When it comes to preserving peaches, many people ask the important question: which peaches are the best for canning and what are some tips for canning peaches? The answer isn't simple, considering there are more than 200 varieties of peaches. And while certain peaches may be more ideal for canning, the canning process is very similar across the board.
Choosing Peaches to Can
First, make sure you are using only fully ripe peaches. If they aren't quite ripe, place them on the counter where they will ripen in a couple days. Once fully ripe, they are ready to can. Some choose to only use Cling-Stone peaches when canning, due to their sweetness. While others prefer Free-Stone peaches for their ease when cutting and disposing of the pit. Most do favor redder varieties as their rosy glow will hold up beautifully in a can.
- Make sure to examine each canning jar carefully for nicks or cracks.
- Wash the jars, lids and rings in the dishwasher and leave in a warm pan of water until you are ready to use.
- Sort, wash and drain the peaches in a colander.
- Place washed peaches in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute to “blanch” and loosen the skin.
- Place blanched peaches into an ice water bath to keep them from cooking.
- Peel the peaches, cut in half and remove the pit. You may want to sprinkle fruit fresh or lemon juice on the peaches to keep them from browning.
- The syrup comes next which you will need to quickly prepare, however, be careful not boil it. There are three different types of syrup, so make sure you follow directions for the kind you are making. Regardless, you must cook until all of the sugar is dissolved.
- Light: 2 cups sugar to 1-quart water or juice.
- Medium: 3 cups sugar to 1-quart water or juice.
- Heavy: 4-3/4 cups sugar to 1-quart water or juice.
Filling the Jars
- Rinse off any fruit fresh or lemon juice that is on the peaches to keep them from browning.
- Place the peaches in the canning jar cut side down.
- Cover the peaches with the syrup mixture and remove any air bubbles leaving ½-inch head space.
Hurray! The hard part is over. Now you simply wipe the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place vacuum-seal canning lids and rings on securely. Place your jars into the canner (a huge pot of hot water that sanitizes the jars) for about 25 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts. Then, you simply remove the jars, cool them, and store them. The end result is amazing peaches that you can enjoy for months to come.