There is a park near my apartment that hosts two weekly farmers markets. I almost always go to the Saturday market, but often miss the mid-week one. It takes place on Tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm and so often, by the time I remember that it’s happening, I’ve already missed it.
Last week, though, the stars were aligned in my favor. I had been out running errands and on my walk home spotted the cheery row of white tents set up along the north edge of the square. It was nearly 2 pm, but the vendors all still had good things on offer. I bought three quarts of yellow and green beans for pickling, a half pint of black raspberries, and five pounds of hail-marked peaches for $5.
The peaches were a little beat up but it was nothing some careful work with a paring knife couldn’t fix. I set them out to ripen for a couple days and applied myself to the rest of the produce. I trimmed the beans, fit them into a large jar with garlic and spices, and covered them with brine (we’ll talk more about those next week when they’re finished fermenting). The raspberries? Those I ate with my lunch.
A few days later, the peaches were ripe and ready for canning (and eating! I did set aside a few for snacking). I considered turning them into jam, but I just discovered a cache of peach vanilla jam in the back of the cabinet, so that seemed unnecessary. Instead, I decided to can them in fruit juice for later in the year when all available fruit is being shipped from the other side of the world.
Over the years, I’ve preserved fruit slices in syrups made from cane sugar, honey, and agave nectar, but when it comes to ease and virtue, there’s nothing better than plain old apple juice. When I first started working on my natural sweeteners book, I got into the habit of keeping a few canisters of 100% juice concentrate in the freezer because they’re so useful during canning season.
I prepped the peaches by cutting them in quarters and laying them in a heatproof baking dish. Once they were ready, I put the pan in the sink (to help prevent large messes), brought a kettle of water to a boil and poured it over the peaches. This helps loosen the skins and when you’re working with relatively small amounts of peaches, makes for an easier peeling process.
Once the peach quarters had sat in the hot water for about three minutes, I lifted a corner of the pan and tipped out most of the hot water. Then I ran some cool water from the tap over the fruit. Then, I peeled the skins off the peach segments. They lifted away easily enough, though some benefited from a little paring knife assistance.
I’d prepped the juice ahead of time (using the regular dilution of one can of concentrate to three cans of water) and brought it to a simmer in a four quart pot. After each peach segment was peeled, I dropped it into the hot juice. The acid content in the juice is enough to help prevent oxidation, and the heat helps the fruit release some of its trapped air, making for a finished product that should siphon less that peaches that were done using the cold pack method.
Once all the peaches were peeled and in the simmering juice, I pulled three clean, hot 1/2 liter Weck tulip jarsout of my prepped canning pot and filled them with peach slices. I ladled in enough juice to cover, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace (make sure to wiggle out any trapped air bubbles).
Finally, I wiped the rims, eased on the seals and lids, and clamped them in place with the metal clips. Because they were a hot packed product, these jars (which are the functional equivalent of pint jars) spent just 20 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Once the time was up, I slide the pot off the hot burner, removed the lid, and let the jars cool for ten minutes still in the water. This is another way to help prevent the siphoning of the liquid to which whole fruit is so prone.
Finally, I pulled the jars out of the water and let them rest on a folded kitchen towel. You can always tell with Weck jars that they’ve formed a seal because the little rubber tab will point downward.
And there you have it! Peaches packed in all-natural fruit juice. Delicious in January (or anytime)!
Home Canned Peaches in Fruit Juice
- 4 pounds yellow peaches freestone preferred
- 48 ounces 100% apple juice from concentrate is fine
- Prepare a canning pot and three pint or 1/2 liter jars.
- 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.
- Once all the peaches are cut, place the pan in the sink, and pour the boiling water over them. Set a timer for three minutes.
- While the peaches resting in the water so that their skins loosen, pour the juice into a four quart saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- 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.
- 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.
- As you work, slip each peeled peach bit into the simmering juice.
- Once all the peaches are peeled, remove the jars from your canning pot.
- Using a slotted spoon, divide the peach segments between the jars. Top with the hot juice, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a chopstick to wiggle out any trapped air bubbles and add more juice, if necessary.
- Wipe the rims, apply the seals, lids, and clips, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
- When time is up, remove the lid from the pot and slide it off the hot burner. Let the jars rest in the pot for an additional 10 minutes, to help prevent siphoning.
- Finally, remove the finished jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Sealed jars should be stored in a cool, dark place and should be eaten within about a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
Want to try those Weck jars!
Those jars look so cool! Would love to be able to try them!
Love those jars!
Those jars are so pretty. They would make a great gift.
Beautiful! These are done with a water bath, not a pressure canner right? (Still a canning newb)
I would be so excited to win these! I started canning for the first time just a couple of weeks ago and so far have only pressure canned. I would love to do some water bath canning too. I don’t have the right pot though, And those jars are so good looking.
How did you know that I just brought home Chilton County peaches today? I love the idea of canning them in juice, but never really had a procedure for doing it. Thank you so much!
I could use a smaller canning pot the 21 gal thing gets old real fast! I’d also love more jars as wel!
love home canned peaches!
There is something very rewarding about using damaged, unwanted fruit and making it into something yummy for later. I like that you capture that very thing in your blog. My inspiration is my Grandmother who grew up during depression era hard times. She never let anything go to waste.
This recipe looks delicious…would love to try the Weck jars!
Would love to be set up for canning this way, Thanks.
Wow, what great jars. I love that the rubber edge points downward so you know the jars are sealed.
Thanks for the recipe. I prefer juice. I am going peach picking for the first time with a friend when the peaches ripen. I have canned tomatoes so I want to try peaches. How firm or ripe should the fruit be for canning?
You want the peaches to be the firm side of ripe.
I love the look of the peaches in those cute jars. That jar filled with homemade preserves would make a great gift. I am a beginner in the canning process, so need all the help I can get. I have your books and have been successful in the recipes I have undertaken. Will be trying this peach one for sure!
I can’t wait till fresh peaches are ready to be picked!
excellent tip on the apple juice! i’d much rather be using that than sugar syrup.
I have been eyeing those jars for a few years now…
Would love to use them towards my plums and apples on my community garden plot
Weck jars make everything more fun! Waiting for the peaches now. Thanks for the tip.
Beautiful jars! Beautiful peaches!
What a terrific idea. can this be done with all other fruits? ie. apple slices in apple juice, or strawberries in strawberry nectar?
This works well for peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, and pears. I’ve never tried it with strawberries, but I imagine they’d be good. I don’t love the texture that apples take on when canned in liquid. They get kind of hard.
I “LOVE” the way these jars look!! 🙂 I want to try them!!
I’m excited about getting peaches from Centennial Farm in Augusta this weekend and making these with apple juice for the first time.
You got a box of damaged peaches for $5 and yesterday I did the same with a huge flat of strawberries. $5 makes a lot of great jam!
I am jar lover too. Would love to win this giveaway.
How clever to use the apple juice to keep them from oxidizing! Thanks for the tip
Oh, you people who have peaches already! We’re still waiting on Ontario cherries! They’ll come though, and I shall can some in August, and even into September!
I love those jars. Am a jar/glass fanatic!!
Marisa, do you find that the peaches are still sweet/tasty enough when canned in juice? I’ve tried canning peaches with a lighter sugar syrup in the past but found those peaches were not as flavorful as those canned in a medium syrup. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to try out a small batch with juice!
Coolest looking jars ever! Just can’t find such around here…..peaches, yes we have those tho and I’m looking forward to the first yield from our own trees this summer:)
I love your notes on canning so much. This week I am working on what seems like a never ending supply of tart cherries. Tomorrow I am canning cherry pie filling for the first time…..wish me luck!
Thank you for sharing this recipe–can’t wait to try this!
I have always used sugar to can peaches. Im excited to try juice this year.
I love the jars. Looks yummy.
Love those jars! Just the right size.
I can’t wait to try your peaches recipe with my new jars 😉
I would absolutely love to trying canning. My kids and I love the peaches at our town farmers market and it would be great to feast on them all year. Thanks!
weck jars – my favorite!
Beautiful – I haven’t had any luck with peaches, but will definitely try this recipe. Question – do you have any tips for stopping the peaches from “floating” in the jar? Thank you!
You’ll find that if you use the hot pack method outlined in this post, you won’t have nearly the fruit float that you do with a raw packed technique. That’s because the brief simmer in the juice helps the peaches release their internal air. That makes the fruit slightly more dense and less prone to floating.
I have been very curious about the Weck jars, but have such a large stash of Ball jars it hasn’t made sense to invest…but wow, are they cute!
I was just talking about peaches, well, defending our Washington peaches to my sister who remains in the south (with access to much better peaches, of course). But I would still like to see a few of our northwest peaches waiting for me to eat (and maybe share with my two) sometime in January…
I would LOVE to win those Weck jars.
Just heading out to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some peaches. Thanks!
Hello, As a Belgian canner I mostly use the Weck jars, but that aside. I wonder if I can use bottled bio applejuice instead of frozen. Greetings from Meerhout in Belgium.
I’m not familiar with bottled bio apple juice, but I imagine it should work just fine.
This was my first experience canning fruit and my peaches siphoned like crazy. I had 4 pint jars and they all lost almost the same amount of liquid (1/3 of the jar)!! I did everything I was supposed to–hot pack,remove air bubbles, leave in the pot, etc. but now I’m wondering if the shape of these weck jars could make a difference? Yours are beautiful!
I’ve always blanched my peaches whole and had trouble peeling them. Does quartering first make peeling easier? Also great idea for using Apple juice. I’ve done honey syrup and although tasty, it’s expensive.
Thanks for the tips!
Quartering before blanching them makes them much easier to peel.
I think those jars are adorable!
Swoon…I need those jars.
Peaches + handsome jars = summer heaven all year round.
This summer has been bountiful in our region! Peaches are not in- yet, but I am looking forward to using this recipe to learn to can peaches.
I love Weck jars, and I love your website. I have some of the half-litre jars you’ve used in this recipe and they’re perfect. They’re about slightly larger than a pint though, so when I’m using them for other recipes, should I process for the same amount of time as a pint jar, or would they have to be processed for longer?
They are close enough to a pint that I process them for the pint times.
I made these a week ago as my first attempt at canning something that wasn’t jam, and I loved it! I made 51/2 pint jars with my 98 cent a pound peaches (I went a little nuts at the store and bought more peaches at one time than ever before) and it couldn’t have been easier! I love that these were so easy and sugarless, except for the natural sugars, I added a stick of cinnamon to each jar as well. I can’t wait to see if I can come up with other flavors that work. I was wondering if I could add other fruits to this recipe, in place of or in addition to the peaches. I like the idea of peaches and pears together. I was also wondering if the 100% fruit juice could be interchangeable with other juices. Thanks so much for sharing all of these great recipe. Being new to canning (this recipe was my second water bath attempt) I’ve been looking all over the place for easy, not intimidating recipes and this site and many other sources that I’ve seen adapt your recipes is perfect for me! Thank You 😉
Could you use these for pies later?
Amazing photos, first of all! Thanks for the article, keep up the awesome blog!
Thanks for the tip with respect to the Weck jars. I had no idea that the tab should point downward to indicate a proper seal. I’ve had some blueberry jam and pickles not properly seal. I try to center the seal on the rim of the jar before clamping the lid in place. Do Weck’s typically require a longer water bath process?
They don’t typically need a longer process, but they like a little less headspace than mason jars.