Canned fruit is an iconic memory of my childhood. I grew up with a mom who canned apples, peaches, pears, and sweet cherries (to name just a few). Having home-canned fruit now seems luxurious (or just a lot of work) to many people. But honestly, for a few quarts, it can be done in under an hour!
As I’ve mentioned before, The Farm’s peaches are not producing large quantities yet since my peach trees are not quite established, at least not yet. But that doesn’t stop me from putting away peaches.
What are different ways to preserve peaches?
There are two ways to preserve peaches:
Freezing peaches is a little easier and quicker and produces wonderfully sweet and delicious peaches to put in your freezer.
Canning peaches produces jars of peeled and halved peaches for your pleasure. Canning maintains (most) of the fresh taste and does not have as much added sugar, so they’re naturally much healthier.
As I always say, canning may sound like a lot of work. But once you learn the basics, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can put together a few jars. I find it easiest to work with a small canner and do three quarts at a time, especially if you are not used to larger quantities or are just starting out. This will allow you to have three quarts of canned peaches in just a couple of hours. Imagine that!
I love to use canned peaches in pies, tarts, and fruit salads. Or I’ll simply open a jar during the winter and enjoy them by themselves.
How to start canning peaches
Start with fresh peaches. If you live in an area with wonderful peach orchards, you are lucky! Make sure the peaches are allowed to ripen, especially with store-bought peaches. Many times the store variety are picked a little early to ensure they aren’t overripe when you buy them.
The best way to know when a peach is perfectly ripe is when you start to smell the mouthwatering peach aroma. Additionally, when the peach peels easily you know they are ready to be used.
Watch how to can peaches:
Home-canned fruit is completely different and tastes much fresher than any store-bought can. Once you try these peaches, you’ll forget about ever buying them again.
These will last through the winter. And honestly, nothing tastes better in the middle of January than fresh, home-canned peaches!
How to Can Peaches
For the syrup
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
For the jars
- 6-10 lb peaches, (small to medium in size), peeled, pitted, and placed in water to prevent browning
- Place water and sugar in a kettle on the stove and bring to a simmer. While the syrup is heating, place peach halves in sterilized quart jars in a stacked tile pattern to help them fit better. Do not push them in!
- Once the jars are filled, pour boiling syrup over each. Divide evenly among jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. If the syrup does not fully fill each jar, top each with boiling water, leaving ½ inch headspace. Fit with lids and rings, following manufacturer’s instructions, and place in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
- Once completed, place jars on a cooling rack or towel and leave with rings on for 24 hours to ensure a good seal. If a jar does not seal, simply place in the refrigerator and enjoy eating!
- Wide mouth jars are much easier to fit your hand inside.