Peaches are a delicious, versatile stone fruit that are in season (depending on US location) anywhere from May to September- that means these are the times that you can find them selling in the grocery stores for the best prices Whether you are buying peaches at a Farmer’s market or a grocery, here are a few tips that will help you pick out the perfect peach!
- Pick peaches with a little “give” when you gently press on them.
- Smell them! Ripened peaches will have a strong, sweet “peachy” smell to them.
- A green or mostly yellow color means the peach is not yet ripe. Look for a reddish-blush color.
- 2 lbs peaches (approx 8 peaches)
- 2¼ C sugar
- 5¼ C water
- 1 packet Fruit Fresh (fruit protector)
- Wash can lids and rims in hot soapy water
- Place jars (without lids and rims) in a pot of boiling water (fully submerged)
- Turn off heat and let jars sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, boil a separate pot of water and prepare the peaches
- Wash peaches with skin on
- Dip peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and drop them into ice water (this will loosen the skin)
- Remove skins (should peel easily)
- Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Scrape away red fibers around the pit
- Place peaches in prepared fruit protector (according to package directions)
- Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves
- Keep syrup hot (not boiling) and pack peach halves, cut-side down, into hot jars (approx 4 peaches per pint-sized jar).
- Pour syrup into jars (push down on peaches with a spoon to get rid of air pockets)
- Wipe jar rims and threads of any syrup with clean rag
- Place lids and rims on jars
- Place jars back in the original pot of hot water. Cover and bring water back to a boil
- Boil jars for 25 minutes
- Remove jars and place on a dish towel on the counter (do not allow jars to touch)
- Cool over night and test the lids in the morning (if seal does not stay down when pressed, place jar in refrigerator and eat within a few days)
If you are freezing your fresh peaches instead, follow these simple steps:
- Remove the skin from the peaches as explained above
- Slice peaches in half and remove the pit
- Squeeze a whole lemon on the peaches, over a strainer to avoid adding lemon seeds and pulp
- Add 1 cup of sugar to each 4 cups of peaches, stir to combine
- Place peaches in freezer bags
- Press air out of bags and seal them
- Lie bags flat in a freezer
If you would prefer to not have the added sugar, you can use a little bit of fruit juice (like white grape juice or even peach juice) to fill in the air. Just keep in mind that unless you vacuum seal your peaches, they likely will not last quite as long as the ones prepared with a sugar solution.
These peaches are delicious by themselves, on the grill, or substituted for store-bought canned peaches in dessert recipes such as these:
- Peach Cobbler (recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
- Stuffed French Toast Casserole with Fruit (recipe from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam)
- Miniature Peach Crisps (recipe from Willow Bird Baking)
Do you have any favorite peach recipe? Please share!
|Tabitha is a registered nurse, wife, and frugal mother of 2 young boys in Suburban Chicago. With picky eaters at home, she has made it a hobby to experiment with new ways to incorporate healthy foods into her family’s diet. She has learned most of her fruit and veggie secrets from her mother, grandmother, and…her husband!|