Canning Summer: Peaches
Although Summer is winding down, the leaves are yellowing and starting to fall…summer fruit is still in full swing in my neck of the woods. At our homestead, we can up all He provides to get us through until the next season. I aim for an average of 1 quart per week = 52 quarts. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. We can up a multitude of summer fruits, so if one is a bit short of that goal, or a crop doesn’t come in (last year it was apricots and cherries!) we’re still covered. If we’re blessed with more than that, I am all too happy to can them up and sing praises while I’m doing it! If canned properly, canned fruits and foods shelf life is well over one season.
So, assemble your canning equipment, your peaches and let’s get to it! I can Freestone peaches, they can very well, hold their flavor and don’t get ‘mushy’ over the canning process and time. I peel my peaches with a knife, slice into pieces off the pit and fill my jars. I raw pack my fruit (raw pack just means I do not ‘cook’ the fruit in any way, prior to canning it) and cover with a sugar syrup. I fill a 6 quart pot with water almost to the top and then add in 3 cups of sugar, bring to a boil, then turn down to lowest temperature and cover to keep hot; there is my sugar syrup.
Everyone gets their own system down for canning, once they get proficient at it. Do what works for you, here is what I do:
I’ll start my water bath canner warming up with the rack UP, hooked on the sides of the canner and fill with water up to but NOT touching the bottom of the rack. This way, as the water is heating up, it slowly brings my jars to temperature, but is not touching the jar (to avoid cracking of jars).
- Cut up my fruit and stuff jars as they sit in the rack.
- By this time the jars are at temperature and I can ladle my sugar syrup over them, leaving 1” headspace.
Wipe jar rims clean (don’t skip this step, if your rims aren’t clean- you might not get a seal with your lid and you want all your jars/lids to seal properly).
Get my lids and rings on my jars (don’t wrench them down, just screw them on “fingertip tight”)
Lower the rack into the boiling water, making sure jars are just covered with water. Put the lid on and when the water gets to a rolling boil, start your timer. I can my peaches in quarts, at 25 minutes. Refer to your “canning bible” your Ball Blue Book, for your size jar.
Once time is up (you set your timer didn’t you?) have a towel set out in a spot where your jars will not be disturbed for 24 hours, remove your jars from the water, with your jar lifter and set them on the towel.
After 24 hours, label your jars, smile…and give thanks!
Enjoy the bounty and blessing of what we’re given,