Canning — 19 August 2013

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Peaches are one of the easiest foods to can. They are also one of the best illustrations of the how much better home canned food tastes compared to commercially canned food.  My son will no longer eat canned peaches from the store – the taste difference is really that dramatic!

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step:

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

I started with about 90 lbs of peaches.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wash your peaches.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place your peaches in a bowl and put a large pot of water on the stove. Go ahead and put your canner on too so the water will be hot and ready for your filled jars. In order to remove the skins you will need to blanch the fruit.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

This picture jumps ahead a step or two because I forgot to take a picture of the next step but you can clearly see what I did to the bottom of the peaches. So pretend I’m holding a peach with a knife and score (make an X) with your knife on the bottom of the peach. (Do not worry about the bowl with the ice; we will get to that in a moment)

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Now that your peaches are scored place them in bowling hot water for about a minute. You can place more than one peach in the pot at a time but don’t overload the pot. If you do the peaches will be done at the same time and you won’t be able to remove them before they begin to cook. This method only works well if your peaches are perfectly ripe. If they are not ripe the skin will still stick to the flesh, and if they are overly ripe the peach will fall apart. The peaches are ripe when they are slightly soft. In other words, when you lightly squeeze the peach, if your fingers are able to make a slight indent, then the peaches are ripe.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Now, is where the cold water and ice come in. After about one minute in the boiling water quickly place the peaches in a bowl with cold water and ice. This will stop the cooking process but will allow you to remove the skin easily.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

After the peaches have cooled in the ice water for a moment grab a piece of the skin from the bottom where the you scored the peach and gently pull. You can see how the skin is coming right off on this peach.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Here is another peach where the skin is being removed.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Skinless peaches are slippery! And contrary to popular belief the stone (peach seed) does not always come out clean (unstuck to the flesh) even if the fruit is ripe. This may have something to do with when the fruit is picked. I don’t have a peach tree so I don’t have control over that part of the process. So last year when I was struggling with peaches that did not come away from the stone clean I made a Scarlet promise (You remember, “As God as my witness I will never…”) and vowed never to can peaches without a peach corer. You can see it pictured above.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

It does a pretty good job. There is some extra flesh left on the stone and if it comes away easily you can use the extras to make jam.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wash your jars.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wash your lids.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

And wash your rings.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place your canning jars in the oven. I let them heat up to 350 degrees to sterilize them for ten minutes then turn the oven to 200 degrees to keep them warm.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

This canning method is called the cold pack method and it simply means that you do not cook the fruit before you can it. The are pros and cons to this method. If you cook the fruit first you might not have a problem with food floating to the top of the jar, leaving  your jars looking half full. If you cook your fruit before you can it, well, it’s cooked more and the taste might be compromised. There are people who swear by both methods. I just find this method to be the easiest so that’s what I usually go with.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

I don’t like to use a lot of sugar in my canned peaches. Over the years I have found that using almost no sugar will discolor my fruit and although it’s still safe to eat my kids don’t think it looks appetizing. So I try to use the least amount of sugar possible and still produce a product my boys will eat. I use 3 tablespoons per quart.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Fill your jars with hot water. Not the water you used for blanching. You want to have nice clean clear water to fill your jars.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out, this handy tool helps. The other end of the air bubble remover helps measure the headspace.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Check your headspace. For canned peaches you should have 1/2 inch headspace.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wipe off the rims of the jars so that you can get a good seal.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the rings from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end and makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids. Also, if you place the lids and rings in the pot inside each other like you see I’ve done in the picture this will prevent the tops from sticking.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place the lids on the jars.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place the jars in the canner. Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Peaches should be processed (boiled) for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the jars from the canner.

How To Can Peaches: Step By Step~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) while the ring is on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be eaten; with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.

Jennifer

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Jennifer

(5) Readers Comments

  1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for such a detailed tutorial! Makes me want to search out peaches and can some! Have a good day! Blessings from Bama!

    • Thanks for reading, Felecia!! I always look forward to your comments!

  2. Fruit Fresh or ascorbic acid or vitamin C will keep the peaches from turning brown.

    I would wash the jars first. Using the water bath canner for heating/sterilizing the jars will make using the over unnecessary.

    Making an x on the bottom of the peach is just time-consuming. Drop the peach in the boiling water. The peach skin will split, so that you know the peach has been in the water long enough. Put several (six) peaches in at once, not one at a time. Remove all you put in the boiling water and put into bowl of water with ice. Put another six in the boiling water. They will be done by the time you have peeled the ones in ice water.

    Always wipe off one jar, remove one lid, place it on the jar, put on the ring. Then go to the next jar. I noticed in the picture you have several lids sitting on jars. This keeps the rubber hot as the ring is screwed on. Never boil the lids.

    I have been canning for years.

    • Thanks for commenting Practical Parsimony! I’m a fan of your blog. You’re right fruit fresh or ascorbic will keep the fruit from turning brown, that’s another option to using sugar, and I do use it on occasion. I try not to use it a lot since it’s not considered a natural product. Yes, you can use your canner to sterilize the jars, however, I think it’s a lot of trouble when I can just stick them in my oven. Also I have very hard water and if I boil my jars they sometimes get a residue on them even before I load them with food. I disagree with you about scoring the bottom of the peaches. I’ve done it both ways and I do find the scoring to be helpful. If you look at the picture you’ll see I do have several peaches in the pot at once. I’ve never had a problem with putting my all my lids on then putting all my rings on. I work relatively fast and my jars are hot (that’s another advantage to the oven sterilizing there is no water on the jars so evaporation is not cooling as they wait for me to load them).

      • With your water, I would not sterilize them in water either. My water leaves absolutely no residue. I just figure I have boiling water, so it takes no longer.

        Fruit Fresh is sugar and Vitamin C. That is why I said you could just add Vit C. Probably rose hips will be the most natural source of Vit C.

        The reason I believe that scoring is less effective is trial and error. The skin is already breached when you score, so it takes less heat. When the skin is intact, I believe that the heat builds and makes the skin more loose. I see people use a spoon to pull at the scored skin. However the skin slips off when it is not scored. Obviously, this has not been your experience.

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