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Canning peaches means capturing the summer sun in a jar to enjoy on the coldest winter day. Home canned peaches are not only delicious, but they are particularly easy to prepare. Since you can peaches in a boiling water bath canner, its also a lot less intimidating than preserving vegetables which require a pressure canner.
Home Canned Peaches
For a canner load that holds 7 quart jars, you will need about 18 lbs of fresh peaches.
Select ripe but firm peaches for the best results. Wash and peel the peaches. Then slice them to the desired size. I usually do quarters, however if the peaches are particularly large, we go with wide slices. Since brown peaches are not nearly as appetizing, put your peach slices in a large bowl of water with lemon juice (1 Tbsp lemon juice to 1 gallon of water).
Peaches may be packed in water, apple juice, white grape juice, or in very light, light, or medium syrup. We prefer the flavor and texture that we achieve with a light syrup (9 cups water to 2 1/4 cups sugar = enough for 7 qts of fruit). To further prevent browning, add 1 tsp of Fruit-Fresh for every cup of canning liquid. For the light syrup mentioned above, you will need 10 teaspoons of Fruit-Fresh.
In a large saucepan, prepare your canning liquid. Once the syrup comes to a boil, add your drained peach slices and return to a boil. Fill clean, hot jars with hot peaches and light syrup leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Then, process in a water bath canner; pints for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25 minutes (at an altitude of 0-1000 feet).
If you live at an altitude above 1000 feet, you will need to scale your processing times for food safety.
If you would like to prepare single servings of your home canned peaches, use 8oz jelly jars, and process at the time listed for pints.
Once you are done processing your jars, remove them from the canner, and place on a towel in a draft-free area. After 24 hours, test the seals. Any jars that didn’t seal go into the fridge and use them right away. All of the jars that sealed should have the rings removed, get wiped down, labeled with the contents and date, and stored in the pantry. If at any time your lid pops off having lost the seal, discard the contents of the jar.
For the best flavor, color, and texture, you want to enjoy your home canned goods within a year. When you are ready to enjoy your home canned peaches, rinse any dust from the jar, open and enjoy!