Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last Call...Small Batch Canned Peaches In Amaretto Syrup

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Hurry, hurry, hurry to the grocery store, or your nearest fruit and vegetable market, and pick up some of the peaches lying in big crates with signs that say tree ripened.  They are sensational this year.  I keep going back for more, in spite of the fact I swore off more peaches when I finished canning the last batch.  Yes, I have made peach jam but I have mostly canned them in syrup to enjoy this coming winter.  I am not giving them away this time, so don't ask... even if you are Angelina and Brad.




When peaches are this good, it is a crime to bake them in tarts, pies or even ice cream.  Yep, we have had those too.  Had to.  But it's the cold peaches in a light syrup that have blown us away.  Sometimes we have topped them with vanilla ice cream, others crushed pistachios or amaretto cookies.   Come to think of it, I have even forgotten my favorite recipe for Peach Melba!




Canning and preserving have always been perceived as the domain of the experienced cook.  Notice I did not say the great cook or even the good cook.  I said experienced cook, as in your grandmother.  When I see the words, I think of grandmothers and gingham check, wagon trains and apple pie.  If you can or preserve, you have mileage behind you. You are an artiste!  Well, I have news for you, a caveman can do it, if he follows the steps.  It is precise and requires some patience, something most of us don't have.  But it is not difficult and overwhelming  if you do it in small batches, as I recently discovered.


Peach Jam


To can peaches, or any other fruit for that matter, you really don't need a recipe.  It is mainly a procedure with ratios and proportions as it pertains to fruit and syrup.   You don't need to set aside a whole day or even a whole morning.  After you get the hang of it and the why of it, it is not a painful task. You really have no excuse and will be amply rewarded come winter time.  Hey, I have even taken a break from my blog rest to get you going.


My winter stash of canned peaches and peach jams

The recipe below used six large peaches and yielded three one quart jars.  That's more than ample to carry this small family through the winter.  After eating three quarts of anything, it begins to get boring especially if you have already canned three pints of peach jam!  You are not going into the business of canning peaches so don't make that much.

Don't crowd the fruit too much and make sure the syrup covers it to the top, even if you have to slice some of the halves. If you don't have or like amaretto, skip it.  They are just as divine without it. Should you be a generous and caring person, double the recipe, make four cups of syrup and share them with some of those special friends.  By special I mean the ones you know will appreciate and enjoy them..  AND should you have left over syrup, save it, chill it and add some to a cold glass of Champagne or Prosecco.

I never thought I would turn into a canner, but perhaps the South has finally gotten to me.  That or watching Diane Keaton in Baby Boom too many times!






Small Batch Canned Peaches
Makes 3 to 4 jars

Ingredients

6 to 8 peaches
2 cups of syrup
1 tsp. amaretto (optional)

3 or 4 Balls canning glass jars

Procedure

Get a big saucepan pan or pot, 6 to 8 quarts, add water, bring to boil and drop peaches.  Leave for about 30 seconds.  Remove the peaches from the water, (SAVE THAT WATER) and slide them into a pan of iced water.  When peaches cool off, remove from the pan and peel with your hands.  This will take you no time.

On a tall pot, heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Cut the peaches in half carefully, with a paring knife, and remove the pit.

Measure 4 cups of the water you boiled the peaches in and return it to the pan.  Add 4 cups of sugar.  Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves.

Add the peaches and the pits.

Add 1 tsp of amaretto, if using

Cook the peaches at a low simmer for about 10 minutes.  Check to see if they are done by inserting the tip of the paring knife.  Don't get them too soft. They will continue cooking until they have cooled down in their jars.

Pack hot peaches, using a slotted spoon, cavity side down and overlapping layers, into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into hot jar to cover pears, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process pint jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. I cover the pot with a loose lid. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
YOU ARE DONE!

Now this might seem like a lot but not if you are only canning this small amount.  It is really just a few quick steps. If you plan to use them within 30 days don't bother.  Just refrigerate.



 
Recipe and Photos Lindaraxa

6 comments:

  1. I like your canning philosophy; much less onerous than the usual mass production. These canned peaches are also a feast for the eyes. What gives the syrup that appetizing color--the natural red in the peaches?
    --Jim

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    Replies
    1. I pick the ones with the most red skin I can find. That and the addition of the pit to the syrup which has an almondish flavor inside. I might do nectarines next!

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  2. Well, Lindaraxa, you have talked me into it -- peaches are going to be canned ala your method THIS week -- they are really good here as well -- really good! My mother always canned a bushel every summer (omitting the amaretto) And you're right -- you don't need to can hundreds of jars of things -- just enough that you remember summer in that jar! I have done tomatoes (two methods -- like the French method the best -- so easy) and made zucchini relish (Gina Stipo) -- but just one batch of that -- for the same reason as you -- too much of a good thing can be too much! I'll be off after peaches tomorrow (and perhaps jars -- I'm not sure what I have left after my tomatoes). And peach jam -- may make some of that as well -- I'm the only jam eater so I don't need much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish you would post that French method for tomatoes. Our little plant here has been giving them off like there's no tomorrow! I wonder if the hard winter caused those peaches to be so good this year but they are fantastic. To tell you the truth, I only added amaretto to one of the peaches I canned so I could do whatever I felt like when I opened the jars. Glad you are doing it. You will be happy come snow time!

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  3. You are so right. The peaches have been out-of-this-world fabulous this year and the season has been long and enjoyable. Love the touch of amaretto. How interesting that you've included the pit. I didn't realize the pits had an almond taste. How fun to learn something new about one of my all time favorite fruits.
    Sam

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  4. I wished the peaches here are just like yours.
    But they are hard and no taste at all.
    And i like peaches...with strawberrie`s they are my favorite fruit.
    So i think i can`t make this recipe this year.
    But i keep it in mind
    Greetings
    Jeanne

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Lindaraxa. Your comments are much appreciated.

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