I grew up canning peaches and other fruit every year with my mother. My siblings and I would peel, pit, and cut the fruit while my mother processed the jars. Since I never actually processed the jars, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do until four years ago when my mother-in-law showed me how to process the jars. It’s really so easy to do! Now I can peaches for our family every year. One of my favorite recipes to make with these peaches is this easy Peach Cobbler Recipe.
I mentioned in my Canning Tomatoes from the Garden post that you’ll need some canning supplies such as a water-bath canner. Both Amazon and Walmart have canners for about $20. I also recommend purchasing a Home Canning Supplies Utensil Set, which is about $13. The utensil set makes it easier to can items. You’ll also need some quart-size jars with lids and rings, and you’ll be ready to go. Here’s a basic step-by-step process for canning peaches.
1. Fill a large pot 2/3 full of hot water, and heat until boiling (This pan will be used to boil the peaches). Also fill another large pot with water and heat until boiling (This water will be used to pour over the peaches in the jar). In addition, fill the water bath canner with hot water and start to heat it up.
2. Wash and rinse jars. Leave them in hot water in your sink until you need them.
3. In a medium-size pan, fill with hot water and place on the stove to simmer. Place lids in the simmering water (not boiling) and keep them there until needed.
4. Select peaches that are firm and ripe. Wash the peaches. Place them in the large pot of boiling water to loosen skins. Remove them after about 30 seconds or as soon as the skin starts to peel. Then place them into cold water in your sink.
5. Remove one jar from the hot water in the sink. Make your own peach syrup by filling the jar 1/3 of the way full of hot water, then add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Stir or shake the jar so the sugar begins to dissolve in the hot water. (The lemon juice will prevent the peaches from darkening).
6. Peel, pit and cut the peaches in halves or slices. Pack the peaches in the jar. If you cut the peaches in halves, then make sure to pack the cavity side down with layers overlapping. Pour hot water over the peaches, leaving 1/2 inch head space from the top.
7. Run a nonmetallic spatula between peaches and jar to release any air bubbles. Wipe the top and threads of jar with a clean, damp cloth. Remove one lid from the simmering water with tongs and place it flat on top of the jar so the sealing compound is against the jar. Screw a band down firmly.
8. As each jar is filled, stand it on the rack in the canner of hot, not boiling, water. Once the rack is full, lower it into the canner. The water should cover the jars 1 to 2 inches. Add more hot water if necessary. Place the cover on the canner, and bring the water to a boil. Process quarts 50 minutes at a gentle but steady boil.
9. Remove jars from canner and set on a cloth on the counter. Place the jars several inches apart from each other. Do not retighten bands. Allow to cool about 12 hours. Remove bands and test seal. Wipe off the outside of the jar, label and date the top, and then store jars in a dry, dark, and cool place.
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