How to Can Peaches for Year-Round Use
As summer comes to a close and the weather begins to cool down, you've got two options for those fresh summer peaches: Freeze them or can them. Frozen peaches are ideal for recipes that call for fresh, uncooked peaches. Take this Juicy Peach Crisp, for example.
On the other hand, canned peaches are great for any recipe that calls for cooked peaches. Knowing how to can peaches at home will come in handy later when you want to make can peaches recipes, like Peach Kuchen, Peach Bread, or this Peach Banana Smoothie.
New to canning? No problem! We'll take it step-by-step in this simple guide to canning peaches at home. Plus, you won't need a special water-bath canner (although it doesn't hurt) for this easy method. Now you can enjoy peaches all year long!
How to Can Peaches Step-by-Step
Here's What You'll Need:
- Large stockpot
- Paring knife
- Rubber bands
- Bowl of ice water
- Dishtowel or rag
- Canning jars
- Medium pot
- 4 pounds peaches
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 8 cups water
1. Sterilize Jars:
Wash jars with warm water and dish soap. Rinse with scalding hot water. Line the base of a large stockpot with either a canning rack or make your own by lining the bottom with canning jar rings. This will prevent the jars from touching the heat source and cracking.
Place the jars right-side-up on the rack and cover with hot water. Bring water to a boil. Continue to boil for 15 minutes. Use tongs to remove the jars and place them inverted on a kitchen towel to dry.
2. Blanch and Shock Peaches:
Bring a large stockpot full of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut a small X on the bottom of each peach and add them to the boiling water. Allow them to boil for about 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove them and immediately dunk them in the ice water bath until cool.
3. Peel and Slice Peaches:
Peel the peaches using either your fingernail or a small paring knife, pulling the skin from the X you created earlier. Slice the peaches into wedges and discard the pit.
4. Add to Jars:
Divide the peaches between your jars (about one jar per pound of peaches). Then, fill the jars, leaving about one inch of space at the top.
5. Make Simple Syrup:
In another medium pot, bring 8 cups of water to a simmer. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
6. Add Syrup:
Pour the simple syrup over the peaches in each jar. Leave about ¼ to ¾ of an inch of space from the top of the jar. Allow the syrup to settle towards the bottom of the jar. Tightly seal each jar with lids.
Add your canning rack to a large stockpot. Fill the pot about halfway with water or until the tops of the jars are covered. Bring the water to a boil and carefully add each jar on top of the rack, using the tongs.
If your tongs aren't gripping the jars very well, you can always wrap each end with rubber bands for a better grip. Or you can invest in a pair of canning tongs. Allow the water to boil gently for 25 minutes.
8. Remove Jars and Cool:
Place a large dish towel or rag on the countertop. After the time is up, use the tongs to carefully lift the jars and place them on the towel. Allow the jars to cool completely.
9. Test Sealing:
Once the jars have cooled, make sure they are properly sealed. To do so, simply press on the center of the lid. If it pops back, it didn't seal properly. This means you'll need to repeat the sealing process, refrigerate, and eat within a week.
Store those jars that did seal properly in a cool, dry, and dark space for up to two years.