One of the things I have discovered about living in California is our fruit trees produce and fruit ripens about 1 month ahead of fruit in Utah and Idaho. I still get surprised when it is the middle to end of July and my peaches and pears are ready to be preserved. I always remember “putting them up” when the kids head back to school. But slowly, I am converting and remember the right time of year.
When we moved into our home here in Fallbrook we planted 2 plum trees, 1 Asian pear, 2 tangerine trees, 1 plumelo tree, 1 navel orange tree, 1 nectarine (that never produces enough to justify its existence), 1 Meyer lemon, 1 apricot (although we are on our third one – they don’t want to survive here), and 2 peach trees. I grew up with a peach tree and our home in Utah had 2 peach trees. We love eating fresh peaches with the juice running down your face causing stickiness deliciousness, I also make peach jam and bottle peaches for the winter season.
I will let you know I am not an expert on canning, but bottled peaches are simple enough and don’t require much nor anything more than a boiling water bath. Probably the biggest challenge with canned peaches is proportion. I just guess and fill as many bottles as I have peaches; maybe I made enough simple sugar syrup, maybe too much or too little but that is adjustable too.
Helpful items but not necessary:
1. Clean jars and rings, set aside to dry.
2. Place lids in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Simmer to soften rubber on the lids in preparation to sealing jars. Turn off while waiting but leave in water.
3. Wash peaches.
4. Peel and pit peaches, remove any worm or rotten spots. (I use all my peaches and just cut off the bad spots.)
5. Slice peaches in halves or quarters or eighths depending on the size you like them.
6. Fill jars with peaches.
7. Pour simple sugar syrup into jars until about 1/2 inch from the top.
8. Wipe jar mouth clean from anything syrup or peaches.
9. Place lid on jar and hand tighten ring on jars.
10. Place in a canning pot or large sauce pan with enough water to cover jars and bring water to a boil for 10 minutes.
11. Remove jars from pot, place on towel covered counter, and listen to the POP, POP, POP.
12. That pop means your jars sealed but you can also test with your finger and your lid does not indent back and forth.
13. Label the top of the lid with the date and fruit.
14. Store in a cool, dark place and enjoy during the winter months.
Any jars that did not seal, place in fridge and use within a week.
Simple Sugar Syrup Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
Simple Sugar Syrup Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, stir in sugar and water and bring to a boil.
2. Boil until sugar dissolves, stirring regularly.
3. Turn off stove.
4. Adjust to make more as needed for how many bottles of peaches you have.
5. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Enjoy this sweet fruit all year long!