August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Peaches have to be the epitome of summer. I grew up in S.C. and peaches were one of those things you look forward to seeing spring up in all the roadside fruit stands. A little known fact is that even though Georgia claims itself as the peach state, S.C. produces twice as many peaches. Georgians like to say it’s quality not quantity but it sounds like some sore losing talking to me.
Moving to Colorado I thought I would have to give up delicious produce. Last summer I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed one of the trees in our backyard was actually a peach tree. What I was able to salvage from the deer turned into delicious peach cobbler and peach bellinis. This year sadly it decided to take a break. I did track down the amazing peaches above from the Munson Farms fruit stand to make up for it.
Canning peaches is surprisingly easy, even at higher altitude. You start by blanching them to peel off the skins. 1 minute in boiling water followed by immersing them in an ice bath and the skins come right off. I then quartered them. They are pretty slippery, so be careful.
As I was peeling and quartering them I brought a simple syrup to boil. It’s one part sugar to four parts water. This is a lighter syrup since I didn’t want to go sugar crazy. I ended up using 8 cups of water/ 2 cups of sugar for 6 quarts of peaches.
Next it was time to pack the jars and pour the simple syrup over them. I used quart jars and sterilized them before using in the dishwasher along with the lids. I immersed them in a boiling water bath and let them boil on medium for 35 minutes. I am at 5,000 ft altitude, so we have longer boiling times. I packed them to 1/2 of an inch with the syrup in the jar. Then I took a butter knife to make sure all the air bubbles were out by running it along the inside of the jar.
After the bath, I set them out to cool and heard the satisfactory pop to let me know they were sealed. That has to be one of the best sounds. You know you did it right. The pantry is starting to fill up with the reds and golds of summer!