Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeling Peachy

I like to make a big mess when I'm canning. Hopefully you can keep your canning space tidier than mine!

We had a couple of cases of beautifully ripe peaches hanging out so, we decided to put them up!
I canned 16 quarts of peach quarters and 8 pints and 5 jam jars of peach jam!

To can peaches you must first peel the skin off. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, score the bottoms of the peaches and toss them in the water for 30-60 seconds. If your peaches are a little firm, let them stay in the water for 60 or more seconds to soften them up. Then let them cool in a bowl of ice water. The skins should come off very easily. From here you can make the canned peaches and jam!

Peach Quarters
6 c water
2 c honey
     quartered peaches

Bring water and honey to a simmer. Stir to dissolve honey and remove from heat.
Fill the jars with the peaches then fill with the simple syrup.
Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Peach Jam

This recipe calls for a special type of pectin that is low in methoxyl. This pectin reacts with calcium to thicken rather than sugar. This allows you to make jams and jellies that are full of rich fruit flavor, undiluted by large amounts of sugar. I used Pomona's Universal Pectin which comes directions for making all sorts of jams and a Jamline in case you have questions! I used the basic recipe in the package and then added cinnamon, allspice and crystallized ginger!

4 c peaches
1/4 c lemon juice
1 T 1 t calcium water

1/2-1 c honey
1 T pectin powder

Bring peaches and lemon juice to a boil. If you are using other spices or flavoring agents, now is the time to add them!
Add the calcium water.
Mix pectin with honey and add to fruit. Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to thoroughly dissolve and distribute pectin. I used a potato masher to mash up large chunks of fruit.
Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Fill your sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from the top, lid and process in boiling water for 5 minutes.

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