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Peach Preserves – Two Ways!

Peach Preserves – Two Ways!

There is nothing quite like fresh peach preserves – the sweet, floral scent of peaches encased in a thick nectar.

My Grandparents had beautiful peach trees on their farm. As kids we would climb up into the trees and pluck these luscious pieces of fruit, warm from the Texas sun. One bite and their juice would be dripping down our chins.

I have two family recipes that I most commonly use when making peach preserves. The first version is the same basic recipe I use for strawberry preserves, which dates back to the 1930s. The preserve is considered “soft” with a loose syrup and doubles as a marvelous dessert sauce.

The second recipe is a thicker, more traditional preserve. Neither recipe has any added pectin leaving you with a softer preserve with large chunks of peaches.

Even if you’ve never made jam or preserves these are both fairly simple recipes, so don’t be afraid to give them a try. Each has only four ingredients – peaches, sugar, balsamic vinegar and a touch of butter. The butter may seem like an odd addition but it keeps any foam from building up in the preserves.

Some tips on handy tools for making preserves. Start with a heavy-duty kettle or stockpot plus a sturdy wooden spoon. Kilner makes a fabulous kettle specifically designed for making jams and preserves. My “go to” for wooden utensils – Little Deer – they are strong, sturdy and easy on the hands. A funnel comes in handy along with a ladle for pouring the preserves into your jars.

For jars, Ball Canning is a known staple in the world of canning and preserving. My Mother and Grandmothers used Ball jars. I’ve personally poured preserves, jams and jellies into hundreds of Ball jars – and had more than a few come back from friends for refills!

And a quick tip for peeling the peaches – blanch them for 45-seconds in boiling water. The skin loosens and almost slips right off the fruit.

If you’re planning to keep extra jars of preserves in your pantry you’ll need to process them to properly seal the jars. A water bath is the most common method. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your jars. Ball has great step-by-step guidelines for canning safely on their website.

Peaches are at their peak, so head to your local Farmer’s Market and enjoy the best of peach season!

Soft Peach Preserves

4 packed cups peeled and sliced peaches – about 4 to 5 large peaches

4 cups sugar

2-1/4 teaspoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon butter

Combine the peaches and the sugar in a large kettle or stockpot. Cook over low heat until the sugar has completely melted, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring 3 to 4 times.

Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Continue cooking at a boil for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and butter and continue boiling for an additional 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the peaches from sticking to the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the preserves cool completely. Transfer to a container and let them set at room temperature overnight.

Pour the peach preserves into five sterilized 8-ounce jars and refrigerate or process in a water bath. You will have a bit extra leftover.

If you’re planning to can the preserves in a water bath, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your jars. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.

Classic Peach Preserves

5 packed cups peeled, sliced peaches, about 5 large peaches

5 cups sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon butter

Combine the peaches, sugar, vinegar and butter in a large kettle or stockpot. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium and cook stirring frequently until the temperature reaches 220-degrees on a candy thermometer and cannot be stirred down. The temperature will reach 220-degrees periodically while cooking, but if stirred will drop back down to a lower temperature. You’re looking for the temperature to be a constant 220-degree when stirred. The preserves will be thickened slightly and be a dark amber color.

Ladle the cooked preserves into five sterilized 8-ounce jars. You will have a bit extra leftover. Keep refrigerated or process in a water bath following the jar manufacturers directions. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.

Peach Preserves - Two Ways, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

July 9, 2018
: Each batch make five 8-ounce jars

These are two great recipes for peach preserves. The first version is a basic recipe for Soft Peach Preserves, dating back to the 1930s. The preserve is considered “soft” with its loose syrup and doubles as a marvelous dessert sauce. The second recipe is a thicker, more traditional preserve. Neither recipe has any added pectin leaving you with a softer preserve - both with large chunks of fresh peaches.

By:

Ingredients
  • For Soft Peach Preserves:
  • 4 packed cups peeled and sliced peaches – about 4 to 5 large peaches
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • For Classic Peach Preserves:
  • 5 packed cups peeled, sliced peaches, about 5 large peaches
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
Directions
  • Step 1 For Soft Peach Preserves:
  • Step 2 Combine the peaches and the sugar in a large kettle or stockpot. Cook over low heat until the sugar has completely melted, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring 3 to 4 times.
  • Step 3 Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Continue cooking at a boil for 3 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add the vinegar and butter and continue boiling for an additional 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the peaches from sticking to the pan.
  • Step 5 Remove the pan from the heat and let the preserves cool completely. Transfer to a container and let them set at room temperature overnight.
  • Step 6 Pour the peach preserves into five sterilized 8-ounce jars and refrigerate or process in a water bath. You will have a bit extra leftover.
  • Step 7 For Classic Peach Preserves:
  • Step 8 Combine the peaches, sugar, vinegar and butter in a large kettle or stockpot. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Step 9 Raise the heat to medium and cook stirring frequently until the temperature reaches 220-degrees on a candy thermometer and cannot be stirred down, about 45 minutes. The temperature will reach 220-degrees periodically while cooking, but if stirred will drop back down to a lower temperature. You’re looking for the temperature to be a constant 220-degree when stirred. The preserves will be thickened slightly and be a dark amber color.
  • Step 10 Ladle the cooked preserves into five sterilized 8-ounce jars. You will have a bit extra leftover. Keep refrigerated or process in a water bath following the jar manufacturers directions.
  • Step 11 If you’re canning the preserves in a water bath, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your jars. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.


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