This canned peach recipe is courtesy Chef Vivian Howard, and is featured in the Pretty in Peach episode of Season 3 of A Chef's Life.
- 4 quart or 8 pint jars
- 20 medium barely ripe, firm peaches
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 cups water
- Begin by peeling the peaches,To peel them with ease, bring a large pot of water to a boil and set up an ice bath nearby. Make an X in the bottom of each peach. Drop the peaches, maybe 5 at the time, into the water and allow them to boil for up to 1 minute. Be careful not to cook the peaches, but make sure the skin starts to split and peel away from the flesh. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the peaches from the boiling water and drop them into the ice bath. Once you've shocked all of them, start peeling them using the X as a guide. Once they’re all peeled, cut them in half, remove the pit and quarter.
- Sterilize your jars and add any flavoring elements you wish, and start stuffing the quartered peaches in the jars, cavity side down. This is harder than it looks but very important. If the cavity is facing down, you’ll be able to fit more peaches in the jar. The idea is to get as many peaches in the jar as you can, then try to get one more.
- As you fill the jars, heat the sugar and water to make the syrup. I like to do this in a tea kettle. It makes pouring the syrup into the jars easier. Once the jars are stuffed with peaches, pour the hot syrup slowly over top, allowing the syrup to creep its way through all the peaches. Cover the peaches by 1/2 inch with syrup. Process the jars immediately in the canner for 30 minutes.
Tips/TechniquesTwo things to keep in mind here. It’s important to can peaches that are ripe, but not soft. You’re going to manhandle a pretty delicate fruit, so starting with a peach that has a shot of holding up as you ram it in a jar is key. Also if you choose to double this recipe, do so in batches. If you peel and quarter too many peaches before canning them, they’ll turn brown, so keep your batches small.