After getting a fantastic deal on free stone peaches at the farmers' market and making some jam (of course), we had some peaches left and decided to can them whole in medium syrup. Did you know that early peaches aren't optimal for canning because the stones are too connected to the fruit and you lose most of it? Yet another reason to take advantage of farmers markets - you get to talk to the person that grows the food and knows what's best to help you enjoy the fruits of their labor. (Thank you Dawson's Orchards for the awesome peaches and the advice!)
You can blanch peaches like you would tomatoes to remove the skins. They sure are shiny with skins removed! (I'm one of those strange people that likes peach skin though, so it's a little sad to see it get peeled off!)
Once you start to cut the peaches, they will brown. To keep this from happening while you prepare the rest of the fruit, soak them in water and lemon juice.
We decided to pack them in medium syrup since we were using a boiling water canner and didn't want to do the extra prep to can them in water. Depending on the thickness of the syrup you use, you add sugar to water to make a simple syrup and ladel it in the jar, leaving the appropriate amount of headspace.
A half hour later, you have sealed peaches. Well, except for one jar. But the best thing about our first sealing failure? We got to each the peaches right away. Always look on the bright side of life!
Shelf capacity approaching critical levels!
Next time on Canning: The Next Generation, more jam is made. Because clearly we are insane.