When peaches come into season, it is usually not for very long. Our peaches will be “out” in less than 4 weeks from when they start. For that reason, I get as many as I can, and preserve them for later. One of our favorite ways is to can them for pantry storage. Here is how to can peaches at home.
How To Can Peaches At Home
To begin, you will need some fresh peaches. There are 3 main classes of peaches, cling, semi-freestone, and freestone. This refers to how hard the flesh clings to the pit. I try and use the freestone variety for canning since they are easier to pit and peel.
First, get your jars cleaned and into boiling water to sanitize. I use quarts mostly due to my family size, but you can use pints if you would like. This is also the time to get new lids and your bands ready.
Next, get a sink full of ice cold water. This will help you remove the peels.
Put a huge pot of water onto boil. This will be for briefly cooking the peaches. Do not use your canning pot.
As the water is coming to a boil, you will need to prepare your syrup. You can use 1 cup of sugar for every 10 cups of water for a light syrup, or 3 cups of sugar to 10 cups of water for a medium syrup, or 5 cups of sugar to 10 cups of water for a heavy or “cloying” syrup. I have found that you CAN preserve them without sugar, but the color and texture tend to be different when you use them. I use a light syrup for all my fruit canning.
As the pot of clear water is boiling, you will want to rinse off your peaches. Putting them in a colander is easiest.
Place the whole peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove to the ice water bath. Allow to cool in the ice water bath for 1-2 minutes, and the skin should slip right off.
Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Save the skin and pits for jelly later. (get recipe and instructions here)
You can then can the peaches in halves, or cut into quarters. In a clean, sanitized jar, place 1/4 cup of your syrup at the bottom of the jar.
Fill the jar with peaches, then pour syrup over the top of the peaches.
Use a rubber spatula to remove all air bubbles.
Wipe the lid with a damp towel and add new lid and screw the band finger tight.
Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes, beginning when the water returns to a full boil. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool in a non drafty place for 12-24 hours. Check the seals and refrigerate any that didn’t seal properly. Wipe the jars down with warm soapy water to remove any residue and use within a year.