As soon as the cooler weather hits I feel this unstoppable urge to get in the kitchen and never leave. I want to cook and bake and do all the fabulous things with all the fabulous fall produce.
And so I collect. Boxes and boxes of peaches, and plums and tomatoes. Anything I can cook, bake or break down and stuff into jars!
And I spend ALL day in the kitchen, and end up with the pantry and the freezer filled, and my soul is at peace knowing I will have fresh, homemade fruit ALL winter long.
We plan our winter weekends based on the number of jars of peaches we have in the pantry. A jar every sunday, over top of home made pancakes, with fresh whip cream. They make you forget that it is cold and wet and dark outside and you get a reminder of that little bit of summer and the fuzzy, fleshy fruit.
Canned Peaches are one of the easiest things to do to fill your pantry. Now, granted, it takes A LOT of peaches to make one jar full of canned peaches, but when you crack it open on a dark day, it is totally worth it.
Start by halving the peaches and removing the pit. Peel each peach with a sharp knife and then quarter. I like them in chunky slices, but halved, or smaller pieces work as well.
Sterilize your canning jars, either by washing and placing in an oven at 200′ for 10 minutes, or running through a hot dishwasher. Be sure to sterilize the caps and lids as well.
Fill your jars with the peaches, compressing gently. As you can see, as soon as you put them in the canning kettle they tend to reduce and rise! Be sure to stuff the jars!
Using a large pot make either a light, or medium syrup.
Light syrup – simmer 1 cup of white sugar to 3 cups of water until combined.
Medium syrup – simmer 2 cups of white sugar to 3 cups of water until combined.
I like the lighter option… kids like the sweeter one!
Poor the syrup, either warm or cooled, into the jars with peaches.
Fill to the top, and the cap and spin on the lid. Boil in a hot water bath for 20 minutes to seal.
Store in a pantry, away from direct sunlight until the kids find them and eat them ALL.
And, if you get massive food guilt by looking at all the left over peach flesh on the skins and pits, check out the two AMAZING recipes I have to make Peach Skin Jelly and Peach Liqueur.