Friday, August 13, 2010

Preserving Peaches

Fresh peaches. I craved them during every pregnancy. I could never get enough. Unfortunately, they're not in season all year long. A few years ago, I tried canning some fresh peaches, and they were fantastic! They are so much better than store-bought canned...even the expensive ones. I'll be honest: they take some time and effort, but when you're enjoying these delicious peaches in December, you'll agree that they are totally worth it!

My favorite variety for flavor and ease of peeling and pitting has been Flaming Fury. They also hold up well during processing. Whatever you get, just make sure they are free stone or cling-free, which means the pit is easily removed. I canned 1/2 bushel this year and ended up with 16 quart jars. They look so pretty! I've given these as gifts and used them in pies. Mostly, we just devour them from the jar. Imagine a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top...yum.

Preserving Peaches

4 cups sugar
12 cups water
(you may need an additional half-batch of syrup)

Wash peaches; drain. 

Peel peaches. 
To peel peaches, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds. 

Immediately drain and place peaches in cold water. 

 Slip off peel.

Cut in half, pit and scrape cavity to remove fibrous flesh.

At this point, you may wish to treat the peaches to prevent darkening in an ascorbic acid solution or Fruit-Fresh. I used it the first year, but I usually skip this step. (I don't notice much of a color change.) I just put mine in cold water. Heat syrup in a large pot and keep hot.

Fill canner with water, put jars in, and heat on stove. 

Put lids and rings in hot water and keep hot. 

Drain peaches. Pack peaches into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over peaches, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by sliding a plastic knife down the sides of the jar. Wipe jar rims clean, and place lids and rings on top. Process pints 25 minutes and quarts 30 minutes in a boiling-water bath canner.

Remove jars from canner and place on a towel, undisturbed, for 24 hours. 

 Smile when you hear this sound...

Remove rings, and wipe jars and threads. (They may be sticky from syrup residue.) Enjoy...especially when there's snow on the ground! :)


Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I used to can peaches with my sister in law. Then she moved. I haven't canned them since. Your photo of your jars all lined up makes me miss that.

I really should do this again~my family loved them.

Amy Bowman said...

oh how I love canned peaches, and they do look so beautiful! Thanks for linking up to "AP Tuesdays" @ New Nostalgia!

skoots1mom said...

great job getting it done...
my 1st time @ Amy's meme
wonderfully pretty and yummy, i bet!

Marianne said...

Wow that is so cool. Do you have peach trees where you live? I don't think they grow here in the Northwest and they do not grow back home in Norway. My family have never canned anything this way, but my parents make a lot of jam every year to freeze down. Still I do think my grandmother spoke of canning, but she never did this after I was born.
I can see how this is nice to do here where it is quite unusual to have big freezers, my parents back home in Norway have three big freezers that holds all the fish they catch during the summer and all the baked goods, jams and other goodies my mom makes.
Mmm, now I want to go home and raid her freezer...

Marie @ Chocolate-Covered Chaos said...

Marianne~ We do have peach trees in our area. Unfortunately, I don't have any of my own...someday. We get them by the 1/2 bushel at a local farmer's market or mennonite store.
Three freezers...Oh, the goodies that could be stashed in there! For over 10 years, I only had the small freezer on top of my fridge. Finally, we were able to buy another full-sized freezer, and I LOVE it! It's so interesting how different things are around the world!


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