It is such a disappointment when you bite in to a big juicy peach and realize that it is anything but. I have had the WORST luck with peaches this season. I've bought them from 3 different grocery stores and almost all of them were that nasty starchy pasty flavor. Yuck!
Well this past Saturday I headed down to a huge farmer's market and was handed a sample of a peach. It stopped me mid-step. It was bring-a-tear-to-my-eye delicious. The kind of delicious where you think you could live off of that food alone for the rest of your life. I bought a five pound bag on the spot. Then as I started to walk away, with the fresh peach juice still on my taste buds, I had a vivid memory of all the horrible peaches I have eaten this summer. So I turned around and asked the farmer if I could instead purchase an entire bushel.
I was thrilled with my purchase! But when I got home I realized that I didn't really have plans for an entire bushel of peaches. I made some jam, cut some up and froze them for smoothies, and still had a counter full of perfectly ripe peaches. I decided to attempt something I have never done before.........bottle peaches!
I had always heard that it was fairly straight forward, so with the help of my 2 favorite servants (love you Estelle and Lara) we got to work. Now I am sure that there are plenty of you that have canned peaches a hundred times, so this blog isn't really for you (except to tilt your head and smile with an "oh-that's-so-cute-that-Maintenance-Mommy-is-attempting-peaches" look on your face). I thought I would lay it out there, step by step for any other newbie-peachy's out there.
Prep: Make sure you have clean jars and NEW lids for your jars ready to go (preferably warm jars straight from the dishwasher)
Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil
Step 2: Drop peaches into the boiling water (about 10) and boil for 1 minute
Step 3: Scoop them out of the water and immediately into ice cold water
Step 4: Remove the skin (hopefully you have a helper for this step so you can continue step 1-3 until all the peaches are done)
Step 5: Remove the pits and cut the peaches into the size you want for the jars
Step 6: Fill your jars with peaches
Step 7: Prepare your syrup* - see light recipe below
Step 8: Fill Jars with hot syrup
Step 9: WIpe the lip of the jars clean for a better seal
Step 10: Put on the lids and screw on the rings
Step 11: Boil a large pot of water
Step 12: Place jars in a large water bath (I used my Pressure Cooker w/o the pressure)
Step 13: Cover the jars with boiling water (cover 1-2 inches above the lids)
Step 14: Cook on a burner for 30 minutes
Step 15: Remove from water and let cool on the counter
Step 16: Give yourself a prize, you are amazing!
*I found a light recipe for the syrup, which is enough to make 7 quart size jars
10 cups of water
1 1/4 cup of sugar
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes
For those of you who don't know exactly how much a bushel is (like me) - it is about 32 pounds
Here is what I was able to make with one bushel (which cost me $28 at the Farmer's Market)
14 quarts of peaches,
1 4 cup batch of jam,
1 gallon-size ziplock bag of sliced peaches,
and a few leftover for snacking