Saturday, July 30, 2011

Canning Peaches


I learned something about peaches I didn't know before... I always knew there were "cling" peaches and "freestone" peaches and when on the search for peaches to can and preserve have always preferred freestone because of the ease in removing that pesky pit. In a cling peach the peach fruit "clings" to the pit and they're delicious for eating but difficult in preserving because you pretty much have to cut the flesh away from the seed. In a freestone peach you simply run your knife around the circumference and it pulls away easily from the pit in two halves. I always thought different varieties of peaches had different "clinginess" but I was indeed wrong! The peach expert at the farmers market, when we asked who was selling freestone peaches that day, replied that most everyone had freestones, but to be sure to ask just in case. He went on to explain that it's the season of year that designates whether a peach is cling or freestone. Early season peaches are generally cling and mid to late season peaches are freestone. Well, you CAN teach an ol' granny new tricks! I never knew that!

Thought I'd share that info!

When my daughter, Hannah, and I had our all day peach canning day recently, we canned up a few jars of simple peaches in syrup... great for snacking, with cottage cheese for a light lunch, or for making a yummy cobbler (the South's all time favorite dessert, alongside banana pudding!)

I still can peaches the way my Mama did and her Mama before her... it has always worked nicely and I see no need to mess with a good thing. Peaches are one of the few things I prefer to can using the raw pack method... like the name implies, raw packing is packing the raw fruit into hot, sterilized jars, then pouring a simple syrup over and processing them... I usually hot pack most produce because I can fit more in each jar that way, but peaches are worth having a little shrinkage going on in those jars, the juices left over in the jar are wonderful in their own way and add juiciness to cobblers... any ol' how... here's what we did...


We peeled (pour boiling water over the peaches or dip them in boiling water to loosen the peels for easy removal), halved and sprinkled Fruit Fresh over them as we went to prevent discoloring (Fruit Fresh is a citric acid)

Then we packed those juicy delicious peach halves into our hot, sterilized jars, RAW! (to sterilize the jars, we put them in a flat pan with a dish towel inside to keep them from falling over or clinking together, and water added, turn the jars upside down in the pan and bring to a boil)


We made a simple syrup of one part water, one part sugar... bringing the syrup to a boil and making sure all the sugar is dissolved.

Once the raw peaches were packed into the jars (sometimes this takes a little maneuvering, like a jigsaw puzzle!)... we poured the syrup over the peaches, filling the jar, leaving a half inch of headspace. We removed any air bubbles... we used a plastic tool that came with our canning kit, but a butter knife works just as well... just run it down the inside of the jar, between the fruit and the side of the jar. If there's a good amount of air released, more syrup will need to be added to fill back up to the half inch headspace.


We tightened our hot, sterilized jar lids and rings onto the jars to fingertip tightness (we had simmered the lids and rings in hot water, keeping them hot and simmering until we were ready for them).

We processed our jars of peaches in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (fill a canner, or large stockpot to the tops of the jars, bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle boil)

Once the jars of peaches had processed, we removed them from the hot water using a jar lifter (such a handy gadget!) and placed them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool.


And to listen for the sound of the PING! of each successfully sealed jar! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that sound!

Notice how the peaches shrank up a little during processing,
leaving all that lovely peachy-flavored syrup? It only adds
to the deliciousness and makes a great base for cobbler!

Can't wait to make a cobbler!

My Mama always made a super easy, super delicious cobbler using home canned peaches (you can use any fruit really)... here's how she did it and, again, I see no reason to stray from this perfection...

Melt a stick of butter in a 9x13 inch baking pan (I use a glass one)

Meanwhile mix a cup of self-rising flour, a cup of sugar, and 3/4 cup of milk in a mixing bowl

Once the butter is melted, pour a quart jar of home canned peaches over the melted butter in the pan, using a spoon, sorta chop the peaches into more bite sized pieces if desired... or leave them in their halves... it's a personal preference thing here!

Then pour over the flour/sugar/milk mixture... it will bubble around, surround and make a wonderful cobbler crust with the peaches and syrup...

Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown... I think it takes about 30 minutes...maybe 45... just keep checking until it's done through and golden brown... Heaven on Earth for the taste buds!








35 comments:

  1. This post was so timely for me! I just got 27 pounds of peaches at 50 cents a pound and was looking for the perfect way to can them and this is it!! Thank you!!

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  2. Interesting...I never knew the season determined whether they were cling or free stone.

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  3. I never knew either, until the Peach Expert Guy at the market told me! You CAN teach an old Granny new tricks! ~~Granny

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  4. OK so I just LOVE your recipes!!! Help me with an issue please! I made straight forward canned peaches from your recipe along with many other things yesterday and two of my three large jars of peaches didn't seal!!:( what can I do before its too late? Can I take out the Sugar/water and peaches and try again? Can I even try them with your Pickled Peach recipe? I just don't want to waste them and I'm not sure if they are ok to just put into fridge lik that and eat as we want to and for how long?

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer, try dumping them out, washing the jars, refilling them and adding new heated lids... then process in a boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes. If that doesn't work, we'll go to plan B! ~~Granny

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  5. Is that the same thing to do if I did some spear garlic pickles yesterday and they didnt seal? I can put them into fridge I think too and those can be ones we eat right away but they need time to cure?

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    1. Your pickles might get soft if you re-do them, but you can. If there aren't a huge amount of them, just refrigerate them... they'll last a LONG time in the fridge even if you wait a couple weeks for them to cure before you eat them.

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  6. ok well it looks to have worked for the peaches thank you so much!!

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  7. It didnt work:( they seemed when hot like they were sealed good but this morning they are not and I used new jars and seals and lids! What should I do and thanks for your help!!

    I redid the pickles and they did reseal!! I also pickled up a product that keeps pickles crunchy by Ball called 'Pickle Crisp Granules' said to keep pickles crispy in canning and was of great concern for my hubbie:)

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    1. Oh No Jennifer!!! Sounds like you did everything right, I don't know what it could be... maybe just bad lids (Ball lids seem to be most consistent, the WalMart brand and some others sometimes are more likely to fail)... if you have room, you can freeze them, I wouldn't try sealing them again or you may end up with peach mush! Or you could try and make peach butter or preserves out of them. I know how frustrating that can be! And YAY for your pickles! ~~Granny

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    2. thank you for help! can i freeze just like they are and use for pie later? Is peach butter recipe on your site?:)
      Those lids of course are the one box I got walmart brand:)

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    3. Yes, Jennifer, freeze just like they are for pie later, that's a great idea. And, no, peach butter is not on my site (though apple butter is and it's very similar to make). So sorry that happened to you! Keep on keeping on! ~~Granny

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  8. Thanks Granny!! That's what I will do and I had some more and some fresh blueberries from our local farm that I will try to make peach blueberry preserves from! I have a number of jars of peach jam now that did good:) Canning makes me happy:)

    What is different about peach butter from apple butter recipe if don't mind helping me with one more thing?

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    1. The only difference in the apple butter recipe I posted and peach butter, is instead of 6 cups of sugar, peach butter only needs 4 cups of sugar... the spices are the same. Canning makes me happy too!!! Canned potatoes today! Woo Hoo! ~~Granny

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  9. Thank You Canning Granny! You have been there to hold my hand for my first ever year of canning. With the help of our blog I have canned peaches and tomatoes and made peach and apricot jams for the very firt time. ~~ Bron in Milpitas

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    1. Yay for you Bron! and you are so welcome! ~~Granny

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  10. I was given a bundle of peaches which we blanched, peeled, pitted, and halved. Then I put them in sugar water with Fruit Fresh and froze them. We were going on vacation and I couldn't can them right away. Can I can these? I've been searching the internet for a method and can't seem to find one. As I said I have a bundle of them and would sure like to have them throughout the year! Thanks Granny :)

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    1. Sure, Robin, go ahead and can them, they might be a bit softer than canned from fresh but they should be fine.Let them thaw, fill your jars, add boiling water if necessary to cover them and process as above. ~~Granny

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  11. What happens if I don't have Fruit fresh? Can I use lemon juice?

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    1. Yes, you can use lemon juice. ~~Granny

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  12. Oh Granny! I just made your peach cobbler with my first ever canned peaches!! I have to tell you #1. SOOO Good!! #2. SOOO easy!!! and last but not least #3. My husband's comments! While I was making this wonderful treat he leaned over, looked in the dish and said, "I'm not really into peaches!" I just rolled my eyes at him (as usual) and continued mixing. After dinner he came over with a spoon and took a bite, and then a 2nd and then a 3rd and said, "ok, put some on a plate for me!" Well, he ate it and then had to run out to a friends for a minute. When he came back he had a can of whipped cream and a pint of vanilla ice cream with him and made himself another plate! I guess my husband is into peaches after all!

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    1. Yay Amy!!!!! That makes me happy! ~~Granny

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  19. Sorry, who ever told you that difference between cling and freestones peaches is the time of year they are harvested is incorrect. I live in California peach country and they are two different types of peaches with both types having different varieties so that the growing season is longer. Cling peaches, with that hard to remove pit, stay hard like an apple and have a total different smell, taste and texture than freestone peaches. Freestone peaches when ripe melt in your mouth like candy. If you have ever eaten canned peaches from the grocery store you are eating cling peaches.

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  20. Can you use honey, instead of sugar in canning? Thanks!

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    1. Yes, you certainly can use honey instead of sugar... except for jams and jellies which need exact ratios of sugar to fruit/fruit juice and pectin to gel correctly, unless, of course, you use the Pomona pectin (which I never have so don't know much about it). ~~Granny

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  21. I want to thank you for your beautiful well done canning recipes. I pulled out my canning supplies this year for the first time since 1990. I especially love that you include all of the steps in each recipe, I know that if I'm following your recipe I have not forgotten something important. I also really love that you include recipes on how to use my beautiful canned bounty, rather than just leave it sitting pretty in my pantry. Today we are trying your peach cobbler recipe, using the heavenly peaches that I canned thanks to your blog. Amazingly, every time I open a jar of these peaches, I am reminded of my mother. Like you she was an amazing cook and canner. Home canned peaches were and still are my all time favorite. Thank you!

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