Canning Peaches, Pears, and Appricots

posted by Andrea | 08/25/2011

My mom and I have been canning peaches all morning {33 quarts total}… and we’re just about finished!

I know I’ve said this before, but canning really is pretty easy! Yes, it takes time and effort; yes, you make a bit of a mess; yes it’s more difficult than buying store-bought canned peaches — but if you’ve ever tasted home-canned peachesyou know that it is totally worth it!

So, if you are thinking about canning peaches — or anything else this fall, let me just encourage you to give it a try! I’m hoping to post more  about my canning adventures throughout the fall months, but for now, I thought it might be helpful if I re-posted the following article from last September. It’s all about canning peaches, pears, and apricots {which are all in season, or soon to be in season, here in Michigan}.

And here’s a link to another post about getting ready for canning season.

Happy Canning!!


I don’t think there is anything more delicious than opening up a can of homegrown, home-canned fruit in the middle of winter. There is just something about it that tastes even better than fresh fruit — but that might be the added sugar!

If you’ve never tried to can your own fruit, now is a great time to start. There is still plenty of time to pick up some fresh produce from a local farmer’s market or u-pick farm — and I guarantee it’s easier than you might think.

As always, my advice for beginners is to START SMALL!

Start with a half bushel of fruit. This should be plenty for 10-12 jars of fruit plus extra to eat. Also, by starting with a half bushel, you can probably finish the job in 2-3 hours.

 

Equipment:

  • Water-bath canner
  • 10-12 Quart-size canning jars (I like to use wide-mouth if possible)
  • 10-12 Rings and lids
  • canning kit is also nice to have. It includes a funnel, jar tongs, magnetic lid lifter, and a few other handy tools.
  • Several towels and rags
  • 9×13″ containers to hold the peelings
  • Good pairing knife
  • A friend — to make the process go a bit quicker!

Ingredients:

  • Fruit: a half bushel should be enough for at least 10 jars plus extra to eat
  • Sugar: anywhere from 3-10 cups; depending on how heavy you like your syrup

 

Directions:

1. Wash fruit thoroughly:
For peaches and apricots, I wear rubber gloves and vigorously rub them under very hot water. This loosens the skins and makes them much easier to peal.

If your fruit isn’t quite ripe, simply lay out sheets of newspaper on a cement floor, spread out your fruit and cover with additional sheets of newspaper. It should ripen within 2 or 3 days.

2. Peal, halve, and pit your fruit:This is when it’s nice to have a helper!

3. Place each half into a quart jar: cut-side down,nesting to them together

4. Make a Simple Syrup: this recipe is for 7 quart jars (there is room for 7 jars in a canner)
In a medium saucepan, mix desired amount of sugar with 7 cups of water. Stir sugar/water mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly

  • Light syrup = 2.5 cups sugar to 7 c. water (this is what I use)
  • Medium syrup = 4 c. sugar to 7 c. water
  • Heavy syrup = 7 c. sugar to 7 c. water

5. Ladle syrup over the fruit: leave a 1/2 inch headspace.

6. Seal jars with sterilized lids and rings: make sure you wipe the tops of  the jars first

7. Process jars for 25 – 30 minutes: in a water-bath canner (it usually take 20-30 minutes to come to a full boil, at which point you should set your timer for 25 minutes)

8. Cool and seal jars: remove jars from the canner and allow to cool on a towel for 12 to 24 hours. Make sure each jars seals. (you’ll hear a ‘pop’ and the middle of the lid will be slightly indented)

9. Wash and Store: Remove the rings and thoroughly wash the jars and rings in hot soapy water (they will be very sticky).  Label each jar and store in a cool, dry place.

10. Enjoy all year round!


See, I told you it wasn’t that bad!

I know if may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but once you try it a time or two, it will seem like second nature.

What are your favorite ways to preserve fresh fruit?

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8 comments

  1. West Michigan Weekly Foodie Roundup 8/25/11 — Eat Local, West Michigan!

    08/25/2011

    [...] From Simple Organized Living: Canning Peaches, Pears, and Apricots [...]

  2. Megan Camp

    08/26/2011

    Hmmm. I’ve never heard of the rubber gloves and hot water. We’ve always blanched the peaches and then dumped them into a tub of ice water. If the peaches are ripe, the skins slide right off. Way to go canning while pregnant. I usually chickened out when I was pregnant. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Megan, we use the blanching method for tomatoes — but my mom and I think it’s just too “rough” on the peaches. If you simply rub them under hot water, the skins come off almost as easily as if you blanch them, and the peaches are often less bruised and more “yellow” looking {if that make sense}

    I’m sure they taste the same, so either method would work — and the only reason I wear rubber gloves is because the water is SO hot!! Those are totally optional!

    [Reply]

  3. Marne

    08/28/2011

    I use the cold-pack method for canning peaches. No syrup required! Plus it is healthier without the syrup. And much quicker to can too!

    Blanche/skin peaches, then cut in half.
    Pack in bottles.
    Put in desired amount of sugar and fruit fresh (I put in 3 TBL sugar and 1 tsp fruit fresh per quart)
    Pour hot water in jar.
    Put on lids.
    Load into water bath canner and cook!

    [Reply]

    Tammy Reply:

    Marne, thanks for sharing this…I have heard of doing it this way but hadn’t seen specific instructions.

    [Reply]

    l. Reply:

    what is fruit fresh? pectin?

    [Reply]

  4. L.

    03/31/2012

    can u store them w/ the rings? That’s how my mennonite friend’s do them.

    [Reply]

  5. l.

    07/28/2012

    how much fruit is a bushel?

    [Reply]