He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

12 August 2010

{Canning Peaches}

if you can boil water, you can can. consider the following a quick guide to canning peaches. if you have questions, feel free to ask me. if you are brand new to canning and have lots of questions, i highly recommend the Ball Blue Book or Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving to get you started. 
so, without further ado... my setup...

cold water source to cool peaches : hot water source to keep jars warm
{below} my stovetop... small pan to boil water for jar tops : pan of simple syrup {1 1/4 c sugar and 5 1/2 c water, boil then keep hot} : large pot for boiling jars {i use a hot water canner} : pot of boiling water to peel peaches

and here's how it's done...
fill your jars with hot water to warm up the class or, as i do, stick them into a sink full of hot water. let them sit until you're ready to pack them.

to peel: bring a pot of water to a rolling boil with enough water to cover the peaches and boil for 60 seconds. immediately drop into cold water and let sit for a couple of minutes. doing this loosens the skins and the peels practically fall off. cut in half by making a cut all the way around the pear and then wiggling the knife to work the halves apart or cut them into slices. remove the pit. {i was told that putting a peach pit into each jar helps keep the peaches from discoloring over time. i cannot confirm this to be true but i do it just the same so at this point, save your pits if you'd like.} 

{above} you'll notice that the top peach's pit broke into two. in my experience, this means the peach is very ripe. it will work just as well and taste just as good but it may be a little mushy and not cut as easily as the peach below it with the pit that stayed in tact on one side.

how beautiful are these?!
while you're cutting up all your peaches, boil water in a small pan and add your lids. mix your water and sugar together and boil to make your simple syrup. keep this hot and handy for the next step. 


fill the jars with peaches so they're tightly packed but don't push so hard that you start squishing the peaches. using a ladle, pour in the hot simple syrup into the jar to the large rim at the neck of the jar. use a clean knife to slide down the side of the jar and wiggle it to release the air from in between the peaches and top off the jar with syrup  and leave 1/2" gap known as "headspace". 

once jar is filled, use a warm towel to wipe the rim of your jar and put the lid in place. screw on a band but only to fingertip-tight, NOT tight tight. place cans into canner on wire rack to keep warm until all your jars are filled.

hot water baths hold 7 jars. once the rack is filled, lower it CAREFULLY down into the water and bring it up to a rolling boil. once this is achieved, boil pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25. then turn off the burner, remove the lid, and let cool for 5 minutes before removing.

let jars sit out on your counter overnight until they cool and then store until you're ready to eat.  
these are great over vanilla ice cream or with yogurt!

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