Resuscitate your grocery budget by learning how to make peach preserves. Preserving fruit is done by peeling and cutting fruit then boiling it with sugar, lemon juice, and water. The most important part of preserving peaches is using proper techniques for sterilizing the glass jars and lids.
To make peach preserves, you will need:
- 5 pounds Peaches
- 4 cups Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Lemon Juice
- Canning Jars and lids
- Canning pot with rack
- Canning tongs
- Canning funnel
- Peel the peaches. The easiest way to peel the peaches is to score the bottom of each peach with an X using a sharp knife. Boil a large pot of water. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Place the scored peaches in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove each peach from the boiling water using a large spoon with drainage holes. Immediately place the boiled peaches in the bowl of ice water. Peel each peach, cut it in half to remove the seed, and cut off any bruises. Cut each peach half into six slices.
- Simmer the peaches. Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a large pot and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally. Place the cooked peaches in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Sterilize the glass jars. Boil a large pot of water and a smaller pot of water. Wash the glass jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse in clear hot water. Place the freshly washed jars in the large pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Place all lid parts in the smaller pot of boiling water for three minutes. Keep the jars and lids in the hot water until they are used.
- Cook the preserves. Remove the cooked peaches from the refrigerator and transfer them to a large sauce pan. Bring the peaches to a simmer over a low to medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes once the peaches are simmering. Stir occasionally and skim the foam from the top of the peaches with a large spoon.
- Fill the jars. Remove a jar from the hot water using tongs. Fill the hot jar with hot peach preserves leaving ¼ inch space at the neck of the jar. Wipe the rim clean using a clean damp paper towel. Screw a sterilized lid onto the freshly filled jar.
- Boil the filled jars. Fill the canning pot half way with hot water and insert the rack. Using the tongs, transfer the jars of peach preserves to the rack in the canning pot. Cover the jars with hot water and bring to a boil. Note: the water level should be two inches above the lid of the jars. Boil the jars for a full five minutes. Remove the boiled jars from the pot and place on a wire cooling rack for 24 hours. Test the seal on the cooled peach preserves by pressing on the center of each lid. If the jar is properly sealed the lid will not move. If the lid pops up after pressing on it, the seal is bad. Refrigerate the jar of peach preserves and consume within 30 days. Store the properly sealed jars of peach preserves in a cook dark place. When storing preserves, avoid sources of heat or sunlight. Peach preserve will store for up to a year.
Tips: Make preserving fruit simple by purchasing a canning kit which includes pot, rack, canning funnel, and canning tongs. Do not touch the rim or the inside of a sterilized jar with your fingers or anything that can cause contamination.
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