Peaches are a fruit that you do not need to use a pressure canner for when straight canning, like I did last night, you can just use the boiling water bath. It is so important to make sure that the jars you are using are clean and sterilized and that there are no cracks along the rim.
I washed all of our jars in the dishwasher and used them right away. Since I still have a few that have not been used the next time I can (today) I will make sure to let each one sit in boiling water for about 20 seconds. It is also necessary to boil both parts of the lids before placing them on top of your final product.
I kind of did these peaches over a couple of days. I had time the other night to remove the pits and slice up the fruit. I stored the prepared peaches in the refrigerator in large Ziploc bags and they were ready to go last night.
Here are the steps and they are rather simple.
1. Large pot filled with water, one that will hold a few glass quart jars at a time and allow about an inch of water to cover their tops.
2. Medium pot with boiling water and slotted spoon. (To remove skin from peaches)
3. Medium pot with boiling water. (To sterilize lids and jars)
4. Colander and large bowl. I had these in the sink and used this space to peel my peaches.
5. Canning jars and lids, canning tongs, paper towels, kitchen timer.
6. Medium pot. Prepare the sugar water (this will be used to fill the empty space in the jar), which is 3 cups of water to one cup of sugar. I made a lot and kept the extra in a large container in the fridge to use later. This will eliminate a step of prep and clean up, which is always great!
Alrighty! We are ready to can some peaches!
1. Line up your canning jars along the side of your sink (after you have boiled them or run them through the dishwasher). Place your large bowl in the sink basin and the colander next to the bowl. On your stove you should have your large pot for boiling the jars (turn on the burner to this for a while to get the water warm so that the glass jars do not break when you put them in) as well as the 2 medium pots.
2. Place your pitted peaches in the medium pot of boiling water and give a quick stir. Let them sit for about 30 seconds and then remove them from the heat. At this point I brought the pot to the sink.
3. Using your slotted spoon scoop out the peaches into the bowl you placed in the sink. Fill the bowl with cold water and once the peaches are cool enough to touch reach in and grab a few. The skin should easily fall off, but if it does not you will only need to pull a bit and the peel will slide off. Place the peeled peaches directly into your canning jars.
4. Once you have finished with that batch of peaches pour the water in the bowl into the colander to strain the skins and empty the bowl. Place the medium pot back on the stove and add your next batch of peaches. Continue this process until all of your peaches have a new home in a canning jar. As you fill each jar make sure to tap it on the counter and help the peaches settle. The jar is full peaches are about 1" from the top.
5. Fill your jars with the sugar/water mixture so that there is only 1/2" of the jar empty.
5. If you have not already, place your lids in the pot of boiling water and sterilize them. While they are boiling carefully wipe the tops of each of your golden filled jars with a clean dish towel or paper towel. You want to make sure that the tops are both clean and dry so that they can seal.
6. Take out the flat part of the lid and place one on each of your jars (they make a really neat tool for this with a magnet so you do not burn your fingers)then secure this with the metal ring. Make sure to screw each lid on tightly and then you are ready to give them their baths!
7. Carefully place each jar into your large pot. Like I said earlier, make sure that the water is warm. Placing your warm jars of peaches into cold water could be disastrous. Make sure that the water covers the lids about an inch and then place the lid on the pot.
8. Allow your pot to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Set a kitchen timer for no less than 30 minutes and go do something productive.
9. Once the timer goes off carefully remove your jars with your canning tongs and place on the counter to cool. Your jars should be placed on a cooling rack or on a couple of dish towels and then be left alone to cool. DO NOT TOUCH THE LIDS before they are cool!!!
10. If you have done this properly you will notice that the lid has been sucked down and you have created a seal on your jar. You may even hear a lovely pop as each lid is sucked down and sealed, but do not worry if you miss the pop, as long as your lid is down you are good. Date each jar and store in a cool/dry place for up to a year.
Next up, peach preserves. Canning preserves is a little bit different, but not much, since the recipe will be hot the jars need to be hot.