Canning peaches is a lot easier than people might expect. I purchased a box of these peaches, which weighed around 36.5 pounds for $27.
Heck, if your neighbor is giving away peaches, you will save big time by canning them yourself!
Peaches don't "wait" once they are firm~ripe. Plan to set aside a day for canning.
Your jars should be free of nicks, cracks or sharp edges.
Wash jars and rings in hot soapy water. Rinse.
I kept my jars submerged in simmering (180 degree) water and took one out each time I was ready to fill with peaches.
Some people just use their dishwasher and put it through a hot water (no soap) cycle when they are ready to use.
I use my 'spaghetti pot' to put my peaches in.
*Tip: fill colander with peaches. Set into pot to be dipped into. Fill with water. Take colander out.
Bring pot of water to boiling.
Sort and wash peaches.
Here is my colander filled with about 5 pounds of peaches.
Meanwhile, fill canner half full with hot water and put it on the stove. Turn stove on to medium heat.
Take colander of peaches and dip them into boiling pot of water for 30-60 seconds.
This will help loosen the skins.
Dip into cold water. Drain.
Cut peach in half..
The skins should slide right off.
Remove the pit.
You can use a spoon to remove the pit if you want.
Put a funnel on top of a hot, clean jar.
Quickly slice your peaches and put them in the jar.
Once your jar is full, grasp the top of the jar and rock the jar from side to side to 'shake' the sliced peaches down.
If you do this, you will be able to put more peaches in your jar.
Prepare a sugar syrup.
I prefer to make my sugar light and in small batches to keep it hot.
I use 1 1/2 c. sugar
and pour 2 c. of boiling water on top.
Stir to completely dissolve.
Pour sugar syrup into packed peach jars. Stop pouring when you reach 1/2" from the top. (I stop when it touches my funnel)
Gently run a plastic (non-metallic) knife between fruit and the jar to release air bubbles.
Add more syrup if needed.
Don't over fill past the 1/2" mark. Your juice will leak out during canning.
I put my lids in a sauce pot and pour just enough water to cover them.
Heat on the stove until simmering (180 degrees).
Do NOT bring to a boil. Your lids won't seal.
Once your jars are packed and filled with syrup, clean the tops of the jars.
I like to use a clean paper towel dipped in hot water.
Any particles of food or syrup may prevent a proper seal.
This lid lifter (plastic stick with a magnet on the end) is the coolest thing.
Place a ring over the lid and screw it on the jar until it is firm and snug...
You don't have to worry about it being super tight.
Another great invention.
The jar lifter.
Use a jar lifter and place the peaches in your hot simmering water.
Bring water to a boil.
Once water is boiling, begin timing.
I live around 5,000 feet, so I adjusted the time for altitude.
My pints were boiled for 28 min. and my quarts were processed for 33 min.
Check your canning book for processing times in your area.
When the time is up, use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the boiling water.
Place jars on a dry towel that is placed on a cutting board to cool.
Leave 1-2" of space between jars. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.
See the jar on the left?
That one didn't seal. Even after 12 hours, it didn't seal, so I put it in the fridge.
You will be able to hear the *ping* *ping* sound of each of your jars sealing.
That is the sound of success!
In the end, I was able to glean 28 pints and 7 quarts (with 8 peaches left over).
Don't forget to date your jars with a Sharpie pen on the lids.
There's a great satisfaction and reward when you can your own peaches....you can do it!