Did anyone else seem to notice that Spring just kind of missed us this year? Not just in the Carolinas but all over the world. People were sick and tired of the long Winter and then all of a sudden you woke up the next day and it was Summer? I feel like that really messed with some farmers crops this year and also in our own backyard gardens. So with that said, I’ve been anxiously waiting to see some fresh peaches showing up at local produce stands. Today I was in luck when I stopped at Gillis Hill Farm and saw a sign for North Carolina Peaches! I always thought of Georgia as the top peach producer, but fun fact: South Carolina is actually the main producer of peaches. So I filled up a big bag full and headed home to get to work preserving this sweet taste of Summer.
I used a recipe straight out of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It’s so simple and a great way to store your peaches during their peak season.
All you need is:
- 2 to 3 pounds of peaches per quart
- Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector [if desired]
Simply wash the peaches and drain. Peel peaches; cut in half and pit. Treat with Fruit-Fresh to prevent darkening. Make a light or medium syrup; keep syrup hot. Pack peaches cavity side down, layers overlapping, into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over peaches, leaving 1/2 inch head space still. Remove any air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 25 minutes, quarts 30 minutes, in a boiling water-bath canner.
Once you remove your jars from the canner, place on the counter to cool completely. Once cool; label and store.
Canned peaches are great in cobblers and pies, on top cottage cheese, smoothies, with oatmeal, or straight out of the jar as a snack. Produce is always best when in season, so make the season last longer by canning fruits and vegetables during their peak growing season.