This simple guide to canning fresh peaches will help you savor and enjoy the sweet flavors of summer all year long.
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I love summer! And just about everything that comes with it!
And as a Georgia native peaches are near and dear to my heart. Whenever possible we’ll try to get some sweet Georgia peaches to enjoy in the summer.
Mark and the kids always look forward to homemade peach ice cream. And I always wish there was a way to hold on to summer just a little bit longer. Summer can’t last forever, and neither can those fresh peaches! But with a simple water bath method you can preserve that sweet summery taste all throughout the year.
What Is Water Bathing?
Water bathing (or water bath canning) is a process that uses boiling water to preserve foods that have a high acidic level. The temperature from the boiling water allows the lids to seal to the glass jars and prevents harmful bacteria from spoiling the foods.
So while fresh peaches sitting out on the counter or even in the fridge may last a week or slightly more, water bath canning fresh peaches will allow those peaches to last up to a year.
Tools For Water Bathing
Before you start preserving food there are a few must have items. You will need a water bath canner. And these basic canning tools really make the canning process go much smoother. The canning tools include a magnetic lid lifter, a jar lifter, a wide mouth funnel, and a bubble popper.
If this seems a little overwhelming- don’t stress. I had never canned or preserved anything until I got married. Every year I learn something new, and every year the whole process gets a little easier. I will walk you through this process today, and you’ll be confidently canning in no time!
Tips For Water Bathing
- There are a few things to do before getting started.
Get the jars ready. Jars need to be clean and sterilized before canning. I usually just run my through the dishwasher to achieve this.
Get the lids ready. Place the lids in a small saucepan filled with enough water to completely cover the lids. Heat up the lids but do not boil them.
- There are a few things to remember after the water bath process.
Don’t touch the tops of the lids. When the jars seal the lids will make a “popping” sound. It is such a satisfying sound signaling the fact that all your hard work was worth it! The sealed lids will have a slight dip in the middle of them. You can create a false seal by pushing on the middle of the lid. It’s best to avoid this. It can take a little while for some jars to seal, so try to be patient.
Have a place to keep your processed jars. The jars need to stay unbothered for 24 hours before storing them. They will be VERY hot when you pull them out of the water bath so you may not want to put them directly on your kitchen counter or dining room table. When I can at home I have a couple of wooden boards I place the jars on while they cool. When I can at my mom’s house, we usually break down a couple of cardboard boxes to protect the counter tops.
Check for proper seals. After waiting 24 hours check and make sure all lids have sealed. If any of your jars did not seal (unfortunately this can happen every so often) just put them in the fridge and eat them in a weeks time or so.
Label everything. After the jars have sealed, I write the year on the lid. This way you’ll know what you did and when you did it.
What Kind Of Peaches Work Best For Canning
Your final product can only be as good as what you start with. You will want to get peaches when they are in season. The peaches need to be ripe but firm. If your peaches are not quite ripe when you preserve them they won’t have that nice, sweet peachy flavor. And on the other hand, if your peaches are a little past their prime the final product will probably be a mushy mess.
Ingredients For Canning Fresh Peaches
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 bushel of peaches – peeled and halved
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 quarts of water
Directions For Canning Fresh Peaches
Here’s what you’ll do:
In a small saucepan heat up the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. There is really no need to boil the water, just be sure the sugar is dissolved and not just sitting on the bottom of the pan.
Wash, peel, and half the peaches. If you would rather can sliced peaches, go ahead and cut them into slices instead. I’m not sure if I would slice the peaches too thin for worry that the final product would be too mushy. If you can thin slices or small chunks, and it works for you please let me know your tips and tricks in the comment section!
Place the peaches in the jar cut side down.
Next, add the sugar solution to the jars to cover the peaches.
Then wipe off any sugar solution or peach juice from the mouth of the jars.
Put on the lids and the rings.
Finally, place the jars in the water bath and bring the water to a boil. If you are using pint sized jars, they need to be processed for 25 minutes. If you are using quart size jars, they need to be processed for 30 minutes.
Storing Canned Peaches
Store the canned peaches in a cool and dry location. Unopened they will keep for up to a year.
Once the jar is opened (if they’re not eaten all at once!) you can store the jar in the refrigerator for about a week.
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- Peaches - peeled and sliced or halved
- 2 quarts of water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
1. Sanitize jars
2. Heat lids in a saucepan with enough water to cover over medium low heat.
3. In a separate saucepan heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved.
4. Peel and slice peaches.
5. Place peaches cut side down in jar.
6. Add sugar solution to cover peaches.
7. Wipe off jars and put on lids and rings.
8. Place in a water bath and bring to a boil.
Process: Hot Water Bath
Pints: 25 minutes
Quarts: 30 minutes