It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.
I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.
A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.
Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.
Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.
Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go.
The first thing you want to do is peel the peaches. The best way to do this is to place them in a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then you quickly dunk them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This loosens the skin from the peach.
If you slide the tip of a knife in between the skin and the peach, it loosens the skin and easily slides off the peach.
I decided to keep a few of the pits… you know, to see if I could start my own tree. I’ve seen it done… and if it doesn’t work, what am I out?
These peaches were still green, so I brought them home to eat as is.
Once the peaches are peeled, they are sliced in half and the seed is taken out. Then you place them in a bucket of water so they don’t darken (like an apple).
The best type of jars for canning fruit tend to be the wide mouth jars. You want to place the peaches face down so they fit into the jar nicely. Just before you start placing peaches in the jar, fill with about 1/3 syrup. More than that and the peaches float.
The peaches that we froze… we slice them up more than halves. Add a little sugar and stir. They create their own syrup. Then you place in the bags. Remove all air and label for the freezer. These are great for a Peach Cobbler.
And of course, the little was taking notes for our cookbook.
Make a syrup of 1/3 cup sugar to 2 cups of water. Put 1 cup of syrup in a sterilized jar and fill with peeled peach halves, peach halves face down. Release air bubbles, put on lids, and tighten rings securely.
Put jars in a water bath canner. Put water to over 1/2 inch over the top of the jars.
Bring to a boil, boil 15 minutes.
Lift jars out of the water and set out to cool. Let set 24 hours before placing in the pantry for storage.