Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Canning Peaches

It's that time of year where I am getting "Fall Fever".  I'm ready to bake apple pies, put up Halloween decorations and make a Thanksgiving turkey! I love the crisp cool air in the mornings and watching the leaves turn color.  Fresh locally grown produce can be found all over town, and peaches are in season.  I didn't wait long to go get a box of peaches so I could get some canned and into the pantry.  If you haven't tried canning before, give it a shot.  It's not difficult and it's very rewarding to put freshly canned fruits and jams in the pantry, or give them away as gifts.  Follow along and I'll show you how it's done...



Things You'll Need:
  • Water Bath Canner (or pressure canner)
  • Quart Sized Jars, Lids, and Rings
  • Jar Utensil Set: containing a jar funnel, bubble remover and headspace tool, magnetic lid lifter, and jar lifter.
  • Peaches (about 15lbs for 6 quart sized jars)
  • Sugar 
  • Lemon Juice or Fruit Fresh
  • Large and Small Pots
Before getting started, make sure you pre-wash all the jars and rings.  The dishwasher works great for this, and use the sanitize cycle if you have one.  Now you can prepare the water bath canner.  
 Fill the water bath 2/3 full with water and place on stove top over high heat to bring to a boil.
These are the lids and rings.  Rings can be re-used each time you do canning, but the lids should be replaced.  There is a chance they won't seal with repeated use.  
 The easiest way to clean the lids is to put them in a small pot of almost boiling water for about 5 minutes.
Use a magnetic lid lifter to remove them from the pan when done.
These are the tools that will make your canning experience much easier.  You'll see how they are used as we go.  These kits can be found at Walmart during canning season (right now) for a good price!
 Now it's time to get the peaches ready.  First rinse the peaches with cold water.
 Now, since we don't want to peel all the peaches by hand, we are going to blanch them.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the peaches in and let sit for 30-40 seconds.  I set the timer on the microwave so I don't lose track of the seconds.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the peaches from the pot and place in a large bowl or sink filled with ice cold water. 
Take peaches out one at a time, slice them in half, give it a quick turn and they will split open.  The peels should slide off easily and you can remove the pits.
 Slice the peaches and soak them in lemon water.  I use about 1/4 cup lemon juice in about 3 cups of water.  This will help keep the peaches from browning.  You can also use Fruit Fresh instead of soaking the peaches.  Just sprinkle it over the top of the sliced peaches.  
Remove the peaches from lemon water and place in a large bowl.  Now is a good time to start the syrup.  You can make a light, medium or heavy syrup.  For the light syrup use 6 cups of water and 2 cups sugar, for medium syrup: 6 cups water and 3 cups sugar, and for heavy syrup: 6 cups water and 4 cups sugar.  I use the light syrup.  Heat the water in a medium pan and slowly mix in the sugar.  Bring to a light boil, turn down the heat, and keep warm. 
Now you can do this part 2 different ways.  I do what's called the "raw pack" method where I don't pre-cook the peaches and I just add them to the jars.  Or you can do the "hot pack" method where you add the sliced peaches to the syrup solution for 5 minutes and then add to the jars.  The "hot pack" method will eliminate more air bubbles and allow you to fit more peaches per jar.  
Once peaches are added, pour in the syrup.  The one batch of syrup should fill 6 jars if you filled them with plenty of peaches.  You should have 1/2 to 1 inch of head space at the top.
 Use a knife or canning tool to press against peaches to remove air bubbles.  Tilt the jars slightly and press peaches towards the middle.  You will need to do this for the "raw pack" method.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean wet cloth and place the lids and rings on.  Tighten, but don't over tighten.
 Place jars in the canner
 Make sure you have enough water to cover the jars.  Check the chart at the bottom of the page for processing time.  Processing times are different based on method used (raw or hot), jar size, and altitude.  Cover canner with lid while processing.
 Use the jar lifter to remove jars from the canner.  
 Cool jars completely.  You will hear the lids start to "pop" which means they sealed properly.  Some will pop while still in the canner.  Any jars that have not popped on their own after completely cooled should be refrigerated and used first.  Enjoy your peaches!


USDA Canning Recommendations
Recommended process time for Peaches, halved or sliced in a boiling-water canner

Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack
Jar Size
0 - 1,000 Ft
1,001 – 3,000 Ft
3,001 – 6,000 Ft
Above 6,000 Ft
Hot

Pints
20 Min
25
30
35
Quarts
25
30
35
40
Raw
Pints
25
30
35
40
Quarts
30
35
40
45

12 comments:

ashleighskitchen said...

LOVE the pictures! I need to try canning, it has always scared me. I feel like I would mess something up, and completely ruin the whole batch. Thanks for explaining everything. I will have to try it!

Nicole said...

Thanks, I'm getting better with the picture taking :) You should try canning. It would be hard to destroy a batch. I'm sure you would do great, and once you start canning, you're hooked for life :)

Anonymous said...

how long do you allow the peaches to soak in the lemon juice? I'm thinking not very long as you wouldn't want the lemon taste. I'm just learning how to can and don't want to ruin my peaches...

Kitchen Mom said...

Sorry for the delayed response, I only let the peaches soak in the lemon juice for a few minutes. I slice a few peaches at a time, soak them, and then move them to a large bowl and then repeat the steps.

tennillewj said...

Wonderful blog! Easy to follow your directions. Pictures are great! Thank you!

Cris in Santa Cruz, Ca said...

Thanks for the great instructions. I've been renewing my canning skills after 25 years of not canning, I love having my canned jams etc available in winter. This is my first time trying peaches. I was a little nervous but your blog helped alot.


Anonymous said...

How much pounds of pressure will be needed for quart sized sliced peaches?

Anonymous said...

How much pounds of pressure will be needed for quart sized sliced peaches?

Ginger Hawk said...

How many pounds of pressure and how long do I need to process sliced peaches in quart jars.

Anonymous said...

No pounds of pressure because your doing a water bath method not pressure canning

Kitchen Mom said...

I have never used the pressure canner method, sorry. I have only done a water bath, in which case there is no pressure involved.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I love your blog. So easy to follow and the pictures are wonderful. I have never pressure canned peaches but my manual states
"After control starts to jiggle, process for 10 minutes at 5lbs of pressure". Hope this helps..

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