Luckily, peach preserves are easy and the whole process only takes about half an hour! You just need peaches, sugar, and pectin. You can buy pectin at most grocery stores.
|This brand has a pectin activator that allows you to use less sugar.|
Get the hubby to sort out the softest ones so you don't waste any fruit.
Peeled peaches work best, but peeling is arduous. Luckily there's an easy way to do that. Just throw the peaches in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon.
The peels slide right off!
Next, pull peaches apart into a large pot, removing pits. They should come apart easily thanks to the boiling water bath.
The best part: squish them up with your hands!
They don't need to be completely crushed; some bits and pieces of peach are tasty in preserves.
Now turn the pot on high. Add 4 cups of sugar (you can use 3 cups if you have the pectin shown above since it requires less sugar to gel) and stir well. Stir to prevent sticking as you bring to a boil (note - to keep color fresh, you can add 1/4 lemon juice at this point). If foam collects at the top of the pot, you can skim it off and discard it.
Meanwhile, prepare a box of pectin (1 ounce) by placing it in a measuring cup and mixing with enough sugar to make 1 cup. When the preserves come to a boil, stir pectin in and boil for one minute, stirring constantly to dissolve all the pectin.
Turn the pot off and let it cool for a few minutes before ladling into sterilized jars.
I got 14 half-pint jars from my batch. At this point, the preserves probably seem very runny, but fear not - they will set up as they cool.
Process the jars of preserves by boiling in a hot water bath, as seem in this post.
Then enjoy what's left in the pan by spreading on fresh French bread!
|Next morning? Preserves are all nice and gelled!|