What's nice about this is that you control the syrup wanted and the fruit you want!! I chose a light syrup and used honey in place of some of the sugar (you can substitute up to half the sugar with a light honey or bland corn syrup.) I also added a large dollop of vanilla bean paste which was whisked into syrup. This gives an ever so slight vanilla flavor that compliments the honey and fruit and doesn't overpower like sugar alone can... A similar recipe from Ball and says to use your own mix of over 3 fruits for best results - I used: sweet cherries sent to me by Northwest Cherries, white peaches, anjou pears, pineapple, and green grapes ~Enjoy! Diane
Homemade Fruit Cocktail
3 lbs peaches
2 lbs pears
1 lbs slightly under-ripe seedless green grapes
1 lbs pineapple
1 to 2 cups of sweet cherries
large dollop of vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
5 cups water
Yield: About 7 pints
Procedure: Cut, core and slice pineapple into 1-inch cubes, set aside.
Stem and wash grapes, and keep in ascorbic acid solution.
Dip ripe but firm peaches, a few at a time, in boiling water for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes to loosen skins. Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Cut in half, remove pits, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and keep in solution with grapes.
Peel, halve, and core pears. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and keep in solution with grapes and peaches.
Cherries (stemmed & pitted) will be added directly to the bottom of each jar (do not heat)
Combine sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and bring to low boil to dissolve the sugars. Drain the mixed fruit and add all fruit to the syrup until the fruit is heated through (approx 10 mins).
Add 1/2 cup of hot syrup to each jar - then add a few cherries to each jar and gently fill the jar with mixed fruit, de-bubble jars and more hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Process pints and half-pints: 20 minutes in a boiling waterbath or according to your altitude.
Recipe adapted from: Ball and NCHFP
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Cherries by: Northwest Cherries/Washington State