Friday, September 27, 2013
Canning White Peaches
White Peaches? Let me be honest here for a moment. Until my friend gave me this big box full of them, I had no clue there was even a such thing as white peaches. But oh how yummy they are. I canned them just like all of the other peaches I have done throughout the years. Peaches have got to be one of the easiest fruits to can. They require only a water bath (as opposed to the pressure cooker) and a little bit of sugar. The sugar is technically optional, but not in my house. MUST HAVE SUGAR!!!!
There were a few dozen that were ripening way too fast and were fed to the goats. Talk about entertaining. Picture a large dog chewing a tennis ball in the back of it's mouth. You can't see it, but you know its there. This is what the goats looked like. Chewing, chewing, chewing. Pretty soon, you start hearing the clicking of the peach pit against their teeth. Then all of a sudden, they spit the pit out to the side like a big wad of tobacco. The kids were hysterical!!!!
So here are the white peaches. They were quite a bit smaller than any other peaches we've canned (about the size of a small plum), but this may have been due to the age of the tree. Not sure, don't care, still yummy.
First thing we did was scald them. Usually, peaches take about minute to scald, but as these peaches were so small, and the skins were so thin, some of the batches took less than 30 seconds. Be careful not to leave the peaches in the scalding pot too long, or else the fruit begins to get mushy and hard to work with. It is easier to peel them when the fruit is still firm. This allows you to basically rub the peel off.
After the scalding, the peaches are quickly moved to an ice water bath and left in to cool off for about a minute or two, after which they are removed and the peel is rubbed off. The peels should come off very easily (like a little jacket). If it seems to be sticking to the fruit, it is either not scalded long enough, or the fruit was not fully ripe. Practice makes perfect at this point.
I peel about a dozen at a time and then slice and pit them. I premix produce protector into a few table spoons of water and drizzle it over the peaches (and toss them by hand) to prevent the oxidation of the fruit. Most people don't like the rusty color tint. Doing it in small, quick batches, prevents most of it. Tossing the new slices into the bowl and mixing by hand, helps even more to coat them all evenly.
Once there is enough slices to fill a few jars, pack them into hot jars.
slowly pour a syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inch of head space. By syrup, I don't mean take your bottle of maple syrup and drown your peaches in it. Blaaaaa. All the syrup is, is sugar water. We mix our sugar/water at 1:4 to make a light/med syrup, since the peaches are already so sweet.
then take a small spatula, (or the back of a spoon), and remove the air bubbles in the jar. Then top off the syrup again to the proper head space.
Place the lids and rings on the jars and snug them up.
Place the jars into the water bath canner for processing. We process pints for 25 minutes, and quarts for 30 minutes. After processing time, lift out the jars and put them on a rack to cool for 24 hrs.
THEY TASTE GREAT!