Tag Archives: peaches

Peach Salsa

With my ever-growing collection of food preservation books, I have a slew of new-to-me recipes at the ready!  Pages upon pages of tasty goodness just begging to be put into jars and savored at season’s end.  Peach salsa was a first for me this year and I can’t understand why it took me so long to make this sweet and spicy salsa!

Peach Salsafrom Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving

1/2 cup white vinegar

6 cups chopped pitted peeled peaches

1-1/4 cups chopped red onion

4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (I used my Chinese 5 Color peppers)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I used a Purple Beauty pepper)

1/2 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro

2 tbsp liquid honey

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1-1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar and peaches; add onion, peppers, cilantro, honey, garlic, cumin, and cayenne.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Ladle hot salsa into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, and place two-piece lids on jars, adjusting ’til fingertip-tight.

Submerge pint jars in a boiling-water bath and process for 15 minutesRemove canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.  Allow jars to cool on a wire rack or kitchen towel, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals can properly set.

Recipe yields 6 pints.

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Madagascar Peach Butter

Two weekends ago I picked up a bushel of Loring peaches.  This particular free-stone is my absolute favorite variety when it comes to canning and jam making.  Just ask Beth at Rohrer’s Orchard, I start calling mid-August every year inquiring about their ripening date. 🙂

For me, peach butter is the perfect partner for pancakes.  No need for butter, or maple syrup, or honey: just velvety smooth peach butter will do just fine!  This year I decided to switch things up a bit by adding a vanilla bean into the mix.  I’m so glad I did because it takes this fruit spread to an entirely new level!

Madagascar Peach Butter

8 cups chopped peaches, skins removed

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1  Madagascar vanilla bean

Place chopped peaches in a crock pot and mash with a potato masher to release juice.  Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well.  Add sugar, stir, and set heat to low.  Continue cooking an additional 6 hours (with the lid propped open allowing steam to escape).  Once your fruit has cooked down, add lemon juice and the seeds from the vanilla bean.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture into a creamy consistency.  Ladle into hot, clean, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.

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Just Peachy

Part 2: Canning Peaches
When canning peaches, I blanch them, remove the skins, and then slice them.  For instructions on blanching and peeling skins, see this post.  I then made a light simple syrup consisting of 2 C sugar per every quart of water used.  Boil the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and then cook your peaches for a few minutes.  Ladle peaches and syrup into hot, sterile mason jars, and process for 10 minutes at 6 lbs of pressure… at least that is the instructions for my altitude.
Loring have been my favorite variety as far as flavor goes, and are the best suited freestone for canning and jam making.  After hearing my neighbor go on about a variety called Blake, I decided to try them out as well, seeing as how they are named after the father of peaches M.A. Blake an all.  While they aren’t quite as sweet as Loring, they are aesthetically superior!  You can clearly see the Blake peaches are darker in color.  When the light passes through the jar, they glow a beautiful red!

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Movin’ to the country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches!

OK, so maybe I already live in the country, but I am definitely gonna eat me a lot of peaches this winter!  Nothing compares to opening up a jar of fresh summer peaches in the middle of winter.  For my mother, that definitely ranks at the top of her nostalgia list!  As a little girl she spent her summers on the farm and canning peaches was the yearly tradition she liked best!

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve made 2 types of jam, canned several pints & quarts, and made honey from the left over skins!  I really, really love peaches!!  Rohrers Orchard is only a few minutes from me, and since I don’t have the room to grow fruit trees of my own, I support local farms that do!  I also plan on getting my apples there come October.  Rohrers last peach picking of the season will be Thursday, so I am stopping by Friday morning for one more half bushel.
This is going to be a 3 part peach post because there is so much deliciousness to share!

Part 1: Peach Jam

Whenever you are using peaches you will first want to remove the skins.  You don’t have to, but they tend to get a bit slimy if you don’t.  I am not overly sensitive to textures, like some people; however, slimy just doesn’t sit well!

Fresh is always best, and canning over-ripe fruit does not improve the quality or flavor.  So, with that being said, make sure your peaches are ripe, but not mushy.  I normally let them sit out in a single layer for about a day or two.  Any peaches with brown spots set aside, you can just cut that section out and slice those up for snacking on while cooking!  Wash your fruit and place it into a large pot of boiling water for about a minute, then transfer to a large bowl filled with ice water. This is called blanching and it is how you remove skins with ease.  If your peaches are not ripe you will have to boil them a bit longer.

After the peaches have cooled in the ice bath the skins just slip right off!  This is also how you remove tomato skins.  I always save the skins to be used for making peach honey.  Not to worry, a post is soon to follow on that delectable diabetic coma inducing sweetness!

Slice your peaches and remove the pits. 

If you are making jam with your peaches, cut them into small chunks and then mash with a potato masher.  You can add either lemon juice or citric acid to keep your peaches from oxidizing and turning brown.  I use Ball Fresh Fruit, which is citric acid in powder form.  Don’t let the name scare you, it’s completely safe and all natural!
For my peach jam, I used 5 cups of mashed fruit and 1 1/3 C sucanat.  Remember how I went on and on about it in this post?  I also used 1 cup unsweetened apple juice and the low sugar pectin.  I have a wicked sweet tooth, so I was a bit nervous about how the jam would turn out.  Fear not sugar lovers, it rocks!  Combine the fruit, sucanat, and juice, and bring it to a rolling boil, then add the pectin.  Once it returns to a hard boil, cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.  Ladle it into hot sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.  Remove the jars from the water and allow to cool on a wire rack while anxiously listening for your jar lids to plink and seal.
I happen to have crappy hard-water, so there is constantly a white chalky residue left on my mason jars!  Simple solution to a pain-in-the-arse problem, add a bit of white vinegar to the canner and cleaning crisis averted!


I also tried out a spiced peach jam this year!  MMMM Baby!  Is it ever good!  Imagine apple pie filling, but with peaches.  Oh yea!  I used the same recipe for the low-sugar jam, but added 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  I think with my final half bushel, I may try a ginger peach jam. 🙂

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