It’s peach season and I didn’t miss it this year! Last summer because it was so hot the peaches came and went really early and I couldn’t do any peach canning. This year a friend of mine was selling organic produce she brought down from the Okanagan and I bought a whole box of peaches outside of the village. A fairly simple and delicious way to preserve peaches is by making the boozy peaches from Marisa McClellan’s book Food in Jars. I made them the first year here and they went over really well!
5 pounds peaches
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 bottle bourbon or rum
6 500ml/1 pint jars.
I made a double batch to use up all my fruit, so just multiply every by two if you have a larger batch of peaches.
Start by processing your jars for canning in a water bath (not familiar with this process? Check out my Canning 101 post!)
The peaches need to be blanched to remove the skin, so fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl in the sink with ice cold water and add the juice of one lemon. The lemon juice prevents the fruit from browning.
Slice all peaches in halves and remove the pit. Using a timer, place the peach halves in the boiling water in batches and let boil for 60 seconds. Using a large strainer-spoon-type of utensil, remove the peaches from the boiling water and drop them into the cold water to halt the cooking process. Once they are cool enough to handle remove the skin and put the peaches back in the cool water. Repeat this until all peaches are blanched. I had a couple bowls of cold water going because they get a little full.
Using a large sauce pan, bring 3 cups of water and 1-1/2 cups sugar (or 6 cups water, 3 cups sugar if you are doubling) to make the syrup. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the sugar. Once the jars are processed, pack them with the peaches carefully; fill as full as possible without damaging the fruit.
Add 1/4 cup of bourbon or rum to each jar, then fill to 1/4″ from the top with hot syrup. Use a chopstick to ensure no bubbles are trapped between the peaches. Clean the lip of the jar with a towel and screw the lid on finger tight. Process sealed jars for 25 minutes in the water bath.