So Thursday we started our peaches.
Get all your jars and rings and lids cleaned and set out.
Start all of the water boiling. Water that needs to boil: Tea Kettle for warming up and sterilizing Jars, Tea Kettle for blanching peaches, the steam bath thing.
Blanch peaches. Pour the boiling water over the peaches, and let it sit for at least 60 seconds. BUT we find if you leave it a little longer, the blanching will be a little more complete. BUT if you leave it too long, it starts to cook the peaches, which causes them to start to turn brown…so use your judgment. Anyway, after the allotted time, run cool water from the tap over the peaches, then strain the water out. Be careful when straining, you can loose a smallish peach down a largish disposal hole. We did. 🙂
Skin and cut the peaches. Skinning tip, start at the top near the stem, and pull the skin off from the top down. You loose less peach that way. Cutting tip: The smaller you cut the peaches, the more peaches you can fit into a jar. So if you cut them smaller, it is more cost effective with jars. Also on jars, I found cheaper jars at WinCo, than at Maceys. It is a two dollar savings.
Sanitize/ Warm up Jars. You technically don’t have to sterilize them because they get so hot in the steam. BUT you want to make sure that the rims are nice and clean.
Warm up/ Sterilize the lids. You can keep them war on a little pot on the stove, OR you can just pour a little more boiling water over them eat time so that the rubber gets soft and will stick.
Fill the jars. Top tip: Soak the peaches in cold water while you get ready, to prevent browning. You can also crush up vitamin C tablets and put them into the water, which is supposed to help. We have never done it.
Pour Syrup over the peaches and fill to the bottom ring on the jar. To make Syrup: 6 cups water to 2 cups sugar. This is a light syrup recipe so that I can feed them to my baby.
Normal recipe is 4 to 2.
Clean the rims. Use a clean warm towel.
Put the lids and rings on. Make sure that the rubber on the lids is totally connected to the jar. Screw the lids on medium tight. You will need to take them off after they cook, and clean the jars. At THAT point you will put them on really tight. Not now.
Put them on the stove to cook. Put them in the steamer, then wait to see steam coming out. When it comes out, set a timer for 20 minutes.
Take the jars out, and place on a covered counter top. They will be hot, so if it is a surface that can’t get hot, use a towel. If it is a surface that is ok, like wood, use wax paper. It will be sticky.
Set out over night. You will hear the jars pop. It is exciting.
Clean off jars and check it they sealed. Do this the next morning. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dark room for about a year.
What to do with the extras?
If you have a Karen or a Karl in your life, problem solved!