Thursday, September 29, 2011

Canning peaches

In looking over the inventory in my canning closet, I realized I was a bit short on fruit. I have plenty of apple pie filling canned up, but just plain fruit? Not so much.

So when I saw peaches on sale for $0.79/lb at a fruit stand in Coeur d'Alene, I bought two boxes.

The peaches were a little under ripe, so I let them sit for a few days to ripen. As a result, I lost some due to rot, and of course some we ate fresh. But I canned the majority of them.

To loosen the skin on peaches, dip them in near-boiling water for a minute or two...

...then put them in a bowl of cold water.

After this, the skins come right off.

Peeled peaches.

Slicing the peeled peaches.

I got into a nice rhythm. While a batch of peaches sat in the hot water, I peeled the cooled peaches. While new peaches were cooling, I sliced the peeled peaches. Et cetera.

And I filled jars as I went.

When all the peaches were processed, this was the mess in the sink.

This all got dumped in the compost pile, which made the yellow jackets very very happy.

Meanwhile I made the syrup. I prefer a light syrup, which is a 2:1 ratio of water:sugar.

I also scalded my Tattler lids and gaskets.

I ended up with 19 quarts of peaches.

Adding boiling syrup to the jars.

I wiped the rims of the jars and then I was ready to put on the lids and gaskets.

Putting on the rings.

Peaches are canned using a water bath. My biggest pots held a total of eleven jars at a time. For quarts, they process for 30 minutes at a rolling boil.

Finished jars. These will be a wonderful addition to my pantry inventory.


  1. to share :) I cut my slices into a bowl with 4 crushed vitamin C to stop browning. Doesn't do anything but it looks prettier.

  2. have you ever tried to grow peach trees from discarded peach pits? if not, give it a try...first you have to freeze the peach pit for at least two months..then, plant it. sometimes they come up and sometimes they don't..we usually start them in an old tin can. if they come up we tend them until warm enough to go outside.

  3. You make me want some peaches, or want to can something. Sigh. But no peaches in my cupboard and it's 9pm already. The alarm goes off less than 8 hours from now, so canning something will have to wait for the weekend.

    : )

  4. Patrice,
    I can just sit here and wish to taste those peaches poured over a bowl of your fresh homemade vanilla ice cream from your sweet cow!


  5. Late freeze cost Oklahoma 80% of its peach crop this year so we in the Sooner State were not able to get our fill. Thank goodness I have some left from last year. You and I both slice our peaches to get more in the jars than in halves. It just makes sense.
    I'm gonna can stew meat tomorrow and would like to try some bacon this week. With just 2 of us home now, do you think it would be ok to can in half pints? I think you and your neighbor both can your bacon in pints.
    Thank you for inspiring me!

  6. Oh yum!! I never knew about removing the peach skin, that's too cool! And I'm glad you found a great deal on fruits. =]

  7. I've been in the midst of canning peaches as well. Takes a fair amount to last the year up here. :)

  8. Patrice, you can peaches just like me. You don't worry about putting in the jar just perfect so you can do better at the fair. Just get them in the jars and on the shelf and on to the next project.

  9. I took up canning again this season for more than just the occasional batch of my famous hot pepper jam (well, famous with my friends and coworkers). I grew a bigger garden and did much more, like I did when my now grown children were little. I mentioned before that I'm asking for tattler lids for Christmas, but I'm wondering, how do you know that they are really sealed?

  10. Linda, if the Tattler lids haven't sealed, they simply come off when you remove the rings. You'll need to leave the rings on (and in fact, tighten them the moment they come out of the canner) until the jars are cool, usually about 12 hours or so. Then when you remove the rings, the lids will come right off it the jar hasn't sealed.

    Using Tattler lids is a bit different than using disposable lids, so be sure to follow their directions exactly when you first start using them. The Tattler folks are also very fast when it comes to answering emailed questions.

    - Patrice

  11. HUMMM, I guess that 88 cents a pound might be good enough to buy and can too.....what do you think?

  12. This post made me homesick. :( But that is why I like reading this blog. :) I have fond memories of my parent's canning peaches in the summer. When we were old enough canning became a family event. In the winter my mom would serve canned peaches with unsweetened frozen raspberries from our bushes. It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet.

  13. Anonymous at 2:26pm, I add powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to my bread when I make it. 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per loaf. This is supposed to help it keep fresh longer.You should see if you can find the powdered version at your local health food store. I should be less expensive, and quicker than crushing tablets.

  14. Reading some back and forth over green subjects, including some of your work, and it occurs to me that the only thing "green" about me is my envy, over the resulting rows of full jars after one of your shared canning efforts.

    Jeff - Tucson

  15. Did you know that you can make jelly from the peelings? We tried it for the first time this year. It's very pretty, as well as delicious!


  16. Amanda, I would LOVE to get that recipe! You can either post it as a comment or send it to me at I'll play around making it and post the results on the blog.

    - Patrice

  17. Dear Patrice,

    I started a new job and am way behind on blog reading. Just catching up. I wanted to share that if you have peaches that are perfectly ripe, but it's not a good time to be canning, you can throw them in the freezer just as they are - don't wash, don't peel, don't nuttin - and then when you are ready to work with them, run the frozen peaches under a tap and the skins will slip right off and you can do your canning.

  18. I attempted canning peaches today for the first time ever, and the jars sealed and everything but there's about half the jar full of the syrup with the peaches sitting on top. What happened? The jars were full when I poured the syrup in, did they shrink during the sealing process in my water bath thingy? And if they did, how can I pack them next time so that the jars continue to look full and NOT like I simply filled the jars halfway and then gave up? Any and all answers would be greatly appreciated!
    -An aspiring canner

  19. I doubt the peaches shrank, but I wonder if you didn't pack them in the jar as tightly as you could have. While I don't recommend STUFFING a jar, peaches can be packed pretty tightly. The syrup then fills in all the holes between the peaches.

    I urge you to try again. Much of canning is learned hands-on, so please don't give up!

    - Patrice