1/2 bushel peaches = 13 quarts
Very Light Syrup
12 cups water
4 cups sugar
|1. Wash peaches in cold water. You can also add a little bit of vinegar if you like, but I normally just use water.|
|2. Blanch the peaches for 60 seconds. To blanch you want to submerge a few peaches at a time in boiling water for 60 seconds and then submerge them into ice cold water for 60 seconds. This helps to loosen the skins for easy peeling.|
|3. Remove skin from peaches. I find it easiest to use my thumb to rub the skin outward from where the stem was attached to the peach. Then grab the loose skin and peel, continue until all skin is removed. To keep peaches from browning I sprinkle with lemon juice after they have been peeled. Once the peaches are peeled, I get the syrup ready (See step 6).|
|4. Cut peaches in half and remove the pit. You may also quarter the peaches if you prefer.|
|5. Place peach halves in jar cut side down. Continue adding peaches to the jar until they reach just below the rim of the jar.|
|6. Cover peaches with syrup mixture and allow for ½ inch headspace. Prepare syrup prior to placing your peaches in jars. Bring water to a boil and slowly add sugar, stir until dissolved. Reduce heat and keep syrup at a low boil. I find that 12 cups of water plus the desired sugar allows me to have enough syrup for 7 Quarts.|
|7. Using a non metalic utensil remove air bubbles from the jar. It is best to grip the jar with a towel and tilt it slightly while you slide the spatula down the side of the jar. Do this around the jar several times until all visible air bubbles are removed.|
|8. Check headspace and adjust accordingly. You should not have any peaches or liquid past the ½ inch headspace mark. If you have less the ½ inch headspace remove syrup or peaches to reach desired headspace. If you have more than ½ inch headspace add more syrup until your jar has ½ inch of headspace.
|9. Using a clean towel remove any liquid or food from the rim of the jar prior to placing the lid on the jar. Place the band on top of the jar and lid. When screwing the band on the jar be sure to have it finger tight. Having your band to tight can cause your lids to buckle and having your bands to loose can cause liquid to escape during processing.
|10. Using a jar lifter place the jar into your canner. (Please ignore the fact that I am not using a jar lifter… I will learn one of these days!)
|11. Check water height. Water should cover cans by at least 1 inch. Prior to inserting my cans I fill up my stock pot (that I convert into a water bath) about ½ full of water. By the time I have inserted 7 Quart jars I usually have about 1 inch of water above the jars.
|12. Process jars according to your manual. I get the water going to a steady boil and then continue for 30 minutes. This is the suggested time for Quart jars at less than 1000 feet of altitude using the cold pack method. Once processing time is complete turn off the burner, remove lid and wait about 5 minutes. Once you have waited at least 5 minutes, use your jar lifter to lift the jars from the water bath and place onto a towel leaving 1 inch of space around the jars to allow for cooling. Do not disturb jars for at least 12-24 hours. Check lids to ensure proper seal, you should not be able to flex the lid up & down. If jars did not process correctly you can reprocess them within 24 hours of the first process, or place jars in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
TIP: You can replace sugar with honey! Use 3/4 cup of honey to 1 cup of sugar. The canned peaches in these pictures were processed with honey and that gives them the rich golden color!
If you are new to canning please be sure to read your instruction manuals carefully before beginning. Canning can seem intimidating at first but once you’ve done it a few times you will begin to love it!
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