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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spirited Peaches

Ontario peaches are now in season as mentioned in yesterday's post.  I started off with 2 - 2 L baskets to try out a couple of new recipes.  This week I will be into my regular canning for peaches perhaps adding a new recipe or two but for the most part the peaches will be canned as quarter or slices.  Unlike the first peaches I started with and pictured below the peaches for the main canning sessions will come directly from the orchard.  We a doing a foodie road trip this week to pick up in season fruits and vegetables that will include peaches.  I would like to get these canned up before starting tomatoes which also starts this week so there will be a few busy days ahead.

cutting peaches
Peaches come in two varieties with respect to the pit.  By far the easiest peach to prepare for canning has a cling-free pit.  What this means is the pit will pull freely from the fruit.  Some peach cultivars are not cling-free so the meat of the fruit sticks firmly to the pit.  These cultivars are a lot more difficult to prepare for canning.

The general recommendation for peeling peaches is to dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds then slip the skin similar to the way you would slip the skins from tomatoes.  A method I like using for firm, ripe  peaches is scoring to the pit to form quarters.  A little twist of the knife will release the first quarter and the others can easily be removed from the pit.  A couple of passes of the knife quickly removes the skin.  Then I turn the quarter on one edge and slice through to form two slices.  When it comes to any food prep for canning use the method that works for you. 

spirited and plain peaches
I was testing two variables in this small canning batch.  First, as you know if you have been following this blog I have been testing out the Tattler reusable canning lids.  The second variable was adding spirits (eg. alcohol) to the product which is something I don't do a lot of.  Adding alcohol gives a wonderful gourmet product but it makes the product less versatile in that it cannot be served to everyone.   Spirited peaches are delightful especially served with vanilla ice cream.

Spirited Peaches
source:  Garden Gnome

6 c prepared sliced peaches
¼ c preservative free lemon juice
4 c water

1 lemon
2½ c water
2 c organic sugar

8 tbsp peach schnapps

Mix lemon juice with 4 c water in large bowl.  Wash, peel, pit an slice the peaches place the prepared peach slices in the lemon water as you work.  Grate the rind of the lemon and place in medium sized sauce pan.  Squeeze juice from lemon and add to rind.  Stir in water and sugar.  Bring to a boil on high heat then boil gently for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Pour 2 tbsp peach snapps int prepared jars.  Pack jars with drained peach slices leaving ½ - inch headspace.  Ladle hot syrup over peaches leaving ½ - inch headspace.  Wipe the rim.  Adjust two piece snap lids (metal) or reusable Tattler lids on the jars.  Process for 20 minutes in BWB canner at altitudes to 1,000 feet above sea level or at high altitudes refer to altitude adjustment chart on canning information page.  Remove from canner.  Tighten ring if using Tattler lids.  Allow to cool 24 hours.  Remove rings and check for seal.  Wash jars and rings.  Rings can be placed loosely on the jars for storage.

Yield: 4 - 500 ml (pint) jars


2 food lovers commented:

Super Mom said...

I have a question about canning peaches. I am a newby canner and I don't understand something about peaches. I love squishy almost over ripe peaches to eat fresh. The canned variety in the stores are also slightly squishy. So my question is: At what moment in the peaches life do I can it to get the correct amount of squishy in a home canned peach? Canning peaches kind of scares me cause I don`t know when do it that I don`t end up with a bunch of rocks in a jar. I hope you understand this less than technical question?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Super Mom and thanks for visiting :) Home canned peaches are somewhat cooked via the processing method which softens them. What you want is a nice firm but ripe peach. It will give just a little to pressure from your thumb but not leave an indent or squish. If you are making something like peach jam or chutney you can go just a bit riper.