Bottling fruit need not be a big chore. Simply prepare the fruit, place in a big pot, and add water to cover measuring the quantity. Add sugar to taste (according to the measure of water), and bring to the boil. Cook until the fruit is soft and bottle while hot. Let stand upside down for 5 minutes. Turn around, wipe bottles and store.
To sterilize the bottles:
Wash bottles thoroughly. Pour 1-2 cm (1/2 inch) of water into each bottle. Place in a circle in the microwave and heat for 5 minutes. If bottles have vapour on the inside they are sterilized. Sterilize lids by boiling in water for about 20 minutes. If you want to sterilize the bottles on the stove, then place them in a large pot. Pour in a small quantity of water and let it boil for about 20 minutes.
Peel firm, almost-ripe peaches and cut off the flesh from the stone in slices. Boil until the fruit is soft. If you want sweet peaches (like the cans you buy in the store), add 1 cup of sugar to every 500 ml (1 pint) of water used. You can use less sugar for less sweetness, or substitute fructose. As fructose is twice as sweet as sugar you need only use half the amount.
Pour the hot fruit and juice into the sterilized bottles. Allow to stand upside down for 5 minutes, then wipe and pack away.
Apricots are easy as you don't have to peel them. Simply wash, cut in half, and discard the pips. Add water to cover them, using a measuring jug. Apricots are fairly sour so you can use as much sugar as for the peaches. Apricots cook very quickly, so if you want to preserve the fruit whole, you bring the water to the boil and almost immediately remove them from the stove. Bottle the same way as the peaches.
Wash the plums. No need to peel. Cut off chunks of the fruit and discard the stones. Proceed as for the peaches and apricots. Cook until the fruit is soft. Bottle them the same way.
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