Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I bought a half a case of peaches with my Bountiful Basket. They were rock hard when I brought them home so naturally, I set them out on the counter to ripen… and forgot about them! Within a couple of days (probably because it’s been so hot!) they ripened to the point of mush. They still tasted good but they were too soft to bottle traditionally and I knew we’d never be able to eat them all before they would go bad. So to Josh’s delight (my 15-year-old) I made syrup. This kid LOVES syrup (evidenced by the syrup to pancake ration every time he eats breakfast).. Which means we can always use more syrup in our food storage!
First, wash and peel the peaches. These peaches were so ripe I only had to dunk them into hot water for a few seconds before the peel practically melted off. Huge timesaver! I also just used my fingers to break them apart and remove the seed. They were so ripe they offered no resistance so no knife needed! Another time saver. Once the peaches were all de-seeded and peeled, I mashed them thoroughly (again I used my hands- it was fun!- but you can use a food processor or a masher if you’d prefer) and added them to two large pots. Each pot’s ingredients were as follows:
5 cups pureed/mashed peaches
10 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp butter (this helps keep mixture from getting too foamy- I don’t recommend going without it!)
Heat mixture over med-high heat until it reaches a full rolling boil. Boil 3-5 minutes then pour into prepared hot quart-sized mason jars. Wipe rims clean and seal with lids just until finger tight. Each pot makes about 3 ½ quarts. When jars are filled, lower into a water bath canner. Process 25 minutes (15 minutes for lower altitudes). Remove jars from canner and allow to sit undisturbed in a draft free area for 12-24 hours. Check each bottle for seal, remove lid and wipe clean before storing.
To peel peaches: