Labor Day has come and gone, so you might feel you’re running out of time to try your hand at canning — but, we’d like to remind you it’s still possible to get those peaches ready for Winter! Canning is something we look forward to every year, and although (you’ve probably heard) it can take a good bit of effort — for us, it’s always worth it.
Enjoy this guide to canning peaches using the cold/raw pack method. Once your finished, save some of the canned peaches for yourself and share the rest of the deliciousness with friends. You can make your gifts extra special and professional-looking by creating your own custom food labels for them at Bottle Your Brand.
Our custom food labels are self-adhesive and water-resistant, and are available in a variety of sizes. Visit our food label selection to find out more information, and follow the steps below to start canning!
1. Start by buying a large quantity of freestone, cling-free peaches… Freestone and cling-free means the skins will slip off easier and the fruit won’t cling to the pit. Wait until your fruit is nice and ripe before you start, or peeling and pitting will cause just a little unnecessary frustration.
2. Put your jars and rings into a dishwasher on the sterilize setting. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can easily place your jars in your boiling water canner and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Leave them in the dishwasher until you’re ready to use them… because you want them to be hot.
3. Place the lids in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, but don’t boil.
4. Wash your peaches by rinsing in a colander.
5. Place them into a pot of boiling water and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds.
6. After blanching, place them into a ice water bath to keep them from cooking.
7. The skins will slip right off… If they don’t slip off, you may need to put them back in the boiling water for 30 more seconds. If they still don’t slip, your peaches might not be ripe.
8. Next, pit and quarter the peaches. At this point, you can use Fruit Fresh or lemon juice to keep your peaches from browning. It takes 4-5 medium peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds) to fill one quart. Around 18 pounds should fill one canner of 7 quart jars.
9. Now, make a syrup. Use 9 cups water to 2 1/2 cups sugar. Bring it to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. This pot can be kept on the stove on low heat or transferred into a slow cooker.
10. Put your quartered peaches pit-side-down in your hot and sterilized bottles. Pack your bottles one inch from the top. It’s important to pack them fairly tight so they don’t float, but you don’t want to squish the peaches.
11. Now carefully pour your hot syrup into the bottles until your peaches are covered. Leave a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the bottle… no more, no less. You sometimes have to adjust here by adding or taking out a peach to reach the 1/2 inch mark.
12. Using a butter knife, slide it down each side of the bottle to remove any air bubbles.
13. Now use a clean damp cloth and wipe around the rim of your bottle.
14. Place your lid centered on the bottle and screw on the ring – finger tight. Don’t over tighten.
15. Now place your bottles into the rack of the canner. Place every other bottle across from each other so you don’t tip the rack over. Fill your canner half way with water… The water in your canner can be pretty warm, but not at a boil (otherwise you’ll break a can). Keep another pan of hot water on hand to pour in if needed. You want your jars covered with about an inch of water. Now turn your burner up to the highest heat.
16. When the water starts boiling, start timing. Process quarts for 30 minutes. Once you have started timing you can turn the heat down a bit to maintain a gentle boil during processing.
17. Once your jars have processed, carefully remove them from your canner and place them on a dishtowel to cool. As they cool, the lids will seal. Sometimes they give off a satisfying “pop”; sometimes they don’t. After a few hours, you can check the lids by gently running your finger over the top. If they are sucked in, they are sealed.
If any jars don’t seal, you can still use them. Just move the jar to the refrigerator and use within a few days. After 24 hours, remove the rings (can be re-used), and store the canned peaches in a cool, dark place.