Canned peaches are one of the most popular of all preserved fruits, capturing some of summer’s warmth and sunshine for a cold winter treat. Use this basic guide to learn how to can peaches safely and put up your own bit of summer.
If you’re new to canning, or are thirsting for additional tips not mentioned in the USDA guide, check out Jackie Clay’s article The ABCs of Canning and Roberta Bailey’s Learn to Can for Homegrown Flavor. You’ll be canning in no time!
The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Home Canningby the United States Department of Agriculture (2009).
PEACHES — HALVED OR SLICED
Quantity: An average of 17 1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 16 to 24 quarts, which is an average of 2 1/2 pounds per quart.
Quality: Choose ripe, mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking.
Procedure: Dip fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds until skins loosen. Dip quickly in cold water and slip off skins. Cut in half, remove pits and slice if desired. To prevent darkening, keep peeled fruit in ascorbic acid solution. Prepare and boil a very light, light, or medium syrup or pack peaches in water, apple juice, or white grape juice. Raw packs make poor quality peaches.
Hot pack — In a large saucepan place drained fruit in syrup, water, or juice and bring to boil. Fill jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Place halves in layers, cut side down.
Raw pack — Fill hot jars with raw fruit, cut side down, and add hot water, juice, or syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.
For recommended processing times for peaches in a boiling-water canner or a dial-gauge canner, check out the Image Gallery.