Following my first attempts at making strawberry jam and dill pickles, I decided I wanted to can a fruit in its own pure form. (Read: as close as possible to literally taking the fruit and sticking it in the jars as is.) This recipe for peaches in a light simple syrup seemed ideal.
Who would refuse a taste of summer during the cold weather months? Here’s my recipe and method for canned peaches:
- Glass canning jars
- Lids and bands
- Rubber spatula
- Ball Jar Lifter (Warning: regular kitchen tongs are dangerous for this! These nifty jar lifters have special rubber grips made for safely grabbing the canning jars when theyâ€™re piping hot.)
- Ball Lid Wand (Again, this inexpensive little tool helps make your experience a safe one. The magnetic wand allows you to pick up the lids while theyâ€™re in the hot water.)
- Large pot (for cooking jam)
- Large pot (for keeping jars warm)
- Small pot (for keeping lids warm)
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Damp cloth
- Check jars. Ensure there are no nicks or cracks.
- Use new lids. (While the jars and bands can be reused, the lids must be new every time you can.) Discard any rusty bands.
- Wash jars and lids. Leave jars in hot water until ready to use.
- Fill large pot with water; place on stove and bring to boil.
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. (Enough to fit all the peaches because this is for loosening the skins before cutting and jarring.)
- In a separate large stock pot, make simple syrup by combining sugar and water. Bring to a boil; stir until sugar has dissolved. Turn down to a simmer to keep warm.
- Submerge peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds to loosen the skins.
- Remove skin, cut in half and remove pit.
- Place peaches in jars, cut side down. Ladle in hot simple syrup, enough to cover peaches, but leaving 1/2 an inch of head space.
- Run rubber spatula between peaches and jar to release air bubbles.
- Wipe top and threads of jar with damp cloth. Put on lid and screw down band evenly and tightly.
- As each jar is filled, stand it on rack in canner of hot, not boiling water. When rack is full, lower into canner. Water should cover jars 1-2 inches.
- Put cover on canner. Bring to a boil and process pints for 25 minutes (quarts for 30 minutes) at a gentle but steady boil.
- After processing time is complete, turn off heat and remove canner lid.
- Let canner cool for 5 minutes before removing jars.
- Remove jars from canner. Let cool for 12-24 hours before checking for seal. Remove bands. Test for seal by pressing center of lid. If dome is down or stays down when pressed, the jar is sealed.
The recipe makes 12 pint jars. Be sure to get the wide mouth jars if they are available. They are much easier to work with when you’re canning large chunks of fruit such as peach halves.
Canned peaches in thick sugar syrup from a store shelf scare me, but canned peaches from my house make me glad I can have the flavor of a real peach when they’re no longer at the grocery store and the farmer’s market. This recipe is great because the authentic taste of the peach can shine through. The simple syrup is barely sweet, which is perfect for this naturally sweet fruit.
If you are enjoying canning and want to explore jamming, check outÂ my previous post about making strawberry jam. You can use frozen strawberries as well. Happy canning!