The Joys of Canning Peaches




The Joys of Canning Peaches

Isn’t it everyone’s goal to give their family healthier food/snacks?  Imagine saving money and getting to feed your family flavorful and high-quality food at the same time.  One excellent way would be canning peaches.  Canning could be an excellent way to get your family involved also.  If you don’t have a recipe you can easily get one from the internet or family/friends.

Facts:

When you purchase a can of peaches at the store they contain 18g of sugar.  When you can your own peaches your family is getting less sugar.  The amount of sugar you use will depend on how thick of syrup you are wanting.  For example for one recipe using light syrup it asks for 2 cups of sugar.

Equipment:

To make it easier on yourself have all the equipment necessary ready before you begin.  You will need canning jars; canning lids and bands; a funnel, a jar grabber, and a pressure canner.

The canning jars, lids, and bands will be used to place your peaches into when ready.  The funnel is an excellent idea.  This can be used for getting the syrup into the jars easier.  A jar grabber will be used when lifting the jars out of the hot water.  A pressure canner will be used to place the sealed jars of peaches in.

Amount of Peaches:

Now that you have decided to can peaches you are going to need to know how many peaches you will need.  This is going to vary from how much you would like to make. A good rule of thumb is:  5 good size peaches is needed to fill a jar.  So 17 ½ pounds would be used for a 7 quart canner.  A bushel would make 16 to 24 quarts and weighs approximately 48 pounds.  This would be an avg. of 2 ½ pounds per quart.

When you select your peaches you want to purchase sweet and cling-free peaches (these are called freestone).  This just means that it’s easier to separate the pit from the peach.  You also would want to choose ones that are ripe and that aren’t too mushy.  You definitely don’t want the ones that are hard.

Canning Peaches

Canning Your Peaches: 

Once you have selected your peaches you will want to wash them.  Depending on your recipe there are some that say peel the peaches and some that say don’t.  This is will all depend on your recipe.

The sugar is used to help improve the flavor, keep the color, and keep the form of the fruit.  When preparing the syrup you will want to constantly stir the contents until the dissolve.  Once it comes to a low mild boil then keeps it simmering.  This syrup needs to stay warm but not boiling.

If you make too much syrup you are able to store the unused portion in the fridge until you need it again.

You will want to make sure that your jars are clean.  You could either run them through the dishwasher.  If you prefer you could sanitize them in boiling water for ten minutes.

Depending on your recipe you could either peel the peaches or you could place them in boiling water for 30 seconds.  After this you will place them in a container of cold ice and water for several minutes.  The skin will easily come off.

Next you will slice up the peaches.  Make sure that you take off any brown or mushy spots.  You will want to cut them into half or slices, whichever you would prefer.  Make sure that you take out the pits.

To keep the peaches from going brown you can either sprinkle ¼ cup of lemon juice into the bowl.  Mix this to make sure that all the peaches are coated.

You will want to hot pack your peaches.  This method will make it easier to pack them into the jars.  You will put the slice up the peaches into the lightly boiling syrup for 6 minutes.  This method also helps reduce air from getting trapped.  It also makes to produce nicer colors.

When you fill the jars you will need to leave ½ to one inch space at the lid.  You will cover with the boiling sugar syrup leaving ½ inch head space.  Use a table knife between the peaches to help release air bubbles.  This can be done more effectively by tilting the jar while running the spatula or knife between the peaches and the side of the jar.

The fruit should be covered completely with the sugar solution.   Wipe the rim and the threads of the jar with a damp cloth.  Place the lid and band on tightly and evenly.  Do not close the jar too tight.

Place the sealed jars inside the pressure canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water and boiling.  They need to boil for at least 20 minutes.

Remove the jars using the jar grabber.  Allow them to cool completely.  You can store them for 12 to 18 months in a cool, dry place. With your canning peaches complete you can enjoy giving your family healthy food.

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