Gingery Pickled Peaches

finished pickled peaches

Last weekend, I taught a canning and preserving workshop at the Omega Institute in the Hudson Valley. On my drive up there, my car was packed to the gills with pots and pans, jars, bowls, cutting boards, jars (I brought 13 cases and ended up dashing out between sessions for two more boxes of quarter pints), and well over 100 pounds of produce.

pickled peach segments

Of the 12 preserves we made over the course of the weekend, a full five featured peaches. We canned them in quarters, made peach salsa, tossed slices in cinnamon and dehydrated them, did a batch of chunky, vanilla-laced jam, and finally made jelly out of the peach-flavored juice leftover from canning the quarters. It is, after all, the season for peach canning.

filling jars with pickled peaches

One thing we did not do was make pickled fruit (though I did consider it when building the class schedule). We were making a chutney and doing a couple of other styles of pickling as well, so there just wasn’t room. However, had we had just a little more time, I would have slipped in this recipe for pickled peaches.

full jars pickled peaches

There is something about pickled fruit that I just really like. A few slivers spooned from a jar easily serves as a sweet, bright, and tangy counterpoint to any number of meals (and is particularly welcome during the relentless cold and grey of winter). I particularly like to braise well-salted chicken thighs in a slurry of browned onions slices and pickled peach segments. Served over creamy millet, it’s a winner of a dish come November.

pickled peaches overhead

The eagle-eyed among you might look and this recipe and think that it looks familiar. If you have this thought, you are not wrong. The brine is identical to the one I use for my Gingery Pickled Blueberries and works equally well with peeled pear slices. Pickled fruit. It’s hard to go wrong.

Note: You may notice that in these pictures, the peaches are not peeled, yet in the recipe below, I tell you to peel them. I was feeling particularly lazy the day I made these and skipped the peeling step. If you don’t mind having the skins on, feel free to be like me. However, for a more refined pickled peach, remove the skins.

Gingery Pickled Peaches

Yield: 3 pints

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds peaches
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and three pint jars and new lids.
  2. Cut peaches into quarters and remove pits. Place in a large, heatproof baking dish. Bring a kettle of water to a boil as you prep the peaches.
  3. Once all the peaches are cut, place the pan in the skin, and pour the boiling water over them. Set a timer for three minutes.
  4. While the peaches resting in the water so that their skins loosen, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and ginger slices in a four quart saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  5. When the time is up, tip the hot water out of pan and run cold tap water over the peaches to make them cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove the peels from the peach segments. If you start at the stem end, they should come free fairly easily. Use a paring knife on any tough bits. If your peaches are quite large, you can cut them into thinner slices (that's what I did in the batch pictured above).
  7. As you work, slip each peeled peach bit into the simmering pickling liquid.
  8. Once all the peaches are peeled, remove the jars from your canning pot.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, divide the peach segments between the jars. Top with the hot pickling liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Make sure to tuck 2 or 3 ginger slices into each jar.
  10. Use a chopstick to wiggle out any trapped air bubbles and add more liquid, if necessary.
  11. Wipe the jar rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  12. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and check seals. Any unsealed jars should be kept in the refrigerator.
  13. Let jars sit for at least 24 hours before eating to all the flavors to settle.
http://foodinjars.com/2015/09/gingery-pickled-peaches/

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19 Responses to Gingery Pickled Peaches

  1. 1
    Becky says:

    I do a full half bushel of pickled peaches every year – they are great in pie or baked into a pound cake or just plain, as part of a meal (my daughter loves them in her lunch box!). If I use ripe peaches, I’ve started cutting my processing time to keep them from getting too mushy (thinking the vinegar helps kill bacteria), although this year, I happened to have some slightly underripe peaches, so I processed them the full time and they turned out just beautifully. I’m not sure that half bushel is going to make it past Christmas.

  2. 2
    Deb says:

    Bless your heart – No peeling! Who needs refined peaches!

    Question-I seem to recall reading that you have a preference for particular brands of cider vinegar. If true, can your share again?

    • 2.1
      Marisa says:

      My only major vinegar preference is to use apple cider over white vinegar. As long as you get a real apple cider vinegar and apple cider-flavored vinegar and it has a 5% acidity, you are all set.

  3. 3
    Kelsey says:

    Is it OK to make these with white peaches?

    • 3.1
      Marisa says:

      Yes, because of the acid content from the vinegar.

      • beth says:

        so glad to see this comment/reply, as i was about to ask the same question. i accidentally ended up with white peaches from the farmer’s market last weekend (they were just marked peaches), and didn’t realize it until i started making this recipe.

  4. 4

    Hello Marisa,

    I feel that this is a simple but elegant way to have ginger pickled recipe at home which can be served to any number of meals. Will definitely try this soon 🙂

  5. 5
    tara says:

    This sounds brilliant. I love the idea of them on sweet desserts, or in a salad.

  6. 6
    Gina Rubel says:

    So glad we got to attend one of your classes in Pennington. I went to the local farmer’s market yesterday and picked up a case of local peaches. Just finished canning them and your method was perfect. Thank you for being such a great resource!

  7. 7
    Kate says:

    I made these and they look amazing, but once cooled, they seem to have a lot of air pockets (as the peaches have risen to the top of the liquid) despite my tapping them down before canning…. I assume this is OK? Any advice?

  8. 8
    anon.whoaman says:

    Canning noob here! Can you re-use the leftover brine? I had quite a bit left over even after converting to quart jars.

    • 8.1
      Marisa says:

      Yes. Or you can use it as a shrub.

      • Melissa says:

        I had never heard of a shrub before. We made one last night with this leftover brine, bourbon, cherry liqueur and a dash of absinth, and my world has been opened to a whole new level of drink possibilities! My husband was very skeptical, but it was a great drink.

  9. 9
    Rae says:

    Hey Marissa! I made these last week, and have been eating them with everything: ribs, over pancakes instead of the syrup, on toast…on a fork… Anywho I wanted to make the chicken thighs you mentioned, but wasn’t sure if you braise the chicken in the actual peaches and brine or if you use the peaches as more of a sauce/garnish after you cook? Thanks so much, love all your recipes!

    • 9.1
      Marisa says:

      So glad to hear that you’re enjoying them so much! When I used them to braise chicken, I combine boneless, skinless chicken thighs with some of the peaches, the brine and a bit of extra vinegar to ensure that it doesn’t become cloying. When the chicken is tender, I shred it with a fork, break the peaches up into the meat, and serve it over a grain or as a taco filling.

      • Rae says:

        Sounds great, Thanks! I just read some braising recipes, and figured I’d add some of the brine into the initial braise, and then the peaches at the end when the sauce is reducing. I’m pretty pumped for this. Nothing like sweet and savory.

      • rae mcclellan says:

        The chicken was SO. GOOD.
        Even my boyfriend and my finicky toddler got into it!
        Thanks again 🙂

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