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Canning Peaches

11.10.2014

As one of my 30 by 30 goals, I wanted to learn to can peaches.  Earlier this summer, I made a trip to Chilton County aka the Holy Land of peach growing.  I purchased two large baskets of beautiful peaches & made my merry way home.

I managed to control myself enough to keep from eating every one of them before it was time to begin the canning process.  Sidenote: peaches are my favorite food on this planet & I'll take them in any form.  But I digress...  My mother came over, equipped with her Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.  We ended up deciding to branch out & used the book as a rough guide to navigating our way through the process.

The first step in the process was easily the most tedious: peeling the peaches.  The book suggested some hoaky method of "flash steaming" or dipping them in boiling in water for 30 seconds & the peel would just "slide off".  Yeah... not so much.
We ended up just having to peel each one 'old fashioned way'.  This was definitely tiresome but I was told "it had to be done".  After the peaches were peeled, we sliced the fruit up & treated with Fruit-Fresh to keep them from darkening.
Next up, we made the syrup for the peaches to be topped with in the jars.  We opted for the light syrup.  This consisted of:

2 1/4 cup sugar
5 1/4 cup water

Mix ingredients & cook to melt sugar.  Do not boil!  Keep syrup hot throughout the process.
After our syrup was made, we packed the peaches into sterilized jars.  Be sure to leave half an inch head space between peaches & top of the jar.  Next, laddle your hot syrup over peaches while maintaining half an inch head space.  Top with sterilized rings & lids.
Process the jars by placing them into a pot of boiling water for 25 (for pints) or 30 (for quarts) minutes.  Make sure there is enough water to cover the jars by 1-2 inches.
After processing your finished jars, store in a cool, dry area.  These should keep for the year.  Break them out during the cold winter months for a taste of summer!
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