Canning Peaches Step-by-Step

My late mother taught me how to can all sorts of food items: stewed tomatoes, pickles, salsa, apple pie filling, corn relish, blueberry jam, green beans, and more. One of the fruits we did many things with was peaches. We canned peaches in apple juice for my kids, made peach pie filling to have in the winter, and also made one of my family’s favorite items, spiced peach jam.

Here are the simple step-by step instructions for canning some spiced peach jam yourself. A jar makes a cute and clever gift for teachers, neighbors, or friends. Have fun! (And save me some, will ya?)

Spiced Peach Jam

You’ll need the following:

8 cups chopped, fresh peaches

1/2 cup real lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cloves

15 cups sugar

1 teaspoon real butter

One 6-ounce box liquid pectin

7-8 pint canning jars, lids and rings

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A canner and rack, a funnel, a lid wand and jar lifter (all found in canning section of the grocery/department store. Check Goodwill for canners and racks.)

First, grab yourself a bunch of peaches.

{You’ll need 8 cups peeled, finely chopped peaches per batch}

Make sure they aren’t over-ripe or under-ripe. They should have a slight give to them when you push on them with your thumb. MAKE SURE they are “freestone” peaches. This means that the pit (stone) loosens easily. I use Red Haven or Canadian Harmony variety.

To remove the skins: Wash and dry peaches. Fill a clean sink with cold water and about 20 ice cubes. Cut a small X in the bottom of each peach. Boil about 5 inches of water in a large pan.

Using tongs, gently dip peaches in boiling water for 3-5 seconds. one at a time. Then, plunge in ice water and leave there until all peaches are done. Remove pan and pour water out.

Place peaches on towels to dry slightly.

Using a paring knife, cut peaches in half going all the way into the stone. Twist halves and pull apart to remove stone. Then, using a paring knife, peel and finely chop peaches into a large bowl.

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Place canner and rack (in the lifted position with the rack hooked on the sides) on the stove and add water to the halfway mark. Have a tea kettle of water simmering on the stove because you’ll need to add more water once the cans are in.

Turn heat under canner up to high and place lid on. Watch carefully for it to boil.

Place lid and rings in water to cover. A medium-sized saucepan will do. Turn heat on medium-low to heat them up slightly. (Yes! You will have FOUR things heating on the stove at once!)

Place 7-8 clean PINT jars into dishwasher and run on rinse and hold cycle. (If you don’t have a dishwasher, place jars on their sides in a sink of hot water. You can pour a few tea kettles of water into hot tap water to keep it very hot)

Next, measure 8 cups of peaches into a large stock pot (8-10 quarts). If you don’t have this big of a pot, cut recipe in half and use a 6-8 quart stock pot) Add in lemon juice and stir.

Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Add into peach mixture along with the butter.

Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly. (Keep watching the canner too so it doesn’t boil over. When it begins to boil, reduce heat slightly to maintain a slight boil)

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Once the peach mixture reaches a rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) cut tops off of pectin pouches (both of them in the box) and pour into peaches. KEEP STIRRING!

Set timer for EXACTLY one minute. Keep stirring.

When timer rings, turn off heat and remove pan. (Place on hot pad on counter.)

One by one using a funnel, fill jars to within 1/8 inch from the top. Wipe rim clean with a clean towel dipped in hot water. Place on one hot lid carefully on top and twist on one hot ring, screwing down tightly.

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Place jars in rack in canner balancing carefully by placing them on opposite sides of the canner each time to maintain balance.

Place seven cans in canner.

If you have leftover jam, place it in the 8th can but leave that one on counter. A canner only holds 7 cans. (The 8th can must be stored in the fridge, not in the pantry. It will keep for two months.)

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SLOWLY lower rack into canner. Pour on additional water from the tea kettle and more hot water from the tap if needed to cover jars by 1-2 inches of water.

Place lid on canner. Turn heat up to high. Watch closely.

When it comes to a steady boil (not a furious one) adjust to maintain that boil and set timer for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat. Raise rack carefully back up and hook on sides of canner.

Using a jar lifter (or by hand with a good oven mitt) place jars on a towel on the counter to cool.

You will hear them make a popping noise when they seal.

DO NOT TOUCH FOR 24 HOURS! Especially do NOT touch lids to see if they have sealed.

After 24 hours, press down to see if they are sealed. If they aren’t (or aren’t but seal when you press them) place in the fridge. Others that sealed may be stored for up to 2 years in the pantry.

ENJOY!!!!!

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