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Canning sliced peaches are the perfect taste of summer for me since my days at the barn in Alabama with my grandparents. Those juicy bites of perfection dripping down my face were a delight. Watching my grandmother “put up” peaches weren’t as much fun as swinging on the grapevines out back so I didn’t get a start-to-finish lesson until adulthood.
Do you have memories of childhood about food preservation that you want to learn? Besides storing delicious food for your family, learning to preserve food can connect you with the past in a unique way. In addition, it allows you to experience the hard work of women in early homemaking with the tools of a modern kitchen.
Peaches these days have seemed quite dull compared to childhood. Many things are I suppose. Most peaches have been tasteless and mealy at best from chain grocery stores. I wanted my boys to love the peach experience as much as I did but I fell flat on convincing them. They would rather eat them from a can.
On our family quest to pick from local farms we discovered peaches have been growing in Florida for quite a while now. A variety propagated by the University of Florida. The Florida freestone is fabulous! This video of canning sliced peaches is made with the Florida freestone peaches but we have also found wonderful peaches by buying them off The Peach Truck that visits us each year in July.
Preserving peaches can be done in many ways. In this post, we concentrate on canning peaches. However, freezing them can be an effective way of preservation. I slice them the same way as in canning, adding lemon juice and some Fruit Fresh powder to the peaches. Freezer bags are then labeled with the amount of peaches, usually 2-3 cups, and the year they were packed.
Most varieties are good for canning peaches. Peaches should be ripe and free of rot or bad spots. Cut out any bad spots before adding them to your bowl of cut-up peaches.
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Currently, the National Center for Home Preservation does not recommend water bath canning white peaches. It seems they have a lower ph not suitable for more acid foods of water bath canning.
No. In general, most peaches can be canned with the water bath method. Water bath canning is for fruits and vegetables that are acidic like blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and others. Apples create their own pectin and can be canned into apple sauce and jam without added pectin.
I didn’t know that canning sliced peaches in a lite syrup was possible with water bath canning. I am still not into pressure canning so I tend to do high-acid recipes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had 30 pounds of ripening peaches to deal with in 3 days I may have passed over the recipe. It really was easy and I have done it for 2 years now. The best part was opening up one of the jars about 6 months later. The peaches were absolutely delicious and it was like eating fancy canned peaches from a specialty store.
For this recipe, you will need
In this recipe, I use the raw pack method. Either method will give you good results. Raw pack means you are cutting up the fruit and packing it in the jars without heating or cooking first. The hot pack method is heating up the fruit and cooking for a few minutes prior to packing it in the jars.
I discovered that raw packing will make the fruit float along the upper part of the jar for most of its shelf life. Then, it may settle down more evenly. Hot packing will break down the fibers of the peaches a bit and allow them to be more evenly distributed in the jar. Aesthetics is the main difference.
To hot pack the peaches, bring your syrup to a boil, and add your sliced peaches. Boil them for 3-4 minutes then ladle the peaches into the jars. Next, add your syrup to fill in and cover the peaches up to a 1/4 inch headspace.
Preserving the color of the fruit is what makes them beautiful to look at in mason jars isn’t it? Once you cut up the fruit into a bowl you can add 1/4 cup lemon juice and/or sprinkle Fruit Fresh on the peaches. I also add a little bit of sugar and then stir it up. This will also make the fruit start to make its own juice.
Canning sliced peaches in syrup have two different times depending on your method. The hot pack method needs 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. The raw pack method needs 25 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts.
When you buy peaches in bulk, like the peach truck, they will have been picked before they are ripe.
Preserving peaches can be done in many ways. In this post, we concentrate on canning peaches. However, freezing them can be an effective way of preservation. In addition, drying them in a dehydrator works well too.
In an effort to use every part of the peach, making peach syrup from the peels is a great recipe. This works best if you peeled your peaches without doing a boil and ice bath. I tend to start out peeling peaches straight off the shelf, then I boil and ice bath my last batch. Every year I forget how easy it is to do the boil and ice bath until I get tired of peeling!
Start with a small batch of peaches and give canning sliced peaches a try. Build your confidence in canning over time. Enjoy the process and you will learn your own tricks and recipes. Food preservation can give you a sense of satisfaction in having food to feed your family. You won’t be sorry when you are looking through the cabinet looking for a treat.
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Holly is an author, storyteller, and Florida Master Naturalist who loves to share heritage skills taught to her by her grandmothers. Florida has been her family home for generations and preserving that lifestyle for the future is her goal. Holly enjoys coming alongside women to share skills and help them discover their own natural gifts and talents.