineapple preserves can be found commercially, both in stores and online, the pineapple flavor is less popular in many areas than the more common alternatives, and therefore may not be available in some stores. This condiment can be made at home but generally requires sterilized jars and a container.

The simplest versions of pineapple preserves use only pineapple and sugar. Fresh or canned pineapple can be used, but the juice must be preserved from both. When canned, pineapple is usually mashed, while fresh pineapple is diced. Most versions also add lemon juice and sometimes vanilla. Occasionally other fruits, such as pears, can also be combined with the pineapple.

To make pineapple preserves, pineapple, complete with juice, can be simmered in a pan with sugar until the mixture thickens. The preserves are constantly stirred during boiling. Doneness can be determined by the thickness or temperature of the mixture. Once complete, the mixture is poured into jars and left to cool.

The more complex version boils and reduces the juice first. If other fruits are included, they are boiled with juice. Then, the pineapple is added and allowed to cook briefly before including the sugar. After the sugar has dissolved, you can also add the lemon juice and vanilla if using.

Other versions of pineapple preserves suggest coating freshly cut pineapple cubes with sugar and then letting the mixture sit overnight. Next, the pineapple chunks are removed and the remaining sweetened juice is boiled and cooled to create a syrup. Once the syrup has cooled, the pineapple chunks are added and the mixture is returned to the heat to simmer until tender. When the pineapple is tender, preserves can be canned.

Homemade pineapple preserves require an electric container to keep them for any length of time without refrigeration. When placed in sterilized jars and made into a container, preserves can be stored in a cupboard or pantry for up to a year, as long as the jars remain sealed. After opening a jar, however, homemade preserves should be refrigerated and have the same shelf life as commercial versions.

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