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What Are Pineapple Preserves?

By Angie Bates
Updated May 16, 2024
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Similar to jelly and jam, pineapple preserves are a type of condiment made with pineapple. Unlike jelly, which uses fruit juice, and jam, which uses fruit pulp, preserves are made with actual fruit pieces, and so are chunkier 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 so may not be available in some stores. This condiment can be homemade but generally requires sterilized jars and a canner.

The simplest versions of pineapple preserves use just pineapple and sugar. Either fresh or canned pineapple can be used, but the juice should be preserved from both. If canned, the pineapple is usually crushed, whereas fresh pineapple is cut into small cubes. Most versions also add lemon juice and, sometimes, vanilla. Occasionally other fruits, such as pears, may be combined with the pineapple as well.

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

More complex version boil and reduce the juice first. If other fruits are included, they are boiled with the juice. Then, the pineapple is added and allowed to cook briefly before the sugar is included. After the sugar has dissolved, the lemon juice and vanilla, if used, may be added as well.

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

Homemade pineapples preserves require an electric canner in order to be stored for any length of time without refrigeration. If placed in sterilized jars and processed in a canner, the preserves may be stored in a cupboard or pantry for up to a year as long as the jars remain sealed. After a jar is opened, however, the homemade preserves must be refrigerated and have about the same shelf life as the commercial versions.

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Discussion Comments

By ellafarris — On Aug 21, 2011

My mother taught me how to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables when I was a little girl and now I'm teaching my daughter how to do the same.

She's enjoyed the process so much that she entered her creations in the county fair last year and won a blue ribbon.

This year she plans to enter her favorite one made with pineapples, pears and cherries at the state fair. She's also experimenting with some other fruit combination's like blueberry, strawberry and pineapple preserves. Who knows, she may have just started her own business. And she's only twelve years old!

By goldensky — On Aug 20, 2011

It's funny to me that when people talk about pineapple preserves they immediately think of cakes and danishes. But I prefer to use my homemade preserves in the main course at meals.

There are so many wonderful uses for pineapples and preserves. Have you ever heard of sweet chili's and pineapple shrimp stir fry? Or Oriental pineapple chicken and rice?

It pairs well with all kinds of dishes like pork ribs, salmon and grilled or roasted vegetables. And who can forget about the traditional pineapple glazed ham.

By MsClean — On Aug 20, 2011

Pineapple upside down cake was traditionally an Easter dessert in our house when I was growing up. The classic recipe has been handed down from generation to generation from as far back as I can remember with a few variations along the way.

My sister, who isn't necessarily a baker, created her own version of the cake by eliminating the caramel mixture and uses a boxed cake mix instead of the traditional homemade one.

Coat the bottom of a large round or rectangle baking dish with two tablespoons of melted butter. Spread a twelve ounce jar of apricot pineapple preserves in the pan and then arrange pineapple rings over the preserves.

Put a maraschino cherry inside each ring and add pecan halves in between the pineapples to fill in the spaces.

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package and pour evenly over the pineapples. Bake as directed and flip onto a serving dish soon after it's removed from the oven. Serve warm and enjoy.

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