Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to Can Peaches

If you have never canned Peaches or would like easy to follow, step by step instructions on how to can them at home, then this post is for you. It is also for those that want to get reacquainted with canning again and process their fruits using a water bath canner rather than a pressure canner. I enjoy canning, freezing, dehydrating, and jamming (is that a word) my peaches each fall. I like to have them on hand and ready for those times I am just craving peaches. I prefer to freeze my peaches for a fresher taste after they thaw, however with two freezers well stocked, I would choose to can as a second choice for food storage.
Then again, I think that just having peaches ready to eat, is very nice.

Assemble your equipment
After you bought, picked, or gathered your peaches together. Assemble your equipment.
Supplies You Will Need:
  • Jars- Quart or Pint Sized Jars (Wide or regular mouth, new or re-used)
  • Lids- Wide of regular mouth (never re-use lids)
  • Rings- Wide or regular mouth (You can re-use rings as long as they are not rusty)
  • Jar Lifter
  • Bubble Remover/Headspace Tool
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Jar Funnel 

Always have these cleaned and ready to go when you begin canning. I also like to throw my jars, lids, and rings in the dishwasher with a mild soap even if they are brand new and do a 1-hour wash or sanitation cycle.

If you haven't already done this, sterilize your used jars and rings by placing them in boiling water for about 10 min. I use my Water bath canner for this to make things a little easier. It is good to add your new lids for 5 minutes to soften the band and sterilize as well.
Make Your Syrup
While your jars are boiling, make the syrup for your peaches:
The way I like to have my syrup is to do 2 cups of sugar for 6 cups of water.
Here are some syrup recipes according to the Better Homes and Garden cookbook:

  • Very Light Syrup = 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water
  • Thin Syrup = 1 2/3 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water
  • Medium Syrup = 2 2/3 cups of sugar per 4 Cups of water 
  • Heavy Syrup = 4 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water 
Another alternative is using fruit juice instead of syrup. So, if you have a supply of a peach, pear, white grape, or apple juice, I have heard from people that have done this and it works great.

If you want to use honey instead of sugar, I was always told to pressure can your peaches when doing this method, but I should look into more.


While heating up water pour your sugar in and bring it to a rolling boil and keep simmered throughout canning. 

Prepare Peaches
Here is 6 step guide to preparing your peaches
  1. Wash your peaches thoroughly
  2. Mark an X on the skin of the peach (don't cut into the peach)
  3. Blanch peaches by putting peaches into boiling water for 40-90 seconds (you will start to see the skins becoming loose).
  4. Shock them by placing them into ice cold water immediately for a few minutes.
  5. Pull the loose skin from the peaches
  6. Peel completely and it is ready to cut. The peels should come off easily. You can peel off any tough patches with a peeler.

Fill Jars
Slice into halves or quarters as you wish.
Put slices into quart or pint sized jars leaving 1 inch clearance, put 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh Fruit, Ascorbic Acid, or Citric Acid  powder over peaches, pour in syrup, and put lid/ring on.

Hot Pack Method
We chose to do the cold pack or raw method. If you would like to do the hot pack method just add your peaches to your syrup in the pot and then bring to a boil.  Fill jars as usual leaving 1 inch clearance and place lid and ring on jar.
(If you use a funnel, you usually don't have to wipe off the rim before putting on the lid and ring)

Use your plastic bubble remover or rubber spatula by sticking it down the side of the jars to release the bubbles. Pictured here is a butter knife I used. I was always told never to use metal devices to do this (but I do anyway ;).
Process Peaches
Water Bath Raw/Cold Pack Process Times:
Pints- 25 minutes
Quarts- 30 minutes

Water Bath Hot Pack Process Times:
Pints-20 minutes
Quarts- 25 minutes

Cool Down

Remove with jar lifter (if you have one) and place jars on flat surface on top of a towel. Push finger down on lid to check if jar is sealed. If it pops back, they are not sealed yet. They may not pop to seal for up to a half an hour after processing. Just check them and if they don't seal, you may want to repeat processing for another 5 - 10 minutes. Don't worry though, they normally pop and you'll probably start to hear popping as they are cooling down on the towel.
Additional Notes*
  • Another thing is that the jars may boil over and you will see bubbles coming out from under the rings, as long as they sealed, they are fine. You will probably just lose some juice. Make sure that you take a warm wash cloth and wipe the ring, lid, and jar because they will be sticky from the overflowing.
  • You may also see that some peaches are not covered by the juice. This is not harmful and the fruit may turn brown a little from storage, but after 24 hours of cooling, you can turn the jar upside down in your hand back and forth to mix the fruit a bit more in the jar. 
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1 comment:

Lindsay Lauridsen said...

Those yummy peaches look familiar!

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