Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Canned Peaches #Canbassador

As a happy participant in the Canbassador program, the nice folks at Northwest Cherry Growers also sent me a box of peaches this year.

I looooove peaches.

I usually eat them plain. Sometimes I make pies or tarts. But I never thought about canning them, until now.

Just like cherries, peaches are crazy easy to can, requiring little more than a light or medium sugar syrup and a little time. Well, something to keep the peaches from browning helps, but I always keep Fruit Fresh in the pantry.

You can hot pack or cold pack the peaches, and the timing for canning depends on the size of your jars, and your altitude.

If you've never canned anything before, peaches are super-simple. If you have done a lot of canning, then maybe it's time to branch out to another recipe that has a few more ingredients. Like Drunken Peaches. This still isn't a super-complicated recipe, but it adds a little extra zip to the fruit you have stored.

While you might not want to use drunken peaches with your morning oatmeal, they're pretty danged good with ice cream!

Drunken Peaches
Adapted from Ball Canning Back to Basics
Makes 6 1-pint jars

1 lemon
5 pounds fresh, firm, ripe freestone peaches
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 vanilla beans, halved crosswise (if you don't have beans, vanilla extract should be just fine)
6 slices of orange, 1/4-inch thick. You'll need 2 small navel oranges.
3/4 cup bourbon

Rinse the lemon and peaches under cold running water and pat dry. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the ice water.

Working in batches, place the peaches in a wire basket and lower them into the boiling water. Let them blanch for 1 minute, then place immediately into the ice water. If you don't have a basket you can use, you can use a spider or slotted spoon to lower the peaches into the water, then retrieve them.

When the peaches are cook enough to handle, peel them and remove the pits. Cut each half into four wedges. Return the wedges to the lemon juice mixture.

Stir together 3 cups water and the sugar in a large stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Split the vanilla beans in half, lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the beans and seeds to the sugar mixture and cook over medium-high, stirring until the sugar dissolved. Keep the mixture at a low simmer while you continue.

Place one orange slice and one vanilla bean half into a hot jar. Drain and tightly pack the peach wedges into the jar. Ladle the hot syrup into the jar, leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace. Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon to each jar. Add more hot syrup to the jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles from the jar, wipe the rims, and center the lids on the jars. Apply the band so it's fingertip-tight. Place the jar in the boiling water canner, and continue with the rest of the jars, until all the peaches are nestled in jars.

Process the jars for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude, if necessary. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let the jars rest for 5 minutes before you remove them from the canner and let them cool.

I got the peaches at no cost; the book is one that I purchased.