To get set:
- Load your dishwasher full of quart jars, and rings, and start it running.
- Fill your canner half full of water, and put it on the stove to boil.
- Take a case of (FREE STONE!) peaches, and put as many as you can in your sink, and fill it up with cool water. (Elbertas, Hales, and Red Globes are all favorites.)
- Put all the sealing lids you’ll need in a saucepan, cover with water, and just barely simmer (to soften the sealing compound.)
Next to the sink, you will need:
- a cutting board, chef knife, and paring knife
- scrap bucket
- big bowl of water, treated with a few Tablespoons of lemon juice
Start peeling and pitting your peaches, then chop them into slices, or pieces, or halves. I like pieces, because I can fit more in a jar, and there’s less chance of getting air trapped in there. As you finish, throw the skins and pits in the scrap bucket, and put the peach pieces in the treated water. This will stop them from browning.
When your jars and canner are ready, start loading your jars with peaches! Bang them on the counter, on a towel, every so often to make sure they settle down into the jar. When the jar is about 3/4 full of peaches, pour in 1/3 cup sugar and fill the jar with peaches up to about half an inch from the top of the jar. Fill with water (leaving half an inch of head space on top) and run a knife around the inside of the jar, pressing against the fruit a bit, to find any errant air pockets.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet cloth to get any sugar or fruit off, put a lid on, and screw a band on just finger tight. Keep going until you have enough jars to fill your canner.
Load up the canner, and make sure they have at least an inch of water covering them! Bring the canner to a hard boil, and boil for 25 minutes (or 20 minutes if you used pint jars.)
Let cool, undisturbed, on a towel for a day. Take all the rings off, rinse the jars, label them, and squirrel them away! (Any jars that didn’t seal, store them in the fridge and eat them.)
These are absolutely delicious- my husband will eat a jar in one sitting, if he can! In my experience, a case of peaches (about 22 pounds) makes 10-12 quarts of canned peaches. Obviously, this depends on if you had to throw away any bad fruit, etc.
A note about peeling the fruit- you can dip the peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge them into ice water- this blanching will let the skins slip right off. In my experience, ripe peaches aren’t hard to skin at all, and blanching isn’t much faster than just peeling them outright. Plus, blanching can make a big watery mess.