This easy step-by-step photo tutorial will teach you how to can peaches in no time! Who knew canning peaches could be so easy?
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Every summer when I was child, my mom and grandma both did lots of canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables. It was just the norm and at the time, I had no idea what a gift it was to grow up experiencing that art!
And now that I have a home of my own, I enjoy carrying on the tradition. Although, I’ll be the first to admit that I do nowhere nearly as much of it as what they did!
After home canned diced tomatoes, peaches are my favorite thing to can- partly because they are so easy to do, and partly because they taste 100 times better than store bought canned peaches!
How do you can peaches? Let me show you!
QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOU SUCCESSFULLY CAN FRESH PEACHES:
- When selecting your peaches, choose a free stone/cling free variety. These are the best because they peel the easiest and it’s easier to remove the pit/stone.
- If you end up with a non-free stone variety, this little pitting spoon makes removing the peach pit super easy (although still harder than if your peach was a free stone variety!).
- If you buy or pick a large amount of peaches, it’s a good idea to lay them out in a single layer on newspaper or cardboard. This helps keep your fruit from squashing each other as they ripen.
- When you’re ready to can your peaches, select slightly soft peaches. Any that are still really firm are not quite ripe enough yet! Let them go for a day or two and check them again.
THE SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED TO CAN PEACHES:
* Peaches of course!
* Knife (this brand is my absolute favorite)
* Pitcher or measuring cup to mix the simple syrup in
* Wide Funnel (optional)
* Damp rag to wipe tops of jars
* Small kettle to boil jar lids in
* Fork or Lid Wand
* Canning jars with lids and bands
* Jar lifter
* Old towels or rags to set the hot jars on
(If you are new to canning and need to buy both the jar lifter and a funnel, it’s cheaper to get this Ball Canning Utensil Set.)
HOW TO CAN PEACHES- step by step
1. Wash peach thoroughly
Under running water, wash peach by gently rubbing to remove any peach fuzz and dirt.
2. Cut and peel
Take peach and slice in half, following the “seam” on the peach. Gently twist both pieces and pull apart. Remove the seed by putting the tip of your knife under the peach pit and pulling toward you. Peel peach.
Some people like to dip their peaches in boiling water to help remove the peel, but I’ve found that if your peaches are nice and ripe, generally they are easy to peel without needing to do that. Just start at the top of the peach where the stem would be and carefully grab the skin with your knife. Pull gently and often you’ll get most of the skin in one try. The upside is that I feel like your peach stays fresher because it isn’t cooked at all by the boiling water.
3. Slice/Dice (optional)
Cut your peaches into whatever size pieces you prefer.
Traditionally, people canned peaches in halves. But I like to cut them into smaller bite sized pieces both because I can get more peaches in each jar (which saves me time and uses less canning jars!) and also because the bite sized pieces are easier to eat, especially for my children.
If you decide to dice your peaches, a fast way to do it is to cup half of a peach in the palm of your one hand, and with the other cut the peach first in half and then each of those to pieces in half again. This will leave you with 4 long pieces. Then just cut across those pieces to two or three times to create nice, bite sized pieces.
4. Put in Jars
Place fresh peaches in jars. Be sure to check the opening of the jar for any nicks, cracks or rough edges, since any of these things may prevent your jar from sealing!
If you choose to can your peaches in halves or quarters, layer them in the jar with the cavity side down and overlap the peaches in whatever way you can to fill your jar as full as possible.
If you’ve diced your peaches, simply dump them into the jar. A funnel makes this super easy!
Once a canning jar is full, carefully shake it to settle the contents so that you can fill it completely. I often take a dish rag and put it underneath the jar and then gently pound the jar against the dish rag a bit. It always amazes me how much extra space this creates! Add more peaches as needed to fill each jar to the base of the neck.
5. Fill Jars with Sugar Syrup
To preserve the flavor and texture of the canned peaches, you need to cover them with a simple sugar syrup made by combining sugar and water. I prefer a medium syrup and the ratio for making that is 2:1, so 2 cups water to 1 cup sugar.
Combine the sugar and water and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. I like doing this in pitcher or measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour over peaches in jar and fill to the base of the threaded neck.
Wipe rim of each jar with a damp cloth to remove any peach/syrup residue that may be there. (If there is even a slight bit of peach or juice on it, it may not allow it to seal properly.)
6. Sanitize and Top with Lids
Once you have 7 canning jars filled, place 7 metal canning lids in a small pan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Once the water boils, use a fork to lift the jar lids out of the water- be careful not to burn yourself!- and place them on the jars. Secure each lid with a jar band/ring. (The reason for heating the lids is to soften the rubber, allowing for a better seal.)
7. Can for 30 min.
Place jars in canner. Fill with enough hot water to cover the jars. Turn the burner on medium high heat.
Once water starts to boil, reduce heat slightly and process for 30 minutes as per the National Center for Home Food Preservations guidelines, making sure the water is boiling gently and steadily the whole time. (You may need to adjust heat to keep the boil going nicely, but really, as long as it is boiling, you are fine.)
8. Remove from canner….let cool.
After processing for 30 minutes, turn the burner off. Remove jars of canned peaches using jar lifter- you may want to have a dishrag in your other hand to catch any hot water that drips from the jars as you remove them- and place on an old towel, blanket or other padded surface. (The reason for doing this is to protect your counter top from the super hot jars.)
Allow at least a little bit of air space around each jar, making sure not to have jars close enough to touch. Do not move until jars are completely cool.
Jars should seal as they cool and you will typically hear a snap or pinging sound as the vacuum seal is formed. Lids will be slightly concaved when sealed. To test the seal, lightly tap the center of the completely cooled jar lid. If it is firm and does not move, it should be sealed. If it pushes in, it didn’t seal properly. You can still use unsealed jars, just put them in the refrigerator and use them as soon as possible.
After jars are completely cool, you can remove the rings. Jars should be wiped clean before storing.
Enjoy! You now know how to can peaches like a pro!
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