So, the peaches. Peaches as far as the eyes can see.
What to do with that many?
Well, one of the things that I decided to try was peach preserves. I have made strawberry freezer jam, but never preserves and never with peaches. Here we go!
5 pounds of ripe peaches (I put them into a container and weighed them on the bathroom scale- I have no idea how many peaches would total 5 pounds and I do not have a kitchen scale).
3 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Wash peaches and then cut an X in the bottom of each peach.
Place peaches in boiling water for approximately 45 seconds, then immediately place them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.
The skins will pull right off (if they are ripe). Remove the skin, pit and cut the peaches into 1/8ths, or so. Combine the peaches, sugar and lemon. Cover the container and place in refrigerator overnight.
In a large sauce pan or stock pot (the stock pot is usually a better choice since sugar can and does boil over), bring the sugar-peach mixture to a simmer, skimming the foam from the top. Continue to stir occasionally for the next 20 minutes or so. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Fill the prepped containers with the preserves leaving approximately 1/8 inch of space from the top. Place the seal and tighten the rim, but do not over tighten. Wipe down the rims and seals.
Place the sealed cans in the hot water (BUT NOT BOILING- you don't want to break the cans) making sure that they do not touch or tip over. The containers need to be immersed in the water (check that the containers are covered with about 2 inches water). Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, process the containers for 5 minutes.
Remove the containers from the boiling water and place on wire rack to cool for 24 hours. Once cool, check the container seal by pressing on it to make certain there is no give. If it pops back up, it didn't seal properly and you should place it in the refrigerator and consume it with in a month. The other properly processed containers can be shelved for up to a year in a cool dark place.
I had some left over preserves that didn't fit in my larger jars, so I reserved that for a little taste test. I found the preserves tasty and I hope you do as well!
Next up canned peaches.