Peach season is in full swing in our location and the time to can or make jam, preserves, or jelly is right now!!! You should also freeze some slices to make a fresh peach cobbler or use in smoothies. You can see how to flash freeze peaches here.
I canned 17 jars of peaches in various size jars last week. As always I make the most for our family, a few as gifts, and a few to sell. (step by step pictures at the bottom of post)
Last week at our camp out my son and his friend wanted to catch fireflies. We were all back at the campsite and he asked me where the mason jars were to use for the bugs. I told him exactly where they were. So off the boys went to get a jar. When they returned they informed me they did not see any empty jars only the peaches so they opened one, ate the whole jar, and now had their empty jar!! UGH…can we at least save a few for winter please!!!
Here is my method for canning our peaches. If you do not know how to can, you can google it or follow instructions I posted on another blog here: Canning procedures
I use a hot pack method with my peaches as I believe it helps to retain their color while stored.
Prepare a large bowl with water and 1/4 cup lemon juice.
You will need 8 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar
25 peaches or more
Slice your peaches all the way around and twist the top off (see procedure at the bottom of this page)
Peel your peaches (I have been told to blanch them, however I have never found it to work for me and I like my peaches more on the firm side rather than ripe with soft skins).
Peel one peach at a time and slice or cut into chunks and place in lemon water to keep the beautiful yellow color.
Once the peaches are all sliced and in the lemon water take a stock pot and fill it with 8 cups of water and slowly add 4 cups of sugar stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a full boil. (you can use more or less sugar if you would like. I find the half/half method good for fruit that is a bit more firm)
Using a slotted spoon add the peaches to the boiling syrup and bring to a light simmer for 6 minutes (time after you place the last peaches in the pot).
Get your prepared jars and fill each jar to the rim with peaches again using a slotted spoon.
Use a ladle and fill the jar with syrup to 1/4 inch from the top. (the peaches may float up just gently pat them down with the back of a spoon).
Using a plastic knife carefully slide it around the jar to help the peaches settle.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet papertowel.
Put on the hot lid and the screw cap until just tight.
Fill all the jars and then process them in the hot water bath once the water comes back to a boil for 25 minutes.
Remove and let cool. Once cooled, test the top by pressing gently to make sure that it is sealed.
I know this looks like a lot of work but the hardest part is peeling all the peaches. The rest is very simple.
This is a great way to enjoy fresh summer fruit during the winter months!! Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have them!!