You made me curious, kevinf, so I Googled. There *is* actually a difference in meaning — it depends on the amount of sugar used, appropriately enough. In preserving, the ratio of sugar to fruit is anywhere between three-quarters to equal parts. In canning, it’s anything up to one-third sugar. (Don’t ask me what it is when the sugar is between one-third and three-quarters the amount of fruit … get another cookbook, I suppose.)
I had no idea they were technically two different things.
Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 1, 2013 @ 11:54 am
It makes sense — “preserves” = jams and jellies, which have a high sugar content. I’d never thought of the difference in terms of the verbs, though, only the resulting nouns.