Canning Peaches

I showed you these when I picked them a while back.
They were delicious - and still are delicious because I bottled them.

My friend Marie wants to learn to bottle fruit so I took pictures of the process to help her along.
The offical instructions for canning peaches can be found here  and I'm just adding some pictures to help out with the visuals.  Sometimes the instructions can be a bit vague if you haven't done this before.
Always use a USDA approved recipe to keep your family safe and healthy and use a water bath canner.  Steam canners have been deemed unsafe because they do not keep the temperature consistent.

The first thing to do is to remove the peach skins.  We do this by blanching the peaches in boiling water for about 30 - 60 seconds.  Quickly remove the peaches from the boiling water and plop them into a sink full of cold water.

I cut my peaches in half before slipping the skin after they've been boiled and plopped because I find it easier to cut them in half before they become all slick.  Cut them in half along the indentation (seam) of the peach to make it easier to pop out the pit.

The skins slip right off when they've been blanched long enough. 
If the peach is still a bit green you might have to blanch longer or just peel it off the hard way.  And if you have grown or purchased cling free peaches your pits will pull right out.  If not, I'm so sorry, you are going to have a messy job ahead.

After removing the skin and pits, place the peaches into water that has an ascorbic acid solution (check the above recipe for exact amounts).  I use Lemon juice in my water to make my solution (again see the recipe for exact amounts).

After you've blanched, peeled and pitted enough fruit you will start stacking the peaches into clean jars.  Stack the fruit in the jar cut side down.  Wide mouth jars are idea for peaches because you can stick your whole hand into them.  It's difficult to turn these slippery suckers over when you are using a narrow mouthed jar.  Look how pretty they are!
I'm too lazy to make the syrup on the stove so I make the syrup in the bottle.
I put about 1/2 cup of sugar per bottle, but you can use less or none at all.
You can even use just plane old apple juice if you like.

Once the sugar is in, I pour hot boiling water over the top of the sugar and the sugar quickly melts.
See how easy that is?
You stop pouring the water in when the water reaches within a 1/2 inch of the top of the jar.
This is called headspace - peaches need a 1/2 inch of headspace.

You will see bubbles rising to the top when you pour the water in.  This is air that is trapped under all the peaches.  In order to make sure all the air comes out take a knife and stick it in the jar along the side (inbetween the peaches and the jar).  Run the knife all the way around the inside being careful not to slice into your peaches and this will help any extra trapped air rise to the top.  Refill your jar with water up to that 1/2 inch headspace if you had a lot of air in your jar.  Next take a moist clean dishcloth or paper towel and clean off the edges of the jars.

The lids will not seal if there are bits of sugar or water along the edges.
While you've been filling and cleaning the jars you should throw your lids into a small pan of boiling water.
Don't leave the room while these are boiling to go to the bathroom and not tell anyone to watch it because you will end up ruining the lids and maybe the pan as well.  Just FYI, not like I've ever done that or anything.
Now that the lids have boiled for a few minutes, place them on your clean jars and screw the rings on.

Place the jars into your canner and fill with boiling water.  Warm water works too, it's just that the hotter the water already is the less time it will take to bring the whole canner up to a boil.  Your water should reach an inch over the top of the jars.  Once the water is boiling beginning timing the peaches.  How long you process the peaches will depend on the altitude of where you live.  Please find out your altitude and adjust your processing time accordingly.

Once the processing time is up, remove the jars from the water (carefully cause they are HOT).
Let the jars cool and listen for the pleasing sound of "ping!" as each jar seals.
Sometimes it can take a little while (as long as over night) for a jar to seal.  If a jar has not sealed then you will need to put the fruit in the fridge and eat it within the week or reprocess it.
You will know a jar is sealed if the lid is dented in.  If you push the middle of the lid and it bounces back up or makes a popping sound then it isn't sealed. 
Best wishes in your canning adventures!
Email me if you have questions.


Jennilyn said…
I heard a peach bottling recipe yesterday that is similar--except she puts 1 tablespoon of HONEY in the bottom of the jar, layers in the peaches, adds boiling water. She swears they taste like "peaches" and not heavy sweet syrup. Haven't tried it yet. Our peach season is long gone. Love the harvest season!
Terina Dee said…
Oh, the happiness and satisfaction of canning. Someday... when the world is again spinning upright?

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