Peaches are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be good on their own or in a pie, salad, or even a cocktail. Unfortunately, however, peaches aren’t available year round, which means that your best bet to have constant access to them is to can them yourself.
Peaches are pretty easy to can; all you have to do is peel them. However, not many people want to venture into the process because they don’t have a pressure cooker and therefore believe that they can’t get the job done.
Canning Peaches Without a Pressure Cooker
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a pressure cooker to can your peaches. In fact, all you need is a mason jar, a wire rack, a large pot, and some boiling water.
Before you start canning, you want to make sure that you have thoroughly washed all of the jars, including the screw tops. Make sure there aren’t any cracks on your jars as they could break under the pressure of canning them.
Place the jars and the lids into a pot of boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes. Even after you have turned down the heat, leave your jars in the pot of hot water. Next up, take the jars out of the pot using tongs and place them onto some towels to dry.
Once you are done cleaning and disinfecting your jars, you should be ready to start the canning process. When your jars have cooled down, start adding in your fruit to them. You are going to want to make sure that there are no air bubbles in the jar, so stir to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.
Now that your fruit is in there and your air bubbles are out, add the lid back on to the mason jar. Take your wire rack and place it into the bottom of the pot that held your boiling water.
Add your jars to the top of the rack and then cover them in the hot water, covering them by two inches or more. After 10 minutes, you can take the jars out once again and set them down on the towel to cool.
You will know that your jars have been vacuum sealed, thanks to the dent that is made at the top of the lid. And voila, you’ve done the canning process without having to use a pressure cooker!
Canning peaches, more specifically, is a process in itself, and we’re about to take you through it. Before you get started, you are going to have to decide what you want to can your peaches with. You have a few options here, which include using honey or juice.
If you choose to go with the juice, try to use white grape juice or apple juice. With juice, you also won’t have to add in any additional sweeteners to your peaches. Using frozen from concentrate juice is the best; just be sure to mix it up with some water first.
You will also have to make the decision about what type of peaches you want to can. You can use freestone or cling peaches. The only type of peach that you will not want to use is the white peach, as the pH levels can make them dangerous to can. Steer clear of canning white peaches.
Freestone might be a bit easier since the fruit is easy to separate from the seed. The cling peaches, on the other hand, have earned the name for a reason and the fruit is difficult to separate from the seed. As a result, you may end up having to slice up your peaches instead of being able to can them in halves.
You can raw pack your peaches, or simply add the peeled fruit into the jar with the liquid. Make sure that you are hot packing your peaches if you aren’t using any extra sweetener such as honey or a fruit juice. If you don’t, it will cause your peaches to float to the top of the jar. While there’s really nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t make it as aesthetically pleasing.
If you decide to hot pack your peaches, all you have to do is cool the peaches in a hot syrup for about two minutes before placing them inside of your jar. Once you have transferred the fruit, add in the rest of the hot syrup and seal the jars.
Some people find that, despite thinking that they sealed their jars as best they could, they are somehow still leaking juice. This is a result of siphoning, which is essentially when you don’t give your jars time to cool down.
Be sure to double check the lids to see if a lot of liquid has leaked out of the mason jars. If this is the case, it means that your jar is out of syrup leaving your peaches vulnerable. This simply means that this jar won’t last as long as the peaches will go bad if they aren’t in the syrup.
Make sure to clean your mason jars and get rid of any peach residue that may have been left behind as this could cause the jars to not seal properly.
As you can see, you simply don’t need a pressure cooker to can peaches. Once you have them canned, your peaches should last for about nine months to a year. The best part, however, is that you can eat your peaches right after they have been canned as they do not require a resting phase before you can enjoy them.
Your peaches can be cut into slices to enjoy on their own or to use in a cobbler or even as an ice cream topping. No matter how you choose to eat your peaches, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a delightful experience nonetheless.