Local Peaches from the Sandhills of NC
Peach season is winding down in our area. But, before they disappear from our market for the season, I wanted to try my hand at canning sliced peaches.
To remove the skins, rinse the peaches then drop them in a pot of boiling water for a minute or until the skin starts to crack. Next, quickly move them to an ice bath. The boiling did make the skins a little easier to remove. Though mine didn't seem to come off as easy as the illustrations from here! I probably should have left them in the boiling water a little bit longer. After the skins are removed, pit and slice the peaches. To prevent my sliced peaches from browning, I sprinkled them with Fruit Fresh (a produce protector containing ascorbic acid - Vitamin C).
Next, prepare a simple syrup. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today recommends using a medium or heavy syrup for peaches canned using the hot pack method.
For medium syrup - 3 1/4 cups granulated sugar + 5 cups water
For heavy syrup - 4 1/4 cups granulated sugar + 4 1/4 cups water
Combine the sugar and water in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil the syrup down.
Once the syrup is prepared, add sliced peaches and warm until heated through (mine took about 5 minutes).
Using a slotted spoon, fill prepared canning jars with warmed peaches leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Then, ladel hot syrup into jars to cover the peaches leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim of jar, center lid and screw band down until fingertip-tight.
Process jars in a water bath canner - 20 minutes for pint jars and 25 minutes for quart jars.
This truly was small batch canning for me, as my 1/2 peck of peaches yielded only 2 pint jars of canned sliced peaches.