Peaches and nectarines are one of my favorite summer fruits. When mid July hits us, I’m always on the look out for fresh, juicy peaches and nectarines that scream summertime! My kids love them and we eat them almost every day throughout the summer. Usually raw, but we also love it in our oatmeal. As the summer winds down and into the early weeks of September, keep an eye out for local orchards and family farms selling peaches in bulk. Also, remember to check out your neighbor’s trees and make sure to ask if they’ll be harvesting their fruit. For those of you that order through Azure Standard, you can find great deals on 20lb boxes of organic peaches and nectarines perfect for jams, canning, and freezing. Take advantage of peaches and nectarines while they are in season and preserve them to savor a bit of summer during those cold winter months.
Canned peaches and nectarines in honey
The equipment you will need:
- quart size mason jars
- water bath canner
- jar funnel
- plastic spatula or knife
- Large pot
- 20lb box of peaches or nectarines
- lemon juice from a jar
- 2/3 cup raw honey
- 8 cups water
Before you start, make sure your jars are sterilized. I run my jars through the dishwasher on the sterilize setting.
- Fill your water bath canner with water, cover and bring to a rolling boil.
- Prepare your syrup. In a large saucepan, heat 8 cups of water. When the water comes to a boil, add 2/3 cup raw honey. Stir and bring back to a boil. When the syrup starts to boil, turn the heat to low. If you want it a little bit sweeter, add honey to taste.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Fill a small cereal bowl with boiling water from the water bath canner. Add 4 – 5 lids into the hot water.
- In batches, add 8-9 peaches into the large pot filled with boiling water for 45-60 seconds.
- Immediately immerse in a bowl filled with ice water or underneath running cold water. The skins of the peaches and nectarines should slide right off.
- Cut your peaches in half and remove the pit. You can either slice them into small pieces or leave them in halves.
- Add a squirt of lemon juice into a quart sized mason jar. (This will prevent your fruit from browning while in storage.
- Add your peach slices or halves into the mason jars. Make sure to pack tightly, however only fill up to the neck of the jar.
- Immediately fill your mason jars with the honey syrup, leaving half inch headspace and set aside.
- Continue moving in this fashion until half of your fruit box has been packed. At this point, I usually can my first batch.
- With a plastic spatula or knife, run it down the sides, inside, of the jars to remove any excess bubbles trapped within your fruit.
- Clean the top of your filled jars with a damp towel to make sure there is no syrup on the top of the mason jar or on the sides.
- Place a lid on each mason jar and gently put the screw on. DO NOT screw this on tightly.
- Place in the water bath canner and boil for 20 minutes with the lid on.
- Fill the small cereal bowl with more boiling water and add more lids.
- Continue.. until all peaches or nectarines have been packed.
It does take a bit of time, but once you get the swing of it, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can pack and can!
Freezing Peaches and Nectarines
This is a super easy way to preserve your peaches and nectarines.
- Slice peaches or nectarines
- Put parchment paper to cover a baking sheet or baking stone.
- Place peach or nectarine slices onto the baking sheet or stone.
- Place the baking sheet or stone into the freezer until the fruit hardens.
- Once the fruit hardens place the peach or nectarine slices into freezer bags and return to the freezer or deep freeze.
You will now have frozen slices of peaches or nectarines to make jam when you have time… hint.. hint.. OR to bake pies in the middle of the winter or as I’ve been using most of them for, morning smoothies! If you have the space, this is a great and easy way to preserve the flavors of summer
Peach Jam… Coming Soon
With all the jam that I will be making here soon, I decided to have a post specifically on making jam. However, I did have to mention that jam is a great way to preserve the wonderful flavors of peach and nectarines. So make sure to check back as I share my jam recipes, tips, and techniques.