Peaches are one of the prettiest fruits in a can. Of course, I might be a little partial to them because I like them so much. I lived in Alabama and Georgia for a few years and could stop by the side of the road and pick up fresh peaches during the summer. Nothing is better than the peaches from that area. Canning peaches isn't hard and it is very gratifying to have peaches all year round.
To prepare the jars, they can be washed in a dishwasher if it has a sanitized cycle. The jars can be left in the dishwasher on a heat cycle. The lids need to be washed and left in the hot water. The canner needs to be filled so that there will be an inch of boiling water over the top of the jars.
In order to have enough peaches, you need to figure 2 or 3 pounds per quart jar. Peaches need to be firm but not hard and with no bruises or mysterious spots on them.
When you are ready, you will need to wash the peaches. Drop the clean peaches into boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds, then drop them into ice cold water, the peel will then slide right off. Once the peel has been removed, cut the peach in half and pop out the seed or stone. You may want to rake around the sides for any raggedy edges left from the stone. Use a plastic utensil and not a knife. Knives will turn fruits and vegetables a brown shade.
Drop the clean halves into a bowl with 3 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of Fruit Fresh until they are ready for the jar. Let them soak as the simple syrup is being made.
I would suggest 2 1/4 cups of sugar and 5 1/2 cups of water. If you want a heavier syrup, reduce the water. Heat the syrup until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the syrup hot. You will probably have to make more syrup if you can a lot of peaches.
By Mary Belk
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