Peaches are easily one of my favorite fruits! This time of year, I start to load up on them! I love the freshness of them, the juiciness of them, the taste … I could go on and on! I love them in salads, with yogurt, on ice cream, in salsa, by themselves… Besides, where do you think the phrase “you’re a peach” came from??
When peaches start to go on sale, I love to can them! I decided to start our peach season with canning sliced peaches. I remember my Mom used to can sliced peaches, and the smell of the warm peaches is one of my favorites!
The Ball Blue Book has a recipe for peaches in extra lite syrup, but I reduced the sugar a little more. I think peaches are sweet enough on their own, but this syrup adds just a little sweetness.
Sliced Peaches in Super Extra Lite Syrup
Adapted from The Ball Blue Book – Guide to Preserving
Peaches (I used about 10 pounds – but adjust to how many peaches you have)
1 cup lemon juice plus 4 cups water
10 cups water plus 1 cup sugar
Prepare water bath canner and sterilize jars, lids and bands.
First, you need peaches!
Next, the peaches must be peeled. Fill another large pot with water, and bring to a boil.
You will also need 2 medium sized bowls – one with the lemon/water mixture, and one filled with water and ice.
In order to peel the peaches, take a knife and mark an “x” on the bottom of the peach.
Place in the boiling water – I did 3-4 peaches at a time. Boil for a few minutes to loosen the skin.
Remove from the boiling water, and into the ice water. Let cool. Trust me on this!!! My entire palm is burning right now from handling too hot peaches – not pleasant! But at least I have burn cream right in my kitchen!!
With a knife, remove the skin from the peaches. If your peaches still are not totally ripe, you may need to cut off the skin. If they are just a little under ripe, the skin should come right off. Cut in slices and place in the lemon/water bowl, to help stop the oxidizing process, so the peaches don’t turn an ugly brown color.
These are your peaches, so you can make the slices any size you want … I think I got about 4 slices from each peach half. You could leave them as peach halves if you want .. I just like the size of the slices!
Once they have sat in the lemon mixture for a few minutes, move to a different bowl (I used my largest measuring cup). Yes, you are using a lot of dishes.
Continue until you have all the peaches sliced.
Make the syrup – in a large pot, combine the water and syrup. I made more syrup than I needed – but I am always running out of syrup when canning, so I wanted to have enough! The recipe in the Ball Blue Book calls for 5 cups water, so I just doubled mine.
Time to fill the jars! Fill the sterilized jars with peach slices, and then cover with the syrup.
Top with the 2 piece lids, and place in the boiling water bath. Process for 20 minutes for quarts, 15 minutes for pints, and then whatever time is suggested for your altitude.
I wanted to make some of my peaches brandied peaches, but I didn’t have any peach brandy in the house. I decided to get a little crazy, and on one of my jars I added some butterscotch Schnapps.
I marked the jar, so I would remember which one it was
I also had some apricots, and decided to can them with some of my leftover syrup. I used the same process, except I did not peel them.
Let jars cool 24 hours, then label and store.
Or open right away and enjoy some peaches!
Even in the middle of the winter, I think I could have some peaches on top of ice cream, sitting in front of our warm wood burning stove. I can’t wait!!
This is linked to the Carnival of Home Preserving.