August 28, 2011 by Sara Kreidler
Today, we canned fruit for the first time. We brought home about 5 pounds of peaches from the farmer’s market on Saturday with plans to put them up for the winter. Now that we know how easy it is, we’re planning to bring home as many peaches as we can next weekend.
Peaches, sugar and water. That’s all you need.
The recipe below yields 3 quarts and about a pint of extra syrup, which we stashed in the fridge and will use as simple syrup in various boozy concoctions. If you up it to about 10-12 pounds of peaches, that would yield you about 5 quarts and probably use up all of the syrup.
Adapted from the Ball Blue Book
- 5 pounds peaches
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 1/4 cups water
- Wash the jars in the dishwasher.
- While the jars are washing, cut each peach in half, remove the stone, and then use a sharp pairing knife to remove the skin. Discard skin and stone. Fill a large bowl half way with cold water; add lemon juice to the water. Slice peaches into quarters and transfer to the bowl of lemon water (this solution will keep the peaches from turning brown).
- Also, while the jars are washing, prep your canning area. I like to put down old (clean) kitchen towels and hot pads so I don’t have to worry about scorching the counter. Get your jar lifter, lid wand and wide mouth funnel ready. I use a chopstick to remove air bubbles, but you can also use a small plastic spatula or plastic spoon (just don’t use a metal utensil, which can scratch and/or crack your jars). Make sure your rings and lids are ready too. You’ll also need a ladle.
- Remove hot jars from dishwasher, place inside canner and fill the canner with hot water so that all of the jars are full and covered by 1 inch of water. Put the canner on your largest burner and bring the water to a boil.
- Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Add the lids to the simmering water; do not boil the lids.
- Combine sugar and water in a medium pot and heat over medium flame. Stir to make sure the sugar dissolves. Cover to keep warm.
- Remove the small pot of simmering lids and the medium pot hot syrup from the stove and place on hot pads near your jar filling station. Have your lid wand, funnel and a ladle handy. Drain the peaches in the sink and place drained peaches near the jar filling station.
- Remove 1 jar from the canning pot and dump out the water. Place the funnel on top of the jar and transfer peaches into the jar. Ladle in the hot syrup from the medium pot, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar (the bottom line of the screw marks on the jar is a good guideline for ½ inch of headspace). Take the funnel off of the jar and use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles; add more hot syrup if needed to maintain ½ inch of headspace after the jar is de-bubbled. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel. Use the lid wand to remove 1 lid from the pot and place it on top of the jar. Screw the ring onto the jar until it is finger-tip tight (you don’t want it to be too tight or the air won’t be able to escape during processing). Repeat with each jar until all of the jars are full.
- Return the jars to the boiling water in the canner. The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Place the lid on the canner and process at a full boil for 30 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the counter. Do not disturb the jars while they cool.
- Label the sealed jars and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. If any of the lids fail to seal, the unsealed jars should be refrigerated because they are not shelf stable.