Monday, 5 September 2011

How-to-Can Peaches

Canning on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  My friend and her Mom taught me how to can peaches.  Unfortunately I did not document the afternoon in photos.

Here is Canning 101, courtesy of Simple Bites

1. Wash, Peel & Slice
Wash them in cold water, cut them in half, pop out the pits with a knife and remove the skin.
2. Pack Jars
Slither the halves into sterilized quart jars, or cut the halves into slices first.
3. Add Sugar
When the jars are three-quarters full, add the sugar. A scant third cup might be enough. Continue adding peaches until the jars are full, tamping them down as you go.  (or wait until the jar is full and add Sugar Syrup).
4. Add Water & Lids
Slowly add water to the jars. If necessary, use a table knife to press the peaches to one side to create a space for the water to trickle down and to ferret out any pockets of air that are lurking in the bottom of the jars. The water should reach the base of the jar neck, about 1/2 inch from the top. Next, wet your fingers with tap water and swipe them over the lips of the jars to remove any stickiness. Put lids on the jars and screw on the rings.
5. Process Peaches
Process the jars in a hot water bath. Keep them at a rolling boil for 25 minutes.
6. Cool, Label and Store
Remove the canned jarfuls to a kitchen counter lined with an old towel. Don't touch the lids while the jars are cooling. After cool, remove the rings, wash the jars with soapy water, and label them. If any jars don't seal (generally, out of about fifty quarts, three or four don't seal). Store them in a fridge and use the fruit within a couple weeks.

Extra tips:
*Boiling Water Bath: Peaches easily slip out of their skins when their fruits are first plunged in boiling water for 30 seconds. In this case, halve and pit the fruits after peeling.
*A bushel weighs about 48 pounds and will yield between 16 and 24 quarts*
*Peaches must be fully ripe before canning.*

Sugar Syrup Recipe
Light: 2 cups sugar, 4 cups water - Yields: 5 cups
Medium: 3 cups sugar, 4 cups water - Yields: 5 1/2 cups
Heavy: 4 3/4 cups sugar, 4 cups water - Yields: 6 1/2 cups

To prepare syrup, while heating water, add sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil. Fill jars while syrup is still boiling hot.


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