Oh my goodness these are so much better tasting than out of a can (and so much better for you too)! I used to HATE peeling peaches, but then a friend of mine gave me a tip- just wait until they’re very ripe, but not browning, and they’ll peel like a breeze. This time around the peels practically fell off some of them.
These are great straight out of the jar, or even warmed up over some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Makes about 8 (16 oz) pints or 4 (32 oz) quarts
YOU WILL NEED
- 8-12 lb ripe but firm peaches (about 24-36 medium)
- 1 batch extra light or light syrup
- 8 pint or 4 quart canning jars with lids
- PREPARE peaches by peeling*, coring and slicing or halving them. To prevent browning, submerge peaches in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water and drain.
- PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.
- PREPARE syrup**. In a large saucepan stainless steel combine sugar or honey and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil the syrup down.
- WARM peaches, over medium-low heat, in syrup until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- PACK hot peaches, using a slotted spoon, into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into hot jar to cover peaches, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- PROCESS pint jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
*Make sure peaches are nice and ripe. To peel peaches, place them in a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Then remove and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When they are cool, pinch the skins at the base of the peach to begin peeling.
** Syrup: You are welcome to can peaches in water or unsweetened juice, however they tend to be less flavorful, have a duller color, and do not hold their shape as well. I tend to use a light or extra light syrup and it works great.
- Extra Light – 1 1/4 cups sugar to 5 1/2 cups water
- Light – 2 1/4 cups sugar to 5 1/4 cups water
You can also make a syrup with honey if you don’t want to use processed sugar. Honey is quickly becoming my favorite alternative to sugar.
- light – 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water
- medium – 2 cups honey to 4 cups water