Enjoy the simple tradition of fruit canning with your friends and family. It’s an event when shared!
- The Freestone variety are the preferred choice for canning, since the pit will remove with ease, leaving the cavity of flesh in tact
- In general,allow 4 to 8 days for peaches to fully ripen
- 35 pounds of peaches makes 17 very full quarts with approx. 28 cups water used for syrup
- Allow 4 to 5 medium peaches per jar
- Canning day takes approximately 4.5 hours to make 2 batches (14 quarts) and clean up. Pizza night might be a good idea!
Use quarts and wide-mouth jars. Check the jars’ rims for cracks or sharp edges. Often used is Ball (dome-like top) or Kerr canning jars due to their reliability to withstand heat.<
The evening before canning day, sanitize jars and rings, by either of the following methods:
Wash in dishwasher. If possible, leave them in the dishwasher until needed. Otherwise, place on clean counter and cover with clean tea towels.
Hand wash in hot water and sterilize in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, leave in oven until needed. Otherwise, place on clean counter and cover with clean tea towels.
Boil lids just prior to use. Put the lids into a pot of boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes. Lids should be fully covered. The lids may remain in the pot until it is time to seal jars. At that point, carefully inspect each lid to ensure its rubber ring is pliable – making a better seal.
Place canner on a front element of stove. Fill the canner with hot water, stopping 5″ from the top rim. Set to high, the water will take approximately 20 minutes to boil.
For blanching peaches, fill 2/3 of a 4-quart pot with hot water & heat to boil on a front element. To refresh your memory, carefully place peaches into boiling water – 30 seconds to 1 minute to loosen skins. Skins should slip off easily. Try peeling first batch to determine how long a time to use. Adjust time if needed. The required time will be determined by the ripeness of the peaches, so try to sort batches by ripeness.
Even if the fruit is a tad on the green side, the skin will slip off very easily. Otherwise, use a small paring knife to encourage its removal. Begin at the top of the peach and pull downward.
Remove from the boiling water and immediately place them into the following cold water bath, especially if you can without a partner: To prevent browning, dip the fruit in cold water mixed with lemon juice or cider vinegar interchangeably (to make it acidulated). Keep here until ready to pack in jars. Other citrus juices can also be used, such as limes, oranges, and grapefruit.
Citrus recipe: Use approximately 1/4 cup lemon juice to 1 quart of cold water. The lemon juice in the water with help reduce the pH on the surface of the fruit and the water will reduce the amount of oxygen the fruit is exposed to.
Vinegar recipe: Put halves in a water solution of 12 cups water, 1 Â½ tsp. salt, and 3 tsp. vinegar.
Pack halves firmly into jar using a knife into the jar with the cut side of peach down…a large serving spoon might be preferred initially. When jar is filled, pound the bottom of the jar into the palm of your hand to pack them a little. Fill jar with 1/2-inch headspace.
Hint: To make your canning experience fun and memorable, steps 4 through 8 work well as a “canning party”: As one person cuts peaches into halves, another person is dipping the peaches and immediately placing it into a jar. When filled a third person pours the syrup in immediately to stop discolouring. This is all manageable, however, on your own.
On a rear element, prepare the syrup in a tall Dutch oven. A medium syrup is 12 cups hot water to 5 Â¼ cups sugar. You do not have to use any sugar but aids with colour preservation, flavour, and texture. Boil mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (It takes 20 minutes to bring cold water to boil.). Keep the syrup very hot. Click here for more details.
Cover the peaches with boiling hot syrup leaving a half-inch headspace. It takes 1 to 1 1/2 cups of syrup to fill a quart jar, depending on how full you pack your jars. Again, pouring syrup immediately after peach halves are packed in jars will help to prevent discolouring.
Hint: Use a two-cup glass measuring cup to fill jar with syrup.
Run a table knife gently between fruit and the side of the jar to release air bubbles. Add more syrup if needed. Fill to a 1/2-inch headspace.
Wipe the top of the jar with a clean damp cloth before putting on the lid, screw ring down tight. It must screw down evenly to hold red rubber sealing compound against jar top. Never use old lids.
Before proceeding, canning water must be boiling. Have a teakettle of boiling water ready. Once 4 jars are filled with lids and rings screwed on, place in the boiling water. If needed, add from teakettle to ensure water level is 1/2″ to 1″ above tops of jars. Once water is back to a boil, allow 25-30 minutes of ‘canning time’.
Carefully remove hot jars individually and place on a rack to cool. Within the next few hours, each jar will take a turn making a popping sound, which signifies successful canning. All ‘unpopped’ jars should be refrigerated and eaten within the next week or so.