There is nothing like biting into a fresh peach. But just like everything when it comes into season, it is hard to imagine what to do with all those peaches.  This is where canning comes in handy.

You can save that fresh taste for use in the fall or winter, when you are longing for anything that reminds you of summer. And canning peaches is simple.  A pressure cooker is not required – you can use the water bath method, which is much easier and less scary for the first time ‘Canner’.  (no, that isn’t an official title, but I like it)

Having canned peaches on our shelf allows us to enjoy summer all year long.
Having canned peaches on our shelf allows us to enjoy summer all year-long.

Canning peaches allows you to grab a jar from the shelf, make a cobbler, pie, or enjoy the fresh taste of summer any time of the year.  This allows you to also know what is in your food, rather than relying on canned peaches from the grocery store that are filled with preservatives and/or tons of sugar.

You can can peaches without sugar using the hot-pack method – heating the fruit and placing it in the jars with the hot liquid. however, I prefer to use the cold-pack method.  This requires you to place the uncooked, cold sliced peaches into a cold jar and pour the warm liquid over the fruit. Although this requires the use of a mild sweetener, this also allows for firmer fruit slices that are better tasting.  We use honey in place of refined white sugar – truly just our preference to reduce the amount of processed sugar in our diets.

 

How to Can Peach Preserves

Place your peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Place your peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds.

Ingredients:

peaches – 3-4 per quart jar
water
honey/sugar

Instructions:

After boiling, immediately stop the cooking process by placing the peaches in an ice water bath
After boiling, immediately stop the cooking process by placing the peaches in an ice water bath

1. Prepare light syrup – in 4 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups honey (or 2 cups white sugar) – heat until dissolved. Do not boil. Keep liquid just below a simmer for use to can the peaches.

2. Prepare water bath canner. Heat water on medium heat. (You want it warm, but not boiling)

The skin will literally peel right off.
The skin will literally peel right off.

3. Prepare the peaches:  Use only ripe peaches. Check ripe peaches by pressing your thumb next to the stem area – this should give slightly.  Skin peaches by placing peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately removing and placing into an ice water bath for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process.  The skins should peel right off.

4. Slice peaches in half and remove the pit.  Continue to slice peaches to the desired thickness for canning of use halves.  I prefer 8 slices per peach because I use them in cobblers, pies, and just for snacking.

Fill jars with hot syrup
Fill jars with hot syrup

5. Immediately place peaches into large mouth canning jars that have been sterilized.  Arrange pieces in the jar to allow for maximum storage. HINT – if storing halves, place each piece facing downward.

Remove any air bubbles by sliding a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars
Remove any air bubbles by sliding a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars

6. Pour hot syrup into the jar, removing air bubbles with a plastic tool placed down the inside of the jar.  Fill leaving 1/2 inch head space. Add heated lid and add the ring. Do not over tighten.

7. Place jar in water bath canner.  Repeat the process until the all jars and/or water bath are filled. Make sure that the water is approximately 2 inches above the tops of the jars.

Add the warm lid - this magnetic lid lifter tool is a life saver for your fingers!
Add the warm lid – this magnetic lid lifter tool is a life saver for your fingers!

8. Heat the water to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude as necessary).

9. Remove jars and place on a large towel for 24 hours to cool.

10. Check for a secure seal by pushing on the center of the lid.  If the lid does not pop – your jars have sealed correctly.  If your jar lids can be pressed down – refrigerate and use immediately.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

 

How to Can Peach Preserves

Ingredients

  • peaches - 3-4 per quart jar
  • water
  • honey/sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare light syrup - in 4 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups honey (or 2 cups white sugar) - heat until dissolved. Do not boil. Keep liquid just below a simmer for use to can the peaches.
  2. Prepare water bath canner. Heat water on medium heat. (You want it warm, but not boiling)
  3. Prepare the peaches: Use only ripe peaches. Check ripe peaches by pressing your thumb next to the stem area - this should give slightly. Skin peaches by placing peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately removing and placing into an ice water bath for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process. The skins should peel right off.
  4. Slice peaches in half and remove the pit. Continue to slice peaches to the desired thickness for canning of use halves. I prefer 8 slices per peach because I use them in cobblers, pies, and just for snacking.
  5. Immediately place peaches into large mouth canning jars that have been sterilized. Arrange pieces in the jar to allow for maximum storage. HINT - if storing halves, place each piece facing downward.
  6. Pour hot syrup into the jar, removing air bubbles with a plastic tool placed down the inside of the jar. Fill leaving 1/2 inch head space. Add heated lid and add the ring. Do not over tighten.
  7. Place jar in water bath canner. Repeat the process until the all jars and/or water bath are filled. Make sure that the water is approximately 2 inches above the tops of the jars.
  8. Heat the water to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude as necessary).
  9. Remove jars and place on a large towel for 24 hours to cool.
  10. Check for a secure seal by pushing on the center of the lid. If the lid does not pop - your jars have sealed correctly. If your jar lids can be pressed down - refrigerate and use immediately.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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