Are you a beginner who wants to learn to can peaches in syrup? Look no further than this post!
I’m so glad you’re here to learn how to can peaches in syrup. It’s an excellent way to save up a bit of summer flavor for the cold, winter months.
Any time you tackle a canning project, start by gathering your tools and ingredients. On the tool side, you’ll need a large pot to serve as your boiling water bath canner (you can find more detail about that here), as well as a rack to drop in the bottom. This lifts the jars off the bottom of the pot and allows the water to circulate. I often use the flexible silicone trivet pictured above, but a round cake cooling rack is also a really good option.
When you’re ready to get started, take the jars out of their packaging. Remove the lids and rings and wash the jars, lids, and rings in warm soapy water. I’ve been in the factory where Ball jars are fitted with lids, boxed, and sealed and it not a sterile environment. Those jars my look clean, but they’re filled with factory dust and residue. Wash them.
If you’re using jars that have already been used once or twice, make sure you check the rims for any chips or cracks that could prevent the jars from sealing properly.
Once your jars squeaky clean, fit your rack into the bottom of the canning pot and arrange your jars on top. Fill the jars with warm tap water and then fill the pot up to the rims of the jars.
Set that pot on the stove, add a healthy splash of white vinegar (this helps keep your jars and pot clean, and if you have hard water, will prevent any minerals from depositing on your jars). Bring the pot to boil and reduce the heat to your lowest simmer, to keep the jars warm.
The rule of thumb is that hot food needs to go into hot jars. While mason jars are designed to withstand temperature changes of up to 90 degrees F, any more of a change could cause thermal shock which will lead to breakage.
Now that your jars are ready, it’s time to can peaches in syrup. For those of you concerned about sugar, know that it doesn’t really sink into the peaches too much, and will greatly help prevent the peaches from browning. However, if you prefer, you can also pack these peaches in fruit juice. These syrup packed peaches hold their quality longer than the juice packed ones, but are still delicious if used promptly.
First, make the syrup. Combine 3 cups of water with 3/4 cups granulated sugar in a 4 quart saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice (this is present to help prevent browning) and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
Cut three pounds of peaches into quarters, remove the pits, and arrange the peaches in a heatproof baking dish (it’s best to do this in your sink). Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Once it is hot, pour it over the peaches and let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
When the time is up, run cold water over the peaches. Provided that the peaches were ripe enough (peeling underripe peaches is tortuous work), the peels should lift off easily. As you work, gently slide each peeled peach quarter into the hot syrup so that the amount of time the peaches are exposed to the air is limited.
Once all the peaches are peeled and in the pot, bring the syrup to a boil and cook for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Pull the hot canning jars out of the canning pot and arrange them on a folded kitchen towel. Position a wide mouth funnel on top of a jar and use a slotted spoon to portion the hot peach quarters into the jars.
Top the jars with syrup and use a utensil like a wooden chopstick or the bubbling tool that comes in the utensil kit to ease out any trapped air bubbles. Fill the jars with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel. Center a clean lid on the jar and apply the ring. Tighten it only until it meets resistance. You don’t want to overtighten it, as that could cause the lid to buckle during processing. Place the jars in the canner, put the lid on, and bring the pot up to a rolling boil. Process the peaches in your canning pot for 20 minutes (if you live at elevations above 1,000 feet, you’ll need to increase your processing time. Check out the chart here).
When the time is up, turn off the heat, pull the canner off the hot burner, and remove the lid. Let the jars cool in the canning pot for five minutes (this helps prevent liquid from siphoning out of the jars and produces a stronger seal). Once that time is up, remove the jars from the pot and set them back on the folded kitchen towel.
Let them cool undisturbed for at least 12 hours. Once that time is up, check the seals. If the lids are concave and seem strongly adhered to the jars, you are good. Wipe any sticky residue off the jars and store in a cool, dark place. For the best quality peaches, eat them within a year.
You’ll notice that my finished jars have some air bubbles in them. I bubbled these jars repeatedly during filling, but some bubbles remain. Once the jars have sealed, the bubbles aren’t major concern. The only time you need to worry is if the jar has been sitting undisturbed for many hours and th bubbles are moving towards the top of the jar on their own. That is a sign of fermentation. However, if the bubbles are inactive and simply present, they are not a cause for concern.
I canned three jars and only one of them sealed. What does it mean when bubbles come out of the jar of peaches when you put it in the water to process it? Or when it’s time to take it out and there are still bubbles coming out? Does that mean the ring was not tight enough? The bubbles are the only thing I noticed in common with the two that didn’t seal vs. the one that did. Thanks so much for all your help!!!!
Seeing bubbles come out of your jars when you put them into the canner is a good sign. It means that the heat of the canner is helping remove the oxygen from the jars. If they’re still coming out once the processing time is done, it could mean that you didn’t remove the air bubbles from the jars well enough before applying the lids. If you don’t remove the air bubbles sufficiently, they push they’re way out forcefully and often push the syrup out with them. If there’s a lot of syrup coming out during processing, it can impact the jar’s ability to seal.
What I meant to ask was, I put four lids in the hot water but only used three. Can I use the fourth one on a new jar?
And can I try to process again the two jars that didn’t seal? They’ve been in the fridge since 24 hours after processing. I can’t use the same lids, right?
You can use the 4th lid even if it’s been heated. And you can reprocess those jars, though the quality of the peaches will decline.
Thanks for all the help. I re-processed the one and processed three more and they all sealed! I poked around more aggressively for air bubbles this time, and after centering the lid on the jar I pressed it down hard before putting the ring on. One of those things must have done it. We had a great time eating the extras that didn’t fit in the jars!
I’m so glad you got them to seal!