Start With Small, Fresh PeachesIdeally, the peaches will be picked right off the tree. More realistically, they will be purchased at a farmer’s market or the local grocery store. Be sure they are fully ripe, but still fairly firm. The heat of processing the peaches will cause them to soften. To can peaches whole, the peaches need to be small. Eight to ten small peaches will fit into a 1-quart jar. Simply wash the peaches, removing residual stems or leaves, and place into a clean quart jar. Cover the peaches with the syrup of choice.
Cover Peaches With Light to Heavy Syrup
The lightness of the syrup is determined by the amount of sugar added to the water. The less sugar, the lighter the syrup. To make the syrup, add the required amount of sugar to a pot of water, and bring to a boil. Use the following chart to determine a light or heavy syrup.
|Syrup Content||Quart – Water||Quart – Sugar||Pint – Water||Pint – Sugar|
|Very Light||1 ½ Cups||¼ Cup||¾ Cup||1/8 Cup|
|Light||1 ½ Cups||3/8 Cup||¾ Cup||3/16 Cup|
|Medium||1 ½ Cups||½ Cup||¾ Cup||¼ Cup|
|Heavy||1 ½ Cups||5/8 Cup||¾ Cup||5/16 Cup|
After covering the peaches with the syrup, slide a butter knife around the inside of the jar, gently nudging the peaches, to release air bubbles. If air bubbles are allowed to remain, the air may cause the jar to break under the pressure of processing.
Avoid Brown Peaches
The way to avoid the peaches browning over time is to add a preservative. Fruit Fresh is a good choice. It can be purchased in the canning department of the local grocery store, near the canning lids and pectin. Add it to the syrup prior to boiling. This is only necessary to preserve the appearance of the fruit, but who wants to eat brown peaches?
Final Step To Home Canned Peaches
After the air bubbles have been released from the jar of peaches, wipe the top of the jar, place a new lid on the jar, and secure with a clean canning ring. The peaches can be water-bathed for 30 minutes, or pressured canned at 10 pounds for 10 minutes.
During the canning process, the peach fuzz disappears, and the skin becomes very thin. It is easily eaten with very little texture, or easily removed. The flesh of the peach will cut off the pit just as easily. They will be sweet, tender and delicious all winter long.
Check out some recommended canning resources to stock up!