Saturday, 1 September 2012

"Make It Yourself: Series Finale - Peaches

Welcome to the "Make It Yourself" series finale.  I decided to finish up the series to  make way for a weekly fall crafting post I plan to begin in September.

Today I am featuring canned peaches - a winter staple in our house!  I often buy canned or packed peaches for the kids to snack on during the winter months.  Recently we found some delicious pre-packaged peaches from dole - packed in water with no added sugar, sweetener or preservatives.  The catch - we have to go all the way to Costco to buy them, and oh-ya, they cost money.

So I decided to can some of this seasons most delicious Ontario peaches.  It's probably not cheaper (well maybe, if you factor in gas and Costco membership fees??) and it's definitely not easier (HELLO - 2 hours in the kitchen for 18 - 125 mL jars!), but it's sure to be more satisfying.

Let's get's what I did:

I purchased 3L of Ontario peaches (at the grocery store because we don't exactly live in peach country).  I also purchased a bottle of lemon juice and some new snap lids - get these at the dollar store people!!  I also have a bunch of fancy canning supplies, but you don't really need all the bells and whistles (you might want some jars, though).

3 L of peaches filled 18 - 125 mL jars for me, plus there was enough left over to fill one or two more jars (but I ran out of the little jars, so I stuck the leftovers in the fridge!).

-To peel the peaches, blanch for 60 seconds then sit them in cold water.  The skins should come right off.

-Slice the peeled peaches and place them into a solution to help them keep their colour (I used 4 cups of water mixed with 1/4 cup of lemon juice - you can also buy that colour saver stuff from Bernardin, but it's expensive).  Let the peaches sit in there while you get everything else ready.

-Wash and dry your jars and stick them into the oven (on a baking sheet) at about 275 deg.  Keep them here for at least 10 minutes to sterilize.

-Wash your snap lids and place into a pot of hot, but not boiling, water.  Keep them here until you are ready to use them.

-I packed my peaches in water, but you can use fruit juice or syrup (you'll have to look elsewhere for those instructions).  I filled a pot with about 4 cups of water and boiled it on the stove.  Once the water is boiling, you can start to fill your is the time to take them out of the oven.

-Remove peaches from colour solution and fill the jars with about 1/2" head space.  When all jars are filled, ladle boiled water over peaches - but again, don't fill to the top of the jar.

-Once jars are filled, place snap lids and rings on jars...time to heat process!

-I used a smaller pot to heat process, because my jars were so small.  I also had to do 3 batches of 6.  You only need to boil the jars for 5 - 8 minutes, and there's no need to change the water between batches!

-Place processed jars on the counter and be prepared to hear some 'popping' all afternoon.

That's about all there is to canning peaches, and you can use the same process for pears (which just happen to be in season right about now).

If you're really fancy, you can decorate your jars with some nice card stock, fabric or ribbon.  Me, I just pull out my trusty label maker and start labelling!

Harrison didn't get his peaches at lunchtime today - he was too tired!  Yes, that is a peanut butter sandwich hanging out of his mouth.

Thanks for reading and following along with this series.  I hope you'll join me for my weekly fall crafts and activities post starting next week.

I'm linking up this post - check out all my link parties here.

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