Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Canned Peaches

Are you tired of seeing my old posts from last fall?  I hope not, because I was really excited when I found this one about how to can peaches. 

I usually buy a "lug" or two of peaches from a local church - it is a good sized box of peaches that weighs about 25 pounds.

Ah, the beautiful peach!  It is best to use slightly under ripe peaches for canning, as overripe peaches have a bigger tendency to float. 

To remove the skins from each peach, I plunge them into a large pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds -

then immediately plunge them into ice cold water.  This stops the cooking process.

Then, the skins should easily slip from each peach.  If they don't, you might have to kind of rub the peach to get the skins off.

Cut the peach in half, and twist to separate the halves.  Remove the pit and discard.  I also like to use a spoon and scrape out some of the fibers and red "stuff" from the center of the peach.

Now, it is time to make your simple syrup.  I make a light syrup, which is simply 2 1/4 cups sugar to 5 1/4 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  While this is happening, you could prep your jars.  I fill up my water canner with clean water, add my canning jars and bring the water to a simmer.   

After simple syrup comes to a boil, add the peeled peaches and simmer them in the simple syrup for about 2 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches from the liquid they were simmering in. Fill the jars with the fruit, leaving 3/4-inch head space between the top of the peaches and the rims of the jars. Pack the fruit in quite tightly, as this will help to reduce floating peaches after they are canned.

Ladle the hot simple syrup over the fruit, leaving 1/2-inch head space in each jar. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper or cloth towel, as any food on a jar rim may prevent a good seal. Secure canning lids and rings.

Process in a boiling water bath - 20 minutes for pint jars, 25 minutes for quarts.  Carefully remove your jars and set on a towel to cool.  The next day, check for proper seal and label!

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