feasting with friends

Preserving Summer’s Freshness

peach preservesThe last few days have been busy days in keeping up with the last of the local produce. Part of me says “thank goodness”, the other part says “oh no”. What a better way to “preserve” some of summer’s freshness than with preserves. Peach was the fruit of choice. I’m pretty sure I never had peach preserves until the last 5 years or so. I don’t know why I turned up my nose at them. I first had them at my favorite diner in Nashville, Tennessee – Loveless Cafe. I’ve only been to Nashville twice, but to the Loveless Cafe four times. That’s how much we loved it! Two visits on each trip. They have the best [secret recipe] biscuits in the world! They serve baskets of biscuits to each table along with homemade preserves: strawberry, blackberry and peach. I have to admit, blackberry is my favorite there, but Glenn loves the peach. Being the good wife I am 😉 I got cooking! I was shocked to learn how easy they were to make. I followed the process in the good old stand-by book from the people at Ball Jars. I have 3 additions of the “Blue Book” dating back a few decades that I use for reference. They do have a website also which is helpful in navigating your way through canning if it is new to you. [http://www.freshpreserving.com] This recipe is for the traditional canning method by which jars are “processed” in boiling water. Hence, no refrigeration until opening and a much longer shelf life. Four ingredients and about an hour of time yielded 10 half-pints of summer’s freshness to enjoy year long. Now if I could just get my hands on that biscuit recipe!

Ingredients:

8 cups, peeled, pitted & sliced peaches [about 4 pounds or 10 large peaches]

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 box powdered pectin

7 cups sugar

Directions:

•Prepare your jars and lids through sterilization. The freshpreserving.com site is a great reference.

•Get a large pot of water on the stove heating. The pot needs to be deep enough to accommodate the filled jars for processing.

•Combine prepared peaches, lemon juice and pectin in a large sauce pan. I prefer to use a stockpot for the depth it provides. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.

peach preserves  peach preserves

•Once the peaches have reached boiling point, add the sugar. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard one minute stirring continuously.

peach preserves

•Skim foam the may form on top if necessary.

•Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ head space.  Make sure rim of jar is clean. Apply flat lids and rings.

•Process 10 minutes in boiling water.

Note: Test lids to make sure they have sealed. If not, remove lid, wipe jar rim clean, re-cap and process again.

peach preservesA great site for referencing all things canning: http://www.freshpreserving.com

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