Peaches are my favourite thing to can. They were the first fruit I learned to can (about 5 years ago). As such, they hold a special place in my heart. And in my stomach. 🙂
For this year’s peach workshop, we used a slightly different recipe than last year. This recipe offered everyone to the opportunity to choose the spices for their own jars. The options were: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, anise or plain. Alison and I had done some samples the week previous, so we all had the opportunity to taste before we canned. Not surprisingly, cinnamon and clove were the most popular option, followed closely by cardamom. The anise is an interesting flavour, but it’s not something I would necessarily want to eat a lot of.
Here’s our recipe:
Makes about 6 pint jars
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups water
2 cups liquid honey
8 lbs small peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and drained
6 cinnamon sticks
¾ tsp whole cloves
1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, water and honey. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, add peaches one layer at a time and warm until heated through, about 3 minutes per layer.
3. Using a slotted spoon, pack hot peaches, cavity side down, into hot jars to within a generous ½ inch of top of jar. Add 1 cinnamon stick and 2 cloves to each jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover peaches, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 25 minutes. Remove jars, cool and store.
Variation: For a different flavour, substitute 1 large star anise or several cardamom pods for the other spices – or simply leave it plain.
Yours in food,