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The Pith Mistake To Avoid For The Best Home-Canned Oranges

Jar of oranges
Jar of oranges - Peredniankina/Shutterstock

Oranges are tasty fruits for munching on as snacks, tossing into fruit salads, or turning into an Orange Crush cocktail. If you've got screeds of them on your hands, another way to use these fruits up is to can them. This trick is easy, and the citrus fruit can last for up to a year as long as you don't open them.

The only thing that you have to be mindful of as you prepare your canned oranges is that removing the pith is essential. The pith is the white, stringy tissue that you'll find attached to the outside of the fruit. There's also a large, white chunk of it in the center of the orange. When you leave it on the oranges, it can wind up giving them a bitter flavor. Plus, it can lead to an unpleasant texture from stringy chunks throughout your canned fruit. Taking it off helps improve the appearance and also leads to a sweeter final result.

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How To Remove The Pith From Your Oranges

Bowl of peeled oranges
Bowl of peeled oranges - Yelenayemchuk/Getty Images

The first step to getting the pith off your oranges is to choose the right type of fruit. While you can use any variety of orange you like, mandarin oranges and clementines tend to have less pith, which can make them a good choice for canning. However, you can use any variety you like as long as you're careful to remove it before getting into the actual preservation process.

As for how to remove the pith, you can peel this off with your fingers. However, for larger fruits, it may be easier to supreme them or use a knife to peel and cut them to make sure they're fully free of the white membrane.

Another option is to use pectin enzymes to get rid of the membrane without having to fuss around with knives and cutting. For this method, peel the orange as usual and break it into segments. Then, mix the pectin enzymes into water, using a ratio of between ¼ and ½ teaspoon of enzymes for every liter of liquid. From here, you'll want to allow the fruit to soak for several hours or up to overnight. When the time is up, rinse the fruit under water and the pith should easily wash off, leaving them ready to get into the canning process!

Other Tips For Perfectly Canning Oranges

Person canning oranges
Person canning oranges - Boogich/Getty Images

Besides getting rid of the pith on your citrus fruit, there are a few other things to bear in mind if you decide to can them. For one thing, it pays to know that since they're high in acidity, you can actually can them in just water. But, the fruit won't have the same sweet flavor that we often expect when we pop open a can of store-bought canned fruit. So, to add this taste to your snack, can them in syrup instead. You can also can them in orange juice.

Another thing to be aware of when making oranges is that once you've peeled your oranges and canned them in your syrup, juice, or water, you'll need to seal the cans in a water bath. The thing to note here is that the length of time you boil the cans is going to depend on what elevation you're at. Below 1,000 feet, about 10 minutes should do the trick. However, for elevations between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, you'll need to add another 5 to 10 minutes of boiling time. For between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes, and from there, add another 5 minutes for every 2,000 feet you go up in elevation. With these tips, you'll have well-sealed and beautiful-tasting canned oranges!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.