My tastes seem to be changing as I get older. I still love ultra-spicy things but my entire palate around preserving is becoming far more simple, especially with fruit. I`m hedging more and more to the simple techniques used by generations long past with as little sugar as possible.
I was excited to see that peaches were our target for the Tigress Can Jam this month – they are one of my annual favourites.
Peaches are generally acidic enough to get away to can in a light simple syrup or even water (reference here). This years were canned with water and a tablespoon of Maderia (a Spanish fortified wine). We actually used the water we boiled to peel the peaches as it was already heavily flavored with the sweetness of the summer harvest.
Here`s how to do it:
- Start by peeling peaches. The quantity is up to you but know that it takes about 2.5 pounds to fill a quart jar.
- Cut them in to slices (freestone peaches are best for this as the pits are happy to release the flesh of the fruit).
- Pack them (cold) in hot, sterilized jars.
- Pour 1 tablespoon Maderia (you can use less or omit if you`d like).
- Top with boiling water, leaving half-inch headspace.
- Remove excess air, add more boiling water if needed.
- Place lids, tighten, and hot water bath. A quart needs 30 minutes, a pint needs 25.