When you’re canning fruit, most methods require that you mix up a light to heavy syrup to add to the jars of fruit prior to canning. This entails measuring sugar into water in a pot and heating it all up, hoping you didn’t make way too much or not enough, and dripping sugar-water everywhere while you’re filling your jars. Why not make your job less sticky and have the perfect amount of syrup for your peaches, pears, cherries, and more by letting the canner make the syrup?
This method of syrup making won’t be found in your canning manuals, so here’s a disclaimer to use it at your own risk although I have never had a problem canning fruits this way.
Instead of mixing up a batch of syrup, just heat a pot of water. Now add the sugar to the jars on top of your fruit. 1/4 cup per quart makes a nice light syrup. Add more for a heavier syrup–up to about 1/2 cup per quart. Halve those quantities if you’re canning in pint jars.
Then pour your hot water into the jar over the fruit and sugar and prepare to process the jar as you normally would. The sugar will dissolve in the water as the fruit is in the canner. Occasionally, the sugar doesn’t dissolve properly and you get a blob of sugar goo at the bottom of your jar (which there’s really nothing wrong with, but you wouldn’t want to take that jar to your local fair exhibits). To me, it’s worth the time, guesswork, and stickiness saved to let the canner make the syrup for my canned fruits.