It’s peach season you guys!! And I’ve been up to my eyeballs in them all week. 😉 Next year, will someone please remind me that 3 bushels it too many to can singlehandedly? But aside from the sticky mess in the kitchen, I’ll be so thankful for them come winter time.
I decided to step away from my typical recipe post, to do a DIY post for canned peaches! It really is simple, and I know you will love it just as much as I do (maybe more, if you actually have air conditioning in your house… but I digress).
Growing up, my mom always had a huge garden. Each year we would can jars and jars of yummy salsa, tomatoes, green beans, and more. Last summer, I decided it was time to continue the tradition. In the process, I crossed two big developmental hurdles: I gave birth to a baby, and I learned how to can. I feel like a real woman now. 😉
Canning is a great way to preserve fresh produce all year. And although it requires a commitment to learn and stick with it through the busy harvest season, it gets easier each time. You’ll find ways to save time, and get in a rhythm that works best for you. I really fell in love with it last year, and am excited to fill up our pantry downstairs again this summer!
But enough said. Let’s dive into our canned peaches!
Peaches are picked fairly green, so you’ll need to lay them out flat to ripen for 5-7 days after purchasing them. Keep a close eye on them, as they ripen at different speeds and quickly develop soft spots and bruises. I’ve done one or two batches almost every day this week, choosing the ripest ones each day.
When you’re ready to can, there are a few items you should have handy (There is a complete list with links to everything I use at the bottom of this post!).*
Water bath canner or pressure canner
1 large pot
2-3 medium/small sauce pans
Sharp paring knife
Slotted spoon (I like to use a skimmer)
Jars, lids, and rings
Canning funnel and jar lifter
Ladle or large measuring cup
It may look overwhelming, but you probably already have most things around the house, especially if you’ve canned before. If not, it’s worth the investment!
Prepping for canning is important so that things can keep moving smoothly through each batch of jars. Clear your stove top off – you’ll need all of the burners. Next, make sure your work area and sinks are clean, and prep the following items:
- Fill a large pot halfway with water, and begin heating it up on high.
- Wash out your jars, and sterilize them. There are a couple ways to do this: wash them ahead of time in the dishwasher and leave them in so that they stay hot, or place them upside down in a large pan with a couple inches of water in the bottom, and bring the water to a simmer so that the steam sterilizes the inside of the jars (this is my personal favorite).
- Place your lids and rings in a small sauce pan. Cover with water, and bring to a low simmer.
- Prepare the syrup for the peaches. I usually use a light or medium syrup. (Here’s a helpful chart)
Now you’re almost ready to start canning! While waiting for your water to boil, select your peaches, and rinse them off with cold water. Gently remove any extra peach fuzz and remaining stems, and cut off any damaged spots (leave minor bruises for when you cut the peaches up).
Next, fill up a large bowl or your [clean] sink with ice-cold water.
Now, blanche your peaches. This is the easiest and fastest way to remove the skins.** Put the peaches in the pot of boiling water for 30-40 seconds. Remove them using your slotted spoon or skimmer, and immediately plunge them into the ice cold water you have prepared. This will cause the skins to separate from the fruit, and you’ll be able to slide them right off! It’s almost like magic. 😉
After you have removed your peach skins, halve them or slice them into a large bowl, cutting out bruised spots as you go. I like to sprinkle a little bit of vitamin C powder on them after this step to keep them from browning, or you can treat them with Fruit Fresh.
Take your hot jars, and using your canning funnel, fill each jar with peaches. You can pack them in fairly tight, as they will settle. Next, pour the hot syrup over the peaches until the jar is filled, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace.
Using a rubber spatula or your bubble popper/measurer (see my list of canning essentials below), gently slide it along the sides of the jar to break any air bubbles that are trapped. You may need to add a little more syrup after this step, since the liquid will settle as the air bubbles rise.
Wipe off the rims of the jars with a clean cloth, and center each hot lid onto the top of the jar. Screw on the rings fairly tight, but not too tight. You should still be able to unscrew them with your fingertips. This will allow the air from inside the jar to vent.
Next, place the jars into your canner (the water in your canner should be very hot, but not boiling – this can crack your jars!), and follow the respective instructions for a water bath canner or pressure canner (I usually use a pressure canner).
Process your peaches for 30 minutes.
Once done, remove peaches from the canner and allow to cool in a draft-free area. You will hear a satisfying *POP* as each lid seals! If any lids don’t seal, simply place the jars in the fridge and enjoy them soon. 🙂
Ta-da! There you have it. Your very own canned peaches to enjoy all winter long. And if you actually stuck with me to the end of this article, I know you have the patience for canning. 😉
Canning really is fulfilling. Knowing that you are helping to provide healthy food for your family is wonderful. But most of all, seeing all the pretty jars lined up is a constant reminder of how much God has blessed us. Another year of life, food, means to grow and purchase the food, health… There is so, so much to be thankful for.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any favorite canning techniques! And as always, may your day be seasoned with sunshine. <3
* If you are excited about canning, here is a complete list of my favorite canning items!
(NOTE: These include affiliate links. I only support items I completely trust and have used for myself.)
– Granite Ware 0707-1 Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart, Black
– Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set, 6 Piece Set
– Hiware Set of 3 Stainless Steel Skimmer Strainer, 13.8 Inches, 14.8 Inches & 16.4 Inches, Wire Skimmer with Spiral Mesh, Professional Grade Handle Skimmer Spoon/Ladle for Spaetzle / Pasta / Chips
– Ball Mason Regular Mouth Quart Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12
– Ball Regular Mouth Jar Lids
– NOW Vitamin C Crystals Ascorbic Acid 100% Pure Powder, 8 Ounces
**The number of peaches you blanche at a time will depend on the size of your pot. I like to do about 12 at a time, because I find it the most manageable. If there are too many, I can’t get them all out of the water quick enough and the fruit starts getting mushy.