My grandparents turned me on to store-bought spicy pickled peaches years and years ago. I think the peaches were packed into the jars whole, pit and all, but I won’t swear on that. I just remember how great these peaches tasted!
If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know I’m on a canning kick and promised to share some of my most successful recipes. If you live in the Southeast, you know that peaches are in full season (yaaaaaaaah!) and just ready to be eaten by themselves, on cereal or yogurt, or made into cobblers, pies and bellinis.
For the first time ever, I canned fresh peaches and tried to make them spicy and sweet like those I enjoyed with Mamma and Pampa. And I loved the results for my initial try. While the peaches are naturally sweet, the cinnamon, allspice and cloves add such a wonderful spicy and warm flavor.
Make sure to use ripe but firm peaches, firmness being the key here. If you buy a bucket of peaches at a farmer’s market or fruit stand, inspect each peach — you don’t want the ones that are too soft (at least to preserve.)
Ingredients (Makes 4-5 pints)
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 8 pounds peaches
- Fruit Protector (I used Ball’s Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector)
Place the cloves, ginger and allspice in a spice bag (you can make your own like I did using cheesecloth.)
In a large pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, water, cinnamon sticks and spice bag. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add scored peaches in small batches for one minute. This will make the skins come off easy.
Transfer the peaches to an ice bath.
Peel the peaches and cut into slices.
Toss them with the fruit protector (follow instructions on how much to use, etc. on the container.)
Drain the peaches and add them to the hot syrup. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Pack the peaches into hot, sterile jars, adding one cinnamon stick per jar. Add syrup to the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the top and rims of the jars, and adjust the lids and bands.
Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
Store in a dry place. I waited about 2 weeks before I opened my first jar.
These go great with pork chops! Or top off some Greek yogurt with them for a special breakfast or dessert treat.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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