How to Can Sliced Peaches

By Holly Giles | Kitchen

bowl of peaches for canning

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Canning Sliced Peaches

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.

canning peaches at home for food storage

 

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.

eating a peach at a farm

                                Graham’s U-Pick Peach farm

freestone peaches from haines city florida

Florida Freestone Peaches

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.

Grant in front of peach truck

How do you preserve peaches?

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.

Which peaches are best for canning?

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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Can you use white peaches in canning?

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.

Do peaches need to be pressure canned?

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.

 

 

Why Can Them Yourself

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.

half pint jars of peaches

Canning equipment list

For this recipe, you will need

  • 2 large bowls. 1 for peels and one for fruit
  • Medium pot for syrup
  • Large stock pot or a canner if you have one. A stock pot works well too.
  • Canning tongs, lifter, and jar funnel. This set has all you need. Canning Kit.
  • Jars, size of your choice, lids, and rings. I use pint and quart.
  • Kitchen towels, ladle, and paring knife
  • Cutting board.


Raw pack vs. Hot pack

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.

hot packing sliced peaches

Hot pack sliced peaches in syrup

How to keep peaches from turning brown

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.

How long do you hot water bath peaches?

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 are peaches ripe for canning?

When you buy peaches in bulk, like the peach truck, they will have been picked before they are ripe.

  • Spread them out on a towel in one layer. Generally, at this stage, they will be hard.
  • Check them daily for softness and turn them.
  • When they give a little, or you feel the softness it is time to start working.
  • I work in batches over 3-5 days.
  • You can put them in the refrigerator once they are a little soft to slow the process.
peaches on a rack to ripen

Place peaches on a towel. A slotted rack works great for airflow.

How do you preserve peaches?

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.

freezing peaches

Freezing peaches

  1. Slice peaches the same way as in canning in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and some Fruit Fresh powder to the peaches.
  3. If you are making ready-made packs for cobblers or desserts add 1 cup of sugar per quart.
  4. Label freezer bags with the amount of peaches, usually 2-3 cups, and the year they were packed.
  5. Package peaches according to how you will use them. 1 cup – 2 cups – 3 cups

 

peaches in a dehydrator

Drying peaches in a dehydrator

  1. Peel peaches with the boil method discussed above.
  2. Slice the peaches in thin slices into a bowl.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and/or Fruit Fresh powder and stir gently.
  4. Lay the peach slices in one layer on each rack of your dehydrator.
  5. Plan on dehydrating overnight depending on your dehydrator. This one is my favorite for everything.
  6. Put dehydrated slices in a glass mason jar and take the air out with the attachment to a food sealer. HERE.
  7. Store for up to a year.

 


How to make peach syrup

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!

  • Peel peaches and save the peelings in a separate bowl.
  • Add 8 – 10 cups of peels to a large pot.
  • Add 2 cups of sugar.
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture until it is comfortable to work with (I have put it in the fridge to do the next day).
  • Using a slotted spoon and mesh strainer, scoop peels into the strainer and press out juice and pulp into another pot.
  • Continue until all the peels have been pressed.
  • Discard all the peels and pour the remaining juice into the pot.
  • If you want clear syrup without pulp strain the entire pot of juice again (I prefer keeping pulp).
  • Fill ice cube trays with the syrup and freeze overnight. I fill 4 trays with this recipe.
  • Empty cubes into freezer bags. I put about 12 cubes per bag. Store the majority of bags in your deep freezer.
  • Keep one bag in your kitchen freezer for use in tea and recipes.

peach syrup ice cubes

Get started canning peaches

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.

 

canning peaches

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About the Author

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.

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