I love peaches.
They are so sweet, juicy, and there’s nothing better on a warm fall day then enjoying biting into one and having peach juice dribble down your chin. Peach pie, peach muffins, peach cobbler are all on the menu when peaches come into season. When peach season comes in, it’s for a short time. Here are 4 ways of how to Preserve Peaches to enjoy them all year long.
How to can fresh peaches
Canning is the easiest way for many to preserve peaches. You likely already have the equipment needed to preserve them, and they are pantry storage ready in less than an hour start to finish. To begin, you will need some fresh peaches. There are 2 main kinds of peaches, cling and freestone. The cling means that the pit may be harder to get out, and the freestone have an easier to remove pit. I try and use the freestone variety for canning since they are easier to pit and peel.
- First, get your jars cleaned and into boiling water to sanitize. I use quarts mostly due to my family size, but you can use pints if you would like. This is also the time to get new lids and your bands ready.
- Next, get a sink full of ice cold water. This will help you remove the peels.
- Put a huge pot of water onto boil
- As the water is coming to a boil, you will need to prepare your syrup. You can use 1 cup of sugar for every 10 cups of water for a light syrup, or 3 cups of sugar to 10 cups of water for a medium syrup, or 5 cups of sugar to 10 cups of water for a heavy or “cloying” syrup. I have found that you preserving peaches without sugar, can be done, but the color and texture tend to be different when you use them. I generally aim for canning peaches in light syrup.
- As the pot of clear water is boiling, you will want to rinse off your peaches.
- Place the whole peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove to the ice water bath. Allow to cool in the ice water bath for 1-2 minutes, and the skin should slip right off.
- Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Save the skin and pits for jelly later. (get recipe and instructions here)
- You can then can the peaches in halves, or cut into quarters. In a clean, sanitized jar, place 1/4 cup of your syrup at the bottom of the jar.
- Fill the jar with peaches, then pour syrup over the top of the peaches.
- Use a rubber spatula to remove all air bubbles.
- Wipe the lid with a damp towel and add new lid and screw the band finger tight.
- Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes, beginning when the water returns to a full boil. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool in a non drafty place for 12-24 hours. Check the seals and refrigerate any that didn’t seal properly. Wipe the jars down with warm soapy water to remove any residue and use within a year.
How to preserve peaches by dehydrating
Dehydrating is a great way to preserve peaches and have them for quick snacks. Dehydrated peaches are great for mixing in granola, trail mix, or packing up for camping or hiking. They can have a bit of a sour tart taste, but are still delicious. To get them ready for the dehydrator:
- Follow the above directions to peel and pit the peaches. Leaving the skin on can cause them to get bitter or tough.
- Cut into equal sized slices and place in a large bowl.
- For dehydrated peach chips, slice in thin slices instead of chopping into pieces.
- To avoid overbrowning, sprinkle 2 teapsoons of bottled lemon juice over every 15 peaches, and stir to coat.
- Lay the peaches in a single layer on your dehydrator sheet and turn on medium.
- Dehydrate for 24-26 hours until the peaches bend, but are still dry all the way through.
- Store in a tightly covered container for up to a year.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put them in a low oven at 200 for 12-24 hours, checking every 2 hours after the first 12.
How to preserve peaches by freezing.
Freezing peaches for pie makes holiday baking quick and easy. Frozen peaches are also great in smoothies. Freezing requires very little heat or standing over a stove, and is so quick to do.
- First, follow the directions to peel your peaches. Leaving the skin on when freezing can make them tough when using later, so it’s best to remove the skin.
- Cut into quarters and place in a bowl.
- For how to freeze peaches without them turning brown, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice over all the peaches. Toss to coat.
- Then, to “flash freeze”, lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with freezer paper.
- Allow to freeze overnight.
- Place the frozen peach slices in a freezer safe bag and store up to 6 months.
Preserving peaches in alcohol.
When you preserve peaches in brandy or rum, you are left with a delicious treat. Wonderful as a shortcake topping, over ice cream or even by themselves, they make a great hostess or holiday gift! To make these, simply:
- Peel, pit and cut into slices 4 peaches for every quart jar.
- Add 1/2 cup sugar directly over the peaches.
- Slid in one vanilla bean per quart jar (optional)
- Cover with your choice of brandy, leaving about 1 inch headspace at the top.
- Carefully shake the jar to mix.
- Store in a cool, dark place, shaking every couple of days.
The peaches will be ready after 6 weeks. To serve, simply spoon the peaches over cakes or ice cream.
How do you preserve your garden bounty? What is your favorite way to preserve peaches? Be sure to pin this for later