Peaches are relatively easy to can. They don’t require a pressure canner, you only need to process them in a boiling water bath. Here’s how to prepare them quickly and easily . . .
First – you need to peel your peaches. There are 2 ways to do this, if the peaches are nicely ripe, you can slice them in half, grasp the peach with both hands and gently twist. This will loosen the stone and make it easy to pop out, without creating any bruising on your peach.
Slip the edge of the knife at the skin and pull gently, the peel will slip right off. In the event that the skins do not pop right off you have 2 choices, you can wait a few days until the peaches are ripe, or you can speed the process along with the boiling water method.
Bring a large saucepan to a boil and plunge the peaches ( a few at a time) into boiling water for 20-60 seconds. Remove them from the water and immediate plunge them into ice water for at least 2 minutes.
Finish peeling your peaches and place them in a large bowl of cold water, add 1/4 – 1/3 Lemon juice or 2 T. Fruit Fresh. This prevents your peaches from darkening. Note: Be sure to remove and dark spots, mushy pieces, etc. If the fruit is still good you can use these pieces for Peach Jam.
What Next?: Now that the peaches have been prepared, you can either can them or make any of hundreds of peach recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Harvest Peach Jam– a lightly spiced peach jam
- Peach Delight – a thick preserve of peaches for use on pancakes, ice cream, or as a filling for muffins or coffee cake, etc
- Peach Halves
- Peach Pie Filling
Where to get Peaches?: Hopefully you have access to a real farmers market, (not to offend anyone, but I’ve seen some pretty sad commercial markets claiming “Farm Stand Prices” over the last couple years), but true farm stand prices such as a bushel of peaches for $25.