Canned peaches have a deep, concentrated flavor that brightens dishes like braised pulled pork sandwiches and cold peach soup. Store-bought versions can be delicious, but during the summer, when fresh peaches are plentiful, it’s easy enough to can them yourself. In this recipe, ripe peaches are mixed with sugar syrup and cinnamon sticks, which imbue the fruit with sweet, spicy flavor. Look for firm, unblemished fruits that give a little when squeezed. Keep in mind that unripe peaches can be coaxed into ripening by placing them in a brown paper bag for a couple of days at room temperature. The enclosed environment traps the natural ethylene gases the fruit gives off, hastening the ripening process. Boiling the jars protects against spoilage, so you can enjoy summer’s peaches safely for the rest of the year. This recipe first appeared in our March 2014 issue with the story A Change of Seasons.
- 15 whole cloves
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 lb. medium, ripe peaches (about 20), peeled and pitted, quartered if large
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge three 1-qt. canning jars with their lids and ring bands in boiling water; sterilize for 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer jars, lids, and ring bands to a clean dish towel. Divide cloves and cinnamon sticks between jars; set aside.
- Bring sugar and 4 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Stir in peaches. Using a slotted spoon, divide peaches between jars and pour syrup over the top, leaving ½″ space at the top. Wipe rims clean, place lids on jars, and screw on ring bands. See the article (How to Preserve Jars). Store in a cool place for up to 6 months.