Over the past couple of years my pattern has been to share 1 canning recipe a summer. Two years ago it was low-sugar blackberry jam and last year I shared low-sugar strawberry-rhubarb jam. I love that fact that when you can foods yourself you can control the amount of sugar that goes into them. While there is no lack in sugar-filling canning recipes, but I choose to use ones that require a much smaller amount. I think fruit tastes wonderfully sweet how nature made it, and I know it is better for me and my family.
When peach picking time came around, I knew I wanted to find a recipe that used way less sugar than a standard canning recipes does. I found this wonderful post on the The Prairie Homestead written by Jill. She did the research and found that peaches don’t need sugar at all to be canned safely. The sugar helps to preserve color and add flavor. I for one am okay with peaches that brown a little, and I know my kids don’t mind. I ended up using her recipe for a honey syrup with a ratio of 9 cups of water to 1 cup of honey. Very lightly sweetened and tasted perfect with our nature sweetened peaches!
We live minutes away from a peach farm so it’s super convenient to go picking. The kids and I went two times this summer, and when the canning peaches (free-stone peaches) were ready I brought reinforcements for our big picking party. My mom, sister-in-law and her two kiddos joined us and we quickly picked 100 lb of peaches.
I love how much fun the cousins have together. They munched on peaches, ran free throughout the orchard and the 3 older ones played hide and go seek.
I took home 70 pounds of peaches and after 4-5 days they had ripened enough for me to spend the afternoon prepping and canning 20 quarts of delicious honey peaches. I had one jar break while it was in the water bath, and another that did not seal so we just ate those peaches. I also canned 7 pints of honey sweetened peach jam a couple days later since I ran out of quart jars for the peaches.
Canned Peaches in a Light Honey Syrup
Recipe adapted from here
- ripe peaches (you’ll need 2-3 pounds per quart jar – select free stone variety – the pits will remove easily)
- 9 cups water
- 1 cup honey
- Peel the peaches by dunking them in boiling water for 2 minutes, and then immediately remove them and place them in ice old water. The skins will come right off.
- While you are working on your peaches, bring the 9 cups of water, and 1 cup of honey to a boil in a medium saucepan to dissolve the honey into the water.
- Remove the pits from the peeled peaches, then halve or quarter them.
- Fill the sterilized jars with the peaches, placing them pit-side down (if you are using halves).
- Fill the jar the rest of the way full with the hot honey-water solution. Leave 1/2″ head space.
- Wipe the rims with a cloth, place lids on jars and screw rings on just to finger tight only. Process quart jars in a hot water-bath canner for 25 minutes.
You would think after all the peach canning I would be over it, but when my favorite grocery store had delicious organic peaches on sale for only 99 cents a pounds this week, I just had to pick up 28 pounds. More peach canning in my near future!
What have you been canning this summer? How would you use up an abundance of peaches?