I absolutely LOVE peaches. We are blessed to live within 30 minutes of three you-pick peach orchards and have made several trips to each of them over the past six weeks.
While enjoying a fresh-picked, free-stone peach in mid-July, I started thinking how wonderful it would be if peach season lasted all year. “I ought to can some of these delicious peaches so we can pull them out in the dead of winter and be reminded of summertime,” I thought.
Canning was a new experience for me, so I did lots of research and talked with other ladies. After some trial and error, I came up with a wonderful recipe that uses honey instead of sugar. Hope you enjoy this tutorial. Don’t have a canner? No problem at all. I used a large pot.
Peaches should be well-ripened but not rotten or overly ripe. If your peaches are still firm, place them in large paper bags (only one layer per bag) and fold closed.
*Photos 1 and 3 were taken by my talented sister-in-law Mae. Due to technical difficulties, I lost a few of my pictures. If you need clarification, please feel free to ask. 🙂
Step 1: Put a large pot of water on the stove to simmer. This will be your water bath for canning, so make sure the pot is large enough to allow the cans to be completely immersed, with 2 inches of water above the lids.
Add as many jars, lids, and rims as will fit in the pot at one time (with jars standing up). I added four. In order to fully sanitize, make sure the water is simmering for at least 15 minutes.
Here is a note from the Ball/Kerr website on sanitizing your canning lids: “Our Quality Assurance Team performed comprehensive testing to determine the need for pre-heating lids. Ultimately, we determined that it’s completely safe to skip pre-warming lids in the canning process. While it’s still safe to simmer your lids before use, you should never boil them. Our recommendation for over 40 years has always been to simmer (180°F) – not boil (212°F) – the lids.”
Step 2: Load your peaches into the sink, and rinse.
Step 3: Fill a medium-sized pot with water, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium, add several peaches, and cook for 1 minute. If the water begins to boil, turn the heat down. Meanwhile, prepare a medium-sized bowl of ice water.
Step 4: After peaches have been in the hot water for 1 minute, transfer peaches to ice water for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Step 5: Remove peaches from ice water, and gently remove skin with your hands. If your peaches are well-ripened, the skin should come off easily. If it doesn’t, let peaches soak in the hot water bath for another 30 seconds and then in the ice water for another minute.
Step 6: Remove pits, and slice each peach into 5-6 slices. I also removed the red areas around the stone. In a medium-sized bowl with a spout, mix 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, and 1/8 cup of honey.
Remove sanitized jars, lids, and rims from water bath using Ball Jar Lifter canning tongs ($3.00 in the Walmart canning aisle). Place on a clean towel.
Fill each jar with peaches. (Only fill to the bottom of the threads.) Pour water-lemon-honey mixture into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Take a spoon and press down on peaches to release any air pockets. Add more liquid if necessary.
Wipe rims of jars with a clean cloth, and place lids on each. Screw rims on firmly (not too tight). Now it’s time to process your peaches. Using your tongs, place jars in your makeshift water bath. (Jars should not touch each other.) The water level should be 2 inches above the lids.
Bring water to a boil, and boil 25 minutes (pint jars) or 30 minutes (quart jars). If you live at an altitude of 1,000 feet or greater, you will need to add to the processing time. Click here to see the Ball/Kerr altitude chat.
Use tongs to remove jars, and place undisturbed on a towel for 24 hours. (Make sure jars don’t touch each other.)
Lids should seal within 30 minutes. To check if they have sealed, press down on each lid. If they don’t bounce back, they are sealed properly. Jars that don’t seal within 24 hours should be refrigerated and eaten within 7 days.
What are your thoughts on canning? I’m curious to know what types of fruits/veggies people in different regions of the U.S./world have canned.