Friday, June 17, 2011

Pretty as a Peach Preserves



I love the different seasons!  As much as I enjoy traveling to places like Cali or the beautiful coastal beaches,  I don't think I'd ever want to live there, because I would miss the change of the seasons too much.  I enjoy watching the trees go from bare to beautifully green, from the winter wonderlands to the lightening bug - glowing fields, the cozy hot chocolates and fireplace to the iced sweet tea and patio.  I enjoy it all!!!  I like to change my decor with the seasons and holidays and I'm the same way with my food.  As you all probably have picked up on already, I'm a very seasonal cook.  I love to prepare meals and desserts with ingredients that are fresh and in season right now!  Sure...I will do an occasional stew in the summer or indoor grilling in the winter, but for the most part I stay true to the season!  (Oh, and chocolate is always in season if you didn't already know!! ;)


Peaches...  

They just sing summertime!!!  Soft, ripe peaches that are so juicy they drip down your chin!  Yes....those are the best.  I'll never forget whenever I was growing up, one summer we lived in Florida.  There were fruit and vegetable stands almost everyday where we lived. So after leaving the pool or beach, Mom would stop and buy a few peaches for us to eat on the way home in the van. She would lay out beach towels on us to act as like a bib/napkin, and we'd eat those Georgia peaches like little piggies!  Mmm!!!  Those were the days...

This is was my first time to make peach preserves. Last year I made Strawberry Jam and everybody LOVED it!  (Apparently I didn't make nearly enough.) So I though I'd try out to my hand at peach this time.



Uh, yum!!!

This is a basic recipe that's simply delicious.  It will take you back to a farmhouse breakfast, like the kind like when you were a child.   
The color of the preserves is vibrant and  pretty, and it has just enough bits of fresh peaches.  I have eaten it with toast and biscuits already, but I can't wait to warm it up and pour it over some French toast or pound cake with whipped cream!

I encourage you to try making some jam or preserves this year with your favorite fruits.  If peaches are one of them, this is an easy recipe that I'm sure you'll love!



Pretty as a Peach Preserves

3 lb. peaches; mine were Georgia, (4 c. diced)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

5 1/2 c. sugar

1 box Sure-gell


First off, you must prepare your jars and lids by sanitizing them.  I put them in the dishwasher in the "sanitize" setting. Or you can just wash them in hot water and dry them.
Bring a boiling water canner half full of water to simmer.
Pour boiling water over flat lids in a saucepan off the heat.  Let them stand in hot water until ready to use. 

Rinse off the peaches.  Place a few at a time in a in a large pot of boiling water for only 45 seconds.



Quickly take from the boiling water and place in a large bowl filled with ice water.
This allows the skin to peal off very easily.
Repeat with the rest of the peaches.


Using a small paring knife or your fingers, peel off the loosened skin.


Dice the 4 cups of peaches into a fine dice.  
I think I may have even diced them a bit smaller after taking this picture.
(Look at the pretty orange rainbow of colors!)


In a large dutch oven, dump in the peaches and stir in the lemon juice.  


Stir in box of pectin into fruit.  Add 1/4 tsp. butter, if desired, to reduce foam.  (I did this.)

Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat, while stirring constantly.



Stir in sugar quickly, and return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute exactly, stirring constantly.


Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle quickly into jars, filling up to 1/8 in. from the top.

 

Wipe jars lids and threads.  Cover with two piece lids and screw bands.  Carefully place jars in canner.  Water must cover jars 1 to 2 inches.  Add boiling water if needed.  Bring water to a gentle boil.  Process for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.

Wait for the lids to "pop!" signifying that your preserves have been properly sealed!!  I get so excited to here them pop, because I know I've done everything right!

If one doesn't though, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 wks.

Makes 7 cups.
(It made 5- 1 pints and 5- 1/2 pints for me.)


I love the sweet, country fabric I found to dress them up in!  The ribbon polishes them up for gifts!








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8 comments:

Ali said...

Those preserves are so beautiful Leslie. I bet they taste great :)

Leslie said...

Thank you, Ali! :) I'd love to give you a jar if I could.

Our Italian Kitchen said...

That is so cute! It looks like you had fun! And the packaging is so cute! If you ever host a giveaway on your blog, that would be a great one. Or it could be a good hostess gift!

Amanda-The Sweet Details said...

Hi! I just came over to invite you to link up at Savory Sundays! It's open right now and I'd love if you linked something up from your wonderful blog! Have a great day!! :)

Amanda-The Sweet Details said...

Oh yum, this looks great! Thanks for sharing this at Savory Sundays!!

elizabeth said...

Oh I am drooling...I'm going to have to try peach jam when our Northwest peaches are ready. Hope you do try the Hummingbird cupcakes, they are sooo good. Let me know how you like them!
Elizabeth
http://www.justfollowingjesus.com

Tina Butler said...

Leslie I have only made peach preserves with canned peaches. I can't wait to try it with fresh. Your's turned out beautiful.

Leslie said...

Well, thank you Tina! You can do it if I do!! I have to say though, in my experience, strawberry is easier to make. It's worth the work, though!
:) Leslie