Last week I officially started canning season with a BANG and one of Levon’s all-time favorites: Spiced Peaches!
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NEVER in a million years would I have pictured myself canning when I was growing up. If you would have told me then that I’d be canning my own fruits, vegetables, pickles, sauces, and more, I would have said, “Why?? That’s what the store is for!”
But marrying Levon and moving to the country has changed that. With the encouragement, guidance, and wisdom from my mother-in-law, I have come to embrace canning as one of my beloved summer rituals. It’s a good deal of work, but it’s SOOO rewarding to eat all that yummy homegrown food throughout the year!
Like I said, my first canning project of the summer was spiced peaches, and oh man, are they delicious! If you’re familiar with canning or are feeling adventurous, give these babies a try! They are worth the effort!! (The smell that will infuse your home alone is worth the work!)
**Stay tuned until the end – I’ll tell you about my new canning toy that has revolutionized canning for me!**
Step-by-Step Instructions to Make the Best Spiced Peaches
- ~ 40 lbs firm ripe peaches (we got a bushel of peaches, and had about 10 lbs left for other things)
- 7 lbs white sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 quart water
- 24 whole cloves
- 5-6 cinnamon sticks
- Peel & halve peaches.
- Place peach halves in a large pot (another canning pot works well) with a solution of water and a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, boil the sugar, vinegar, and water until syrup is slightly thickened.
- Add cloves, cinnamon, and peach halves. Heat stirring occasionally until the peaches can be pierced easily with a fork. (This doesn’t take long. I highly recommend doing this in batches, putting only enough peaches to fill one jar at a time. Otherwise they will get too cooked and fall apart.)
Canning Your Spiced Peaches
- Sterilize canning jars and lids. (You will want to start this well in advance of your peaches being ready to put in the jars, as it takes awhile for that much water to boil! **However, read on to hear about how to complete this step faster!**
- Once your jars are sterilized, put one cinnamon stick and about 7 whole cloves in each jar.
- Fill the jars with peaches, placing them concave down. (We fit anywhere from 10-13 peach halves in each quart jar, depending on the size of the peaches.)
- Add hot syrup to cover, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
- Using a holder, carefully lower filled jars into hot water bath canner, leaving ~2″ space between each jar. You should be able to fit 7 quart jars. Add more boiling water, if necessary, to cover by 2″ above the tops. Bring to a boil and process for 35 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner.
- Put jars on a wood or cloth surface and allow to cool.
- Let the jars sit for at least 24 hours before moving them.
Tools You Will Need:
My Amazing New Canning Device!
Ok, so now I’m going to tell you about that amazing new toy that’s already changing my life! (Or at least my summer.)
What is this amazing device, you ask?
This thing is seriously awesome! I saw it advertised at the end of canning season last year, and I asked for it for Christmas. I knew I needed a second canner, and I was intrigued by the electric aspect. I thought it might be helpful to have another canner that didn’t take up stove space.
Oh my, it did that and more!
This is a 21-qt stainless steel water bath canner/cooking pot with a detachable base and convenient drain spout. It’s electric, so it doesn’t take up stove space, and it has a handy heat setting dial that you can set to “canning.” It holds 8 pints, 7 quarts, or 12 half-pints, same as a regular water bath canner.
What I Love About It:
- It boils the water SO much faster!
We started water boiling in the electric canner and stovetop canner at almost the same time, and the electric canner had the water boiling much sooner than the stovetop.
- It frees up precious stove space!
Unless you have an extra large stovetop, a regular canner takes up more than a single burner. On my stove, it was impossible to have two canners, a large pot for syrup or brine, and pan for sterilizing lids going at the same time, so I could never process two batches at once. Not anymore! With one canner on the stove and one plugged in on the counter, now I can cut my total processing time in half!
- It uses less energy!
According to the product specs, the Ball Electric Canner uses 20% less energy than a traditional stovetop canner. Based on time required to heat the water alone, I believe their claims!
- The heat-setting dial
This is more minor than the other features, but that dial is pretty handy. You simply set the dial to “canning,” and away you go! The canner actually turns itself on and off to regulate a constant temperature. Pretty cool!
- The convenient drain spout
If your canner is next to a sink, this spigot makes draining water a breeze! Granted, it drains a lot slower than if you dumped the canner, but for someone like me who’s not terribly strong, it’s very helpful!
- It’s dual purpose!
This pot isn’t just for canning! I’ll be able to use this year-round for soups, sauces, drinks, and more! If you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining for large groups, you will love the multi-cooker facet of this appliance!
I can’t say enough good things about this canner, and my mother-in-law, who has been canning forever, loved it too! If you can your own produce, or are interesting in starting, you must look into the Ball FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-Cooker. It will save you time, energy, and money in the long-run from your energy savings!
There you have it! Directions for the best peaches ever AND a life-changing tip all in one post!
Stay tuned throughout the summer for more of my canning adventures, and be sure to sign up for my weekly email newsletter to enjoy even more Merry Momma!
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